Stella E. Garcia, Ph.D.
Texas State Technical College - Harlingen
Since graduating from the University of Texas in Austin with a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology in December of 1989, Dr. Garcia has worked in the workforce and education industry. Dr. Garcia started out teaching GED and Adult Basic Education to low-income youth ages 17 to 21 and dislocated workers through a Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) grant with Brownsville ISD from 1990 to 1993. From that experience, Dr. Garcia moved onto managing one of five pilot one-stop career centers in Texas in Brownsville to working at the Texas Workforce Commission in Austin from 1993 to 1999. While working full time in Austin, Dr. Garcia earned a Master of Public Administration from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) in San Marcos in December 1999. In March of 2000, Dr. Garcia returned to the Rio Grande Valley where she worked as Chief Program Officer for Workforce Solutions Lower Rio and then Executive Director for Workforce Solutions Cameron from 2001 to 2003. In 2003, Dr. Garcia became President of Workforce Solutions Lower where she stayed through August 2010. In the fall of 2008, Dr. Garcia was accepted into the first PhD cohort of Our Lady of the Lake University weekend college attending on the TSTC Harlingen campus.
In September of 2010, Dr. Garcia became the Associate Vice President of Corporate and Community Education for Texas State Technical College in Harlingen. As the Associate Vice President, Dr. Garcia was responsible for Continuing Education and Corporate Education which included helping local and regional employers access training for new and existing employees. In June of 2012, Dr. Garcia was appointed Chief of Staff working directly with the President of TSTC Harlingen. In December of 2012, Dr. Garcia successfully defended her dissertation, “Do critical thinking and personality predict leadership style?” and earned her PhD in Leadership Studies from Our Lady of the Lake University. In July of 2013, Dr. Garcia was appointed Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness and Research and served as the College’s Accreditation Liaison, ADA Coordinator, and IRB Administrator. Dr. Garcia was recently accepted into the Assessment Leadership Academy of the Western Association of Colleges and Schools.
Dr. Garcia was named as Interim President of TSTC Harlingen by TSTC Chancellor Mike Reeser on April 25, 2014.