University of Vermont

Dr. Jesse Suter Appointed Executive Director of CDCI

It is with great pleasure we share that Jesse C. Suter, Ph.D., was appointed Executive Director of the Center on Disability and Community Inclusion (CDCI), Vermont’s University Center on Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) at the University of Vermont (UVM). Dr. Scott Thomas, Dean of the College of Education and Social Services appointed Dr. Suter Interim Executive Director in June 2017 and Executive Director in April 2018.

Among the accomplishments led by Dr. Suter in this timeframe are preparing and submitting CDCI’s core grant application, detailing the needs of Vermont and CDCI’s work plan for the next five years, hiring two new faculty positions to support education and research, the refurbishment of a restroom so that it is gender-inclusive and powerchair accessible, and actualize a university-wide standing committee on ADA Accessibility. Dr. Suter continued to make progress on CDCI’s commitment to diversity and cultural and linguistic competency through participating in Vermont’s Community of Practice on Cultural and Linguistic Competency in Developmental Disabilities, helping align CDCI’s work plan with the University of Vermont’s mission for Inclusive Excellence, and participating on university committees on diversity and inclusion. 

Dr. Suter joined CDCI as a faculty member in 2005 and holds the rank of Research Associate Professor in the Department of Education. His background is in clinical psychology, and his work has centered on interdisciplinary and community-based interventions promoting self-determination, family engagement, inclusion, and strengths-based solutions. His scholarship includes development, evaluation, and implementation of interventions for children and youth with emotional and behavioral challenges, and he has published widely on wraparound and special education service delivery.

Having secured over $4,000,000 in external funding and successfully supported the submissions of many other grants by way of writing and evaluation, Dr. Suter’s experience in an invaluable asset to CDCI. Dr. Suter has led multiple federal and state research and implementation projects in mental health, special education, and child welfare. Most recently, Dr. Suter is Principal Investigator of an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) grant, Efficacy of RENEW for High School Students with Emotional and Behavioral Challenges. His Co-Principal Investigator is Dr. JoAnne Malloy, developer of RENEW and faculty member at the University of New Hampshire UCEDD, Institute on Disability.

Dr. Suter is also a graduate of the UCEDD Leadership Development Institute offered by AUCD and the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities. Within AUCD he serves on the Council on Research and Evaluation, helping an effort to share resources with UCEDDs so more people with disabilities can lead research studies.

Dr. Suter shared that he is “thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to serve the amazing staff, faculty, and partners of CDCI. The most rewarding, and humbling, aspects of this year have been meeting with our community partners who tell me how indispensable our projects and personnel are for supporting people with disabilities, their families, and their providers.”

He continued, “I am truly honored that I have been given the chance to continue trying to support you, and with that I feel a huge sense of responsibility to: 

  • Continually strive for our vision where all people, including people who experience developmental and other disabilities, are fully included in their home, schools, and communities. 
  • Embed inclusive excellence in our everyday work to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Find more active ways to involve self-advocates and family members in our work.
  • Build our capacity, and foster new leadership, to better meet the needs of Vermont.
  • Better integrate our work with that of our colleagues and the CESS Strategic Plan
  • And draw new connections between our projects, CESS, UVM, and state partners to support our mission.”

With Dr. Suter’s leadership and support, we look forward to advancing CDCI’s mission of providing collaborative education, support, research, and information sharing that ensures Vermonters with disabilities and their families can live their lives as they choose.