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Office of the Provost, Division of Academic Affairs, University of Maryland


Welcoming the New Dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Headshot of Dr. Susan Rivera

June 2, 2022

Dear campus community,

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Susan Rivera has been named dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. She will begin her new role on August 1, 2022.

Dr. Rivera joins Maryland from the University of California, Davis, where she serves as chair and professor in the Department of Psychology. As chair, she has maintained a focus on building and sustaining an inclusive and supportive departmental climate and successfully both retained and hired new faculty under a framework of inclusive excellence. Under her leadership, the department's U.S. News and World Report rankings rose from No. 26 to No. 12 overall, and to No. 6 among public institutions.

In addition to her academic appointment in the Department of Psychology, Dr. Rivera is an affiliate faculty with the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience, which seeks to understand the function of the human brain in health and in illness. She also is a faculty member in UC Davis' Center for Mind and Brain and a member of the MIND Institute. Dr. Rivera's research is focused on investigating neurocognitive development in both typically and atypically developing individuals, specifically those with fragile X syndrome, autism and Down syndrome.

Dr. Rivera serves as a member of a number of professional organizations, including the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, the Cognitive Development Society, the Society for Research in Child Development, the Jean Piaget Society and the Society for Neuroscience. She is the recipient of UC Davis' Dean's Award for Diversity, Inclusion and Equity and, in 2021, was appointed to a 3-year term on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. She also serves as editor-in-chief for the journal Human Development. She holds a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. in psychology from Indiana University.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Rivera to the University of Maryland. A proud first-generation Latinx scholar, she will bring her collaborative expertise and cross-disciplinary approach to the college at a pivotal time. Dr. Rivera's commitment to academic excellence and creating a diverse and inclusive culture will be a tremendous asset to the University of Maryland and the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.

I'm grateful to Dr. Wayne McIntosh for his steady leadership as interim dean for the college for the past three months and until Dr. Rivera joins us in August. And I am also thankful to the search committee, led by Dean Craig Beyrouty, for its swift work in identifying a fantastic pool of candidates.

Congratulations, Dr. Rivera!


Jennifer King Rice
Senior Vice President and Provost