Pitt School of Education faculty member Gina Garcia has been elected to the board of directors of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), a prestigious appointment that puts her at the forefront of her field.
With over 2,000 members, the ASHE is a national organization for scholarship in higher education administration. Garcia’s appointment will run from 2019-2021.
Garcia, who joined the Pitt Education faculty in 2013, focuses her research on Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) in post-secondary education, Latinx college student experiences, and the effects of racism and mico-aggressions in collegiate settings.
Garcia is the author of the 2019 book Becoming Hispanic-Serving Institutions: Opportunities for Colleges and Universities (Johns Hopkins University Press). There is a book launch event scheduled on October 15 from 4 to 6 p.m. in 4303 Posvar Hall that will include a reading and a Q&A with Garcia.
“I am honored to be elected by my peers to the ASHE board of directors and to serve my field in this capacity. As Member At Large, I will act as a liaison between the board and members of the organization, and serve on special committees and complete special projects as appointed by the president ,” said Garcia, an associate professor in the Pitt School of Education’s Department of Administrative and Policy Studies.
Valerie Kinloch, the Renée and Richard Goldman Dean of the Pitt School of Education, said that Garcia has distinguished herself nationally as a scholar who is committed to transforming institutional structures in order for students, especially Latinx students, to have positive educational opportunities.
“I am excited about Dr. Garcia’s appointment,” said Kinloch, “because it reflects an important shift in higher education moving away from antiquated beliefs about the purposes of higher education and for whom, and places necessary attention on how education and educational researchers have a responsibility to interrupt and disrupt the status quo.”
The critical line of Garcia’s inquiry, which challenges dominant institutional narratives, is well aligned with Pitt Education’s mission-vision of producing research that both innovates and agitates.
Leigh Patel, associate dean of equity and justice, credits Garcia and her colleagues at Pitt Education for creating new knowledge that is explicitly focused on serving the needs of the changing demographics of college students.
“Dr. Garcia’s appointment supports our school’s mission of advancing equity and justice as necessary work that must include several components, including leadership in national professional organizations,” said Patel.
In her new position as an ASHE board member, Garcia plans to help advance important lines of research. That will solidify the impact of faculty research across the Pitt School of Education.
“The field of higher education is changing rapidly, and the ASHE board is at the forefront of shaping the narrative of transformation so that we can better serve diverse students and address the issues and challenges that arise daily as a result social, political, and economic forces,” said Garcia.