Skip to body

Information Technology and Administrative Management

College of Education and Professional Studies

Dr. Susan Rivera, Lecturer

Office: SAM 243I
Phone: 509.963.1490

I joined the faculty of the Information Technology and Administrative Management (ITAM) Department following multiple years experience as a remote technology manager, applied scientific researcher, and policy professional.  I’ve always embraced opportunities to improve systems and projects by applying technology and communication strategies in an adaptive fashion.

My background covers nearly all sectors, including academics, industry, state and national government, international policy, and non-profit (NGOs). After graduate school, I worked on behalf of the US Government in the area of materials science integration and international biological threat reduction policy. During the policy position, I applied technical expertise towards developing and implementing biosecurity standards, while also working with the World Health Organization to codify best practice biosecurity guidelines internationally.

I gained industry experience over the next 8 years by managing a technology group for a Venture Capital (VC) backed small business located in New Mexico from my home office in Ellensburg, WA.  My group developed new water treatment technologies under Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards and Joint Development Agreements (JDAs).  As I gained experience, I gradually achieved greater levels of business responsibility, including managing project budgets, developing marketing and PR materials, managing the company Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio, and traveling nationally and internationally to further business development.  My goal is to integrate relevant experiences into the courses I teach and share management and communication strategies with my students.

When I earned my PhD in the sciences, formal business and communication courses were not part of the technical degree requirements.  This is still true in many technical programs, driving technical professionals to learn these skills by trial and error on the job.  While I might not have realized it during my formal studies, a course in business communication and IP strategy surely would have assisted me later in my career.  This is one reason why ITAM’s programs are unique. I believe that mastering the communication pathways between diverse groups is what sets a technologist apart from an exceptional technology professional with leadership potential.

I am dedicated to bringing my education and professional experience into the classroom whether the classroom is on-campus, virtual or hybrid (a combination of both on-site and online instruction).  I enjoy watching students succeed in coursework and complete their educational goals using ITAM’s applied technology and management philosophy.   I hope my students learn skills that enable them to succeed for years after graduation.

“What you’re doing now, or have done in the past, need not determine what you can do next and in the future”
~Ken Robinson

"We build too many walls and not enough bridges."
~Isaac Newton

Education and Certifications

PhD, Chemistry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
BS, Biochemistry (with honors), Simmons College, Boston, MA
Certified Pool Operator, National Swimming Pool Foundation

Professional Experience

Instructor, Central Washington University, Information Technology and Administrative Management Department (2014-present)

On-site and on-line teaching of administrative management and business communication skills.


Manual Editor and Committee Chair, American Water Works Association, Denver (2011-2014)

Organized and managed a 30 member volunteer writing committee via SharePoint, phone and email communication to write, edit and publish an American Water Works Association Manual of Practice (#65) entitled “On-site Generation of Hypochlorite”

Applications Research Manager, MIOX Corporation, Albuquerque, NM (2006-2014)

Formed a profitable group responsible for early to late stage technology development; Managed group remotely; Major contributor to overall business, and go-to-market strategy for current and new products: Provided technical and application input for BD and Sales Departments.

Biosecurity and Risk Assessment Analyst, International Biological Threat Reduction Department, Sandia National Laboratories, NM (2004-2006)

Interfaced with non-science policy colleagues and analysts to promote information-based risk assessments and data management systems.  Major Contributions included a 2 month secondment to the World Health Organization to write international biosecurity guidelines.

Post Doctoral Research Associate, Biomolecular Materials Interfaces Department; Sandia National Laboratories, NM (2002-2004)

Teamed with a diverse group of scientists and engineers to successfully produce an integrated system using motor proteins and inorganic self-assembling nanocrystal materials, such as CdSe quantum dots.


Rivera, S. B., et al., (Committee Chair, Editor, and Contributing Author), 2015, Manual of Water Supply Practices, M65,  On-Site Generation of Hypochlorite.  Denver, CO: American Water Works Association.

Rosenfeldt, E., Boal, A.K., Springer, J., Stanford, B., Rivera, S., Kashinkunti, R.D., and Metz, D.H.  Comparison of UV-mediated Advanced Oxidation  Jour. AWWA, 2013, 105(7):29-33.

Pisarenko, A. N, Stanford, B. D., Snyder, S.A., Rivera, S.B. and Boal, A.K., Investigation of the use of Chlorine Based Advanced Oxidation in Surface Water: Oxidation of Natural Organic Matter and Formation of Disinfection Byproducts  J. Adv. Oxid. Technol. Vol. 16, No. 1, 2013, Page: 137-150.

Bryant, T., Bradford, W.L, and Rivera, S.B.  “Microflocculation Reduces Membrane Fouling”  Opflow, January 2013, vol 39(1) p. 16-19.

Rivera, S.B.  Simple Engineered Solutions: Minimizing Fatalities in Residential Pools and Spas. Water Conditioning and Purification International, Aug., 2011, vol 53, no. 8, pp. 34-36.

Rivera, S.B. and Boal, A.K. Case Study: Biofilm Control Strategies in Beverage and Dairy Processing Bev. Beverage Online, Sept. 2, 2010.

Rivera, S.B.  Progress in Pool Chemistry Research: Understanding Disinfection Byproducts and Combined Chlorine.  Water Conditioning and Purification International, Nov., 2009, vol 51, no. 11, pp 28-31.

Baldwin, G., Rivera, S.B., and Salerno, R.M.  Material Control and Accountability for Laboratory Biosecurity.  Int. J. Risk Assessment and Management (IJRAM) Special Issue on: "Biosecurity Assurance in a Threatening World: Challenges, Explorations, and Breakthroughs" 2009 Vol. 12, Nos. 2/3/4, 368-379.

Rivera, S.B.  Minimizing Risks of Cryptosporidiosis with On-Site Generated Mixed Oxidant Disinfectants,  Water Conditioning and Purification International, Nov., 2008 50(11), 34-36.

Bradford, W.L., Rivera, S.B., and Varn, S.F., Mixed Oxidant Solutions: Moving Away from Chloramines while Maintaining Water Quality. Water and Wastes Digest, Oct., 2008 48(10), 29-31.

Rivera, S.B., Koch, S.J., Bauer, J.M., Edwards, J.M. and Bachand, G.D.  Temperature Dependent Properties of a Kinesin-3 Motor Protein from Thermomyces lanuginosus  Fungal Genetics and Biology. 2007, 44, 1170–1179.

Nicholson, T., Corina, P. and Rivera, S.B. Study Examines Corrosivity of Mixed Oxidants, Sodium Hypochlorite. WaterWorld  November, 2006, 20-21.

Gaudioso, J., Rivera, S.B., Caskey, S. and Salerno, R.M.  Laboratory Biosecurity:  A Survey of the United States Bioscience Community. Applied Biosafety, 2006, 11(3) 138-143.

Boal, A.K., Hernesto, Tellez, Rivera, S.B., Miller, N.E., Bachand, G.D. and Bunker, B.C.  The Stability and Functionality of Chemically Crosslinked Microtubules. Small 2006, 2(6), 793-803.

Bachand, G.D., Rivera, S.B., Carroll-Portillo, A., Hess, H. and Bachand, M.  Active Capture and Transport of Virus Particles using a Biomolecular Motor-driven, Nanoscale Antibody Sandwich Assay.  Small. 2006, 2(3), 381-385.

Boal, A.K., Bachand, G. D., Rivera, S.B. and Bunker, B.C.  Interactions between Cargo-Carrying Biomolecular Shuttles. Nanotechnology 2006, 17, 349-354.

Hirekodathakallu V.T., Phan, R.M., Rivera, S.B., Poulter, C.D. Synthesis of Deuterium-Labeled Derivatives of Dimethylallyl Diphosphate  J. Org. Chem. 2006, 71, 1739-1741.

Rivera, S.B., Gaudioso, J., Barnett, N. and Salerno, R.M.  A Bioterror Risk-Assessment Methodology.  The Scientist, 2004, 18, 10.

Bachand, G.D., Rivera, S.B., Boal, A.K., Gaudioso, J.M., Liu, J. and Bunker, B.C.  Assembly and transport of nanocrystal CdSe quantum dot structures using microtubules and kinesin motor proteins.  Nano Lett., 2004, 4, 817-821.

Hemmerlin, A., Rivera, S.B., Erickson, H.K. and Poulter, C.D. Enzymes encoded by the farnesyl diphosphate synthase gene family in the big sagebrush Artemisia tridentata ssp. spiciformis.  J. Biol. Chem. 2003, 278, 32132-32140.

Gunawardena, K., Rivera, S.B., and Epstein, W.W. The monoterpenes of Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana, Artemisia cana ssp. viscidula and Artemisia tridentata ssp. spiciformis.  Phytochemistry 2002, 59, 197-203.

Rivera, S. B., Swedlund, B.D., King, F.J., Russell, N.B., Hussey, C.E., Shattuck-Eidens, D., Wrobel, W.M.; Peiser, G.D. and Poulter, C.D. Chrysanthemyl diphosphate synthase:  Isolation of the gene and characterization of the recombinant non-head-to-tail monoterpene synthase from Chrysanthemum  cinerariaefolium.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2001, 98, 4373-4378. 

Selected Presentations

“New Developments in On-Site Generation Technology” Invited moderator and organizer for an American Water Works Association Webcast Series, October 23, 2013.

“MIOX - New Technology for an Old Problem,” Invited Presentation for the Cruise Line Industry Association, Inc. Water Safety Conference, Miami, FL, November 15, 2010.

“On-site Generation of Disinfectant: Evidence for Better Bather Protection against Cryptosporidium and Chloramines,” World Aquatic Health™ Conference, Colorado Springs, CO, Oct. 2008.

“On-site Generation of FAC Disinfectants,” Invited speaker for the American Water Works Association ACE 2008 Conference, Atlanta, GA, June, 2008.

“Alternatives to Chlorine Gas: On-Site Generation Technology for Chemical Security and Distribution System Recovery, invited speaker for the DHS Science &Technology 2008 Annual Chemical and Biological R&D Technologies Conference, Jan. 2008.

“On-Site Generation of Mixed Oxidants: Technology to Improve Water Safety and Security” presented at the Department of Homeland Security Chemical and Biological Countermeasure Technologies for Homeland Security, Boulder, CO,  Oct 10-13, 2006.

“Laboratory Biosecurity as a Method for Bioterrorism Prevention.”  Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council Alliance Meeting, Albuquerque, NM, May, 2005.

“Integrating Laboratory Biosecurity with Laboratory Biosafety.”  US-Taiwan Nonproliferation and Confidence Building Workshop, March, 2005.

“Biosecurity in a Biosafety Environment.”  CBACI/IISS 2004 North American Regional Meeting:  The Future of the Life Sciences:  Reaping the Rewards and Managing the Risks, Washington, D.C., December, 2004.

“Biosecurity in a Biosafety Environment: A Survey of the Bioscience Community.”  American Biological Safety Association, 48th Annual Biological Safety Conference, October, 2004.

“Kinesin from Thermomyces lanuginosus Displays Novel Kinetic Properties and Fast Velocities at High Temperature.”  Biophysical Society 48th Annual Meeting, February, 2004.  Served as Co-chair for the “Kinesin, Dynein, & Related Enzymes" platform session.

“Conjugation and Transport of Quantum Dots and Nanoparticles by Microtubule-Associated Kinesin Motor Proteins.”  ASM Conferences:  Bio-, Micro-, and Nanosystems, July, 2003.

Professional Affiliations and Service

  • American Water Works Association (AWWA), Disinfection Committee
  • AWWA Manual of Practice (M65) Committee Chair
  • Water Environment Federation, Disinfection Committee Member
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Chemical Society
  • Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association, Chair, Water Security Issue Task Force, 2012
  • WEF Disinfection, RMS and PNWS AWWA, Regional Conference Planning Committees

Take the Next Step to Becoming a Wildcat.