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Tina Alvarado receives UIC’s Award of Merit

ECE’s Director of Student Affairs Agustina Alvarado is a recipient of UIC’s 2022 Award of Merit, which honors outstanding staff members across the university. The award honors staff who “exhibit excellence in service, commitment, and dedication” to the university.

This is Alvarado’s second win; she received the Merit Award from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost in 2013.

“This caught me by surprise, I wasn’t expecting it,” Alvarado said. “I’ve been trying to focus on the day-to-day, and I am very honored.”

While the award may have surprised Alvarado, it did not surprise her coworkers. Always a conscientious and dedicated worker, Alvarado has been single-handedly running the student affairs office for a year after longtime employee Evelyn Reyes retired.

Alvarado was nominated for the award by Daniela Tuninetti, professor and ECE department head.

“Tina really deserves to be recognized for her long-term, consistent, and outstanding professional service to the university. I am very happy that the university recognizes – again! – the excellence of her work,” Tuninetti said. “I am truly impressed with Tina’s work in all student-related matters. She is very perceptive, patient, and always helpful to students and faculty. She goes routinely above and beyond the call of duty, as we all saw during the past challenging couple of years. She is a pillar for the department.”

Alvarado, a UIC alumna, has been with the university for 23 years–the entire time in the College of Engineering, and specifically ECE. She started as a student worker, while she was earning her undergraduate degree in Spanish.

She noted the growth in the college, and the changes over the course of her career: when she began in student affairs, all of the applications and records were kept on paper.

While she enjoys working with her colleagues in the department, her favorite part of the job is the students.

“I get to meet different people, and be part of their journey, from admissions to completing their degree,” Alvarado said. “Since I work mostly with the graduate students, I get to know them even more, because they’re here a bit longer. It’s special.”

Alvarado said it’s interesting to see things as a UIC student, then as a staff member. She also appreciates the diversity at UIC, in the faculty, staff, and students. She was quick to indicate that serving the department’s students is a group effort.