Psychology and Child Development

College of Liberal Arts

Dr. Garcia Receives the CLA Diversity Award

This award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated outstanding effort toward furthering the colleges commitment to diversity and equity in teaching, research, and/or service. Dr. Garcia received this award as a result of her continuous commitment to DEI in all of these domains. 

Dr. Garcia carries out and applies cutting-edge social psychological research on intergroup relationships, stereotype threat, multiracial identity, self-disclosure, stigma, and underrepresentation in STEM. Dr. Garcia’s expertise and success in research has been recognized with grants funded by the National Science Foundation and the Russell Sage foundation. The Cal Poly community benefits from having a nationally-recognized scholar who also applies her scholarship to teaching, leadership, and service. She publicizes this information through outreach to students, non-academic audiences, and practitioners. 

The breadth and quality of DEI service that Dr. Garcia has contributed across her years at Cal Poly is outstanding. From her department, to our college, to the wider campus community, and national profession, she has had an exceptional impact on DEI progress. Dr. Garcia has been a long-standing member and former Chair of the PSY&CD Diversity Committee where she has led departmental DEI initiatives, including helping to develop the first-generation college student ICMA application process and the implementation of faculty education and training opportunities.

As Faculty Associate and then Interim Associate Vice President at OUDI, Dr. Garcia led the university-wide climate survey, developed the research arm of BEACoN, secured funding for BEACoN, participated in university-wide GI 2025 initiatives, and helped develop university-wide DEI strategic plans and assessment goals.


Dr. Garcia created the course “Social Psychology of Prejudice” in which students learn about root causes of biases, their consequences, and ways to fight against them. She also revised and updated our “Psychology of Women” course “to “Psychology of Gender”, which now includes the examination of male gender role expectations and non-binary gender identity.

During her time at Cal Poly, Dr. Garcia has provided hundreds of undergraduate students with invaluable research experience that has positively affected their academic trajectory. Additionallly, she has mentored 12 STEM professors across the CSU as part of the AGEP Alliance for Diversity and Strengths grant. Dr. Garcia has mentored these early carrer faculty  in strengths training to inform their teaching, research, and service in order to promote their early career success.


The volume and quality of her contributions to DEI over her 15 years at Cal Poly is truly extraordinary.


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