Fernando I. Rivera, PhD, is a professor of sociology at the University of Central Florida. He has established an ongoing research program in the fields of medical sociology/sociology of health, race and ethnicity, and the sociology of disasters. In the area of health, he has studied the differential patterns of health among Puerto Ricans in the United States by analyzing different social indicators such as: perceived discrimination, residential segregation, and socioeconomic status and their impact on Puerto Rican health. In the area of race and ethnicity, he has studied racial relations among college students, the process of incorporation of Puerto Ricans to Central Florida, and several aspects of the Puerto Rican diaspora in the US including, health disparities, culture, and discrimination, among others. For the study of disasters, his work has emphasized on disaster resiliency and the importance of social and economic indicators in promoting resilience to the process of preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery to disasters. He has expanded his disaster resilience work, particularly as it relates to community resilience, to the study of restoration and resilience for an on-going National Science Foundation research grant.
Sociology of Health/Medical Sociology
- Predictors of depression among non-Hispanic Whites, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans: A look at race/ethnicity as a reflection of social relations
- Contextualizing the experience of young Latino adults: Acculturation, social support and depression
- Family cohesion and its relationship to psychological distress among Latino groups
- Nonmedical prescription drug use among Hispanics
- Ataques de Nervios and their psychiatric correlates in Puerto Rican children from two different contexts
- Using a social marketing framework to transform an education program: lessons from the Hispanic Obesity Prevention and Education (PESO) program
- A Review of Body Mass Index Reduction Interventions Among Mexican Origin Latinos and Latinas
- The Health Status of Puerto Ricans in Florida
- Stress and Health
- Contextualizing the Relationship between Culture and Puerto Rican Health: Towards a Place-Based Framework of Minority Health Disparities
- Cultural Mechanisms in the Exchange of Social Support Among Puerto Ricans After a Natural Disaster
- Disaster resiliency: Interdisciplinary perspectives
- Disaster Preparedness and Resilience for Rural Communities
- Rural Community Disaster Resiliency: Self-Organizing Collective Action among Farmworkers in Central Florida
- Disaster Vulnerability, Hazards, and Resilience: Perspectives from Florida
Race and Ethnicity
- The (In) Significance of Race and Discrimination among Latino Youth: The Case of Depressive Symptoms
- Social Constructions of the Nonprejudiced White Self
- Perceived discrimination and antisocial behaviors in Puerto Rican children
- Residential Segregation, Socio-economic Status, and Disability: A Multi-Level Study of Puerto Ricans in the United States
- Puerto Rican Families in Central Florida: Prejudice and Discrimination and their Implications for Successful Integration
Media Coverage-Expert Commentary
- Interview with Matt Galloway, September 27, 2017. “Scramble to Get Disaster Relief to Puerto Rico in the Midst of Epic Devastation”, Metro Morning Show, CBC Radio One 99.1FM for Toronto, Canada.
- Interview with Lisa Laco, September 27, 2017.”Scramble to Get Disaster Relief to Puerto Rico in the Midst of Epic Devastation”, CBC Radio Morning Show for Thunderbay, Canada.
- Interview with Craig Norris, September 27, 2017. “Scramble to Get Disaster Relief to Puerto Rico in the Midst of Epic Devastation”, CBC KW891 Morning Show for Kichener-Waterloo, Canada.
- Interview with Tony Doucette, September 27, 2017. “Scramble to Get Disaster Relief to Puerto Rico in the Midst of Epic Devastation”, CBC 97.5FM Morning Show for Windsor, Canada.
- Interview with Loren McGinnis, September 27, 2017. “Scramble to Get Disaster Relief to Puerto Rico in the Midst of Epic Devastation”, The Trailbreaker Morning Show, CBC North Radio One.
- Interview with David Gray and Angela Knight, September 27, 2017. “”Scramble to Get Disaster Relief to Puerto Rico in the Midst of Epic Devastation”, Calgary Eyeopener Morning Show, CBC Radio One for Calgary, Alberta.
- Interview with Gregor Craigie, September 27, 2017. “Scramble to Get Disaster Relief to Puerto Rico in the Midst of Epic Devastation”, On the Island Morning Show, CBC 90.5FM for Victoria, British Colombia.
- Interview with Leisha Grebinski, September 27, 2017. “Scramble to Get Disaster Relief to Puerto Rico in the Midst of Epic Devastation”, Saskatoon Morning Show, CBC 94.1FM for Saskatoon, Canada.
- Interview with Sheila Coles, September 27, 2017. “Scramble to Get Disaster Relief to Puerto Rico in the Midst of Epic Devastation” The Morning Edition Morning Show, CBC Radio One for Saskatchewan, Canada.
- Interview with Matthew Peddie, September 29, 2017 “Hurricane Maria’s Aftermath in Puerto Rico”, Intersection, WMFE 90.7FM for Orlando, Florida.
- Interview with Alban Zamora, November 9, 2017. “Crece el éxodo puertorriqueño a la Florida”. Noticias Telemundo, National Broadcast.
- Interview with Lourdes Del Rio, February 2, 2018. “¿Regresar o quedarse?: El dilema que vienen los puertorriqueños tras el paso del huracán María”, Noticiero Univisión, National Broadcast.
- Interview with Nancy Alvarez, February 16, 2018. “UCF Knights help hurricane-devastated island”, WFTV Channel 9 Eyewitness News, Orlando, Florida.
- Interview with Nancy Alvarez, February 26, 2018. “Hurricane Maria: Nearly 3,000 new residents moved to Central Florida”, WFTV Channel 9 Eyewitness News, Orlando, Florida.
Puerto Ricans in Florida
- Interview with Víctor Manuel Ramos, June 15, 2016 “Pulse shooting exposes ‘layers of grief’ in two communities”, Newsday, Long Island Newspaper.
- Interview with Anne Schindle. September 13, 2016 “Puerto Rican exodus comes with a human sacrifice”. First Coast News, WLTV-TV, Jacksonville, FL.
- Interview with Anne Schindle. September 22, 2016 ” Project Zika: Mass exodus from Puerto Rico”. First Coast News, WLTV-TV, Jacksonville, Florida.
- Interview with José Javier Pérez. March 20, 2018 ” Migración de boricuas a Florida impacta positivamente su economía”. El Nuevo Día, Puerto Rican Newspaper.
- Interview with Nadeen Yanes, May 30, 2018. “DNC national chairman rallies for Puerto Rican votes during midterm election. UCF professor studying economic, political impact of Puerto Ricans in Florida”. WKMG News 6, Orlando, Florida.
Media Coverage of Academic Work
- Article by Scott Powers, February 3, 2017. “Puerto Rico crisis panel brings it home to Florida”. Florida Politics.
- Article by Kim O’Connell for AIA Architect. March 30, 2017. “Preparedness Beyond the Coast: What does resilience mean for an inland city like Orlando?” Architect Magazine.
Dr. Rivera was the recipient of the William R. Jones Outstanding Mentor Award for the Florida Education Fund. Recently he was awarded a Teaching Incentive Award (TIP) for teaching excellence from the University of Central Florida. He has also served as Faculty-in-Residence for the McNair Scholar’s Program and as faculty advisor for UCF’s Research and Mentoring Program (RAMP). He also served on the American Sociological Association Minority Fellowship Program Panel Advisory Board. In addition, he has participated in several doctoral, master, and Honors-in-the-Major theses as committee member and supervisor.
American Sociological Association
- Sociology of Mental Health Section Newsletter Editor (2004-2008)
- Arrangements Committee, Section on Latino/a Sociology (2005)
- Council Member, Section on Latino/a Sociology (2009-2011)
- Minority Fellowship Program Panel Advisory Member (2011-2013)
- Norma Williams Mentoring Workshop Committee and Local Arraignments Committee, Section
- on Latino/a Sociology (2011)
- Member-Federal Statistics Working Group (2017-present)
- Minority Fellowship Program Panel Advisory Member (2015-2017)
- Section Racial and Ethnic Minorities, Early Career Award Committee (2018)
- Section of Latino/a Sociology-Best Article Award Committee (2017)
- Section of Latino/a Sociology-Book Award Committee (2015)
Society for the Study of Social Problems
- Lee Scholar Support Fund Committee Member (2013-2014)
- Lee Scholar Support Fund Committee Chair-Elect (2014-2015)
- Member-Board of Directors (2017-2019)
- Chair-Society and Mental Health Division (2017-2019)
Southern Sociological Society
- Program committee member for the 2018 Annual Meeting
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