University of Scranton Names New Vice President

Members News

Rev. Joseph Marina, S.J., president of The University of Scranton, announced that Lauren S. Rivera, J.D., M.Ed., has been named Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students at Scranton, effective May 1, 2023. Dean Rivera had been serving as interim vice president for student life and dean of students at Scranton. She will continue to serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet.

“Since joining the University community in 2009, Lauren has made an impact across all areas of student life. Personally, I marvel at the depth of her commitment to cura personalis, always working to ensure the best possible experience for our students,” said Father Marina in the campus announcement about Dean Rivera’s new position. “Lauren has been instrumental in many successful Student Life programs and projects, including Resilient Royals, which supports first-year students in their transition to college, and the Fail Forward Panel, a program started in 2019, in which speakers share stories of resilience and navigating struggle. She has displayed a deep commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and justice and strives to foster a campus community where students of all identities can thrive.”

The Division of Student Life includes the Center for Career Development, the Center for Student Engagement, the Cultural Centers (Multicultural Center and Jane Kopas Women’s Center), the Center for Health Education and Wellness, the Counseling Center, Student Conduct and Assessment, Student Health Services, Student Government, Residence Life and University Police.

Dean Rivera joined The University of Scranton community in 2009 as director of student conduct and assessment. In 2015, she was named assistant vice president for student formation and campus life (later student life) and dean of students. Under her leadership, the University expanded student support for issues such as wellness, grief, transition and social challenges. The University launched THR1VE, an initiative that supports first-generation students. In 2022, Scranton was named a First-Gen Forward institution. Colleges selected to the First-gen Forward program receive professional development, community-building experiences and have access to research and other resources.

Dean Rivera also supported the development of ROCK (Royals of Color Kickoff) and shepherded the completion of the expanded Multicultural Center. Recently, she announced a reorganization in Student Life, to integrate better the various functions that support student health and wellness and to advance the University’s campus-wide plan for diversity, equity and inclusion.

Dean Rivera is active in student life professional associations. She has presented at national conferences and authored a chapter in the 2019 book “Keep Calm and Call the Students: A Guide to Understanding the Many Faces of the Dean of Students’ Role.”

Dean Rivera earned her bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University and helped to develop a joint-degree program in law and education at Pennsylvania State University, where she earned her master’s of education and juris doctorate degrees.