Like most West Coast University faculty, WCU-Miami Assistant Professor Barbara Garcia was influenced by role models while growing up.
Garcia actually cites a trio of medical and scientific experts who helped shape the way she sees the world — namely Dr. Beverly Crusher of Star Trek: The Next Generation; Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman; and Dr. Sam Beckett of Quantum Leap.
“Some of my influences aren’t necessarily from an educational perspective but they always gave me a passion to learn more, to learn the why," she said. "I wanted to learn why."
Garica's passion for learning — and teaching — hasn't gone unnoticed. She was recently named WCU-Miami's 2015 Faculty of the Year for General Education. WCU-Miami Executive Director Joshua Padron said Garcia always receives positive feedback from her students.
"We read student statements like 'she makes the class fun, even though it is a lot of material to cover in five hours' and 'my favorite teacher ever,'" Padron said. "Dr. Garcia always has a pleasant and professional demeanor with students and colleagues, all while balancing student-centricity."