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Department ofSociology

Alma Garcia

Alma M. Garcia

Professor Emerita

Ph.D. 1982, Sociology, Harvard University

Alma M. García joined the Department of Sociology in 1982. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University in 1982. She received her B.A. in sociology from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1974. Her research interests include Chicana feminist movements, immigration, children of immigrants and oral history. 

She was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. Her father was a Mexican immigrant and her mother was a U.S-born Mexican born in El Paso.

Her memoir, Club Oasis: Childhood Memories (Floricanto Press, 2020) received the 2021 International Latino Book Award for Best Young Adult Non-Fiction Book.  

Her publications include: Contested Images: Women of Color & Popular Culture (AltaMira Press, 2012), recipient of the Susan Koppelman Award for the Best Anthology in Feminist Studies in Popular Culture by the National Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association;  Ethnic Community Builders: Mexican Americans in Search of Justice and Power, The Struggle for Citizenship Rights in San Jose, California,(co-editor) (Alta Mira Press, 2007),  recipient of the 2008 Elizabeth B. Mason Project National Award from the Oral History Association; Narratives of Mexican American Women: Emergent Identities Among the Second Generation (Altamira Press, 2004); and Chicana Feminist Thought: The Basic Historical Writings (ed.) (Routledge, 1998).  Her journal article "The Development of Chicana Feminist Discourse, 1970-1980," Gender & Society (1989:217-38) has been reprinted in eighteen anthologies and textbooks. In 1997, The University of Memphis Center for Research on Women selected this article as one of the fifty "Classic Articles on Race and Gender" published in the 1980s. 

As a nationally recognized scholar, Professor García received appointments to serve on the editorial board and manuscript reviewer committee for the following scholarly journals: Gender & Society, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society and the Journal of Popular Culture. She has presented her research or has been an invited speaker at conferences in Canada, Israel, Poland and Puerto Rico. She has been a keynote speaker at Yale, CU Berkeley, UCLA, Loyola Marymount and the University of Texas at El Paso.

Professor García has received many SCU awards. In 2010, she was awarded Santa Clara University Provost's Inclusive Excellence Award. In 2008, Professor García received The Cedric Busette Memorial Award that was established in 1996 by the SCU Ethnic Studies Program to honor the memory of Professor Cedric Busette for his outstanding commitment to the Ethnic Studies Program and for his dedication to the goals of Jesuit education. In 1998, García was awarded the Sisterhood is Powerful Award given by the SCU Women and Gender Studies Program to a faculty or staff person who has made important contributions to the status of women at SCU.

In 2013, the Escuela Tlatelolco Centro de Estudios located in Denver, Colorado, awarded Professor García the Crusaders for Justice Award, an annual national award given to an educator whose scholarship and community service has made a significant contribution to the improvement of Latino and Latina students at a national level.

García has served as national officer in several professional organizations. She has been national treasurer, secretary and president of the National Association for Chicano Studies (NACS). She has also served as president of Women and Social Change in Arts & Sciences (MALCS).

García teaches the following courses: Women in Latin American Social Protest Movements, Race, Class and Gender in the United States, Immigrant Communities, Immigrant Businesses and Sports and Society. García is active in fundraising for the American Humane Society and the Alzheimer's Association.