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Viola Garcia wears many hats in academia but still understands what is truly important about teaching: the students.
"This is a special place for students, especially first generation students like me. Here, they get the nurturing and support they need," Garcia said.
Garcia is an associate professor and the assistant chair of undergraduate programs in the University of Houston-Downtown's Department of Urban Education. She is also the vice president of the Texas Association of Schools Boards, a mother, author, award winning educator and mentor to students enrolled in this department.
Garcia's departmental goal is to prepare future educators to enter urban schools and make positive impacts in lives of at-risk students. In this field-based program, UHD students spend their final three semesters working in these inner-city public schools.
"Our program is so successful because our students share similar experiences and upbringings with the students they're teaching. They are urban students themselves and can relate better to their pupils. This provides them a seamless transition into a profession that is very challenging," Garcia said.
UHD is an exceptional place for students, faculty and staff, Garcia said, because of its strong emphasis on relationship building and its bright and positive future.
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Last updated or reviewed on 8/9/11