Dean of Students Liz Braun announced today that Jason Rivera—currently director of Achieving the Promise initiatives and the director of learning centers and academic support services at Montgomery College—will join Swarthmore College on July 1 as director of the Intercultural Center and dean of the sophomore class.
At Montgomery, Rivera played a central role in directing efforts to close the achievement gap, including developing a comprehensive vision, creating programming for students, sparking connections between faculty members, conducting assessments, and fostering college-wide collaborations. Rivera’s accomplishments include leading a strategic planning process that resulted in assuming an equity-minded approach to helping students achieve success.
“Jason was poised but at the same time, accessible, with an impressive command of information about Swarthmore that enabled him to communicate how he would contribute to the work that goes on here,” says David Pipkin ’18, a member of the search committee from Cedar Hill, Texas. “Most inspiringly, he was able to pick up on underlying concerns and questions and speak to them all. Genuine and insightful, he will be a great fit here at Swarthmore.”
In addition to his formal roles at Montgomery, Rivera was also engaged in broader initiatives related to diversity and inclusion, including helping to establish its first LGBTQA faculty and staff group and serving on the College's diversity committee.
Rivera received a B.A. in history and political science from Manhattanville College, an M.S.Ed in elementary education from the College of Staten Island, and a Ph.D. in teaching and learning, policy leadership with a concentration on minority and urban education from the University of Maryland. His dissertation was titled Mi Lugar Es Aquí (My Place is Here): Latino Male Voices and the Factors Contributing to their Academic Success in College.
“To be successful, a director must be skilled and knowledgeable as a practitioner as well as someone who has in-depth knowledge of identity development theories and frameworks,” says Dion Lewis, director of the Black Cultural Center, dean of the junior class, and interim director of the Intercultural Center. “Jason possesses all these attributes and I look forward to working with him as he leads the Intercultural Center.”
“During my visit to Swarthmore, it quickly became evident to me that the community deeply cares about its students and their holistic development,” says Rivera. “The students, faculty, and staff I met demonstrated a commitment to building a campus environment that is welcoming to and affirming of all. I am equally excited about the opportunity to work with the sophomores and help them navigate their critical second year.”