Building on a strong tradition of progressive leadership, Student Affairs & Enrollment Management has welcomed Luis Santos Rivas as the new director of the Latino Resource Center.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Santos Rivas earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science engineering from World University in Santo Domino and a master’s degree in strategic communication and leadership from Seton Hall in New Jersey.
Santos Rivas is a first-generation, bilingual higher education professional with a proven track record of developing cultural programs; attracting financial resources; and recruiting, retaining and developing underrepresented students.
Prior to NIU, he served as the Hispanic Leadership Development coordinator in the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at the University of North Georgia and as the Minority Engineering Program coordinator in the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University. At APEC University in the Dominican Republic, he was a professor and dean of the School of Computer Sciences.
Santos Rivas said he truly appreciates the great history and reputation of the Latino Resource Center at NIU, and he wants to fully capitalize on its past success.
“The center is a best-practices beacon that attracts documented and undocumented Latino students and provides them with opportunities to fully develop their individual and collective leadership capabilities,” he said, “which they will demonstrate through meaningful contributions to this campus, and to their future careers and communities.”
With the changing demographics in our region, as well as the nation, Santos Rivas also realizes that this is a crucial historical opportunity for NIU. “As a leading institution, we will conceive metrics that matter and track our results, including our ability to recruit and retain Latinos.”
Santos Rivas already has begun collaborating with key departments on campus, as well as with students, Latino Heritage Month programming, initiatives to refocus recruitment efforts and strategic grant funding opportunities to support high-impact engagement programs for students.
He invites campus partners to visit the center and meet with him to explore new opportunities for collaboration.