Sharitza E. Rivera-Millett

Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology

Adjunct Professor

Education: MSW, LCSW

Industry Expertise: trauma-informed practice, cognitive behavioral therapy

Research Interest: low-income student success, institutional sense of belonging, and social class


Sharitza E. Rivera-Millett is a licensed clinical social worker and has been a clinician since 2011. A first-generation, working-class, Puerto Rican from Chicago, she received a bachelor’s in community psychology from DePaul University and a master’s in social work from the School of Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago. She is currently pursuing her PhD in social work at Loyola University Chicago focusing on sense of belonging and systemic change in higher education. Prior to obtaining her MSW, Rivera-Millett volunteered as a rape crisis counselor and educator with rape victims advocates, provided case management at Children’s Home + Aid, and facilitated several life skills/empowerment groups for young women. After receiving her master’s degree, Rivera-Millett provided brief solution-focused individual and family therapy with students with UCAN. Since 2014, Rivera-Millett switched gears and began utilizing her social work skills to emotionally support and advocate for low-income and/or first-generation students in higher education. She has served students with roles in both student affairs and as faculty at a number of institutions including City College of Chicago, Northwestern University, Pepperdine, and Loyola University. Outside of her work in higher education, Rivera-Millett maintains a small caseload of therapy clients and works on various consulting projects for nonprofit organizations that aim to equip their staff with the tools needed to serve the mental health of their clients.