Dr. Christina Rivera serves as the Senior Associate Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator (SWA) at UCLA, having joined the staff in September 2007.
In her role, Dr. Rivera directly supervises several sports, administrative areas and leads department initiatives, especially in the areas of Title IX and gender equity, women in sport, governance and legislation, and performance evaluation and program assessment. As a member of the senior management team reporting directly to the Director of Athletics, she serves in a leadership role for coaches and staff and works towards establishing department goals as well as developing and implementing department policy.
In addition to these responsibilities, Dr. Rivera collaborates with University officials to provide guidance and direction to coaches and staff in order to enhance the growth and development of student-athletes both on and off the field. In the face of changing NCAA legislation, she also works to develop strategic initiatives and programs that benefit the department, teams, coaches, staff and student-athletes and ensures that they are executed in a consistent, efficient and professional manner throughout the support services areas.
Prior to serving as the Senior Associate Athletic Director/SWA, Dr. Rivera was the Associate Athletic Director responsible for the academic and student support services provided to Bruin student-athletes. This included academic counseling, academic mentoring, peer learning, student services and student-athlete development programming. She also had direct oversight of the academic eligibility certification process as well as the requirements associated with the NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) and NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR).
Dr. Rivera joined the Bruins after spending four years as the Associate Director and Eligibility Coordinator for the Student-Athlete Academic Services Office at USC, where she also served as the Academic Counselor to the football, men’s basketball, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams. Prior to her stint at USC, Dr. Rivera was an Athletic Academic Counselor for the Student-Athlete Support Services Office at Ohio State University. During her time in Columbus, she was also a lecturer for the School of Physical Activity and Educational Services, as well as for the Athletics Department.
Dr. Rivera is on the Board of Directors for the Collegiate Women Sports Awards, which honors the nation’s top NCAA women student-athletes recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Dr. Rivera is an active member of the National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals (N4A) and is a member of Women Leaders in College Sports. In June 2007, she received the N4A Professional Promise Award presented to a member who has dedicated their energy to the Association and its members. She has also presented at several conferences in regards to factors related to academic achievement and student-athlete retention, as well as the use of technology for reporting and increasing academic accountability in athletics.
Dr. Rivera earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Higher Education Administration at Ohio State University in August 2004 where her dissertation focused on the identification of key factors student-athletes perceived to be important to the college student-athlete retention process. She also earned her Master’s degree in Educational Policy from the University of Pennsylvania and her Bachelor’s degree in Social Ecology at UC Irvine, where she was a varsity soccer student-athlete.
A native of Southern California, Dr. Rivera currently resides in Marina Del Rey with her spouse and son.