One of the first things Carmen Rivera shares with people is that she is from New Mexico, Santa Fe and Mora specifically. Where she is from is fundamental to who she is. She was a first-generation college student and earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Northern Colorado in Spanish and Hispanic Studies with a minor in Communications. She was involved in Greek life, student government, and studied abroad and all these experiences ultimately led her to explore a career in higher education. She started her career as an advisor for the Upward Bound program, serving first-generation and lower income high school students. While working, she pursued her Master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) at CSU. During her SAHE program, she took advantage of an international study experience in Belize. She continued working with TRiO and access programs for over 13 years. She then was the Director of Student Experience at INTO Colorado State University. INTO CSU is an LLC partnership between the INTO Corporation and CSU that specializes in training international students English and Pathway programs. Currently, she serves as the Talent Manager for Organizational Development for the Division of Student Affairs at CSU. She is also a current doctoral student in the Higher Education Leadership program at CSU. In addition to her roles at CSU, she is a faculty member for the Social Justice Training Institute, a co-lead facilitator for the LeaderShape Institute, and a consultant in the areas of diversity, social justice, and leadership.