Associate Professor & Academic Department Chair
Social and Behavioral Sciences, Seminole and eCampus
Dr. Douglas Rivero was born in Havana, Cuba and immigrated to the US during the contentious Mariel boatlift. His family struggled for a long time trying to make ends meet. Unfortunately, due to the consequences of parental divorce, those struggles continued throughout Dr. Rivero’s college years. Overall, Dr. Rivero’s family had a combined income of less than $15,000 during most of his adolescence.
Nonetheless, from an early age, his father pushed education (as well as baseball) as a high priority. Dr. Rivero knew that he could never bring home a report card with a C grade. While such parental support was very important, Dr. Rivero believes that his teachers were most significant in his educational upbringing. In fact, Dr. Rivero’s teachers helped him navigate quickly from ESOL to the Gifted program. They were also instrumental in pushing Dr. Rivero to become involved in school groups and activities. As a result, Dr. Rivero excelled in all subjects, especially Math. The negative tone of politics in the Cuban-exile community initially pushed Dr. Rivero away from the subject of politics. Finally, given the vast diversity in South Florida, Dr. Rivero thanks his teachers for providing the philosophical foundation for embracing civil rights and equal rights for all. Indeed, Dr. Rivero’s teachers inspired him to always fight hard against discrimination. They also instilled within him a love of the environment. Funding for nature adventures helped Dr. Rivero discover an amazing passion for animals and the environment.
Thanks to significant support from the state (Bright Futures) and federal government (need-based aid, AmeriCorps fellowship), Dr. Rivero was able to attend and graduate from Florida International University (FIU) with a BA in Environmental Science. Faculty mentors at FIU inspired Dr. Rivero to ahead and pursue an MA and Ph.D. in Political Science. Once again, substantial support from the state (minority fellowships and Teaching Assistantship) and federal government (need-based Graduate grants) helped unleash Dr. Rivero’s full potential. Without such economic support, Dr. Rivero would never have been able to achieve the success that he has. Thus, Dr. Rivero is a strong proponent of paying it forward. He believes strongly that financial assistance should be provided to all dedicated college students.
Today, Dr. Rivero teaches in the Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences at St. Petersburg College (SPC) and is very excited to be serving in a leadership position with SPC’s Model United Nations academic organization and SPC’s Center for Community Engagement & Civic Learning. Indeed, he is working on several Latino & minority-based initiatives. Before coming to SPC, Dr. Rivero was an Assistant Professor/Academic Chair at Bethune-Cookman University from 2009-2015. Douglas also served as an Academic Advisor at FIU from 2007-2009.