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Dr. Rivera-Jiménez is currently a Lecturer at the Institute for Excellence in Engineering Education (IE3) at the University of Florida. In this role, she works towards creating educational content for the Chemical Engineering Department, community outreach activities, and First-Year design classes. Her research focuses on understanding the processes that contribute to the persistence and retention of underrepresented minorities in academic engineering programs. She has a particular interest in studying unconscious biases in engineering teams and in creating professional development curriculum for industry/academia using blended instructional tools.
Dr. Rivera-Jiménez has close to 10 years of teaching experience in Higher Education and professional training. Before joining IE3, she was the Assistant Director of the Integrated Product and Process Design (IPPD) program at the University of Florida. In that role, she created the online environment for the capstone design program and revamped teaching content in the topic of systems engineering and professional skills. Also, she worked in the market strategy to reach out to new sponsor companies and students by building the program's online brand including its social media platform. Dr. Rivera keeps collaborating with IPPD as a faculty coach by having projects with local companies on the topic of process and product design, process simulations, and analysis for environmental remediation.
She is a former professor of Food Science teaching courses such as Food Processing, Nanotechnology if Food Applications, and Food Engineering. After moving to Gainesville in 2012, she became an assistant professor in Natural Science at Santa Fe College teaching general chemistry courses for young adults. She has traveled to teach classes at universities in Puno, Perú, and São Paulo, Brasil.
Dr. Rivera-Jiménez is also an active member of the Association of Academic Women at the University of Florida, American Society of Engineering Education, and the Women Initiative Committee at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. She is also a scholar from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and actively participating in their Mentoring Program.
She was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She completed her bachelor's and Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez focusing on the development of novel adsorption materials for water remediation.