Alumnus Makes Impact as Dean of Students at University of Cincinnati

Juan Guardia HeadshotJuan Guardia (’97, B.A. Communications) is the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students for the University of Cincinnati. Guardia serves students and their families as they navigate the college experience through support services and resources committed to students’ advocacy, safety, and well-being. He oversees several areas that focus on issues impacting students’ lives, including the African American Cultural & Resource Center, Bearcat Bands, Ethnic Programs and Services, LGBTQ Center, Parent and Family Programs, Resident Education and Development, and Student Conduct and Community Standards. Each program is designed to enhance students’ holistic development academically, socially, and personally.

Growing up, Guardia had envisioned himself as a television news anchor which is what originally led him to the Media Communications major. While he enjoyed his classes, coursework, and being involved on campus , an unexpected opportunity for Guardia to teach presented itself and he simply couldn’t turn it down. This opened up the doors to pursue a career in college student affairs.

Juan Guardia MuralGuardia uses the wisdom he gains from mentors and memoirs to inspire greatness in himself that he can then pass along to his students. But when he really needs advice, there is only one person he turns to. “My mother’s resiliency has taught me that I can achieve whatever I put my mind to.” says Guardia. That advice has helped guide Guardia through his professional and personal journey which, in turn, allows him to inspire his students to pursue their passions. “Explore various courses, discover your skills and talents, and follow your passion.” Guardia advises to students who are struggling with finding their career path. “Your major and later career should be an area in which you consistently enjoy studying and doing.”

Guardia plans to continue to lead students at the University of Cincinnati as their Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students and has some last words of encouragement for college students everywhere. “Don’t look back, follow the road ahead. It’s okay to make some mistakes, they’ll open doors for you that you can’t even imagine.”