Meet the Staff

Dr. Lorna Rivera, Director

Dr. Lorna Rivera is the Director of the Gaston Institute for Latino Community Development & Public Policy, and an Associate Professor of Women’s/Gender Studies and Latino Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Boston. Dr. Rivera’s family is from Puerto Rico, she is a proud graduate of the Chicago Public Schools, and is an alumni of the Latino Leadership Opportunity Program (class of 1991, Midwest Region).   She has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from DePaul University, and taught Social Studies and Language Arts grades K-9. Rivera moved to Jamaica Plain, MA in 1992 to pursue her Ph.D. in Sociology at Northeastern University. Rivera’s publications and research focus on Latino/a communities, women’s health disparities, and educational inequalities. She has received rresearch grants from the Society for the Study of Social Problems, the Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, the National Academy of Education’s Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship, the National Center for Family Literacy, and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education. Dr. Rivera was a Principal Investigator at UMB’s HORIZON Center funded by National Center on Minority Health Disparities/NIH (2007-2010), and a Co-Principal Investigator for the UMB & Harvard Dana Farber Cancer Center U54 Partnership (2011-2013).  She wrote the award-winning book, “Laboring to Learn: Women’s Literacy & Poverty in the Post-welfare Era” (2008), and is currently writing about Puerto Rican women cancer survivors and environmental justice activists in Vieques, Puerto Rico. Since 2015, Dr. Rivera has been working with Bunkerhill Community College and Chelsea High School on the Latino Student Success Initiative funded by the MA Department of Higher Education. She is a founding member of the Board of Directors of WE LEARN, a national women’s literacy organization, and also served on the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Coalition for Adult Education. Currently, Dr. Rivera serves on the Board of Directors for the Hyde Square Task Force in Jamaica Plain, as well as the Advisory Board of the Talented & Gifted (TAG) Latino Programs and Alerta programs funded by the Boston Public Schools.  

Core Staff

Michael Berardino
Research Associate for Education

Daniela Bravo
Administrative Assistant

Iria Dopazo Ruibal
Research Associate

Pablo Goldbarg
Research Communication and Dissemination Coordinator

Phillip Granberry
Senior Research Associate (bio)

Trevor Mattos
Research Associate

Jim O'Brien

Lorna Rivera
Director (bio)

Eduardo Siqueira
Coordinator of Transnational Brazilian Project (bio)

Research Assistants


Tatiana Forero
Josibel García
Katsiris Rivera
Lina Rosario
Mariana Valencia


Haya Ahmed
Leo Arévalo
Paula Ávila
Salomé Correa
Iria Dopazo
Chanel Fields
Tatiana Forero
Norma Fuentes
Josibel García
Josmarie García
Nardos Gebresilase
Dorothy Lima
Ivan Lozano
Trevor Mattos
Allan Ordoñez
Berta Padilla
Leidy Quiceno
Joana Reis
Francisco Rojas
Lina Rosario
Rocío Sánchez Ares
Ethan Schein
Stephanie Valerio
Carlos Velázquez Agudelo


Joseli Alonzo
Alejandro Belalcazar
Melissa Correa
Iria Dopazo
Chanel Fields
Andrew Flannery Aguilar
Josibel García
Nathalie Gonzales
Patricia Guardado
Tomás Hernández
Crys Jimenez
Ivan Lozano
Natalia Medina
Francisco Rodriguez
Lina Rosario
Ana María Sánchez
Ethan Schein
Rachel Tsavalakoglou
Carlos Alberto Velázquez

Previous Years

Cristina Araujo Brinkerhoff
Patricia Buzelli
Angel Cosme
Franci DaLuz
Aline Da Fonseca
Norma Fuentes
Diego Gómez Aristizabal
Mayara Fontes
Carolina Gonzalez
Sophia Grimm
Eriliza Guerrero
Tariana V. Little
Diana Mercado
Anjuli Manrique
Luis Natal
Aida Palencia
Beninson Peña
Riqueldys Peña
Kevin Valencia

The Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy

Healey Library, 10th Floor
University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125-3393