Juan Carlos (JC) Vazquez has been a familiar face around Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities for almost eight years, but he has taken on a new challenge as the CPD’s multicultural coordinator.
The position of multicultural coordinator was created to address issues of diversity among the CPD’s different divisions, Vazquez said.
“My job will be to work with the different divisions and to enhance their efforts in the area of diversity, to address what we have within the Center with the goal of putting the CPD on a national level,” Vazquez said. “We want to take the lead on issues of diversity and disability.”
Vazquez originally came to the CPD to work with Judith Holt, director of the interdisciplinary training division, and Marty Blair, now the associate director of TAESE (Technical Assistance for Excellence in Special Education) in a project studying secondary conditions among Hispanic populations, he said. Then he worked on an URLEND (Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities) project with Holt, and then moved to TAESE.
“Marty (Blair) left and took me with him,” Vazquez said with a smile. He will continue at TAESE, where he is the state liason to North Dakota and Puerto Rico, for 40 percent of his time. The multicultural coordinator position is 60 percent.
“This is exciting,” Vazquez said. “I’ve been part of many projects and initiatives that focus on diversity. This is something I feel very passionate about—it’s very promising to be able to collaborate within the different divisions and create new opportunities for the Center at the state and national level.”