University of Southern California

USC Student Affairs and Campus Life

Cecilia Herrera

Office Manager, Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards

By L. Alexis Young

Cecilia HerreraPhoto by Nathan CarterCecilia Herrera

Cecilia Herrera’s first job at USC was a work-study position in Hancock Library while she was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration. After more than 15 years in the corporate world, she has returned to campus as the office manager in Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards (SJACS).

“I’ve always wanted to come back to USC,” said Herrera, who joined SJACS in July. “It’s like I haven’t gone. There are a lot of changes on campus, but it’s still very familiar, so that’s nice.”

As the office manager, Herrera supports the director and assistant director of SJACS, updates the office technology, supervises student workers and graduate assistants, and serves as the first point of contact for students coming into the office.

“You want to be as open and as welcoming as you can to the students, because they come in here scared,” she said. “You want to put them at ease. When I found out about the position, I thought maybe it would be an opportunity to help get students back on track.”

Raquel Torres-Retana, assistant dean and director of SJACS, is excited to have Herrera on board, because as an alumna, she brings first-hand experience and an understanding of the university’s standards and expectations.

“I’m looking forward to her transferring the skills she acquired through her professional experience — specifically in departmental structure and organizational management. She brings an approachable professional demeanor that is essential when assisting our students, faculty and administrators.”

A Los Angeles native who grew up in the neighborhoods surrounding USC, Herrera worked in marketing for the military and universities for about 10 years and traveled extensively throughout the country. After she married and gave birth to twins, she left her career until her children were school aged. When she re-entered the workforce, she began running her family’s restaurant in East Los Angeles for about six years.

Eventually, she got back into marketing for a Santa Monica company before deciding to search and apply for jobs at USC.

“It feels right being back here,” she said. “It feels like home. I came from a corporate world where things are different and [move] at a different pace. This feels natural.”