Einstein Enrichment Program (EEP)

Who's Who at EEP

EEP/STEP is part of Einstein's Office of Diversity Enhancement

Nilda I. Soto, M.S. Ed
Assistant Dean, Office of Diversity Enhancement and Director, Einstein Enrichment Program
Location: Belfer Room 507
Phone: 718.430.3091 / Fax: 718.430.8825

A native of the Bronx, Ms. Soto has been a member of Einstein’s administration since 1990. In her role as assistant dean of diversity enhancement, Ms. Soto administers and supervises all minority student activities at the medical school, and is involved in the recruitment, admission, and retention of individuals underrepresented in medicine. She serves as director of both the Einstein Enrichment Program and the Minority Students Summer Research Opportunity Program. The former offers educational components to minority and economically disadvantaged high school students during the school year and summer, while the latter places minority undergraduate students in the laboratories of Einstein researchers for a eight-week period during the summer.

Ms. Soto served on the New York State Minority Health Council through March 2010. As a member of the Minority Health Council, Ms. Soto worked with other council members in considering matters relating to minority health. In addition to her membership on the Minority Health Council, she currently serves as Vice President of the Association of Hispanic Healthcare Executives, as a member of the Board of Friends of the Double Discovery Center at Columbia University, and as Chair of the LeGrand Newman Scholarship Committee for the Northeast Region of the National Association of Medical Minority Educators, Inc. Ms. Soto received her Bachelors and Masters degrees from Fordham University.


A. Julie Cruz, MA, MCS
Location: Belfer 407
Phone: 718.430.4166 / Fax: 718.430.8841

Ana Julia started at Einstein as Counselor in November of 2006, and became Coordinator of EEP in September 2007, of Community Based Service Learning in 2012. She has an extensive background in strategic planning, marketing, and higher education administration. Ms. Cruz has been a counselor in private practice and volunteer grief counselor with ACCESS (Air-Craft Casualty Emotional Support Services); with whom she trained in emergency air casualty response with Jet Blue at Kennedy Airport. In addition to individual counseling, Ms. Cruz has designed and facilitated many workshops and seminars related to career development for both adolescents and adults in transition.  She earned her Bachelor’s degree, Master’s in Applied Psychology and Certificate in Adult Career Development from New York University, and has maintained the designation of Master Career Specialist from the National Career Development Association since 2010. Julie is a member of the American Counseling Association, American Psychological Association, Association for Death Education and Counseling, National Association for Advisers for the Health Professions, and the National Career Development Association where she serves as mentor for counselors.  She received the 2014 New York State Outstanding Career Practitioner Award; and completed the Harvard Macy Institute Program for Leading Innovation in Health Care & Education at the Harvard Medical School in 2015.   


Deborah Negron Cordero, MS
Counselor, Einstein Enrichment Program
Location: Belfer 407
Phone: 718.430.4166 / Fax: 718.430.8841

A Bronx native, Deborah Negron Cordero assumed the Counselor position at the Einstein Enrichment Program in April of 2010. Deborah has been in the field of providing case management and counseling services for 15 years. Deborah received her Bachelor’s Degree in the field of Human Services from the Metropolitan College of New York in 2001, and went on to obtain a Master of Science Degree in the field of Counseling in 2006 from Mercy College. Deborah is a licensed school counselor in both the states of New York and Florida and is a member of American School Counselor Association, and the College Access Consortium of New York.


Medina Byars
Administrative Secretary-Einstein Enrichment Program, Community Based Service Learning
Location: Belfer 407
Phone: 718.430.4166 / Fax: 718.430.8841

Medina Byars has been with Einstein College of Medicine for over 26 years. She began working at the Van Etten Drug Treatment Program in 1981 doing billing, switchboard, and general clerical and reception duties. Medina continued her work at Einstein at Public Affairs formerly known as Public Information/Relations. By 1987 she moved to research, assuming the role of secretary for the Developmental & Molecular Biology formally known as Development Biology and Cancer Department. By 1989 Medina started to job share with another secretary in the Office of Minority Student Affairs – currently The Office of Diversity Enhancement. In 1991 Medina became the Administrative Assistant for the Einstein Enrichment Program and the next 17 years are history.

In addition to Medina’s Einstein career, she became an Emergency Medical Technician and Certified Natural Health Professional. Medina graduated from the school of Integrative Medicine in 1993, earning Board Certification in Holistic Health Counseling. In 1994 she went to Everglades University in pursuit of a Bachelor of Science in Alternative Medicine. Since 1988 Medina Byars has owned Visions of Health, a consulting service that provides a holistic approach to wellness.

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