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Cristina Trejo-Vasquez appointed Community Engagement Liaison
By Christy Mendoza, intern/writer
(956) 665-3639
Posted: 11/29/2012
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Cristina Trejo-Vasquez has been appointed as community engagement liaison for the Divisions of Academic Affairs and Business Affairs, to manage and promote community engagement efforts for The University of Texas-Pan American.


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- Cristina Trejo-Vasquez
Trejo-Vasquez, who began her new position Nov. 12, will facilitate communication, coordination, and collaboration across divisions and departments to strengthen UTPA’s role in the local and regional community.

“Creating a centralized system will help identify and create community engagement networks and opportunities,” she said.

Trejo-Vasquez will develop and implement a University-wide strategic plan to coordinate existing projects within the University and the community with the anticipation of connecting the two together for future projects. For example, faculty members engaged in research will be able to contact the office to identify opportunities for their students to participate in more hands-on experiences related to their research and studies to enhance their learning. This program will also benefit students looking for leadership, training, or internship opportunities in their fields of study within the community.

“My role will be to create a centralized clearing house where the University’s faculty, staff, and students will have an intermediary to help coordinate, plan, and network with existing programs within the community and where the community can tap into the resources of the University,” Trejo-Vasquez said.

Trejo-Vasquez will also be working toward evaluating and promoting University-wide engagement activities to strengthen programs within UT Pan American and in the community.

“Creating a systematic way for the University to engage the community and in turn, the community to engage with UTPA, is a key function of this initiative. I am excited about the direction the leadership is taking, integrating community engagement as a fundamental component of what UTPA does,” Trejo-Vasquez said.

Trejo-Vasquez has 17 years of experience at UTPA as a director of special projects working for the Division of Community Engagement and Rural Development. Previously, she has had many years of experience coordinating and directing nonprofit organizations, with expertise in creating institutional partnerships, resource development, organizational assessment, evaluation and community-based strategic planning.

“We are delighted to have Ms. Cristina Trejo join us as the community engagement liaison at UT Pan American, said Dr. Havídan Rodríguez, provost and vice-president for Academic Affairs. “Ms. Trejo-Vasquez brings a wealth and depth of experience in community engagement that will allow us to continue to expand and strengthen the role, impact, and visibility of the University in the community at large.”

Trejo-Vasquez earned her master’s degree in social work from the University of Houston and her undergraduate degree in sociology from The University of Texas at El Paso. Her area of concentration is in macro social work, which focuses on community development.

“The University of Texas-Pan American's strategic plan, as an engaged university, is critical for the success of our institution and the Rio Grande Valley,” Rodriguez said. “We look forward to Ms. Trejo-Vasquez’s work in this area, which will result in important contributions to our internal and external community.”

Trejo said she is optimistic and enthusiastic for the future of UTPA and the community.

“It’s an exciting time to be at UTPA,” she said.

For any further information, please contact Cristina Trejo-Vasquez by email at trejoca@utpa.edu or phone (956) 665-8756.