Puerto Rico native Shayla Rivera is co-star of Comedy Central’s ‘Comedy Rehab’
Kristine A. Brown

Shayla Rivera parlayed her quick wit into a stint as a motivational speaker that paved the way for her career in comedy.

Comedian and Puerto Rico native Shayla Rivera, co-star of Comedy Central’s “Comedy Rehab,” will help close out Rider University’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. in Daly’s Mercer Room. The event is free and open to Rider students.

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Rivera moved to the United States when she was 17, speaking little English. Her avid interest in science led her to Texas A&M University where she earned a degree in aerospace engineering. Her math-and-science career took her to NASA, where she worked in the space shuttle program preparing to become the first Puerto Rican woman astronaut.

While working at NASA, Rivera learned that her quick wit was a great tool in managing all the different personalities that comprise the program. She parlayed this talent into a stint as a motivational speaker that paved the way for her career in comedy. She is now regarded as one of the most gifted comedians performing today, and she can be seen in clubs across America, as well as being a highly-sought-after corporate speaker.

Rivera has been named "Funniest Latina Comedian" by the prestigious organization "Latin 2015,” starred in her one-woman show “Rocket Science and Salsa,” directed by Debbie Allen, which received two nominations (for best actress and for choreography) by the NAACP Theater Awards committee, and has appeared on many TV networks and on numerous TV programs including “Girls Behaving Badly,” “Ultimate Revenge,” and "Comics Unleashed.” She appeared in the Comedy Central special “Comedy Rehab” with Paul Rodriguez and hosted the 13-episode TV series “You’re Not The Man I Married” for the Lifetime Real Women Network.

Rider University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs has been leading the university’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month throughout the month of November. “The diversity of Rider’s people and cultures truly enriches our university community," says Pamela Pruitt, director of Multicultural Affairs. We hope students come out to see Shayla Rivera, and close out our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month with some good-natured laughs and comedy.”

For more information on the Office of Multicultural Affairs, visit www.rider.edu/offices/student-affairs/office-multicultural-affairs.