At The Market held on Oct. 20 one of Las Positas College’s vice presidents was hard at work, moving boxes and bags of food, organizing the food for distribution and doing many chores. He was working so hard you could see sweat on his forehead. The vice president was William Garcia, who serves as vice president of Student Services.
But Garcia’s work for the college is nothing new. Garcia has started or contributed to many programs that support the LPC students since he started his work for the college in May 2017. But his work for the college is coming to an end: Garcia is leaving Las Positas College in December 2020 to spend more time with his family. As Garcia transitions to life beyond LPC, many are recognizing the impact he has had on the college. “The accomplishments of Vice President William Garcia and the legacy he leaves behind has and will continue to benefit all LPC Students,” Dyrell Foster, President of Las Positas College, said.
One of Garcia’s accomplishments was the start of the Academic and Student Support Services fairs in conjunction with the Student Equity and Achievement Program. The fairs have information on the support services available to students. The plan is to continue the fairs each semester once the campus opens per Gracia.
Garcia was also instrumental in The Market, the community food bank held monthly at Las Positas. Student Government President Saba Salehifar said, “Garcia is very supportive of The Market and helps out almost every month.”
Others noted that Garcia was always supportive of veterans on campus. Todd Steffan, Veterans First program coordinator, said, “Garcia is very supportive of the Veterans First program. An example is a veteran is highlighted on the back cover in each schedule given to students and mailed to local residents.”
Steffan said Garcia attends many of the events that the veterans hold, including the graduation event held for veterans in the Veteran Resource Center.
Another accomplishment helped students focus on life beyond college. Garcia was involved in reopening the Career/Transfer Center. The center had been closed for six years prior to reopening in 2018 when a full time coordinator was hired for the center. The Career Center provides career assessment opportunities and allows for students to learn of internship and employment opportunities on and off campus. The Transfer Center provides students with transfer exploration and the opportunity to meet with admission representatives from four year colleges and universities.
Garcia came to LPC with a background in student services. He started his career at Santa Clara University in admissions and outreach and stayed there for five years. He then transitioned to community colleges and was the Director of Student Services and Associate Dean of Student Services for over eight years at College of the Sequoias. He then was Dean of Student Support Services at El Camino College over four years until May 2017 when he was hired at LPC as Vice President of Student Services.
Many credit Garcia’s efforts as contributing to LPC student success. Foster said, “To me, what LPC will miss most about VP Garcia is his leadership, integrity and collaborative spirit. He has demonstrated a true commitment to student access, student equity and student success, not only here at LPC, but throughout his career as a transformative and inspirational educational leader.”
Salehifar complimented Garcia on his accessibility to students. She said, “Vice President Garcia is supportive of student government and responds quickly to any of my e-mails”.
Josue Gonzales, Adviser to Student Life, expressed appreciation for Garcia’s focus on student growth. Gonzales said, “He understands the value of leadership and development. He has supported the student clubs and the ICC Council. He always wants to do the right things for students and supports all students.”
Garcia has the respect of many people as evidenced by the people who commended him. The college is working on a transition plan to replace Garcia per Foster.
Student Government is planning a “drive by” parade to honor Vice President Garcia on Tuesday, Nov 17 between 1 and 1:30PM.
Alan Lewis is the photo editor of The Express. Follow him @alolewis1.