Columbia Journalism School

Ernest Sotomayor

Ernest Sotomayor

Dean of Student Affairs & Director, Latin American Initiatives

Ernest R. Sotomayor Dean of Student Affairs, with oversight of the Office of Admissions, Student Services and Career Services. Additionally, he is director of Continuing Education Programs, which produce professional development training courses for journalists.

He previously was Assistant Dean for Career Services and began his career at Columbia as Director of Career Services in February 2005. Sotomayor oversaw career counseling of all degree students at the school, assisting them in finding opportunities such as internships, fellowships and fulltime employment in print, broadcast and online media fields, developing a yearlong curriculum of job hunting strategies and special workshop programs.

He was an adjunct professor in Digital Media Newsroom, teaching students how to use multimedia elements such as video, audio slideshows and Flash graphics to accompany their text stories. Sotomayor has also served on administrative and faculty advisory and curricular review panels, including the Committees on Instruction, Strategic Planning, Academic Affairs and Admissions. He oversees the development of continuing education courses for non-degree students, including programs held in New York City and worldwide on subjects such as investigative journalism, multimedia storytelling, working safely in danger zones and more.

Sotomayor began his career as a city hall and enterprise reporter at the El Paso (Texas) Herald-Post in 1976, and in 1979 joined the Dallas Times Herald, where he worked as a reporter and editor. At the Times Herald, he managed a yearlong project in 1987 covering the immigration amnesty program, which won numerous state and national prizes, including the SDX-SPJ's National Gold Medal for Public Service. Ernest joined New York Newsday in 1989 and was Brooklyn/Queens Editor. He later served as Newsday's Long Island regionals editor, deputy business editor and Long Island editor for He was among the editing staffs at New York Newsday that assisted in covering the New York City subway crash in 1991 and with Newsday Long Island in covering the crash of TWA Flight 800 off Long Island in 1996. Both won staff Pulitzer Prizes for Spot News coverage.

He served as president of UNITY: Journalists of Color, Inc., and presided over its third national convention in August 2004 in Washington, the largest journalists convention ever held with 8,300 attendees. A former vice president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, he was inducted to the organization's national Hall of Fame in 2011.

In 1986, he was co-director of the Summer Program for Minority Journalists at UC Berkeley for the Institute for Journalism Education (now the Maynard Institute).

Ernest is a graduate of the University of Arizona with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Pulitzer Hall, MC 3801
2950 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

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