Campus personalities: Garcia, Woodward and Leslie

Matt Quijas

Editor’s Note: Each day students, faculty and staff walk past each other on campus knowing little or nothing about each other.  To help make Grossmont College an even more friendly neighborhood, The Summit plans to run from time to time short features providing insights into faculty, staff and students.  

GROSSMONT COLLEGE — Noting that March is the month for appreciating women and their historic accomplishments, I recently interviewed student Dulce Garcia, staff member Wendy Woodward, and faculty member Mary Leslie.

Fulltime student Dulce Garcia is a 19-year-old San Diego native, who, as a child resided in Tijuana for a couple years.  She has been attending Grossmont since fall semester and has been working to get certified in child development.

Additionally, she interns at a daycare center where she works as a teaching assistant for kids ranging from kindergarten to ninth grade.  In her spare time,  Garcia sings and occasionally  plays guitar with an Alternative Band.

Ultimately Garcia would like to study at UC Berkley.  The few occasions she gets to relax, she says she enjoys watching cartoons, her favorite show being Face Off.

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Staff member Wendy Woodward  is a San Diego native and has worked at  Grossmont for 25 years now. Her job involves determining whether students attending the college have qualified for California residency and for lower fees than those paid by out-of-state students.  She is knowledgeable about international students and immigrant visas.
““Sometimes a student may think I am mean,” she said,  “but I am only doing my job as it applies to the rules.”

Woodward  confides  that she attained her job while doing a work study program for the college in 1986. An entry-level position opened up, and she has been here ever since.

Wendy’s leisure-time passions include reading, spending time with friends and family, gardening, her pets, and politics.

Some of her favorite sayings include two attributed to Mahatma Gandhi:  “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind” and “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
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Faculty member  Mary Leslie has been a part of the Grossmont community for 26 years now.  Originally from White Plains,N.Y,  she moved to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California (USC) in

“I have always enjoyed teaching,” Leslie said.  “I started my career as a physical education teacher and a (not very successful) basketball coach.  I changed direction slightly to teach courses in Business/Business Office Technology.  Working with students and seeing the positive changes they make in their lives is very gratifying.”

Leslie is involved with a program called Office Professional Training (OPT) which teaches skills that students will need to obtain employment in the business field.  She said that the subsidized program is a great opportunity for individuals to learn or perfect business skills.

“A big part of my job is raising the funds needed to keep the OPT program going,” Leslie said. “The College pays the instructors, but we raise money to pay students’ tuition and fees and loan them textbooks for the semester.  We also raise money to pay our counselor, job placement specialist, and administrative assistant.  We have been fortunate to have received donations from many foundations, organizations, and individuals, but keeping the program going is an ongoing challenge.

“I am inspired by our graduates’ achievements in the OPT program and afterwards,” she added.  “It is amazing what people can accomplish, given the opportunity.  To date, we have graduated more than 2,200 students in the 26 years of the OPT program.  Most have gone on to obtain office professional positions leading to career ladders and economic self-sufficiency.”

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Quijas is a student in Media Comm 132A