The Northern Marianas College’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) recently met on August 19, 2021 and welcomed new members to its Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC).
Also discussed in the meeting were the current projects of the college and NMC-UCEDD.
The new members are Doricyn T. Wahed, Cherry Mae Cristoria Penaranda, Charito Cristoria, Monika H. Diaz, Elsie Tilipao Rebuenog, John Oliver Gonzales, Donna Flores, and Robert Mendiola.
Robert Mendiola was elected as the chairperson, while Monika H. Diaz was elected as the vice-chairperson.
Prior to Mendiola was Emeterio S. Fitial, who served for two years as CAC chair.
“It has been an honor to serve as CAC Chairman for two consecutive terms alongside Vera Tudela as my vice-chair and I want to welcome our new chair and vice-chair to lead us forward with our new UCEDD Director and her staff,” Fitial said.
Diaz, the newly elected vice-chairperson and newest member of the committee, said that she is grateful to work alongside “a dedicated team.” She succeeds Vera Tudela as vice-chairperson of CAC.
“One thing I would always say to people is that you can always overcome anything if you put your mind to it,” Diaz said. “I joined the CAC because I wanted to provide first-hand experiences and stories as a college student with a disability."
The next consumer advisory council meeting will be held on December 3, 2021.
NMC-UCEDD is part of a nationwide network of independent but interlinked centers, representing an expansive national resource for addressing issues, finding solutions, and advancing research related to the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The CNMI UCEDD is part of the Pacific Basin University Centers for Excellence (PBUCE), which is based at the University of Hawaii.