Juliet Garcia, president of the University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB) and higher education champion, has been named the 1991-92 College of Communication Outstanding Alumnus.

Garcia earned a doctorate in communications and linguistics from The University of Texas at Austin. She earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Houston. She and a group of community leaders spearheaded the establishment of the University of Texas at Brownsville.

Garcia served as president of Texas Southmost College (TSC), becoming the first Mexican American woman in the nation to serve as president of a college or university. She and community leaders then forged a partnership between the existing community college, TSC, and the new university, UTB, creating the first community university of its kind in the nation.

Garcia also has a strong history of public service. She served as chair of the advisory committee to Congress on student financial assistance and on the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. More recently she was a member of President-Elect Obama’s Transition Team. Garcia currently serves on the boards of the Ford Foundation, the Public Welfare Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Humanities Texas and Raise Your Hand Texas.

Garcia has received awards from the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement in Education and the Hispanic Heritage Award. She was also named one of the top-10 college presidents by Time magazine.