Much changed in the 45 years that Linda Garcia-Young has worked at San Jose State, but one thing remained the same: The value she places in listening to and helping everyone she meets as an administrative analyst in the College of Social Sciences.
Garcia-Young received a standing ovation as the San Jose State staff member with the longest tenure of the 98 individuals honored at the 2014 Spartan Service Celebration held Oct. 30 in the Student Union ballroom. Review a list of all honorees.
“Linda is an impeccable professional, but even more important than that, she’s a great human being,” said retired Dean Sheila Bienenfeld. “She is the person who troubled faculty go to talk to when they’ve got problems, troubled staff, students, anybody that comes to her with any kind of problem finds a warm, caring and generous soul to listen to them and to do her best to help.”
She knows everyone on campus. She knows who to call and she does it. She shows up every day when times are rough and when times are good. I am very honored to call her my friend.”
The celebration included a video during which individual honorees shared favorite memories. Although the questions prompting these memories varied, one theme emerged: SJSU is a place where staff members make lifelong friends while working together for students.
Helping Students, Shaping Lives
Honorees included Spartan Dining Systems Manager Brian Mitchler, ’87 Nutrition, who recently completed 25 years of service. When asked, in the video, to name his favorite spot on campus, he replied with a very sweet story about his days as a student living in Moulder Hall, which has since been replaced by Campus Village.
“The reason is that’s where I met my future wife,” Mitchler said. “I remember the day she moved into [her residence] hall. I had already been there for a year so I was kind of established as a hall veteran and I remember meeting her little three-year-old brother at the time, and her step-mother, and helping move things into her dorm.”
“I remember also the first time she came and asked me for help with an English paper, which just so happened to be about her favorite wedding spots…it was at that point that I got an inkling that we might actually have a developing relationship.
I remember the first couple of times we took a walk across campus. We found reasons to walk together and I especially remember the first time we got to hold hands walking across campus, how special that was.”
Vice President for Administration and Finance Shawn Bibb, Athletic Director Gene Bleymaier, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Renee Barnett Terry, and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Andy Feinstein took turns reading the names of all honorees.
“Staff members play an essential role in our community, providing the infrastructure our students need to learn and pursue knowledge,” President Mohammad Qayoumi said. “I look forward to this event each year, as it is an opportunity to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of our staff.”