Alumni Profile: Chrystie Cruz

Submitted by Virginia Weir, Assistant Director of Advancement Communications on November 2, 2012

I see students here in my work each day who remind me of myself when I was a student….I try to help them the way I was guided when I was here.

Chrystie Cruz ’07, M.A.’09

Undergraduate Major: History and International Studies

Graduate Focus: Teaching and Foundation

Occupation: Assistant Director, Office of Institutional Diversity, Fairfield University

Why Fairfield…

I decided to attend Fairfield University for three reasons: 1. I loved the school and its size 2. It was close enough my home in Brooklyn, N.Y., and 3. Fairfield offered a great selection of courses and strong academics.

S.A.L.S.A.!

Although all of my experiences have been great, I think my best time at Fairfield always involved S.A.L.S.A. (Spanish American Latino Student Association). I loved being the president for three years. The people I met through this club were incredible, and the skills I acquired while leading this group have truly helped me in other areas of my life. Another memory that really made me feel pride in Fairfield University was when I was asked to be the student speaker at the 2007 Fairfield Awards Dinner.

Career Path

I originally came to Fairfield thinking I would study to become a teacher. Although I did obtain my degree with a certification to teach history at the middle- and high school levels, I did not pursue that. After I graduated, I landed a graduate assistant position with the Office of Institutional Diversity Initiatives.

After I completed a master’s degree in education, I was as an operations assistant and part-time academic counselor with Talent Search, a federally-funded program at the University that works with schools in Bridgeport, Conn.

I was promoted to assistant director, and alongside Larri Mazon, the former director of the Office of Institutional Diversity Initiatives, I assisted in overseeing the University’s Upward Bound program, participated the President’s Institutional Diversity Council, and ran the Martin Luther King Convocation Committee. In 2010, I was transferred to the Office of Student Diversity Programs, where I am currently the assistant director overseeing the Community Partnership Scholarship Program, Cura Personalis Mentoring Program, some of our cultural heritage months, as well as the Academic Immersion Program.

Influential People: Larri Mazon

Overall, I found that all of my professors were great and encouraged me to be successful and curious. The one person that was most influential in my career and life at Fairfield, though, was Larri Mazon. He took me under his wing and provided me with guidance, support, and encouraged me to think outside the box. He was a great advisor when I was a student at Fairfield, and a great supervisor when I worked under him.

Life Lessons

Fairfield has provided me with an array of opportunities. However, one of the values that I have taken from my Fairfield education is to continuously challenge myself and strive to learn more.

Why I Give Back

I loved my student experience at Fairfield. I want others to be able to say the same thing. I see students here in my work each day who remind me of myself when I was a student. It is my goal to continue the tradition of mentorship. I try to help them the way I was guided when I was here.

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