A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A new era: the investiture of Dr. Angélica Garcia

Bryan Fructuoso
Dr. Garcia receives a blessing ceremony from Danza Xántotl at her investiture ceremony on Friday, Oct. 20, 2023 in Santa Rosa Junior College.

After a meticulous and lengthy search for its next president, Santa Rosa Junior College marked the beginning of a new era at the momentous investiture ceremony of Dr. Angélica Garcia on Oct. 20 at Burbank Auditorium.

Cheers and applause echoed throughout the auditorium as Garcia took the podium after Dorothy Battenfeld, president of the Board of Trustees, installed Garcia as the sixth superintendent-president in SRJC’s 105-year history.

“I am grateful for your belief in me to serve as the superintendent-president,” Garcia said. “This is not a small responsibility. I don’t take it lightly. I approach it humbly and I want to learn, but make no mistake, I am not afraid to take up the space so that we can support students.”

Garcia, a first-generation college student and daughter of farmworkers, is the college’s first woman president, Chicana president and openly LGBTQIA+ president.

“Dr. Garcia brings many firsts to SRJC. Her experiences inform her equity-driven leadership, approach and her sincere and enthusiastic support for students. We are excited and honored to formally welcome Dr. Garcia as the new superintendent president of Santa Rosa Junior College,” Battenfeld said before officially installing Dr. Garcia.

Garcia’s own life experiences closely mirror the challenges faced by students, and she intends to support them throughout their SRJC journey.

“Dr. Garcia’s empathic abilities, combined with her vision for SRJC as a student-centered college that is responsive to the needs of our community, are exactly what we need right now,” said Nancy Persons, Academic Senate president. “A person who is very aware of her own lived experiences and how they can effectively inform her work.”

Students attended the ceremony alongside members of the SRJC community, such as former president Dr. Frank Chong. Ruby Gonzalez, a psychology major and women’s swim team member, said she was excited to witness Garcia’s installation and believes more women should be in positions of leadership.

“After seeing this whole ceremony I was definitely in awe. It’s a big deal and historical,” Gonzalez said. “I feel like I can relate to her.”

Garcia’s family was also present. She thanked them and praised her mother’s efforts that paved the way for her achievements. Her mom, Angelina Garcia Cabrerra, held a smile throughout the ceremony as she watched her daughter on stage.

“I am proud; she is the first in the family to be where she is through her efforts,” said Garcia Cabrerra. “She’s a person who sets goals and achieves them. She is someone who can give students the motivation to continue moving forward.”

Danza Xántotl, a local indigenous dance group, commenced the investiture with a blessing ceremony and Dr. Brenda Flyswithhawks, professor of psychology, closed out the ceremony with a protection blessing to “seal everything that happened” and to call on all the spirits to guide Garcia.

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About the Contributor
Bryan Fructuoso
Bryan Fructuoso, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Bryan Fructuoso-Zurita (He/Him/Él) is in his third semester at The Oak Leaf. He enjoys meeting new people and listening to their stories because everyone has one to tell. His passion lies in covering individuals and amplifying their stories, particularly on underrepresented groups on campus and Latinx stories. To pursue his passion further, he is working towards obtaining an associate of science degree in both digital journalism and digital filmmaking. Bryan's ultimate dream is to create your favorite television series or film one day.

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