Welcome to my professional website!

After 10 years of multiple teaching positions at a community college and higher education, I have realized that to become the best teacher I can be, I need to learn how to do engineering education research. This site intends to share with the reader, my thoughts on how I am embarking on a new engineering education career. This website will serve as my professional portfolio and blog. I will discuss random things about the engineering practice, my involvement in professional societies, teaching practices, and how they contribute to better educate a future generation of chemical engineers.

Short Bio

Dr. Rivera-Jiménez is currently a Lecturer at the Department of Engineering Education and an affiliate faculty to the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, University of Florida (UF). In this role, she uses evidence-based practices to create innovative curricula for chemical engineering design courses and K-14 outreach activities. She was the assistant director of the Integrated Product and Process Design program at UF in previous roles. She was also an assistant professor in Food Science and Technology at the College of Agriculture, the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. Her current work focuses on understanding unconscious biases and social perspectives affecting team dynamics and performance in capstone design during formal and informal experiences. She also facilitates professional development workshops for industry/academia on implicit bias and inclusive teaching strategies.

Left: AIChE 2019 with my student chapter; Right: Visiting a local power company with my industry sponsored capstone design team.

Advising the AIChE Student Chapter

Since August 2017, I became the faculty advisor of the University of Florida AIChE student chapter and the ChemE Car design team. It is my honor to serve my students and our professional organization on a departmental and national level in this role. I’ve been part of AIChE National since I became a sophomore in 1999 to represent the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. The AIChE student chapter in Puerto Rico allowed me to get my first REU’s outside the Island (first time speaking English all the time), compete for technical research posters, and be the student chapter president in my last year as an undergrad.

Since then, I owe AIChE the opportunity to network with people who became crucial for my current national leadership involvement and acadmeic career as a teaching professor. As a professional member in AIChE, I have leadership roles in the AIChE Education Division, Women in Chemical Engineering Committee, and the Societal Impact Operating Council. In these roles, I have the opportunity to lead projects on professional development and communications.

As a faculty advisor, my goal is to keep coaching the AIChE board in creating activities that are impactful and meaningful to our student members. To take advantage of the online format, we will be bringing a webinar series on grad school, industry recruitment, and leadership. Under my advisor role, the ChemE car was able to qualify for Nationals in 2019 after 8 years of no qualifying for the event. I want to make sure that the ChemE car has the necessary support to get to Nationals again, even in the times of COVID-19. Also, I want to see our chapter compete every year in the K-12 Outreach Module competition. Finally, my ultimate dream is to have a Design Team that also competes at Nationals.

National Outstanding Chapter Award 2018, 2019, 2020

Other Broader Impact Activities

2018 AIChE Spring Conference Unconscious Bias Featured Sessions

Interviewed at Teaching Beyond the Podium Podcast. In this interview to share my share strategies, struggles, and successes to create an inclusive classroom.

Interview by Level Up on Presence and Belonging. In this interview UF Chief Diversity Officer, Antonio Farias, wanted me to share my story of belonging and to learn my work at UF.

K-12 Outreach- Speaker at UF Girls Engaged in Engineering coordinated by FlexStation

Check my previous blog post