NOVA Alumna to Deliver Commencement Address

The Honorable Elizabeth R. Guzman, elected to represent Virginia’s 31st House of Delegates, will deliver the commencement address to NOVA’s Spring 2018 graduates. A NOVA alumna, Guzman is one of the first two Hispanic female immigrants to serve in the Virginia Assembly. NOVA’s 52nd Commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 12 at 2 p.m. at Jiffy Lube Live, 7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow, Va. Guzman’s inspirational story correlates with NOVA celebratory theme “Believe, Aspire and Achieve”, as one of the most effective institutions in the nation at transitioning students from the lowest socio-economic levels to the highest, within 10 years of graduating.

Guzman grew up in the port town of Callao, Peru. In high school, she discovered an interest in politics and became president of her class. Guzman was a scholar student, but her family didn’t have enough money to send her to college. At 18, she had a daughter and became a single mom. In 1998, she decided to relocate to northern Virginia, where she worked three retail jobs to support her family.

Eventually, Guzman landed a job as a receptionist and continued her education. She enrolled at NOVA and obtained an associate degree in Office Administration and Management. Next, she pursued a bachelor’s degree in Public Safety online from Capella University, a master’s degree in Public Administration from American University and a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California. Guzman currently works for the City of Alexandria as the Division Chief for the City of Alexandria’s Center for Adult Services.

After becoming a US citizen in 2005, Guzman took an interest in exploring candidate positions and found success in her first campaign for office.

Other Members of the NOVA Family Serving in State Elected Office Include:

In addition to The Honorable Elizabeth Guzman (D-31st) is NOVA alum The Honorable Hala Ayala (D-51st). Delegate Ayala is also a proud Latina. The Honorable Jennifer Carroll Foy (D-2nd) representing part of Prince William and Stafford Counties is a highly regarded adjunct with our paralegal program. This is the first time a NOVA graduate has served in the General Assembly since Robert (Bob) Hull who is currently the Community Outreach Specialist for NOVA’s Annadale Campus. When Bob was elected in January 1993, he was also the first member of the General Assembly to have graduated from a Virginia Community College. Bob went on to represent the 38th House District (Falls Church and part of Fairfax) for 17 years; until 2010.

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