Mildred Garcia interviewed by Margie Brown-Coronel, July 12, 2017, Fullerton, California, Oral History #5956.1, transcript, Women Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.
An oral history with Dr. Mildred Garcia, current president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), and former president of California State University Fullerton. Garcia has also had an extensive career with teaching and leading various colleges and universities. The interview was conducted for the Women, Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage Oral History Project for the California State University, Fullerton’s Center for Oral and Public History. The purpose of this interview was to collect her life history and details of her work and experiences in education. Specifically, this interview details her family life and childhood growing up in Brooklyn, New York in the 1950s; her parent’s move from Puerto Rico to Brooklyn and their brief work and life histories; recalls her neighborhood dynamics; her early educational experiences with desegregation and attending integrated schools in Brooklyn Heights; the gender roles she experienced within her home; her parent’s involvement with the community; shares losing her father at a young age, how her mother and family coped, and moving to housing projects after; discusses the importance of education, and her decision to attend New York City Community College and major in business education; talks about the multicultural environment she grew up in; the challenges she faced; recalls the neighborhood differences once she moved to the projects; her relationship with her mother and their learned collaborate nature; her high school experiences and determination to pursue higher education; recalls the cultural awakening she had while in college learning about Puerto Rican history, the support she received from her professors and the extracurricular activities she pursued; the support she received from her family while in college; recalls her first visit to Puerto Rico and how that impacted her; her issues with cultural identity and how that shaped her desire to help low-income, first generation students of color; shares her first teaching experiences at a Catholic high school and the friendships she made; her transition to teaching at La Guardia Community College; closes the interview with explaining how she views New York as her home and found her identity as a Nuyorican.
Mildred Garcia interviewed by Margie Brown-Coronel, December 15, 2017, Fullerton, California, Oral History # 5956.2, transcript, Women Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.
An oral history with Dr. Mildred Garcia, current president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), and former president of California State University Fullerton (CSUF). The interview was conducted for the Women, Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage Oral History Project for the California State University, Fullerton’s Center for Oral and Public History. The purpose of this interview was to collect her life history and details of her work and experiences in education. Specifically, this interview details her graduate career and experiences at New York University in business education and higher ed; her research with underrepresented college students; her work as a teacher at La Guardia Community College; her family’s response to her work and education; her experiences as an executive assistant to the president as well as becoming the youngest dean of students at Hostos Community College in the South Bronx; recalls some of the challenges she faced such as racial and sexual discrimination during her time at Hostos; her decision to attend night classes at Columbia University for her doctorate and the advisor support she received; challenges she faced as a Latina in graduate school; further details her academic research on underrepresented college students, graduation rates, and support services; her path towards administration and leading in higher education; her time and experience as president of Arizona State University (ASU) and participating in the Harvard Program; details her defining moments between her work at Hostos and ASU; details the challenges she faced at the multiple institutions she studied and worked at and the support she received from mentors and her education; her work at Montclair State University and her transition to ASU and culture shock ASU; describes her leadership style as collaborative; her thoughts on the unique contributions she brings to the table as a Latina; what gives her the strength to keep going; briefly talks about feminism; explains the pushback she has received for her efforts to improve equality for all; discusses her time being president of California State University, Dominguez Hills; explains her move back to New York after ASU and her work at Berkeley College as the first system-wide president; focuses on her time at California State University, Fullerton as president and the challenges she has faced; shares her accomplishments from CSUF; her thoughts on being the first Latina president of a major public university in the public system; share her dreams of students having equitable access to academic programs; gives advice to individuals wanting to become future leaders; her learning experiences at CSUF; discusses her future work and goals when she becomes president of the AASCU; discusses Milo Yiannopoulis’ visit to CSUF; closes the interview with what she will miss most about CSUF.
Dr. Mildred Garcia with interviewer, Dr. Margie Brown-Coronel, 2017.
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