Campus Closeup: Jose Garcia
Jose Garcia (Admissions) can start a conversation with anyone. “We might not have anything in common, but I don’t find it uncomfortable to just start talking to a stranger,” he said.
This is a gift that comes in handy when he’s working on behalf of the university. Garcia is in charge of recruiting prospective NMU students from the Western and Central Upper Peninsula.
“I enjoy driving around to the different high schools and meeting with different students and counselors. It’s never the same,” he said.
Recruiting students isn’t the only part of his job. He also meets with prospective students and families who come to campus for a visit and helps them understand the admission process.
When he was an undergraduate student at Western Michigan University, Garcia worked as a resident adviser, then as an assistant hall director and aide for the Residence Life office. He also volunteered to lead tours at the college. Garcia ventured to NMU when he was offered a resident director position in Gant Hall.
“My three years in Gant were great. That hall sometimes gets a bad reputation, but overall, the students were very respectful. Yes, they knew how to have fun, but overall, they were a great bunch of students,” he said.
Garcia later made the shift to Spooner Hall. The combined experiences led him to pursue his current position. “I loved working in the college atmosphere,” he said. “I love the energy that students have.”
A native of Holland, Mich., Garcia moved to Marquette about 10 years ago. In his spare time, Garcia enjoys doing, “anything outdoors, especially in non-winter months.” His hobbies include camping, hiking, biking and kayaking. Although he prefers the warmer months, he still gets outside in the winter to snowshoe and sled.
In addition to his outdoor interests, he has one other hobby that may be slightly unique. “I love watching the classic ‘Leave it to Beaver’ TV show,” he said. “Not because I’m that old; just because I like it. Anybody who knows me probably already knows that.” What is it about this classic TV show that is so appealing to Garcia? “I think part of it is just the childhood memories I have of the show. I would watch it after school sometimes when I was bored,” he said. Despite his good memories, even he can’t deny one thing: “It’s just so cheesy!”
As the semester neared its end, Garcia was not only keeping busy with his work; he was also occupied with writing his paper for his MAE degree in school guidance counseling. He hopes to finish that by the end of May. “Receiving my master’s degree will probably be my biggest success story,” he said.