Sociology professor starts American Minority Mentoring program for students

BLOOMINGTON – Robert Soto, professor of sociology at Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus, has proposed and began his voluntary position as American Minority Mentor on campus. This effort comes on the heels of Ivy Tech’s new Diversity, Equity, and Belonging goal as part of the College’s strategic plan.

“Over the years at Ivy Tech Bloomington, the focus of inclusion and belonging efforts has been placed on groups more recently added to the diversity spectrum, particularly LGBTQIA+,” said Soto. “Even when the focus of such efforts was based on cultural diversity, our institution has largely addressed international cultural diversity. The purpose of this position is to offer American Minority students an ear that is more attuned to their voice.”

Functions of the American Minority Mentor position include listening to the concerns of students of color with a long United States experience (American-born or DACA), explaining the functionality of Ivy Tech, directing students to the proper resources for addressing their concerns, and showing students a presence on campus more equivalent to their own. It is not an advisor or counselor position, but a serves as a base for minority students.

The position may rotate between American Minority members of the Ivy Tech Bloomington faculty strictly on a voluntary basis with no stipend or offload. At the end of the spring 2020 semester, the feasibility of the position will be evaluated based on student response data.