Faculty Mentors

Victor Garcia, PhD

Distinguished University Professor and Director of Mid-Atlantic Research and Training Institute for Community and Behavioral Health 
Department of Anthropology
Indiana University of Pennsylvania 

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. At IUP, he teaches classes on Cultural Anthropology, Ethnographic Field Methods, Latin America, and Latinos and Latin American Diasporas.

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 coprincipal 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 Mexico.

As a result of his research, Dr. Garcia has co-authored a book on Latinos and education, and has published a number of articles on how ethnographic field schools can be used to recruit Latinos to the university. His most recent article, titled “Expandiendo la tradición del Ángel Palerm: estaciones de campo, etnografía, reclutamiento y retención de estudiantes latinos,” was published in the Mexican anthropology journal Descatos. He has also published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals, such as Human OrganizationOpen AnthropologyJournal of Rural HealthJournal of Hispanic EducationJournal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, and Journal of Groups in Addiction and Recovery.

Selected Publications:

“Drinks Per Day in Women of Mexican Origin: Does Birth Place Matter?” with Hardie, Thomas L. EdD, PMHCNS-BC; Polek, Carolee PhD; González, Laura PhD; and Welsh, Marcia DL. Journal of Nursing Addiction, Vol. 24, Issue 3. July/September 2013

“Labor Migration, Drug Trafficking Organizations, and Drug Use: Major Challenges for Transnational Communities in Mexico.” Journal of Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic Development, Vol. 38 (2-4), 2009

“Binational Substance Abuse Research and Internal Review Boards: Human Subject Risks and Suggestions for Protections.” Human Organization, Vol. 68 (3), 2009