Eduardo Ortiz Receives USU Diversity Award

June 22, 2008


Eduardo Ortiz (r) received one of the five Utah State University Diversity Awards given in 2008. It cited his work with ethnic populations in Cache County, including his research with the Early Intervention Research Institute.

In an interview, Ortiz said he has felt the need for cultural sensitivity in his own personal experience, his community involvement and his work as a graduate research assistant with EIRI, where several projects have put him in the homes of local people who speak Spanish.

Ortiz holds a law degree from the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador and received an MBA from Utah State. He is currently working on a Ph.D in sociology.

In his work as a research assistant at EIRI, Ortiz has come into contact with many different cultures. Twenty different countries are represented among people who speak Spanish. "Working with those families I realized the importance of cultural sensitivity," Ortiz said. "Even talking in the same language, there are important differences.

"...From the families I learned that a cultural gap [exists] between them as a family and some institutions, like schools," he said. "We need to learn from them to close that gap."

Ortiz believes that research is a good start toward bridging that gap.

His award will be presented in a formal ceremony this fall.