Social Justice Speaker Series features expert on Hispanic Serving Institutions

Gina Garcia

Editor’s note: If you are internal to CSU, you can watch a recording of Gina Garcia’s talk on the College of Health and Human Sciences website.

The Colorado State University College of Health and Human Sciences Social Justice Speaker Series returns this spring to host the second annual keynote address. This year, the College welcomes Gina Garcia, an expert on Hispanic Serving Institutions. The series is supported by Dean Lise Youngblade and organized by Michelle Foster, assistant dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the College’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Committee.

The virtual presentation is free and open to the University and the community, and takes place Friday, April 1, from 9:30-11 a.m. Mountain Time. Please register to receive the link to attend.

“The college aims to be inclusive and reflective of the many identities of our students,” said Foster. “Doing so means being reflective and intentional with our policies, practices, and how we serve our student population. Our college is ready to prepare for the future and we welcome the education of Dr. Garcia as we introspectively work on how we can become better.”

Garcia is an associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh, teaching masters and doctoral students pursuing degrees in higher education. Her research addresses three key intersecting areas: race and racism in higher education, Latinx college students, and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs). Her keynote will focus on “Transforming Hispanic Serving Institutions.”

In her presentation, Garcia will lay out and detail the factors that, historically, have hindered Latinx students’ success in higher education. For example, she will present her Decolonizing HSIs Framework, which utilizes nine organizational elements based in anti-racist practices. The audience will be encouraged to think critically about how HSIs can be transformed using Garcia’s framework.

About Gina Garcia

Garcia graduated from California State University, Northridge, with her bachelor’s degree in marketing, before going on to the University of Maryland, College Park to pursue her master’s degree in college student personnel. After spending time helping California State University and community college students in STEM fields achieve their highest potential, she graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, with her Ph.D. in higher education and organizational change.

Garcia is the author of Becoming Hispanic-Serving Institutions: Opportunities for Colleges & Universities, which was recognized with the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education Book of the Year Award in March 2020. She’s been the co-author of multiple articles that have been published in top journals across the country, including American Educational Research Journal, The Review of Higher Education, and Journal of Diversity in Higher Education.

Garcia has given over 40 talks at colleges and universities. Additionally, her impact on the sphere of higher education has been recognized with several awards including the Early Career Scholar Award from the American Educational Research Association’s Hispanic Research Issues special interest group in the spring of 2018, and the Association for the Study of Higher Education’s Council on Ethnic Participation Mildred Garcia Award for Exemplary Scholarship in the fall of 2018. She was also awarded the Iris Marion Young Award for Political Engagement at the University of Pittsburgh, for her efforts to elevate the Latinx community.

Please register to receive a link to attend the virtual keynote. This presentation will be recorded and will be accessible to the University community after the event.