Thomas A. Cruz-Soto, Jr.
Associate Dean of Multicultural Affairs
Colgate is committed to developing a community in which students; faculty and staff are supported as critical thinkers and perspective leaders who value all forms of intellectual rigor and respect the complexity of human understanding. Therefore, diversity and inclusivity are among the highest priorities for members of the Colgate family.
As Associate Dean of Multicultural Affairs, Thomas A. Cruz-Soto, Jr., assists the Dean of the College in developing an inclusive campus that values, supports, and affirms each member of the community. The Associate Dean works collaboratively with the Office of Human Resources, the University Provost, Vice Provost for Equity and Diversity, Senior Compliance Director for Equity and Inclusion, the Vice-President for Finance & Administration, and other Dean of the College departments to recruit and support a diverse staff and faculty and is instrumental in shaping campus diversity initiatives, assessments, and programming for students, faculty, and staff.
Dean Cruz-Soto earned his bachelor's degree in secondary education with a minor in Latin American studies in 1998 from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. In 2004, he secured his master's degree in higher education administration from Rowan University, in Glassboro, New Jersey. Currently, Dean Cruz-Soto is back at Rowan University in the College of Graduate and Continuing Education (CGCE) Program earning his Doctorate in Education Leadership with an anticipated graduation date of May, 2015.
Recently, Mr. Cruz-Soto has completed a (72) credit certificate with Cornell University’s Diversity Management Certification (ILR) program. The Internal Labor Relations Program and Human Capital Development (HCD) program at Cornell University's (ILR) School examines business challenges to deliver practical, results-based learning. HCD works at the intersection of social science and business practice to build individual and organizational capability.
Dean Cruz-Soto has also created a partnership with Skidmore College’s Intergroup Dialogue program (IGR) led by Dr. Kristie Ford, who is the Director of the Intergroup Relations Program, Director of Intercultural Studies, and Associate Professor of Sociology at Skidmore College. This program will seek to educate all members of the Colgate community with in the workforce and student population on issues of race, class, gender, and social inequities.
Intergroup Relations (IGR) is a nationally recognized social justice academic, credit-bearing program that originated at the University of Michigan (UM) in 1988 as a means of addressing racial tension; its primary goal is to support student learning and competencies around inter- and intra-group relations, conflict, and social justice across a range of social identities.
Recently, Dean Cruz-Soto is serving as lead administrator on the Diverse Learning Environments Survey (DLE), for all Sophomores and Juniors at Colgate University. The DLE is a module that captures student perceptions regarding the institutional climate, campus practices as experienced with faculty, staff, and peers, and student learning outcomes. Their experiences are at the center of the survey, and the instrument is based on studies of diverse student bodies and the complexity of issues that range from student mobility to intergroup relations. This survey was created by Dr. Sylvia Hurtado, Director of the Higher Education Research Institute and Professor at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.
Thomas Cruz-Soto chose to pursue a degree in higher education because he loves working with youth and impacting the lives of young people. Born in an inner-city, (Camden, New Jersey) from a poor socioeconomic background, Dean Cruz-Soto has benefited greatly from pre-college programs that pushed him towards higher education.
As a national spokesperson (1989-1996) for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Thomas Cruz-Soto, led a drug free schools campaign in Camden, New Jersey for over 7 years, known as Network #3. As a student ambassador, he spoke with thousands of youth nation wide along side the Attorney General of the United States Janet Reno, about the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol abuse.
Dean Cruz-Soto also served 10 years as academic counselor, coordinator, and executive director of pre-college (Gaining Early Awareness for College Readiness and Undergraduate Programs) GEAR UP programs in New Jersey. He also served as vice president of the College Bound Association of New Jersey, Inc. from 2003-2006. In 2006, he was awarded “The Distinguished Community Service Award” from his home town of Camden, New Jersey for over 10 years of outreach to local youth. In 2008, he received “The Building Bridges Award” for his work as a first-year employee in the Dean of the College division at Colgate University.
Recently, Thomas Cruz-Soto was honored in receiving the Deans Merit Award for Diversity (May 18, 2014). This award honors a Dean of the College administrator who promotes and enhances Colgate University’s diversity-related initiatives. This individual fosters authentic dialogue to formally and informally engage the entire campus community to value difference and advocate for greater understanding of the strength found in our diversity and is the highest award at the institution for diversity work and is voted on by the Dean of the College, staff, and all other Deans at the institution.
Thomas A. Cruz-Soto, Jr., is a diversity champion and has made an impact throughout his life positively influencing the lives of young people both on a domestic and global scale.
Please feel free to reach out to Dean Cruz-Soto at email@example.com
I am a big fan of books, arts, and sports. I am originally from Jakarta, Indonesia where I earned a bachelor's degree in Economics with concentrations in Management and Marketing from University of Indonesia (UI). Before I started working for Colgate University, I worked as Senior Public Relations, Executive Secretary, Customer Service Manager, and Office Manager for different international institutions. I also worked at BOCES for two years as a computer instructor. For me, the ALANA Cultural Center feels like one big happy family, a warm place where everybody can support each other in many ways. I am very honored to be part of ALANA Cultural Center. Please visit ALANA Cultural Center and join our events!
Drea Finley '13
Outreach Program Coordinator
Drea Finley is a recent graduate of Colgate University, from the Class of 2013. Born and raised in Buffalo NY, Drea graduated with a double major in sociology/anthropology
and honors in women’s studies
. As an academic, Drea’s work focuses on the intersectionality of identities, particularly within aspects of race, gender, sexuality and spirituality. As a student, Drea was highly involved on campus, serving on many committees and active in a variety of clubs and organizations
. Drea served on the admissions multi-cultural affairs committee, was vice president of the Black Student Union, was an intern for the office of LGBTQ Initiatives for four years, was a mentor for the Office of Undergraduate Studies for three years, was a member of the Living the Liberal Arts Committee, and served as a community leader for the Office of Residential Life, simply to name a few. Drea carries a thriving passion for social justice work pertaining to identity and diversity.
After graduating, Drea worked in the Office of Residential Life at Colgate as a residential fellow, and also served as the program coordinator for the Office of Undergraduate Studies. As a young professional, Drea is truly grateful for the many experiences she has had here at Colgate. As a critical thinker and social activist, Drea is truly excited to be joining the ALANA team as the outreach and programming coordinator.
In her spare time, Drea is a jazz pianist and spoken word artist. “Words and music are my art. Music is the universal language, whereas the spoken word becomes my platform for social change,” she says. As a visionary, Drea believes in dynamic and collective forms of solidarity and change. As she often likes to remind herself and others, “If my liberation is bound in your liberation then ultimately we are connected. For when passion meets desire, change happens.”
Alamgir Khan Evening Event Planner
Hello, my name is Alamgir Khan, but everyone calls me Khan. I am originally from Dhaka, Bangladesh, and moved to the United States in 2010. I enjoy computers, volunteering, and walking or biking around town. In my spare time, I am the caretaker of a farm just outside of Hamilton, have a calling card business, and repair computers for people in the community. My goal in life is to do humanitarian work to improve the lives of people in my home country. I am very friendly and love meeting new people and learning about different cultures. I am very excited to be part of ALANA, and look forward to assisting with different ALANA events.
Our student groups and programs benefit from receiving additional attention and input from a group of student interns who are dedicated to supporting ALANA's goals for multiculturalism and inclusivity on campus.
To find information about the ambassadors programs and their information please click here to visit the ALANA ambassadors website.