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Rivera named UMES Greek life coordinator

  • Thursday, August 21, 2014

    Cecilia Rivera - UMES Greek life coordinatorPRINCESS ANNE, MD - (Aug. 21, 2014) - Cecilia Rivera has joined the Office of Campus Life as the Greek life coordinator - a new position at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

    "I tell people, I'm in the business of changing lives," Rivera said.

    She hails from Willard, Ohio 77 miles southeast of the University of Toledo, where she spent 15 years, including the past five working in the Greek life office.

    "I was looking for a change in my life professionally and personally," Rivera said. "(Toledo) will forever hold a special place in my heart, but it was time for me to leave so that I could grow."

    "Everything for this move was a leap of faith," she said, "but I know it was the right thing for me."

    As an undergraduate at the University of Toledo, Cecilia joined Sigma Lambda Gamma in 2000 while studying criminal justice, which happens to be a popular major at UMES. "Joining my sorority was the best decision I've ever made," she said.

    Aside from her upbeat demeanor and positive energy, Cecilia brings an impressive background of experience to UMES. At Toledo, she worked with 30 Greek social organizations with affiliations spread among four councils: Panhellenic, Interfraternity, Multicultural Greek and National Pan-Hellenic (NPHC).

    "I want our students to understand joining a Greek lettered organization is a lifetime commitment, not a four year commitment, to uphold the principles and values of the organization," she said.

    UMES has five active (NPHC) chapters; four fraternities and one sorority, two social fellowships (Groove Phi Groove, Swing Phi Swing) and Alpha Nu Omega Fraternity and Sorority.  The Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority chapter was reactivated this past spring.

    Rivera is enthusiastic - and optimistic - about growing UMES' Greek life community. She will be looking first at what it takes to revive inactive chapters of NPHC sororities. 

    "I have reached out and am waiting to hear back from regional directors as to the next steps from our end," she said. "I would like to have at least one more sorority on campus by the end of this academic year.  My focus will be working with (current) groups developing their leadership and growing their individual memberships."

    "I'm excited to be here. I hope to connect with advisors on campus and graduate advisers to understand expectations," Rivera said.

    "I am confident Ms. Rivera is the right person for the task," said Dr. Anthony Jenkins, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management. "She understands my vision for Greek life and possesses the skill set to make it happen."

    Ashley Collier, public relations assistant, Office of Public Relations (410) 651-6669