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Nighthawk Kevin Gudiel on Being the Best He Can Be While Saving Others

Nighthawk Kevin Gudiel on Being the Best He Can Be While Saving Others

NOVA student Kevin Gudiel is excited to talk about National Respiratory Care Week and his pursuit of a great career, which he describes as a “blessing in disguise.” He is poised to graduate next May and has even discussed NOVA’s Respiratory Therapy program with elected officials.

Kevin is eager to give back to his community, both here in Virginia and in Guatemala. Eventually, he’d like to teach respiratory therapy or work on the ground in a mobile health unit. Read on to learn more about Kevin.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. 
Both of my parents are Guatemalan, and they immigrated to Northern Virginia to start a new life. I grew up and went to school in the Falls Church area.

Fresh out of high school, where I was an IB diploma candidate, I thought I’d go to Ohio for college to study political science. However, my mom got sick around the time I graduated from high school, so I decided to stay in the area to avoid putting a financial burden on my family.

I have always wanted to give back and get into teaching, perhaps as a clinical instructor at NOVA. I also want to go back to Guatemala and help with mobile hospitals in my town.

In my free time, I like to watch movies, run and play soccer. I also like to spend time with my family. I have a 15-year-old sister and am helping her get ready to apply to college.

What brought you to NOVA?  
I’d always known about NOVA, having grown up in Falls Church. What was new to me was the Medical Education Campus (MEC).

What are you studying or do you plan to study at NOVA? 
I’m part of the Respiratory Therapy program, and I’ll graduate in May 2024. I put a lot of time into studying and preparing for classes. I am very committed to this program and the good it does for patients.

Tell us about your experience at NOVA (i.e., professors you’ve liked and friends you’ve met). 
I came to NOVA undecided since my original plans for college had been derailed. Honestly, though, coming to NOVA was a blessing in disguise. I discovered new things about myself and what I like.

I took a bunch of prerequisite courses at the MEC, then I took introductory courses in radiography and respiratory therapy. I applied to both programs but ultimately decided on respiratory therapy after my intro class with Ms. Bose; I liked how she explained the field’s occupational outlook. I researched the field more on my own, and I liked the idea of my career going in this direction. So I applied to the program, got in and am excited to continue along this path.

I want to give a shoutout to NOVA’s Respiratory Therapy program: every single teacher; every single clinical instructor; every single one of my second program classmates — and every teacher who has motivated me to do more. I want to especially thank Ms. Bose, Mr. Seraj and Dr. Deopujari.

Where do you see yourself after NOVA or what career pursuits are you exploring? 
After graduation, I’ll be hitting the ground running and entering the workforce. I know I want to start working at a hospital. I strive for the best when helping patients — I want to be the best respiratory therapist I can be.

Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is the largest public institution of higher learning in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls nearly 80,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield (Medical Education Campus) and Woodbridge, through NOVA Online and high school dual enrollment. We offer more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs to help our students reach their academic and professional goals through university transfers and access to the most in-demand careers. At NOVA, we strive to ensure that every student succeeds, every program achieves and every community prospers. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, visit our website, www.nvcc.eduor call 703.323.3000.