Clarkson University President Tony Collins has announced that Seema Rivera has been granted tenure and promoted from assistant professor to associate professor of STEM Education in the Institute of STEM Education.
Rivera's passion for STEM education started over a decade ago as a chemistry teacher in NYC and upstate N.Y. Rivera eventually pursued her doctorate at the University at Albany, focused on preparing preservice secondary science, technology, and math teachers, and focused on the nature of science (NOS) understanding, pedagogy, and equity. At Clarkson, Rivera, as the Principal Investigator and her colleagues, Drs. Kavanagh, Galluzzo, DeWaters, and Ramsdell, were awarded $1.2 million from The National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Program to address the shortage of science, technology, and mathematics teachers within high-need schools. While at Clarkson, the program has provided scholarships for students and involves interventions and supports building awareness of how diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) tie into STEM teaching and learning. Approximately halfway through the grant cycle, Rivera and her team have collaborated with 14 partner institutions with Noyce projects across the U.S., titled Rural Teacher Persistence and Retention, TPR2, to address the unique challenges of STEM teacher shortages in rural communities. The TPR2 project focuses on the contexts of rurality and the programmatic features that help support rural STEM teacher recruitment, retention, and persistence.
At Clarkson, Rivera has developed at taught courses in secondary science methods, analyzing scientific and mathematical theories from philosophical and historical perspectives, action research, and a seminar on cultural competency and teaching in the STEM classroom, among others. Rivera has also helped develop the STEM Teaching Assistant pedagogy program, so-called "T.A. boot camp," studying and eventually publishing how developing teaching self-efficacy as a T.A. can also support STEM identity development as a graduate TA.
Rivera has written articles for refereed journals and presented her work at national and international conferences. Rivera's current areas of research interest: Preservice service STEM teacher development, STEM & DEI at both the secondary and higher education, and STEM TA teacher self-efficacy. As Rivera continues her work at Clarkson, she is excited to work with her colleagues in the Institute of STEM Education, Education Department, and build strong STEM education networks at Clarkson and beyond. She is most looking forward to further cultivating relationships with colleagues at Clarkson and in the STEM Education community.
Beyond her teaching and research efforts, Rivera is now in her 7th year serving on her local public school board and enjoys spending time with her husband Tony, two daughters, and their dog, Kobe.