Faces of CNM: Gerarda Garcia

Over the past 12 years, Gerarda has come to be known as one of the friendliest people on campus
July 12, 2021

Those of us who work in the Ted Martinez building on Main Campus look forward to when Gerarda Garcia passes through each afternoon during her daily custodial routine. Gerarda, 62, is always smiling and has words of encouragement for anyone she meets. This attitude has helped her develop a reputation as one of the friendliest people on campus, and she’s come to be known as a well-respected employee and co-worker. 

“I love being around people, so this has been the perfect job for me,” she says. 

Gerarda started at CNM 12 years ago at the urging of a friend. At the time, Gerarda was cleaning houses and didn’t want to leave her clients. But those clients, after learning she was up for a job at CNM, encouraged her to switch so that she could build a career at CNM and be eligible for benefits. A single mom of five kids, Gerarda made the switch and hasn’t looked back since. 

She started by working the night shift but has been working days for the past nine years. She’s in charge of the LSA, TM, and W buildings and is on campus five days a week. Growing up she worked in a tortilla factory in Juarez, Mexico that her father-in-law owned, and says that’s where she learned to work on a team and how to be efficient. Today she still prizes efficiency and quality and leaves each building absolutely spotless.

During the COVID-19 pandemic Gerarda was not on campus from March to May of 2020, but has been here every weekday since. When most people were gone she was part of a team that cleaned everything from the SRC to LSA. It was nice to be on a team, but she missed seeing students.

“I missed everyone being here on campus, so it’s been nice to see the students come back,” she says. “Things feel more alive.”