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ASU's Garcia to receive honorary doctorate degree

May 12, 2011

Eugene García, vice president for education partnerships at Arizona State University, has been awarded an honorary doctoral degree by Erikson Institute faculty and trustees.

The honorary degrees will be presented during the 44th annual graduation ceremony of Erikson Institute, one of the nation’s leading graduate schools in child development, at 3:30 p.m., May 7, at the Field Museum. García will deliver the commencement address to 73 Erikson graduates receiving master’s degrees in child development or early childhood education and four receiving doctoral degrees in child development.

“Dr. García’s prolific contributions as an educator, researcher, policymaker, and adviser have steered the national dialogue on improving education for young English language learners,” Meisels added. “He is an extraordinary leader in his field and an exemplar for Erikson’s graduates.”

He is earning the honorary award with Susie Buffett, a prominent national advocate for quality care in early childhood. She is the founder and chair of the Sherwood Foundation, which focuses on social justice initiatives, such as improving public education and alleviating poverty in Omaha, Nebraska.

García is one of the nation’s most eminent researchers in the teaching of language and bilingual language development, authoring or co-authoring more than 200 articles and book chapters, as well as 14 books and monographs. He currently serves as vice president for education partnerships at Arizona State University. In this role, he helps develop strategic collaborations with schools and private-sector organizations to improve the academic performance of Arizona’s K–12 students. Dr. Garcia has also held administrative and faculty positions at the Mary Lou Fulton College of Education on the Arizona State Tempe campus; and the University of California’s Berkeley, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz campuses.

Honored by AERA, SRCD, NAEYC, ASCD, and AAHHE for his research contributions, García holds leadership positions in professional organizations and continues to serve in an editorial capacity for psychological, linguistic, and educational journals. He also serves regularly as a proposal panel reviewer for federal, state, and foundation agencies.

Past recipients of honorary Erikson degrees include noted philanthropist and Erikson founder Irving B. Harris and his wife, Joan, a prominent supporter of the arts; Chicago’s First Lady Maggie Daley; National Black Child Development Institute founder Evelyn K. Moore; Lella Gandini, widely known for promoting the approach to early childhood education developed in Reggio Emilia, Italy; philanthropist Ann Lurie; and family support advocate Bernice Weissbourd.