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Ramona Garcia

Position: Janitor
Years of Service: 32
Resides: Port Jefferson Station, NY

Yes, you read that right. Thirty-two years of service with Stony Brook University. Ramona Garcia has been with Stony Brook for more than three decades. She has seen a lot and done a whole lot more. As a member of the custodial team, Ramona has been responsible for the upkeep of campus facilities by cleaning restrooms, emptying waste receptacles, sweeping and mopping floors, waxing floors, cleaning carpets, carrying out minor maintenance and repairs (changing light bulbs), and dusting and cleaning furniture.

When Ramona came to this country from the Dominican Republic, she started working at Stony Brook and has not looked back. Although she encounters challenges in her job, she is always looking for ways to improve and for ways to motivate her colleagues. In particular, Ramona really enjoys training new people and seeing them improve their skills. While Ramona is certainly a team player, the daily tasks of a custodial employee are solo ones, so it is very important that staff are self-motivated. Ramona certainly has the drive that is needed to complete her rounds without direct oversight and she approaches her work with a positive and outgoing manner. She credits her positive outlook to her father's advice: "My father told me to always respect people when you talk to them. I have always shown respect for people".

When we say that Ramona has seen a lot, we mean all over campus. She began on the custodial staff in the SBS building, and has since moved to the Library, South campus buildings, and Humanities. By taking extreme pride in her job, Ramona has been doing that "whole lot more" for more than thirty years. She really enjoys when potential students take tours with their parents and notice how clean the campus is. As a friendly and outgoing person, Ramona always makes sure to speak to faculty and ensure classrooms are tidy and ready for the students. She values education, and has put all five of her children through college. Stony Brook was at first just a job for Ramona, but she has found much more here. She has developed great friendships with faculty and staff. Most importantly, she appreciates that this job has allowed her the flexibility to work and raise her family.

While Ramona makes her job a priority, her pride and joy is her family. Her husband Santiago Garcia also worked in the Custodial services department at Stony Brook and just recently retired. Her children—Ralph, John Henry and his wife Lindsay, Cristobal, Chrissy, and Crystal—are the reason she has worked so hard. When you ask her about her family these days, her eyes light up and there are two very special reasons: her grandchildren Kamryn and Masyn.

We appreciate all that Ramona does for Stony Brook University and has done for more than 30 years. We are happy to share her story with you.

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