Upon completion of a rigorous selection process that followed a national search, Dr. Rey Rivera was chosen as the new Vice President of Learning at Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC). The role’s responsibilities are many, including leadership and oversight of all instructional (academic and workforce) programs, learning support areas and activities, workforce development and community partnerships, and strategic planning for credit and noncredit programs. Rivera will assume the role on June 1, 2016. The level of responsibilities is directly in his scope, as he is coming to EMCC from South Mountain Community College (SMCC), where he held the same position.
Not only is the position familiar to Rivera, the EMCC campus is, as well. Prior to his employment at SMCC, he was a Math faculty member at EMCC for 15 years. Also during his time at EMCC, he held several positions of leadership by serving as the Division Chair of Science and Mathematics, Faculty Senate President, Principal Investigator for two National Science Foundation grants, and Interim Dean of Occupational Education. Rivera completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Science degree in Mathematics at Purdue University, and a doctoral degree in Higher and Post-Secondary Education at Arizona State University.
This position reports directly to the college’s president, Dr. Ernest Lara, who is thrilled to have Rivera once again joining the EMCC faculty. “Dr. Rivera served as a faculty member at Estrella Mountain for 15 years and he was part of the EMCC faculty when we began the ‘learning college journey’ in 2007,” said Lara. “He is familiar with our community and he is bringing a vision that will enable us to continue to help students achieve their dreams and transform their lives. He is returning to Estrella Mountain with four years of experience as Vice President of Learning from South Mountain Community College.”
Rivera’s part in building the Foundations Academy is a part of Rivera’s history that Dr. Lara finds extremely valuable. “While at South Mountain, he was instrumental in developing the Foundations Academy, which focused on improving student success in college-level math courses upon completing developmental education courses. The Foundations Academy,” Lara continued, “Received national recognition as a finalist for the 2015 Bellwether Award, which recognizes outstanding and innovative programs and practices that are successfully leading community colleges into the future. Dr. Rivera also serves as a Higher Learning (HLC) commission peer reviewer.”
Rivera shares Dr. Lara’s enthusiasm and excitement about taking on this role at EMCC. “I am thrilled to join the Estrella Mountain Community College family, and the dedicated team of faculty, staff and administrators, said Rivera. “I am looking forward to leading the Learning Division and ensuring that every student has an opportunity to succeed and is ready to pursue their career or transfer goals.” He also added, “It is my wish to support faculty and staff in enhancing learning environments that engage students both inside and outside the classroom. Additionally, it is important that community colleges become more entrepreneurial to meet the workforce demands of the local community and explore alternate revenues sources to balance the reduction in state aid.”