Two Seminole State College employees were recognized for their hard work and dedication during the monthly Seminole Chamber of Commerce Forum on April 11. Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Sam Rivera was honored as “Faculty Member of the Month” and Director of Student Support Services and STEM Student Support Services Janna Manlapig was honored as “Professional Staff Member of the Month.”

The Seminole Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, along with the Lions Club and Blue Ribbon Realty, recognize SSC employees several times during Forum each year. Individuals are nominated from across the campus and chosen by SSC administrators to receive the honor.

Rivera completed his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Management at Union Institute and University. He received his master’s degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Oklahoma.

While living in California, Rivera served the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department for 23 years before retiring. Following his time in Sacramento, Rivera took on the role of SSC Chief of Police from 2015 to 2017. Since that time, Rivera has held the position of Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice.

He is involved with a number of campus organizations and committees. He is a member of the Assessment Learning Committee, the Chair of the Professional Development Committee and an advisor for the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

Rivera and his wife Stephanie reside in Wewoka. They have four adult children: Samantha Kale of Foresthill, California; Andrew Rivera of Auburn, California; Ryan Rivera of Killeen, Texas; and Reagan Rivera of Shawnee.

Manlapig received her bachelor’s degree in Religion from Oklahoma Baptist University and her master’s degree in Adult and Higher Education Administration from the University of Oklahoma.

In her role as Director of Student Support Services and STEM Student Support Services she administrates grants and plays a key role in helping students with their academic pursuits.

She is involved with the Student Success Council and Professional Staff Council. She also sits on advisory boards for nursing and MLT. She is an active member of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Shawnee, where she participates on the meal service team, plays in the hand bell choir and plays percussion for the youth service on Wednesday evenings.

She and her fiancée Holly reside in Shawnee. Manlapig has two children, Mitchell and Kamryn.