Kevin Rivas

Kevin Rivas

Dean's Scholar

College of Engineering
Aviation and Technology (Industrial Tech Major)


Why did you choose your major?

After researching several colleges, I toured the Department of Aviation and Technology at SJSU and found that not only will I study theoretical course work, but I will actually have hands on application of the course material.


What does receiving this particular award mean to you?

Receiving this award is an honor and it means the world to me.  It has been my goal, since I can remember, to graduate from a college or university with a bachelor's degree in science, engineering or technology.


Who has been instrumental in your life and/or who has contributed to your academic success?

The person that has been instrumental in my life is my wife - she was and continues to be patient, understanding, and very supportive in helping me achieve my educational goals.  I had a team that helped me persevere through my academic success - they include the State Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), SJSU Career Center Workability IV Program, the professors at SJSU Department of Aviation and Technology, Industrial Technology Manufacturing Systems Program, and last but not least the SJSU Disability Resource Center (DRC).


Did you overcome any hardships or adversities during your life, that has helped shape who you are today?

The hardships started when I turned 13 years old and my parents divorced.  I had to raise myself and moved from place to place supporting myself through part-time jobs.  If it were not for high school sports I probably would not be the person I am today; it shaped me to be strong mentally and that I can achieve whatever I start out to do.  The adversity I had to overcome was having a physical disability.  Having a disability has taught me to ask for help, that I am not alone, and there are resources out there for students with disabilities.

What would you say to other students to encourage or inspire them to attain academic excellence?

What I would say to other students to encourage or inspire them to attain academic excellence is to study hard, don't give up, don't be afraid to ask for help, and whatever hardship or adversity comes your way don't let it get you down.

Where would you like to be in 5-10 years?

In 5-10 years I would like to be with a major company working as an Manufacturing Engineer and purchasing a house for my family.


A few words from his nominating professor:

"He is studying for the concentration in Manufacturing Systems with a focus on Sustainable Design and Manufacturing.  Kevin has overcome some adversities, which I cannot relate here, but is always available to help with department and college events."
-Dr. Seth Bates