Nichole Guard Receives 2020 University of Arizona Award for Excellence

August 5th, 2020

Nichole Guard, Senior Program Coordinator in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, has been honored as one of nine recipients for this year’s University of Arizona Individual Awards for Excellence.


Guard, who joined the University in 2008, oversees the department’s administrative functions, and “embodies the virtue of excellence and is most eager to assume responsibilities beyond her job description in order to make our department, college and University the gold standard in university administration,” wrote one nominator. Another said it would be “impossible to envision how our department would operate without her.”


The University Awards for Excellence are designed to recognize individual Classified Staff and Appointed Professionals for outstanding achievements in activities beyond normal duties. The awards are sponsored by the Classified Staff Council, the Appointed Professionals Advisory Council and the President’s Cabinet.


Several colleagues wrote letters nominating Guard, saying the following:

  • “We run the largest Spanish basic language program in the United States, serving more than 4,000 students in classes at the beginning and intermediate levels. Nichole’s diligence, organizational skills, calm demeanor and courteous manner help assure this program is administered efficiently and the needs of students are met. Nichole works within our department and with other units to assure that the program connects seamlessly to other parts of the undergraduate curricula in the Department.”
  • “Nichole embodies the virtue of excellence and is most eager to assume responsibilities beyond her job description in order to make our department, college, and university the gold standard in university administration. Nichole’s work ethic and depth of knowledge allows her creative and analytical mind to support and contribute improvements to our daily method of operation.”
  • “Nichole is the point person for students who seek information regarding potential scholarships and awards they may apply for, and she is also the one they know they can turn to for other needs. If there are students who need to get counseling, Nichole is there to provide them with the information and in some cases find the resources, financially, to make it happen. If food scarcity is an issue, Nichole is ready to provide them information about the UA food pantry. If the students are feeling a lack of a sense of belonging she directs them to our cultural centers on campus. Her focus is always on finding creative ways to help.”

Guard’s award follows two College of Humanities Awards for Excellence in 2019: Toni Alexander, Assistant Dean for Business and Finance, and Tyler Meier, Executive Director of the UA Poetry Center.