It’s not uncommon for ISU alumni to go far in their respective fields when they graduate, but some cases stand out more than others.

Juan Guardia, assistant vice president for Student Affairs at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago and ISU alumnus, will receive the National Mid-level Student Affairs Professional Award in March.

Guardia found out about the honor in late December, but it was not made public until January. The award is given out by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

“It’s a very well-recognized, nationally-known professional organization in student affairs,” said Nancy Evans, ISU professor and Guardia’s former adviser.

The award will be given to Guardia at the 2013 National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Annual Conference Awards ceremony in Orlando.

After he earned his doctorate at Iowa State in 2006, Guardia moved to Florida, where he was the director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Florida State University for six years. In August he took a new position back in the Midwest as Northeastern Illinois University’s assistant vice president for Student Affairs.

This is the second National Association of Student Personnel Administrators award that Guardia will have won. In 2012, he was awarded the Region III James E. Scott Outstanding Mid-Level Student Affairs Professional Award, but that is not the extent of his history with National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

“I’ve been involved with [National Association of Student Personnel Administrators] for over 10 years,” Guardia said. His involvement, which he said provides him with an opportunity to give back to those in his field, includes being a previous co-chairperson of National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Latino/Latina Knowledge community.

“It’s been a really great professional opportunity for me and I’m very thankful for that,” Guardia said.

His commitment to his work has not gone unnoticed by others over the years. “He didn’t ever cut any corners,” Evans said.

She went on to add that he completed his doctorate in three years. “He would do 20 things at once and get them all done well,” Evans said.

Evans wrote a letter of support after Guardia received his nomination.

“I know that he was very humbled to receive [that award],” Evans stated. “I’m so proud of him. … I certainly think he’s worthy of the award.”

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