Apr 22, 2016 | Georgia Tech - Atlanta, GA
Every spring, Georgia Tech recognizes staff members who embody professional excellence. The Staff Awards highlight the accomplishments of employees who strive toward exemplary work ethic and those who improve and advance workplace culture. Alba Gutierrez has been named the 2016 winner of The Service to the Community Award.
Under the umbrella of GoSTEM, Mrs. Gutierrez manages the mentorship program Pathways to College. Close to 100 Latino students at Meadowcreek High School and 100 at Lilburn and Radloff Middle Schools in Gwinett County participate in the program. Pathways to College aims to prepare students for collegiate careers upon graduation and allow them to serve as ambassadors to their schools and communities.
I had a chance to sit down with Mrs. Gutierrez and learn more about her involvement in GoSTEM. From conversing with her, it is easy to tell she is passionate about the program. She doesn’t let the managerial aspects of her job keep her from communicating regularly with her students, nor does she let her busy schedule overwhelm her.
Mrs. Gutierrez spends most of her workweek at the high and middle schools. When asked what is her favorite part of her job, she says it’s interacting with the kids. “I enjoy working with the kids and seeing them light up when they get accepted to college or get awards or scholarships,” she explains.
The Pathways to College program runs yearlong, even operating in the summer. As the semester is wrapping up, Mrs. Gutierrez continues to keep herself busy--she is currently organizing Fun Summer of Service: a compilation of volunteering opportunities for the students to participate in.
Mrs. Gutierrez continues to strengthen Pathways to College, going beyond the requirements to make sure her students have the necessary tools and skillsets in preparation for an advanced education. This year, an ACT prep class has been incorporated into the curriculum for her high school students. She has shown constant presence and leadership, which certainly contribute to the mission of CEISMC and the GoSTEM program.
Prior to joining CEISMC two years ago, Mrs. Gutierrez worked for Cobb County School District for seven years where she worked with underrepresented student populations. She has served as an English Language Learner (ELL) tutor, an interpreter, and a parent facilitator. Her careers have strived to facilitate the ease of education for minority students and promote diversity as a strength of the community.
Outside of work, Mrs. Gutierrez loves spending time with her husband and her adorable dog. A native of Colombia, she can converse in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French. She enjoys spending time with her family and going hiking.