Juan Dixon, administrative assistant, Office for Students with Disabilities and Deaf Services

Juan Dixon


Lives in Amherst;originally from Springfield


Administrative Assistant, Office for Students with Disabilities and Deaf Services

What does diversity mean to you?

Diversity to me means the most flexible way of doing something because it allows you to mold it or move it anyway anyone needs it to be. One person may need something to be blue. If you hardwire it to be blue it's not going to be flexible for the next person who may need it to be yellow.

Why is diversity important?

To me, diversity is important because it allows us to change and move forward and adapt. It allows anyone to go almost anywhere and do anything. Because if we stick with our old original mindset and don't change anything, don't change what we need as a culture or as a person, we'll get stuck the old way. We'll never do anything. A house is a house, but the house can be changed to allow a person who needs accessibility into it. So, you could say a house is a house but look what we've done to the house: we've added ramps to it, we've changed the outlets so they're lower, we've changed the sinks and everything so they're lower. It's still a house but we've made it flexible.

What inspires you?

I get inspired solving problems, especially trying to make something out of things that traditionally don't go together.

What makes you happy?

Knowing that I've done the job right and seeing the effects of the job done right on the people who needed it to be done a certain way.

What do you value about working at HCC?

I really value change. When I first started working here, I thought it wouldn't be enough change for me. I thought every semester would be the same and I'd get bored with it. I've been here almost 14 years now, and every semester is different. No matter how much planning I do, something always comes up where I'll say, why didn't I think of that? It just reminds me, you thought you were going to be ready, you fixed all the problems that you had last semester, and guess what? We have a whole new set and this is a whole new twist. For me, you know something's coming but you don't know what it is, but you've got to be ready. The other thing I value is after students graduate and they call back and say, my new school isn't at all like HCC -- they didn't help me. So, I say, ok, they didn't help you, but do you have the skills to do what you need to do there? They often will say, yea, I learned that when I was at HCC. That's what gets me excited about what I do.


Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave. Holyoke, MA 01040