Victor Garcia is a cultural anthropologist. At his previous post at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, he was Distinguished University Professor, and the director of the Mid-Atlantic Research and Training Institute for Community and Behavioral Health (MARTI-CBH). Although he has just joined PIRE formally, he has a long and productive association with Prevention Research Center, including as a consultant on several research studies.
Dr. Garcia earned his PhD in Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and master’s degree in Latin American studies from Stanford University.
Over the years, Dr. Garcia’s research has centered on Mexican immigrant and migrant farmworkers, as well as other Latino immigrant populations in the United States. His focus has also been on the educational plight of Latino students, particularly the second generation, and the barriers faced in attending the university. Dr. Garcia has conducted research on Latino populations in California, Texas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Mexico. His research has been funded by a number of sources, among them the US Census Bureau, US Department of Education, US Department of Agriculture, and the National Institutes of Health. A major goal of his efforts involves the development of methodologies for studying hard-to-find and difficult-to-study populations, agriculture and labor issues, and substance use disorders (SUDs) and treatment use among Mexican farmworkers and day laborers.
To date, Dr. Garcia has been the principal investigator or co-principal investigator of four successful NIH funded projects on SUDs; and is currently the PI on a fifth NIH study. One of the projects was among the first to take a bi-national approach in examining drug use and abuse among transnational farmworkers, with ethnographic data being gathered in both southeastern Pennsylvania and southern Guanajuato, Mexico. A new line of his research includes investigating the use of various interventions for substance abuse disorders among Latinos. Specific examples of such treatments include religious-based treatments, such as juramentos, and community-based recovery houses, called anexos, with a treatment modality based in Mexico.