Hispanic Heritage Month: Staff Q&As

September 27, 2022

Meet Aisury Vasquez

Aisury is a first-generation college graduate who was born in the U.S. with strong Mexican cultural ties. Her passion lies in learning more about and elevating other Latino and Caribbean cultures and voices, while serving as a mentor to young Latinas.

Why is Hispanic Heritage Month meaningful to you? 

I grew up in a very small, rural homogenous community and didn’t know Hispanic Heritage Month was something to be celebrated until I was much older. Now, I see it as an opportunity to empower young people and allow them to see that Latinos are leaders, change agents, educators, and researchers.

What type of work are you involved in at CU Denver that impacts the Hispanic community? 

I am proud to be the director of Latinx Student Services at the Center for Identity & Inclusion. The intersectional work we focus on enables students to feel heard and seen. I advise the Latinx Student Alliance and am a member of the Hispanic Serving Committee, which develops programs and projects to provide resources for the academic success of Latino students. This month, Latinx Student Services is partnering with Black Student Services and the Women and Gender Center to host “Black Latina: The Movement,” a play showcasing the intersection of being a Black Latina in the United States.

How has studying, teaching, or working at CU Denver impacted you? 

I love working with Latino students at CU Denver. They are innovative, creative, and passionate about changing campus culture to better serve underrepresented students. The faculty and staff at CU Denver are also some of the greatest in the country. They are passionate about collaborating and working to remove barriers to education.


Meet Miguel Morris 

Miguel’s family ancestry is Hispanic, Chilean, Ecuadorian, English, Irish, German, Italian, and Croatian. He’s a certified Spanish translator and French and Spanish teacher, and has volunteered with America Reads to teach young kids English as a second language. His commitment to education derives from his mother’s dedication to helping Latino students as an ELL/ESL instructor in the Salida School District and for Colorado Mountain College.

Why is Hispanic Heritage Month meaningful to you? 

It’s a time to honor the history of Hispanic and Latino people. Some of the ways my family and I celebrate is by supporting Hispanic businesses and community events that give back to the community. These range from stocking a food pantry or children’s local charity to attending a fiesta or theater show that showcases talent in the arts and entertainment. We also celebrate major holidays and observances events like Día de Los Muertos and Epiphany, the day the three magi visit baby Jesus and come bearing gifts.

What type of work are you involved in at CU Denver that impacts the Hispanic community? 

I’m the executive assistant to Antonio Farias, our vice chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Through my work, I’m involved in several initiatives and committees to help improve our student experience, particularly for our Hispanic/Latinx and minority students. This involves infusing diversity, equity, and inclusion into the educational ecosystem, not just as a Hispanic-Serving or Minority-Serving Institution, but as a university that truly cares about making education accessible and affordable to everyone through tuition assistance programs, cultural programs, advising, tutoring, and internships.

How has studying, teaching, or working at CU Denver impacted you? 

While working at CU Denver, I’ve discovered what becoming the nation’s first equity-serving institution entails. It’s hard, dedicated work, but I have been amazed and inspired by the number of students, faculty, and staff that truly want diversity, equity, and inclusion to be permeated and filtered into our daily lives. I am very proud to be biracial and Hispanic. I want to be part of the change that retains, serves, and enhances the lives of students, faculty, and staff of color.


Meet Karina Rosado

Karina is a diversity, equity, and inclusion advocate who thrives at building relationships. The exchange of cultures and perspectives while studying, working, and living in London, New York, Illinois, and Puerto Rico (where she grew up) has shaped the leader she is today. 

Why is Hispanic Heritage Month meaningful to you? 

Growing up in a Hispanic household with strong family values, my parents taught me the importance of celebrating people and their differences, no matter where they came from. This month, I celebrate the heritage of my friends, known as my hermanos and hermanas, whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. I watch documentaries, films, and exhibits, explore authentic food, or simply dance my way into Hispanic Heritage Month. 

What type of work are you involved in at CU Denver that impacts the Hispanic community?

As a multicultural marketer, I increase the visibility of educational programs, services, and resources in diverse communities. Multicultural is the new general market, so I ensure the strategies and stories developed are just as diverse as the communities our institution serves. 

How has studying, teaching, or working at CU Denver impacted you? 

I am currently on a journey to ensure that every creative choice we make has the power to shape how we see ourselves and each other. As director of multicultural marketing and DEI communications, I aim to develop effective DEI strategic communications that will help individuals embrace new beliefs and behaviors, ultimately supporting a shift in organizational culture that fosters equity and belonging.