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Carlos Garcia, CASP, named 2020 winner of Newton Award

(December 9, 2020 | Charlottesville, VA) — NACAS is proud to announce the 2020 winner of the Robert F. Newton Award for Distinguished Service; Carlos Garcia, CASP, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. The award was presented to Carlos at the C3X 2020 Virtual Annual Conference & Expo.

“Carlos is one of the most compassionate individuals I have had the pleasure of knowing,” said NACAS CEO Kelsey Harmon Finn. “His dedication to the campus’ he has served, NACAS, the auxiliary services industry, staff, students and his family is admirable. He is truly one of a kind and deserving of the Robert F. Newton Award for Distinguished Service.”

The Robert F. Newton Award for Distinguished Service is the most prestigious award recognizing an individual who has displayed extraordinary and outstanding service to NACAS and to the profession.

“This is quite an honor, an honor I am not sure that I deserve. Being recognized by my colleagues in this way is extremely humbling for me,” Garcia said. “I was very surprised when I heard this and was literally speechless. I just want to thank everyone I’ve worked with at NACAS, both volunteers and staff, and say that it has been a real pleasure working with all of them.”

Throughout his career spanning 39 years in auxiliary services and student affairs, Garcia has worked in student unions, student programs, food services, housing, worked with student governments, Greek Life, and has overseen multiple auxiliary operations. His professional career started in 1981 at the University of North Texas, then he spent 15 years at the University of Texas at El Paso, then 18 and a half years at the University of Colorado – Boulder. Today, he works at the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs (UCCS) where he serves as Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, overseeing 11 traditional student affairs departments, as well as 18 auxiliary operations.

“I like the variety of things I get to work on and the variety of people I get to work with. There is never a boring day working in auxiliary services,” Garcia said. “I like helping students succeed, and the services and opportunities that auxiliaries provide to students help them grow personally and professionally. I also like working in self-supporting units. In auxiliaries, you work in a business atmosphere within a non-for-profit environment. I am not sure there is another industry like this.”

Garcia attended his first NACAS seminar in 1989 and first NACAS annual conference in 1992, however, it wasn’t until 2008 when he really got involved with the association. Since joining NACAS, Garcia has worked on several committees, served in multiple positions on regional and national boards, and was one of the original subject-matter experts developing the CASP exam in 2010. He became Treasurer of the NACAS Board of Directors in 2013 and just finished his term as Past-President in 2020.

“I have truly enjoyed my NACAS experiences and wish to continue contributing to the profession and learning from others,” Garcia said. “Though I have been in this profession for almost four decades, I know that I don’t know everything. As soon as I stop learning, that is when it will be time for me to leave.”

The most important thing Garcia has learned in his auxiliary services career, spanning almost four decades, is “Be patient.”

“In this industry, you have to be patient with projects, with staff, and with students. If you try to rush a project, you may miss important details. If you are not understanding with your staff, you will miss out on helping them develop professionally. If you are not patient with students, you will miss out on being part of their personal and professional growth. It is better to be remembered for being forgiving, than for being intolerant.”

NACAS 2020 Award Winners

David H. Lord Scholarship for Exemplary Community Service
Esmeralda C. Valdez, University of Houston

Edwin R. Golden Award for Inclusive Excellence
Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania Visitor Education and Guided Tours Program

Innovative Achievement in Auxiliary Services
UC Irvine Student Center & Event Services

Outstanding Business Partner of the Year Award
Chick-fil-A

Central Region Mentor Award
Richard R. Thomas, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Central Region Rising Star Scholarship, Sponsored by The Spelman & Johnson Group
Jennifer Paiotti, Transact (Previously with Xavier University)

Central Region – Volunteer of the Year
Jason Maslanka, University of Illinois at Chicago

East Region Mentor Award
Christopher Bradie, University of Pennsylvania

East Region Rising Star Scholarship, Sponsored by The Spelman & Johnson Group
Jonathan A. Kukta, Penn State – Berks

East Region – Volunteer of the Year
Diane L. Reynolds, MBA, CASP, Virginia Commonwealth University
South Region Mentor Award
Esmeralda C. Valdez, University of Houston

South Region Rising Star Scholarship, Sponsored by The Spelman & Johnson Group
Rosario ‘Rosie’ Ashley, University of Houston

South Region – Volunteer of the Year
Stephanie Edgett, University of Texas at Arlington

West Region Mentor Award
Jeff Rensel, Arizona State University

West Region Rising Star Scholarship, Sponsored by The Spelman & Johnson Group
Casey Kelly, Sonoma State University

West Region – Volunteer of the Year
W. Colin Moore, University of British Columbia

Silver Torch
Ronald L. Martel, Johnson & Wales University – Providence

Volunteer of the Year
Deborah T. Huebler, CASP, University of Houston

Dr. Wright L. Lassiter, Jr. Legacy Award
Emily A. Messa, PhD, CASP, University of Houston

Robert F. Newton Award for Distinguished Service
Carlos Garcia, CASP, University of Colorado – Colorado Springs