Rocío Rivadeneyra has been named the recipient of the 2018-2019 David A. Strand Diversity Achievement Award. She was honored at the Founders Day celebration on February 21.

Established by Illinois State President Emeritus David Strand in 1994, the award recognizes a current Illinois State University faculty or staff member who is instrumental in extraordinary curricular or program activities that assist the University in responding to its commitment to diversity.

Rivadeneyra started her career at Illinois State University in 2002 and was named the director of the Honors Program in 2016. During her time in Honors, she has encouraged a more holistic application review process that has helped to increase the diversity of the student population. She has also made a point to enrich all students’ Honors Program experiences by intentionally exposing them to revamped learning opportunities and curriculum that infuse elements of diversity, inclusion, and cultural influence.

A tenured faculty member in the Department of Psychology, Rivadeneyra is an affiliated faculty member in Latin American and Latino/a Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies. She developed a Latino/a psychology course and has focused the Honors Program’s international travel opportunities to countries such as Mexico, Cuba, and Panama.

A nationally recognized scholar on Latino/a youth development, Rivadeneyra focuses on gender, ethnic identity, and sexual socialization through media. Her expertise was utilized when she recently chaired an ad hoc committee charged by the provost with investigating a diversity course requirement for all undergraduate students, and she has presented on various aspects of diversity in the classroom at Illinois State’s Culturally Responsive Campus Climate conferences, where she has also served on the planning committee.

Rivadeneyra helped to restart the Organization of Latino Employees (OLE) at Illinois State. She is also a valued and active member of the Bloomington/Normal community, having served on the board of Conexiones Latinas de McLean County and empowering girls as a Girl Scout leader.

Rivadeneyra received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Irvine, in psychology and social behavior with a minor in Chicano/a Studies and her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in psychology.