Part of what makes Central MA so unique is its abundance of colleges and universities. And at each institution, there are professors, instructors, and coaches who go above and beyond simply dispensing academic fact inside the classroom; this special breed of educator becomes mentor, role model, and inspiration. It is these individuals whom we honor in Focus on Faculty. If you know a professor who should be featured in this section, please contact the Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Becker College’s Rebecca Garcia
By Rachel Bryson-Brockmann
Going into the first year of college can be very daunting ~ new people, new home, new routine…all which one needs to adjust to very quickly. Rebecca Garcia, the Director of the First Year Experience Program at Becker College, is the go-to person who makes sure that Becker’s freshmen transition into college life goes as smoothly as possible.
As Director, Rebecca is responsible for coordinating the courses and faculty for the First Year Experience Program ~ in fact, she teaches some of the courses herself. “The program introduces new students to life at college and life at Becker in particular,” she says. “Faculty and staff engage students with the college and the local community and help them develop the tools to succeed in college and in life.”
Rebecca also has a very personal relationship with the students ~ she’s an Area Coordinator, living in a residence hall with students on campus as she has for the past five years. “I am responsible for ensuring students comply with Becker Hall policies,” she explains. “Living in the halls has really offered me the opportunity to witness first-hand the type of issues that play a role in students’ academic and social success.” By being both the Director of the First Year Experience Program and living in the residence halls with the students, Rebecca can be a “bridge” the academic world with the day to day issues that students face.
Born and raised in San Antonio, TX, Rebecca was encouraged to excel in academics from a young age. “Growing up, the message that education was the key to a successful future was gratefully always present in my life,” she says. “I was particularly inspired by my mother who faced many challenges as a single parent.” One factor that fed her desire to learn and influences her job now is the fact that she is the first in her family to have gone to college. A majority of Becker students are also the first, so she is able to easily relate to them.
After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College and her master’s degree from Brandeis University, Rebecca worked at the College of the Holy Cross as an Assistant Director of Community Outreach in their admissions office. “I worked with high schools and non-profit organizations to build college awareness among young people,” she said. “My primary focus was dealing with student populations that would not necessarily have specialized in college bound information. I worked with programs such as Upward Bound and Gear Up, which help young people gain confidence, become leaders, and be directed on a path toward college.”
When she has free time, Rebecca enjoys attending festivals, traveling, reading, exploring New England and spending time with friends. But I’m sure living in a hectic college dorm doesn’t leave her much time for herself!
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