Jessica García De Paz ‘15

MA in Higher Education Leadership

Jessica García De Paz is a California native, having lived most of her life in Seaside, CA and now resides in San Diego, CA. Jessica attended California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) and the University of Granada in the Spanish region of Andalucía from 2008-2013. At CSUMB, she studied business administration and in Granada, Spanish language and literature. While at CSUMB, García De Paz had the opportunity to work for TRiO Student Support Services and the Educational Opportunity Program. While attending school full time, working part time on campus, her involvement as president of Kappa Delta Chi Sorority and leadership roles with CSUMB’s Associated Student Government, Jessica also maintained a full time sales position. Because of her heavy involvement and dedication for advocating for student needs within the division of student affairs at CSUMB, Jessica found her passion for serving all students in higher education and decided to pursue this career.

While at SOLES from 2013-2015, Jessica had the privilege of working alongside Mandy Womack and Katelin Rae as the Panhellenic advisor in the Student Leadership, Involvement, and Changing Making center. Through her role, she had the opportunity to oversee the sorority community and work alongside the student leadership to build a strong network and engage in meaningful dialogues around diversity and inclusion. This is what inspired her to focus her action research project on exploring diversity and inclusion within the fraternity and sorority community at USD. Jessica also had the opportunity to serve as the chair of the Latino Graduate Student Association and SOLES ambassador throughout her graduate experience. Jessica has noted that a few of her most memorable experiences in SOLES were an international immersion trip to Bali, Indonesia and the course Leadership and Mindfulness. Both have been identified as life changing events that served as a lesson of patience and the importance of community.

Currently, Jessica serves at the assistant director of collegiate program development with a nonprofit organization Transforming Youth Recovery (TYR). Through her role, she supports 120+ universities across the United States with developing collegiate recovery programs for students in long term recovery from a substance use disorder. This entails overseeing TYR’s higher education grant initiative and providing universities with collegiate recovery program development and technical assistance. Jessica has and will present at numerous conferences such as the 2015 California Unified Collegiate Recovery Conference, NASPA Strategies 2016, and NASPA 2016 on the importance of supporting students in long term recovery. She has also served as a member of the working group on Substance Misuse Prevention and Early Intervention in Schools established under the National Collaborative on Education and Health. Jessica is passionate about creating a collegiate experience that is inclusive of all identities, and leads with courage, care, authenticity and compassion. Because of this, she works to serve as an ally to all underrepresented groups in higher education.