Nelson Soto

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    • Media Contact:
      Teresa_Wilkins
    • Member Type(s): Expert
    • Title:provost and vice president for academic
    • Organization:Union Institute & University
    • Area of Expertise:Access to higher education and programs
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My Expertise

    My Expertise

      Area(s) of expertise: Access to higher education and programs
      Summary of expertise:
      Dr. Nelson Soto is provost and vice president for academic affairs at Union Institute & University. As provost, he is the chief academic officer of the university and responsibility for the university’s academic and budgetary affairs.
      As provost at Union, he is in the unique position to advance the university’s mission as a vehicle for change in the community through diversity and education. He provides leadership in engaging and empowering adult learners in the larger society in which they live and work, building a mutually beneficial, expansive and collaborative community that lives beyond the classroom.

      He is an active member and engaged volunteer in his church, which prides itself on its multi-ethnic approach, he teaches and designs workshops on the qualities and values needed to be a spiritually healthy husband and father. He has designed workshops for fellow members on embracing diversity and leads study classes on a regular basis.

      As a Puerto Rican male, Dr. Soto brings a distinct personal perspective to local education and diversity. His dissertation research focused on teachers’ perceptions and beliefs of Latino middle school immigrants, particularly rural communities that witnessed an increase in Latino immigrants within the past decade. His goal for the dissertation study was to promote social justice for Latino (im)migrant boys. The study examined educators and their personal biographies, teaching philosophies, and perceptions in carrying out their teaching practices. It was his desire that the contribution of the study would challenge current teachers, along with himself, to believe that every student can do something well.

      In his previous professional positions, Dr. Soto has focused on access to higher education and programs for marginalized student populations, as well as issues of retention, faculty and organizational development, creating and fostering internal and external relationships, and assessment. As the campus director for the National Science Foundation, Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate at IUPUI, he managed the federal grant, while enhancing relationships with Hispanic-Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He also was responsible for promoting teaching excellence among faculty through consultations, course design, and facilitation of workshops on best practices in teaching and student learning.

      In addition, Dr. Soto was a founder of the Multicultural Teaching and Learning Institute at IUPUI, creating a forum for faculty members to promote multicultural content in teaching and curriculum, including multicultural course transformation and serving students with disabilities. He was also charged with enhancing minority attainment diversity, and served on the Diversity Assessment Team, promoting multicultural course transformation within the School of Education curriculum.
      Blog/Web site: www.myunion.edu
      Awards/associations/memberships:
      Dr. Soto serves on the Board of Directors of the Hoxworth Blood Center and Maryssa Foundation. He formerly served on the Harvard Business Publishing Advisory Board, Cengage Private Sector Advisory Board, Pearson Service Learning Board, and was chair of the Harrison College Military Advisory Board.
      Prior media experience:
      Dr. Soto has been quoted many times in research papers.
      Educational background:
      Ph.D. in educational policy studies from Indiana University.
      Master’s in education from Indiana University.
      Bachelor of Arts in business from the University of Cincinnati.
      References:
      Dr. Karen Schuster Webb, President, Union Institute & University
      Interests:
      Access to higher education and programs for marginalized and underserved student populations.

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