After 25 years in the department, starting as a budget analyst and advancing to director of planning, it’s no great surprise that Julia Reynoso was named Stanislaus State’s associate vice president of capital planning and facilities management.
The new position is more than the next step of her career, though.
“I wanted to make sure it was in the hands of someone who cared about the direction of the University as much as the team does,” Reynoso said. “I loved my job. I loved planning and where I was.
That bond has been built during her tenure with the 80-member department whose responsibilities include landscaping and building maintenance, custodial and event services, sustainability, budget and engineering and capital projects.
“We work very close,” Reynoso said. “Some capital planning and facilities management organizations are divided, but our team is very close, and we work collaboratively on all projects. We can’t design a new building without considering impacts to the teams maintaining them at the end of the construction. We are all integrated in the process. Every team review drawings and components of new buildings and come at milestone stages of the design. There is constant communication with each other.”
Reynoso now is tasked with leading that group, moving the campus forward as it continues its bold march through the 21st century.
It’s fitting that this appointment comes during Earth Month, as Julia has been a long-standing advocate for sustainability efforts on campus. While work to make the campus greener, more sustainable, had been undertaken beyond Louie Oliviera’s well-chronicled use of campus lakes and the reflecting pond water for cooling systems and irrigation.
The latest set of solar panels was installed in November, by Geng Liu in Parking Lot 4 to power Demergasso-Bava Hall. LED lighting has replaced traditional lightbulbs throughout campus. The campus was an early adopter of occupancy censorsinnearly all University classrooms and officesspaces. Water bottle filtration systems are being installed with a goal of assisting with the elimination of single-use plastic water bottles. ASI has been a great partner in providing the equipment for several buildings.
“My predecessors were involved with many forward-thinking projects,” Reynoso said, noting use of reclaimed water from the reflecting pond for irrigation was part of the original master plan along with the campus’s first four structures.
But there’s more to planning for a green campus, now.
“The field of sustainability pivoted beyond the physical issues of sustainability to economic and social justice components,” Reynoso said. “That’s where the Council for Sustainable futures and Sustainability Director Wendy Olmstead comes in. We have a lot of experts on the physical aspects of sustainability, but Wendy and the Council members understand the social justice, economic part of it, how it affects everybody in the community and the world, and climate change, and how that adversely affects the people who least contribute to climate change.”
It’s a realm of planning and facilities that were not likely a part of the curriculum when Reynoso arrived at Stan State as a first-generation student from Livingston High School in 1986 as a business administration major. It wasn’t even a hot-button topic when she entered the MBA program, concentrating on accounting, a few years after her 1990 graduation.
But, adapting and growing with the job is something Reynoso has proven capable of doing.
Hired in 1995 as a facilities budget analyst, over time she took on supervision of the front desk and shipping and receiving, oversaw motor pool reservations and played a part in capital improvement projects.
“I came to find out just how complicated the world of accounting is in facility environment,” she said.
She loved the work, which wasn’t what her parents had planned for the first of their two daughters, the third of their six children.
“I think they assumed my path was to get married and have kids,” she said. “They taught me all the traditional skills you would need for that, but also to be kind, resilient and to have a strong work ethic”.
A high school geometry teacher encouraged her to attend college, and when her parents realized she could attend a university and live at home, they supported her.
Reynoso helped support herself with a part-time job working in the University procurement office, during her four years as an undergraduate and after earning her bachelor’s degree, she moved on to budget office and continued working there. When a recession hit in the early 1990s, she lost her position and went to work for a non-profit in Merced called Central Valley Opportunity Center.
She returned to Stan State as a clerical worker in the teacher education department in 1994, transitioned back to the budget office and a year later, moved to facilities.
She’s still there, but she didn’t dismiss her parent’s dreams altogether. She is married and mother to two teenagers. Her parents, siblings, husband, children and family are a great source of support and inspiration for her.
At Stan State, her promotion to Associate Vice President means overseeing projects already underway and the planning of new ones. Tim Overgaauw, senior director of operations and construction is managing a magnificent transformation of the Library and DBH Pond and Manesh Chand, maintenance manager is overseeing the renovation of the cafeteria. Hugo Hernandez, director of landscape and logistical services and Michael Chavez are renovating several campus landscapes, while Alvaro De Sousa, custodial and logistical services manager is coordinating efforts to prepare the campus for safe fall 2021 semester.
While the campus has been quiet, the CPFM team has been busy with these projects and many more, but her focus is on something she finds even more important.
“The strength of our department is our ability to share with each other our technical expertise and skills within the entire organization,” Reynoso said. “I’m excited about being the support to all members of the Capital Planning and Facilities Management team. That's what I look forward to the most.”