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HSHP’s Alejandro Garcia named as a Social Work Pioneer
HSHP’s Alejandro Garcia named as a Social Work PioneerMay 29, 2003Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
Throughout his distinguished career, Alejandro Garcia has advocated for the rights of many people: the poor; the elderly, particularly the aged Latino population; those affected by AIDS; and women and families. During his 25 years at Syracuse University, he has taught and mentored hundreds of students, who in turn have used his lessons in their work of making the world a better place.
Garcia is being recognized for his many achievements by being named a Social Work Pioneer by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). The Social Work Pioneer Program honors members of the social work profession who have contributed to the evolution and enrichment of the profession. The program identifies and recognizes individuals whose dedication, commitment and determination have improved social and human conditions.
“This honor recognizes what we in the College of Human Services and Health Professions have known for a long time: Alejandro Garcia is an outstanding leader in his profession,” says Bruce W. Lagay, dean of the College of Human Services and Health Professions. “For over three decades, he has served as a distinguished educator, author and advocate. He is truly a pioneer, especially in addressing the needs of the Latino aged and in working toward excellence in social work education. For 25 years at SU he has shared his wisdom with students and faculty alike in the School of Social Work. We are most fortunate to count him as one of our own.”
Born in Texas to a Mexican American family, Garcia experienced poverty and discrimination firsthand. He earned a band scholarship to the University of Texas at Austin, where he began his legacy of advocacy for minority communities and his interest in advocating for the aged. He earned his master’s of social work degree from the California State University at Sacramento, where he participated in Cesar Chavez’ farm workers’ movement and co-founded the Sacramento chapter of the Chicano Social Worker Organization. He earned a Ph.D. from Brandeis University
Garcia joined the SU faculty in 1978 as an associate professor. He was named a full professor in 1983. He currently chairs the school’s gerontology concentration and teaches in the areas of social policy and human diversity. He also currently serves as chair of the board of directors of the National Hispanic Council on Aging and as vice president of the New York State Communities Aid Association. In 1998, he completed two terms on the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation.
He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the NASW’s 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 in other newspapers.
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 serves 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. He is also a member of the search committee for SU’s next Chancellor.