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FEATURE STORY
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Mildred García, continued ...Published: September 01, 2012

The CSUF campus is rooted in quality.
García (“Millie” to her closest friends) is single – “The right one just hasn’t come along yet” – but is deeply involved with many nieces and nephews, all pursuing college. She’s busy exploring Orange County and is having a grand time.
   
“I love everything about this place,” she says.
   
That includes finally finding a good hairdresser for her naturally curly locks. Mostly she loves the campus, which she overlooks from her 10th-floor office balcony.
   
However, she doesn’t let the giddy fun of a new job distract her from the tough task ahead. And she didn’t come to her new position alone.
   
García brought with her two of her closest associates, assistant Cheri Mirbach and chief of staff Ann Camp. Mirbach had been at Dominguez Hills for some 30 years and assumed she would retire there.
   
“But when President García asked me to go with her, I felt so honored I just couldn’t say no,” Mirbach says. “The three of us have made a pretty good team.”
   
For Camp, it’s a lot longer haul to Fullerton from her home in Torrance than Dominguez Hills, in Carson.
   
“But President García is so dynamic, it was an easy choice,” Camp says. “I have a lower tolerance for not being happy; working with her has been the greatest joy of my career.”
   
Greg Arbues, who founded the Client Advocate Network in Santa Ana and sits on the executive council of Cal State Fullerton’s business school, praised García for bringing her own staff with her.
   
“Sometimes a complacency sets in. People argue that, ‘This is how we’ve always done things,’” Arbues says. “It’s good to shake things up. Bringing her own people means a new perspective. A new energy is coming in.”
   
Aside from her administrative duties, Hispanic education remains a critical passion for García. She is proud of her bilingual roots and recognizes that she is a role model for Latina women. García juggles reading two books at once, one always in English, the other in Spanish.
   
Others changes happening in her life are focusing on the president’s residence. A major renovation project has been approved, since the place hasn’t had a face-lift since the 1950s.
   
You can be sure of this: García has seen to it that the bathrooms will all be working well for her next home reception.


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