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Davis, California

Monday, May 27, 2024

Brief: Meet the new CCC Director: Chaz Cruz

Cruz looks forward to developing new partnerships in his role

The Cross Cultural Center on campus has hired a new director. With an extensive background working with identity resource centers during his undergraduate, graduate and personal career, Chaz Cruz is looking forward to reaching out to different groups and people on campus while ensuring the CCC upholds its core values.

Cruz described how his past experiences influenced him to apply for the job.

“My academic background in education, a masters in organizational leadership, my personal interests of working with marginalized communities and all of my professional work ties to working with identity resources centers on campus,” he said. “For this position, I think it requires being open to working with a diverse population and being skilled in working with multiple communities. I have a positive outlook on situations; I know I’m working with and supporting a lot of people […] I think the best quality that I have is finding the most ideal solution in a given situation.”

Cruz said he is looking forward to fulfilling his responsibilities as the new director. He plans on ensuring that the CCC works with as many departments as possible and wants the CCC to develop new partnerships.

“[The CCC] has been known as a resource for the campus and the community, as being stellar in identity development, cultural competence, community building and addressing inequities,” he said.

Cruz acknowledged that he still has a lot to learn about the CCC. Since he is new, he has to learn about how the CCC has functioned thus far and said he will rely upon the perspectives of those who have been working there to plan his mission of outreach.

“I’ll have to figure out what’s been working with the center, work with the full-time and student scholar staff and figure out the things that they see need to be improved and get their take from their experience from being here at the CCC,” he said.

Another one of Cruz’s plans for outreach is to make himself accessible to other communities across campus. If he is able to create partnerships with those communities, then it will allow the CCC to reach a greater population and make a bigger impact on campus.

“Sitting on many committees opens up the opportunity for many partnerships to be made.”

When asked what he wants the UC Davis community to know about him, Cruz said a lot of his work “as a practitioner and as a scholar is informed by love.”

“I do know that there is a desire for the CCC to uphold, in the best ways possible, our values and being known as a center to do that, that is what I am most interested in doing,” he said. “There’s a lot of problems that need to be addressed in making sure our society is more equitable. It will take a lot of people to do that and I am willing and I am here to work with as many people as possible to make sure we uphold those values.”

Written by: Alexis Lopez — campus@theaggie.org



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