Michael Rivera joined the I School as an assistant adjunct professor in July 2019, and he is the Equity and Inclusion Advisor for the MIDS program. He has been a visiting professor in the MIDS program since 2017 and has served as an important contributor to the degree.
Professor Rivera received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego, and taught at the University of Texas at Austin before coming to Berkeley.
Technology has made it easier to engage in politics. For example, instead of sending a letter or an email to a representative, one can easily communicate with an elected official via Facebook or Twitter. That said, formal electoral participation is critical so that one’s preferences are represented in policy. I’m interested in how political groups can use technology to increase turnout. In particular, I focus on how to increase participation among low propensity and minority voters.
Favorite course you've ever taken or taught
The class I teach! MIDS W201 Research Design and Applications for Data and Analysis (RDADA).
Why are you looking forward to joining the faculty at Berkeley I School?
I joined UC Berkeley in fall 2017 as a visiting professor. Since then, I’ve met many wonderful faculty, staff, and students. My colleagues are engaged in cutting edge research and many have become my friends. It wasn’t long after I started that I thought “this place rocks! I have to find a way to stick around.”
What is an accomplishment that you are especially proud of?
I grew up in the Bay Area. In high school, I was a part of the UC Berkeley Early Academic Outreach Program. Their mission is to partner with “schools, districts, community organizations and families to empower underserved students and prepare them for college and career success.” It is great to be back on campus.
- I regularly practice yoga.
- My favorite quote: “You are enough.”
- I frequently trail angel for hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail.
- I used to be really shy and loathe public speaking. After a lot of practice, it has become easier. My tips: do your research, practice, remember you are the expert in the room, and breath.
- Breakfast taco > breakfast burrito. My time in Austin, TX converted me. It’s all about portions and ratios.
Anything else you would like to share?
The best piece of advice I’ve received was to ask multiple people for advice before one makes an important decision. This is something I pass on to students. Don’t take my word for it. Ask around. =)