Michael A. Cruz
Liberal Arts and Science
Hostos Student Ambassador
Student Government Association Senator 2011
Vice President and Chair of the Student Senate 2012
Michael was born in Manhattan to parents who migrated to New York City from Puerto Rico. His dad was born and raised in Arecibo and his mother was born and raised in the Capital, San Juan. Michael is the second youngest child of seven and spent the early years of his life in New York, but then travelled around the country and lived in Michigan, Florida and Puerto Rico over the course of his life. He learned most of what he knows about the Spanish language from his brief stints living in Puerto Rico with his family.
Over the course of his life, Michael was primarily enrolled in parochial schools and worked diligently to be a good student, even though he found himself travelling around so much, with both his family and on his own. Michael initially decided to attend Hostos Community College because of the influence of his brother, who was part of the Serrano Scholars Program at Hostos Community College, (now called the Global Scholars Program.) He had hoped to be the second member of his family to participate in this well-established program that allows for students to move from Hostos Community College to Columbia University to study Political Science and International Relations. Michael is the younger brother of Hostos Alumni and Serrano Scholar Ray Caban.
Michael has chosen to utilize his time outside of the classroom to engage in activities that allow him to pursue his career in Political Science and Immigration Law. As such, Michael became a member of the Hostos Student Leadership Academy in the fall of 2010 and since has been actively engaged in working in the community and developing his leadership and advocacy skills.
Michael served as a member of a 16 student delegation at the 2011 National Model United Nations in New York, representing Burkina Faso, sitting on the Human Rights Council. He also served as the head delegate at the 2011 National Model United Nations in Washington, D.C. where the team of eight represented Haiti and Michael sat in the Second General Assembly Committee, where he and his fellow delegates discussed the Millennium Development Goals; the Eradication of Poverty and Introducing Technology to the Least Developed Countries around the world.
Michael has attended a variety of leadership based conferences all over the country, including the 2010 Millennium Campus Conference at Columbia University and the 2011 Millennium Campus Conference at Harvard University. He has also participated at the 2010 United States Hispanic Leadership Conference-Northeast in Newark, New Jersey and the City University of New York’s Emerging Leaders Conference at the City College of New York. As a member of the Academy, Michael also represented both the college and the University at Black, Puerto Rican and Asian Caucus Conference and at the SOMOS El Futuro Conference in Albany, New York in the spring of 2011. He was also a participant at the new Leadership Challenge Conference at Brooklyn College.
Michael began his career in the Academy as a member of the Student Orientation Services Team, where he got engaged in campus activities and helped out during registration, providing campus tours and working with entities of the college to help new students get acclimated to a life at Hostos. He was promoted to the rank of Hostos Student Ambassador in the winter of 2010, when he played an integral role in helping with the Fourth Annual Winter Workshop Series and also became the Chief Editor of the Hostos Newspaper, called Word on Campus.
Over the course of the last year and a half, Michael has worked on a variety of community service and volunteer outreach activities, including visiting the elderly at Isabella Geriatric Facility in Washington Heights, planting trees and making improvements to Franz Siegel Park on the Grand Concourse, and taking part in an effort to feed some of the hungriest New Yorkers for Thanksgiving in November of 2010, by participating in the Feed NYC Project at Chelsea Piers. Michael has volunteered and walked at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at Orchard Beach in 2010. He has also represented the college at the Puerto Rican Day Parade. He is the recipient of the 2011 National Puerto Rican Day Parade Scholarship from the Diversity Foundation and Banco Popular.
Michael was also one of two students (with Katherine Triunfel) to receive the 2010-2011 City University of New York Student Leadership Award. He was elected by the student body to serve in the Hostos Student Government Association as a Senator for the 2011-2012 school year. In addition, Michael has served since the spring of 2011 as a student representative on the Middle States Steering Committee.
Michael studied abroad in Brazil in the summer of 2011 as a part of the STOCS Study Abroad Program, where he studied Portuguese and took an Afro-Brazilian History Course.
Michael (along with Manuel Mercedes) are the first two student representatives from Hostos Community College to serve in the 2011-2012 Ernesto Malave CUNY Leadership Academy’s Campus Leadership and Student Services (CLASS) Program.