Danielle Rivera

Danielle Rivera

Ann Arbor, MI, US



Danielle Zoé Rivera is currently a doctoral candidate in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Michigan, with a focus on community development, border studies, and qualitative methods. Her research examines how labels of "informal" change the expectations and goals of participation during service delivery. 

Rivera holds a Master in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Architecture from The Pennsylvania State University. She has practical experience from nearly five years as a residential designer. Academically, she has over six years of experience on numerous research projects in architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning. She has also taught first-year architecture studios at The Pennsylvania State University. Outside of academia, she enjoys endless shots of coffee, watercolor painting, and taking care of her Rex Rabbit Mr.B.


University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, US, Graduate Student Research Assistant and Instructor (GSRA and GSI)

Aug 2012 - current

The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), Instructor and Researcher

Taught PSUs first-year studios and aided two urban design research teams.

Aug 2011 - Jul 2012

The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), Research and Teaching Assistant

Engaged in two separate research projects and assisting in PSUs third-year studio. The first research project is studying disease dynamics along the Rio Grande in Texas. The second project is in its third phase, which consists of manuscript and grant writing

May 2010 - Jul 2011

University of Pennsylvania, Laser Cutter Operator

Aided in the maintenance and operation of the Fabrication Lab's three Universal laser cutters

Aug 2009 - May 2010

The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), Lead Research Assistant

Created GIS-based maps and diagrams while coordinating the work of all the research assistants for the PSU Hamer Center and Pottstown Health and Wellness Center

May 2008 - Aug 2009

Studio Morpheus, Architectural Intern

Introduced CAD to the studio’s workflow increasing the construction drawing output; continuously promoted, culminating in the coordination and design of whole projects

May 2004 - Jan 2009

2007 PSU Solar Decathlon, Core Team Leader - Architecture

Lead a team of 15 architecture students through the conceptual design phrase of a solar home while coordinating with groups of engineering and landscape architecture students

Jan 2006 - Jan 2007


University of Michigan, PhD, Urban Planning

Jul 2012 - current

University of Pennsylvania, MArch, Post-Professional Architecture

Aug 2009 - May 2010
Aug 2004 - May 2009


ACSA - I Am a Second Responder, 1st Place

For the project "Global Forces + Local Factors: Design Responses to Policy Failure" with the Design Response team at PSU


Departmental Five-Year Design Merit Excellence Award, Award

Awarded to the graduating senior with the highest overall architectural studio GPA


Paul Kossman Award, 1st Place

Awarded to the top design thesis at Penn State by an external jury


Discovery Summer Grant, Grant

The purpose of these grants is to promote faculty/undergraduate collaboration as students engage in original research, scholarship, and creative work during the summer under the direct supervision of a faculty member.


Charles Thorp Award, 1st Place

For urban design plan with Landscape Architecture student Reid Fellenbaum


PCMA (now the NCMA) Award, 1st Place

Chosen as the best project using concrete masonry out of over 60 projects


Areas of Specialization