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Schvalla R. Rivera - Southern Utah University. Cedar City, UT, US

Schvalla R. Rivera Schvalla R. Rivera

Assistant to the President for Diversity and Inclusion | Southern Utah University


Specializing in diversity and inclusion, multicultural and international student affairs, and racial and ethnic identity.



Dr. Schvalla R. Rivera is the Assistant to the President for Diversity and Inclusion. Previously, Dr. Rivera was the Dean of Students at Western Nebraska Community College, and is equipped with a diverse professional portfolio.

Dr. Rivera is certified in both psychological first aid and Title IX and Civil Rights Investigators. She is also a Certified Diversity Executive, which comes from at least five years of progressive work experience in the field of diversity or human resources. Dr. Rivera describes herself as an energetic, creative problem solver who is a critical thinking leader with 10 years of experience and a diverse work history which includes; training development and delivery, diversity and inclusion initiatives, team building/leadership, project management, mediation, counseling and community building.

Dr. Rivera earned a bachelor of arts in social sciences and history from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and a master of science in political science and international affairs and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Indiana State University.





Schvalla Rivera, Southern Utah University loading image loading image



Industry Expertise (5)


Training and Development

Writing and Editing

International Affairs


Areas of Expertise (14)

Racial and Ethnic Identity in University Students

Diversity and inclusion in higher education

Student Engagement in Higher Education

Student Development

Multicultural & International Student Affairs

Title IX

First Generation Students

Racial & Ethnic Relations

Intercultural Recruitment

Diversity & Inclusion

Curriculum Diversification

Racial & Ethnic Identity

Non-Traditional Students in Higher Education

Racial and Ethnic Relations in Higher Eduction

Education (3)

Indiana State University: Ph.D., Curriculum and Instruction, specialization in Teaching and Learning

Indiana State University: M.S., Political Science and International Affairs

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College: B.A., Social Sciences and History

Affiliations (7)

  • National Association for Faculty Development and Diversity
  • Society for Diversity
  • ABCC (Association of Black Culture Centers)
  • AMC (Associated Colleges of the Midwest)
  • Kiwanis Club International
  • National Association for Foreign Student Advisors
  • Pi Sigma Alpha

Media Appearances (7)

Black women lead diversity efforts at 4 Utah colleges

The Salt Lake Tribune  online


Adrienne Andrews, Tasha Toy, Schvalla Rivera and Tamara Stevenson lead the diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives at four Utah universities. Andrews is at Weber State, Toy at Dixie State, Rivera at Southern Utah and Stevenson is at Westminster College.

"As long as we have society, there’s going to be equity and inclusion issues,” Rivera said. "…There’s always going to be misunderstandings and disagreements.” That’s why it’s important to have people trained in jobs like hers, she said.

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Racism in Social Media: How Can Confrontation Shift to Respectful Conversation?

The Spectrum  online


Communication and diversity leaders suggest that the anonymity of online interaction creates a safe space for people to talk about difficult racial or cultural issues. However, because we choose our circle of friends, the feedback we receive likely will support positions we already hold.

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SUU Hires New Administrator for Diversity and Inclusion

Deseret News  online


“I am so very happy to be here at SUU,” Rivera said in a statement. “I look forward to working with campus and community partners to increase our understanding of diversity and inclusion. I believe that conversation is an important step in learning about new people, places and things. We must engage with one another, so that we can learn from one another. Only then can we grow together.”

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Feature Increasing Diversity and Inclusion at Southern Utah University

Color Magazine  online


After months of interviews with highly-qualified candidates from all corners of the US, Southern Utah University announced the new Assistant to the President for Diversity and Inclusion: Dr. Schvalla Rivera. In her previous role, Dr. Rivera served as the Dean of Students at Western Nebraska Community College.

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SUU Welcomes First Chief Diversity Officer

Good4Utah  tv


While students at Southern Utah University have become more diverse in recent years, there were no African Americans in leadership roles at the university--until now.

Southern Utah University held a Martin Luther King Junior March Reenactment Tuesday remembering the 50 year anniversary of The Civil Rights Leader's assassination.

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WNCC Staff Dress Up as Iconic Women for International Women's Day

NBC Nebraska  tv


Western Nebraska Community College in Scottsbluff is celebrating International Women’s Day in a unique way, female staff members dressed up as iconic women in history for an entire day.

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New Dean of Students Look to Bring a Cultural Focus to WNCC

Scottsbluff Star Herald  online


A new administrator at Western Nebraska Community College is aiming to make students feel welcome once they step on campus.

Schvalla Rivera, dean of students at Western Nebraska Community College, grew up in a very big family. Community building has always been important to her.

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