New Faces

Liam Higgins, Alex Weimer

Meet the eleven new additions to Colgate’s faculty.

Tracia Banuelos: Haven Program Coordinator

Tracia Banuelos is the new Program Coordinator for Haven. As the Prevention Facilitator at the Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas, she implemented an emotional stability program and advocated for the rights of refugees in Kansas. 

Working at Colgate gives her the opportunity to “give everything [she has] to supporting students in their healing and in their goals,” she said. Banuelos’ job involves supporting students who have experienced traumatic events and educating the campus on how to support every community. She was recently interviewed for a Netflix documentary on youth activism across the country, which will air in 2019. 


Laurie BakerAlcohol and Other Drugs Counselor and Educator

Laurie Baker will be starting her Colgate career this year as the new Alcohol and Other Drugs Counselor and Educator. She is currently finishing her work at SUNY Polytechnic Institute and Keuka College. She chose Colgate because of the outstanding staff members with whom she would be working, the beautiful campus, and the passionate culture of the school, she said. Aside from her job, she also enjoys playing sports, which include football, volleyball, softball and kickball.


Brent Fujioka: Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Scholars Program

Brent Fujioka will be this year’s new Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Scholars Programs. Fujioka will be working with Colgate’s Alumni Memorial Scholars, Benton Scholars and students involved in the Sophomore Residential Seminars program. He has previously worked as an Academic Advisor at Syracuse University and has additionally taught at Tufts University, Brown University, Hawaii Pacific University and Washington State University.


Deirdre Smith: Dietician


Deirdre Smith is starting her first semester at Colgate as the dietitian. She will help students develop healthy habits to improve their health. She received a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Management from the Rochester Institute of Technology. She hopes to help people heal their relationships with food and create balance in their diet, she said.


Jennifer Jones: Administrative Assistant for Administrative Advising

Jennifer Jones will now work as an Administrative Assistant for Administrative Advising.  She previously worked in Institutional Advancement. Before she worked at Colgate, Jones worked at Oneida County Correctional Facility, Vantine Imaging and Eagle River Realty. For the upcoming school year she will assist Administrative Deans, scholars programs and student services. Above all, Jones looks forward to sharing her knowledge with the entire Colgate community.


Peter Bandel: Area Director for Junior and Senior Housing 

Peter Bandel is the new Area Director for junior and senior housing. He attended Northeastern University for his undergraduate degree in Political Science and the University of Central Florida for his graduate degree in Public Policy.  It was there that he developed a passion for residential life and the safety of students. In his spare time, he runs 5k races and volunteers in his local communities.


Victoria Ruibal:Ciccone Commons Area Director 

Hailing from Bayonne, New Jersey, Victoria Ruibal will be Ciccone Commons new area director this year.  Prior to accepting her position at Colgate, she graduated from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, where she completed her M.Ed in Student Affairs in Higher Education. In her spare time, Ruibal spends her time watching Marvel Films, reading “Harry Potter” and spending time with her fiancé Matt and cat Koda.


Tristan Hilpert: Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Fraternity and Sorority Advising

Tristan Hilpert is Colgate’s new Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Fraternity and Sorority Advising. According to Phi Kappa Tau’s official website, he attended Cal-State Fullerton, where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. Hilpert has a Master’s degree in higher education from the University of Louisville and previously served as Board of Governors Chairman for PKT at Chapman University.  


LeAnna Rice: Director for ALANA Cultural Center

LeAnna Rice is the new director for the ALANA Cultural Center.  As director she supervises and works alongside the ALANA team to ensure that they comply with the objectives in their mission statement. Prior to accepting her position at Colgate, Rice was a college mental health counselor at Binghamton University and the University of Wisconsin at Madison.


Tiffany Lane:Director of LGBTQ Initatives 

Tiffany Lane is Colgate’s new   Director of LGBTQ Initiatives. Previously, Lane worked as Gettysburg College’s director of LGBTQIA Advocacy and Education from 2016-2018, according to The Gettysburgian. Upon Lane’s hiring, Colgate University issued the following statement on Twitter: “We are excited to see how her leadership and experience help to advance LGBTQ Initiatives  at Colgate.”


Maria del Carmen Flores-Mills: Dean of Students

Maria del Carmen Flores-Mills is Colgate’s newest Dean of Students. Prior to joining the faculty this past June, she worked at Franklin & Marshall College and Princeton University. Her jobs included new student orientation, Outdoor Education and Student Accessibility Services. “I look forward to immersing myself in Colgate’s campus culture, connecting with students, and working collaboratively with them,” Flores-Mills said in an earlier interview with Colgate’s Mark Walden.