(Vicotr Valley)- – Ernie Garcia, who served as dean of Cal State San Bernardino’s College of Education for more than a decade during the 1980s, will be honored at the third annual Latino Education and Advocacy Days summit at CSUSB on Wednesday, March 28, at the university’s Santos Manuel Student Union Events Center.
Garcia, who retired in 1990 and lives in San Bernardino, has been named the LEAD 2012 honorary chair, or “el padrino de honor.” He spent 36 years in education, including 13 as a teacher and an administrator in K-12 schools and 23 years in higher education that included 11 years as the dean of the CSUSB College of Education, where he also served as a professor and chair in the department of elementary education.
“Ernie has been a mentor and leader in educational issues in the Inland Empire as well as at the state and federal levels throughout his career,” said Enrique Murillo, the executive director and founder of the LEAD project, and a professor of education at Cal State San Bernardino. “We want to recognize his contributions.”
“I’m truly honored. The work that LEAD does brings much needed attention to the state of education for Latinos across the country,” Garcia said.
Now in its third year focusing on educational issues affecting Latinos in the United States, the 2012 summit will address issues that include the current state of Latino education; sustaining, replicating and bringing up-to-scale programs that work for Latino youth; creating future student leaders; the use of technology to help increase Latino education and advocacy; and the effectiveness of being a Hispanic Serving Institution with the additional federal grants to Latino college students during and after graduation.
Garcia’s educational career also included serving as an associate professor of elementary education at the University of Redlands and teaching part time and during summers at the University of Redlands, Stanford University, UC Santa Barbara, UC Riverside and San Bernardino Valley College.
Garcia served on the board of the Rialto Unified School District for nine years; later, an elementary school was named in his honor. He received the Career Achievement Award from the University of Redlands Alumni Association and was recognized as one of “Forty Who Made a Difference” by the UCR Alumni Association on the occasion of UCR’s 40th anniversary. He was named to the Alumni Hall of Fame by San Bernardino Valley College and received the “El Fuego Nuevo” award from the Association of Mexican-American Educators, where he served as state president.
He also served as a consultant to the Commission on Civil Rights of the then U.S. Department of Health and Education and Welfare from 1968-72, during his tenure at Cal State San Bernardino. The result was the five-volume “Mexican-American Education Study,” which Garcia said remains relevant today.
Besides education, Garcia has also distinguished himself by serving with a number of non-profit organizations in the Inland Empire that include the San Bernardino Symphony Association, where he and his wife, Dorothy, received the Golden Baton Award.
In 1967 he was elected lieutenant governor of Division 36 of the California-Nevada-Hawaii District of Kiwanis International, where he chartered the Kiwanis Clubs of Greater San Bernardino and the Inland Center.
Garcia served two terms as president of the Sinfonia Mexicana and San Bernardino Valley Concert Association, of which he is currently president. He was president of the National Orange Show and currently serves as chair of the Arts Committee and curator of the permanent art collection.
He was the first Latino to receive a degree from UCR, which he attended after serving in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean conflict; and he played on UCR’s first basketball team in 1954-55.
Garcia is a graduate of Colton High School and holds an associate degree from San Bernardino Valley College, a bachelor’s degree from UC Riverside, a master’s degree from the University of Redlands and an education doctorate degree from UCLA.
Garcia joins a distinguished group of LEAD honorary chairs. Civil rights and education activist Sylvia Mendez, was named the 2010 honorary chair, or “la madrina de honor,” for the inaugural LEAD summit. In 2011, philanthropist Judy Rodriguez Watson was the honoree for the summit. And journalists and activists Graciano and Trini Gomez were honored as the “padrino” and “madrina de honor” at the inaugural LEAD “Feria Educativa” held in October 2011.
This year’s all-day conference will feature a number of prominent local, state and national educators.
Among the speakers is U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education Eduardo Ochoa, who will deliver the morning keynote address. Ochoa serves as the secretary of education’s chief adviser on higher-education issues and administers more than 60 programs, totaling nearly $3 billion annually, which are designed to provide financial assistance to eligible students enrolled in postsecondary institutions.
The U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, will deliver a speech by video that will be shown as part of the summit’s morning welcome session. Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripol from the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics Commission is expected to attend the summit.
The LEAD 2012 summit will be webcast live courtesy of LatinoGraduate.net to nearly 1,500 viewing sites in the United States and in 28 other countries, including Mexico, Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, England, Guatemala, Iceland, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Spain and South Korea.
Some of the universities that will host town hall viewing sites include George Washington University; University of California, Santa Cruz; Brown University, Providence; Texas Tech University, Lubbock;
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Chicago; Pennsylvania State University, University Park, as well as numerous international universities.
To date, the event has attracted more than 154 sponsors and partners, including the National Education Association-Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute, California Association for Bilingual Education, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and the National Institute for Latino Policy.
The list of sponsors also includes Southern California Gas Co.; Southern California Edison; San Bernardino Community College District; Arizona State University, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Hispanic-Serving Institutions National Program; Cardenas Markets; Cal State San Bernardino College of Extended Learning; California Teachers Association; Telemundo’s El Poder de Saber and Telemundo-52.
A list of participating partners and sponsors may be viewed on the LEAD website sponsors page at http://lead.csusb.edu/sponsors.htm. For more information and to register online for the conference, visit the LEAD website at http://lead.csusb.edu or contact Enrique Murillo Jr. at (909) 537-5632.
For more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007. Visit its news website at http://news.csusb.edu.