Profile: Gina Garcia
Dr. Gina Garcia is an assistant professor in the Department of Administrative and Policy Studies where she teaches master’s and doctoral students pursuing degrees in higher education and student affairs. She received her Ph.D in Higher Education and Organizational Change from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Her dissertation titled “Challenging the ‘manufactured identity’ of Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs): Co-constructing an organizational identity” looked at the organizational identity of HSIs and the ways in which this identity goes beyond the label assigned by the federal government and becomes more deeply rooted in the culture and practices of the institution. Her research interests center on issues of equity and diversity within higher education with an emphasis on the organizational culture and identity of HSIs and the retention, success, and identity development of Latina/o college students. She uses organizational theory, student development theory, and critical race theory as well as multiple methods of inquiry to guide her work, with a focus on strengths based approaches to studying traditionally underserved communities and institutions of higher education. While at UCLA, Dr. Garcia was a research analyst at the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) where she examined the curricular and co-curricular experiences that foster success for Students of Color pursuing STEM degrees. As a student affairs professional, Dr. Garcia worked with federally funded grants in order to establish programs that foster retention and success for Students of Color in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors and careers. In this capacity she advised and counseled students through their first year of college and developed a mentoring program and first-year experience cohort for students. She has also been a resident director and a coordinator for large-scale campus programs.