Employee of the Month – Dulce Garcia

August 2018, Medicine/SPRC

Dulce Garcia, social science research professional for the Stanford Prevention and Research Center, or SPRC, is “as sweet as her name suggests,” according to colleague Sandi Winter.  “Her name represents her perfectly!” Monica Done agrees.

Dulce, who leads the assessment team for the studies of Abby King, MD, professor of epidemiology and medicine, has worked for King’s lab since 2004, when she was a fall intern at Stanford from San Jose State University.  She was hired as a casual employee in January 2005 and “never left.”

A role model

Many of Dulce’s colleagues see her as a leader and a role model.  “She really holds the team together,” Cain Murguia states. “She handles every aspect of our day to day with great leadership and a smile. She has been one of the best mentors and has taught me so much about how to be a professional in research. She is key to our success in our group!”

Michelle Escobar agrees that Dulce is “great at handling the team” and adds, “She truly deserves to be the Employee of the Month because of her dedication and passion to make not just HARTS successful, but us, her colleagues.”  Ana Cortes calls her “an example to follow” and “an inspiration to all.”

Michaela Kiernan, PhD, senior research scholar for SPRC, has worked with Dulce for many years as well, and calls her “a true ambassador for Stanford!”

Done adds, “Dulce would give you the shirt on her back if you asked for it. That's the kind of person she is. She cares a lot for others and also cares about the work she does.”

An accomplished professional

Dulce is also known for her impressive work ethic and passion, as well as her excellence in her job.  Even by her own account, her work is complicated: “I work with our study coordinators to make sure the assessment schedule is on track, from staffing to participants. Our assessment team travels to 5 different counties to conduct visits, so I make sure we’re using our staff time efficiently,” she explains.

Ines Campero, who’s worked with Dulce for fourteen years, gives an example of Dulce’s excellence: “She once attended a training to be certified in conducting a specific assessment. The person in charge of certifying was an international well-recognized guru on mobility assessments for older adults; he is also famous for picking details of improper techniques. Dulce was the only person whom he gave a perfect score conducting this assessment.”  Campero adds, “Our whole team was so proud of her; she has been able to train many others afterwards with the same high quality and detailed standards.”

King herself states, “Over the past 15 years, Dulce has worked tirelessly to bring her very best to her research position, day in and day out, and always with a smile on her face and a positive attitude. Dulce has done an outstanding job of ensuring the highest levels of scientific integrity in each area. She is key to the scientific successes, positive morale and inclusiveness that are central to our lab.”

A great surprise

Dulce wasn’t just surprised to receive the award--she was “totally shocked!”  She adds, “I was so overwhelmed with emotions, but luckily, I didn’t completely lose it! I am so grateful for everyone that was involved and the time they took to nominate me.”

Her favorite part of the job is her team, her friends inside and outside of work, who are always supportive. As she explains it, “We handle challenges as a team, we don’t leave anyone behind, and we never give up!”

In her free time, Dulce loves baking and cooking (she cites Ina Garten, Rick Bayless and Tyler Florence specifically), and enjoys “the challenge of getting my husband to try and like something he would never think of eating.”  She also loves being outside, walking on the beach with her husband and their “fur-dogter.”