A long-time University of Houston loyal has joined the Administration and Finance and Student Affairs team. UH alumni Linda Garza became our Director of Business Services on March 1, 2012.

Garza has worked for the university for over 15 years, starting out in work study as a student. She was searching for the office where she needed to interview and got lost. When one floor was locked, she went to the next floor and ended up walking into the office of Pat Sayles, her first and current supervisor.

�It was a good wrong turn,� Garza said. �Pat has been my mentor and I�ve learned a lot from her.�

Garza did work study for Sayles as a student until she graduated in 1998. About a year after graduation, Sayles offered her a job doing contracts administration at Arte Publico Press. Garza worked her way up at the publication, moving to the Managing Editor position. After around six years and Sayles� transition to the Dean�s Office in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLASS), Garza soon followed and became the CLASS Department Business Administrator. She was promoted in April 2011 to CLASS�s College Business Administrator before moving to her current position.

As Director of Business Services, Garza will be assisting Sayles, now the Executive Director of Business Services for A&F and Student Affairs. She said she will be working on getting all departments compliant, providing guidance on policies, certifying documents and setting up efficiencies.

�It�s been a great learning experience and I�m looking forward to working under A&F and Student Affairs. It is different than working on the academic side,� Garza said.

Garza said she shares the customer-focused policy with her department, whether by helping a lost student or answering questions that may come in to her staff. She said since becoming a part of the team, she has felt welcomed by the department.

�I like to always learn and be kept on my toes. If I can train someone, I�m open to that. I tell my staff it is full circle. You learn from me and I will learn from you. That�s how we can really succeed. That�s the way I see it,� she said.

Garza received her bachelor�s degree from UH in political science with a double minor in business management and Mexican American studies. She has a 12-year-old son Lorenzo that said he hopes to be a paleontologist one day. She said he is her number one priority.

�What my son needs, I will do for him. That�s who I live for,� she said.

Originally from Harlingen, Texas, Garza came to UH as a transfer from the University of Texas at Brownsville and has stayed here ever since. She said she has seen a lot of changes during her time at the university.

�I�m enjoying how much the university has grown. You see a lot more student involvement and campus spirit. It�s good to see it grow and grow,� she said.