ATLANTA – Stacey Young Rivers, a Ph.D. candidate in Mercer University’s Tift College of Education, is a 2021 recipient of the Women of Color in STEM Technology All-Star Award.

The national award, sponsored by the Career Communications Group, recognizes accomplished career women of color who have demonstrated excellence in the workplace and in their communities. Rivers will be honored at a special recognition event during the Women of Color STEM Conference in October.

“On the road to success, it takes a village of people who will support you in a variety of ways. I am humbled to receive this award for my career accomplishments, and I am not done yet,” said Rivers. “Grateful does not begin to describe the gratitude for my village who always supports me. My advice to early-career professionals is to put just as much effort into building quality relationships as you build your résumé. Success comes when you dare to be yourself, use your strengths and be willing to be part of someone else’s village.”

Rivers is director of people growth and skills strategy at WarnerMedia, where she leads strategy and implementation for tech skills development. With expertise in developing strategies to close skills gaps and building talent pipelines, she is also a mom, an author and an avid blogger. Additionally, she holds the distinction of being in the first class of graduate research fellows in Mercer’s STEM Education Innovation (SEI) Lab

Rivers is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in educational leadership with a focus in higher education on Mercer’s Atlanta campus. Her research interests include industry and academia collaborations for solving skills gaps and working with underserved youth and other demographics to bridge skills gaps utilizing massive open online course (MOOC) models.

She is engaged in several community outreach activities with organizations such as Usher’s New Look programs and the Atlanta Citizen’s Review Board to broaden participation in STEM among underserved and underrepresented student populations. She serves on the board of H.E.R.O. for Children, where she introduces students to careers in STEM. For the past nine years, she has facilitated the career development module for Agnes Scott College’s Bridge to Business Program in partnership with Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business. She is also a member of the Georgia Department of Education Computer Science Advisory Council.

“Stacey Rivers truly embodies the characteristics of a transformative educator. Her commitment to excellence and high level of community engagement make her a role model for youth and other Mercer students. She is a rising star, and I look forward to her continued success and engagement in this space,” said Dr. Justin Ballenger, director of Mercer’s SEI Lab and Rivers’ dissertation adviser.

About the College of Education

Mercer University’s Tift College of Education – with campuses in Macon, Atlanta and the University’s two regional academic centers – prepares more professional educators than any other private institution in Georgia. Named for the former women’s college that merged with Mercer in 1986, the College of Education offers baccalaureate and graduate degrees, and is guided by the conceptual framework of the “Transforming Educator,” which supports those who aspire to grow professionally throughout their careers, while also seeking to transform the lives of students. For more information, visit