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Dr. Tony Laing
Director, Men of Color Initiative

Dr Tony LaingA desire to be effective, creative and beneficial to male students of color is precisely what led Dr. Tony Laing to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

"I looked at this position as a challenge, an opportunity to create from scratch rather than to enhance," said Dr. Laing, Director of the new Men of Color Initiative (MOCI) at UW Oshkosh.

In the role of Director of MOCI, Dr. Laing is tasked with providing academic support and guidance, cultural understanding, leadership development and mentoring to male students of color (i.e. African American, American Indian, Asian/Hmong American, Latino/Hispanic American). The MOCI is designed to create programs and services that support persistence, retention and graduation, and assist men of color with their transition to college.

Having experienced various cultures and lifestyles, transitioning to the Midwest was one of the simpler tasks that Dr. Laing has completed. He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and has lived in Champaign, IL; Brooklyn, NY; Boston, MA; and Johannesburg, South Africa.

Dr. Laing, the youngest of eight siblings, was thoroughly exposed to the importance of education by his mom and the intricate details of the college experience. Having obtained his Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies with concentrations in African American and gender studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; a Master's degree in International Management Organization from New York University, and a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Political Science from Wheaton College (Mass).

In addition to Dr. Laing's current role as the Director of the Men of Color Initiative, he has served as an academic advisor, college lecturer, student services and diversity affairs professional, and study abroad advisor. Combined, these experiences laid the foundation for his work intent on creative programming, diversity and outreach initiatives for male students of color. Dr. Laing is excited about the aims of MOCI.

"Diversity is a good thing. The MOCI is giving voice to the unique experiences for male students of color and is a much-needed resource for them," Dr. Laing said.

Dr. Laing wishes to one day leave behind a sustained legacy that tells a story of an individual who took chances, led creative and effective long-term programming initiatives and "pushed the envelope."

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