One West University Boulevard, Brownsville, Texas 78520 | 956-882-8200

Olivia Rivas, Ed.D.

Olivia Rivas, Ed.D. 

Olivia Rivas, Ed.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Educational Psychology
and Leadership Studies



Dr. Rivas received her B.A. in Political Science from The University of Texas at Pan American and her M.Ed. from the same university in Counseling & Guidance. Upon receiving an EDPA fellowship from the State of Texas, Dr. Rivas completed her doctoral studies in Counseling & Guidance at Texas A&M Commerce. She has done postdoctoral studies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Higher Ed Administration and at the Oxford Round Table in England on Student Development.

Dr. Olivia Rivas is a Professor of Counseling and Guidance at the University of Texas at Brownsville. She is interested in psychotherapy theory and technique, issues of student development, leadership and ethics as well academic access for minority students. She teaches courses in her interest area and does numerous consultations and presentations locally and nationally on her research interests. Her interest and knowledge in student development is strengthened by her fifteen year tenure as Vice President for Student Affairs during which time she was elected by her peers as the state president of their professional organization. She has participated in several post doctoral leadership experiences at the Stanford Business School, Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Oxford Round Table in England. She was also a member of Leadership Texas and the Hispanic Women’s Network. Her interest in leadership and student development has earned her commendations from her peers and from regional accreditation agencies and The University of Texas at Brownsville has honored her with a dedication plaque unveiled on the opening of the new student union building. Dr. Rivas has served on numerous state committees ranging from the State Board of Vocational Nursing to the State Women’s Hall of Fame to state education committees. She has served for many years as a proposal reader for the U. S. Department of Education and an accreditation site visitor for SACS.


Olivia Rivas, Ed.D.

Teaching Interest:
Theories of Psychotherapy
Techniques of Psychotherapy
Personal Growth

COUN 6313 Personal Growth
COUN 6327 Theories of Psychotherapy 
COUN 6328 Techniques of Psychotherapy
EPSY 6341​ Advanced Adolescent Psychology





Area of Specialty and Responsibility:

Theories of Human Behavior…………understanding the “human condition”
Leadership and Ethics in the professions
Student development and best practice in program design
Hispanic issues of academic access, career aspirations, and self-concept
Higher Education strategic planning and organizational development.

Office Hours
Spring 2015


Monday:By Appointment
Thursday:By Appointment
Friday: By Appointment


Office:MAIN 2.226




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