Madaí Rivera
Associate Director
Center for Leadership Development
Former Assistant Director of Student Engagement
Kansas State University

Areas of Interest and Expertise

  • Higher education (4-year public university)
  • Student involvement
  • Multicultural student representation
  • Advising multicultural student organizations
  • Undocumented & DACA-mented student support
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Intercultural Learning
  • Recruitment & retention

Personal Leadership Philosophy

We need one another to develop as leaders. During this development process, acceptance and appreciation of differences and commonalities is crucial. Intercultural learning is key. A leader does not shape the leadership style and convictions of others; rather, s/he provides the tools that allows others to develop their own. The WeAreSGA conference provides a safe space to express your thoughts and ask the questions that you may not have asked before. It allows you to be open your mind and feel free. Presenters often incorporate new materials, topics and change their approach during the conference ensure that participants’ needs are met and receive one-of-a-kind experience.

About Madaí

Madaí Rivera, assistant director for student engagement, Office of the Vice President for Student Life-Department of Diversity & Multicultural Student Affairs earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree at Kansas State University (K-State). In 2019, she established the K-State DREAMZone, a safe space designed to provide support to undocumented and DACA-mented students that were born in various countries around the world and currently reside in the U.S.; as well as those from mixed-status families (family members with different immigration statuses).   Madaí has helped establish several partnerships that provide scholarship opportunities for K-State students, in addition to leading and implementing student recruitment and retention initiatives on campus. She has served as the primary contact for many undocumented students and families for several years. Her efforts to help all students have been recognized with the Commerce Bank Presidential Faculty and Staff Award for Distinguished Service to Historically UnderRepresented Students; Division of Student Life Putting Students First Award; and Dawley-Scholer Award for Faculty Excellence in Student Development.
Madaí currently serves on Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s Education Councils and “Advantage Kansas: Future Focused, Future Ready” Coalition.  Additionally, she is a member of the LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) National Board in her role as state director for Kansas, as well as other similar interest committees.  She is from Juárez, Chihuahua, México and a graduate of Dodge City High School, KS.

“I am the first (but not the last) person in my immediate immigrant family to graduate from college. I exercise my vote because as a US Citizen, I can be the voice of others who do not have that right. While I appreciate differences, I like exploring the things we have in common when I meet someone.”