2001 Inductee - Jessie Garza-Roderick

2001 Inductee - Jessie Garza-Roderick


Jessie is being honored for what she has done, and also for what she will continue to do in the future. Jose Rodriquez, Concilio’s Executive Director, calls her a “role model and an inspiration to our community.” “I had to work twice as hard to accomplish my goals but I overcame some barriers when others would have given up. My mother’s encouragement was what helped me excel in everything that I attempted because she was my role model and she believed in me,” said Jessie.

Jessie is Associate Dean of Delta College’s Tracy Learning Center (TLC). It started with 980 students in 1999 but by 2020 it will have a projected enrollment of 18,000 and become independent. Jessie was put in charge of setting up TLC; she did everything from ordering equipment to setting up classes. She also made sure TLC’s 14,000 foot portable was moved from Stockton and set up and equipped properly in Tracy. This $2,000,000 project was completed in only six weeks.

Prior to being a college Dean, Jessie was the Director of CSU Stanislaus Stockton Center for nine years. Enrollment increased 50% to 1,000 students and staffing was increased because of her. New degree programs were also added: criminal justice, child development, nursing and the masters program were expanded to the Calaveras and Merced counties. She made it easier for Delta graduates to transfer to CSUS, which earned her the prestigious “campus to campus” award given by the estate. CSUS administrators, students and alumni have given her many awards for her “leadership and dedicated service to Teacher Education.” The County Board of Supervisors, Patrick Johnston and Mike Machado have also honored her for “creating affordable higher education opportunities for San Joaquin County residents.

Delta College cited her for “Leadership by Example” last year because of her volunteer work with various student groups and her efforts to raise scholarships funds. One function, the Cesar Chavez Scholarship dinner, raised $67,000. One of her achievements was getting Kaiser Permanente to establish a five-year $100,000 scholarship program for nursing students at Delta College. Jessie has been a Susan B. Anthony winner in the field of education. She has spent over 18 years in the community with such groups as: the Workforce Investment Board, The Boys & Girls Club, Mexican-American Chamber of Commerce, COMA and many others. She has assisted Adelante Mujer, the Mini-Corp Education Conference for Migrant Education Students, The Nuestra Raza Latino Leadership Conference, the youth conference and Latino political candidates. She has mentored Latino college students for over 20 years.

“I remember being the only Latina enrolled in an MBA program at San Diego State in 1979 but I also recall feeling I could serve as a role model for other Latinas. “These life experiences are what helped me decide that education was the field in which I could influence and help others achieve their goals. I could provide the road map for those who needed someone to open doors for them as other had helped me.” She has used her experience as a Revenue officer with the IRS to help women with small businesses file their complicated tax forms. She has also helped farm workers with their tax returns. She is especially helpful when there are problems with social security numbers because she has worked in the social security office.