Alejandro Garcia named new director of SU’s School of Social Work
Alejandro Garcia named new director of SU’s School of Social WorkApril 20, 2006Carol K. Masiclatclkim@syr.edu
Alejandro Garcia, professor of social work, has been named the new director of the School of Social Work in the College of Human Services and Health Professions (HSHP) at Syracuse University. Garcia teaches courses in social policy, human diversity and gerontology. His research interests are issues affecting older Hispanics; income maintenance issues of older persons; persons infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS; and gay and lesbian issues. The appointment is effective July 1.
“I am deeply honored to have been nominated by a number of my colleagues for this post and asked by Dean Murphy to serve,” says Garcia, who celebrated his 25th anniversary with the school in 2003.
In his new role as director, Garcia will provide leadership to the school and work with the faculty and HSHP Dean Diane Lyden Murphy toward continuing excellence of the program. He will also work to maintain the master’s and bachelor’s degree programs that produce outstanding graduates who provide quality services to their clients and/or patients.
“The College of Human Services and Health Professions is fortunate to have the leadership of Dr. Alejandro Garcia as the next director of School of Social Work,” says Murphy. “Dr. Garcia is a leading authority in the field of social policy with particular focus to gerontology and mental health, as well as an articulate leader in the theorizing of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender and different ability. He takes this position at an important time in the development of the college. I am personally grateful that Dr. Garcia has agreed to take up the position of director and look forward to the many gifts he will bring to the academic leadership in the college.”
Garcia earned a bachelor’s degree in 1963 from the University of Texas at Austin, where he began his legacy of advocacy for minority communities. In 1969, he earned a master’s of social work degree from the California State University at Sacramento, where he supported Cesar Chavez’s farm workers’ movement and co-founded the Sacramento chapter of the Chicano Social Worker Organization. He earned a Ph.D. from Brandeis University in 1980.
Garcia joined the SU faculty in 1978 as an associate professor and became a full professor in 1983. He currently teaches in the areas of social policy, aging and human diversity. He also currently serves as vice president of the New York State Communities Aid Association. Garcia is the immediate past chair of the board of the national Hispanic Council on Aging. In 1998, he completed four terms on the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation.
He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Social Workers’ (NASW) New York chapter in 1994-95, and was elected a Gerontological Society of America Fellow in 1985. He was honored as SU’s 1994 Scholar/Teacher of the Year, and was a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging in 1981 and 1995. He has won numerous awards from professional organizations and societies, has been honored with scholarships and fellowships established in his honor and is a frequent editorial columnist in the Syracuse Post-Standard and other newspapers around the nation. One of his latest honors was being named a Social Work Pioneer by the National Association of Social Workers. NASW describes a Social Work Pioneer as a person who has “explored new territories and built outposts for human services on many frontiers.”
Additionally, Garcia sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, is the book review editor of the Journal of Multicultural Social Work and served as a consulting editor of the Journal of Social Work Education and of Social Work, the journal of the NASW. He has also served as co-editor or reviewer on numerous other articles and book chapters on ethnic and race relations, social policy and gerontological issues. Most recently, he has been interested in examining income maintenance issues of older persons and presented on the topic at the National Hispanic Council on Aging conference in Miami. Garcia serves on the Economic Issues Committee of AARP’s National Policy Council and will soon start examining private pension issues.