Letter of Nomination: Luis Garcia, PhD
Rutgers University Camden
Dear Committee Judges:
My fellow Psi Chi Officers and I from Rutgers University, Camden would like to nominate our faculty advisor, Dr. Luis Garcia, for the Psi Chi Regional Faculty Advisor Award. He has always helped and guided us. He is a great teacher, advisor, and friend.
Dr. Garcia specializes in human sexuality and currently researches the different dimensions of sexual experience. By utilizing humor among other techniques to talk about sexuality, he puts his students at ease instead of making them uncomfortable about an embarrassing topic. He also dresses casually; he prefers khakis rather than suits, thereby portraying modesty. Since his attire makes him approachable to the student body, students can relate to and open up to him. As a result, a lot of students pursue Human Sexuality in graduate school after taking his classes. Many students want to do research with him because he provides a unique perspective on human sexuality. He eagerly welcomes the opportunity to help students to understand more about his research. For instance, Brian Dershowitz, Psi Chi treasurer and Dr. Garcia's long time research assistant, believes that Dr. Garcia has changed his outlook on sexuality so much so that he is considering a career in Human Sexuality research.
Dr. Garcia has been a professor in Rutgers University for more than twenty-two years and in that time he has served many organizations, committees, and has held numerous offices. During these years, he has inspired, and challenged students, especially the members and the officers of Psi Chi to reach our fullest capacity.
Dr. Garcia has contributed nationally, and locally by publishing a book, Ethical Issues in Psychology; writing a book chapter, The Development of Social Cognition; reviewing books for The Journal of Sex Research and completing numerous research articles in the Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality (2001, 1999, 1998, 1990), Sex Roles: A Journal of Research (1989, 1983), Journal of Sex Research (1987, 1986, 1985, 1984, 1983), etc.
Dr. Garcia has been instrumental in our success this year. By introducing and organizing numerous activities among them the Campaign for Children's Literacy, raising money for the NY tragedy, Adopt-A-Family Program from the Red Cross, Ronald McDonald Meals Program, and fundraising, he has made our chapter more involved in helping the community. Furthermore, he encourages us to think of new ways in which to help Psi Chi reach its goals. Even when he criticizes us, it is constructive so that we may improve. Recently, Amy Sussman, the President, wanted a guest speaker who would talk about love and flirting next Valentine's Day. When we suggested this idea to Dr. Garcia, he was thrilled and referred us to his friend, Dr. Timothy Perper, who specializes in flirting. We talked to Dr. Perper, and he agreed to give a free seminar open to all. Dr. Garcia knows various psychologists in different fields and uses these contacts to help Psi Chi students as well as the students in general. By having Dr. Perper, who will talk about flirting, a popular topic, we will be attracting the general student body to the field of psychology especially human sexuality and to Psi Chi. Dr. Garcia is attracting students to human sexuality, psychology in general, and thus to Psi Chi. I do not believe that we could have done this so easily without his help.
In fact, he is also the one who suggested that we have a website linked to the psychology department, that way anyone who visits the website will find out about Psi Chi. Because of him, we have our website running and it is a huge success. Over 3,000 people have visited our website this semester only. Please feel free to look at our website at www.camden.rutgers.edu/~psych301/. So, Dr. Garcia is familiar with modern technology and uses it to Psi Chi's benefit.
He is also involved in community affairs. He has been on the Hispanic Advisory Board to Rutgers University since 1981, the Mental Health Association of Southwestern New Jersey (1983), United Way of Camden County (1989), Hispanic Health & Mental Health Association of Southern New Jersey (1981), and Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (1980) among other organizations.
He is deeply committed to Rutgers University, Camden. Besides being our advisor, he is an advisor to the Latin American Student Organization. He is a university senator. Some of the committees that he is on are: the Admissions Committee, the Affirmative Action Committee, the Scholastic Standing Committee, the Committee on Campus Environment and many others.
He has been invited to talk in numerous conferences and universities such as SUNY in Albany, NY; North Adams State College, Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (2000, 1998, 2001); Eastern Region of the Scientific Study of Sex (1997, 1994, 1985, 1981...), etc.
Dr. Garcia has also served as an officer for countless organizations. The most important are: Treasurer of the Eastern Region of the society (1999-2001) and as a Secretary of the Board of Directors (1998-1999) for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (1999-2001); Program Reviewer for the Convention of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex (1994); and most importantly he has served as the Psychology Chairperson from 1993-1996 and again in 1999.
Even with all his activities and commitments, Dr. Garcia is never too busy or tired to meet with us (Psi Chi Officers/members). He frequently comes to the Officers and general meetings. He is always too happy to help with anything.
To portray his personality, I will give an example among many. At the end of last year, all of us, the new officers, met with him to discuss ideas and responsibilities. He gave us the opportunity to choose another advisor for our chapter if we did not deem him qualified. We could not believe that he actually gave us a choice in the matter. Dr. Garcia was sincere and honest and we unanimously agreed that he would be the advisor because we had seen him the previous year helping the officers and members and how instrumental he was in the previous years' successes. I am glad that we made the decision to keep him because I do not know anyone who could be a better advisor; he is patient, kind, sincere, honest and helpful.
He is loved by all, most importantly by the students. I have never heard anything bad said about Dr. Garcia in my three years here in Camden, which is rare. It is no surprise that he received The Alumni Association Outstanding Teacher Award this year (2001) because he truly deserves it.
It is too bad that there is a 1000 word limit because there are so many more things that I want to say about why I am certain Dr. Garcia should get this prestigious award.