I am a bilingual (Spanish/English) qualitative researcher with over 20 years of experience conducting focus groups, ethnography projects, and in depth interviews. My Ph.D. is from Stanford University ('96) in Language, Literacy and Culture.
I am a native speaker of Spanish, raised in East Los Angeles, California, by Mexican immigrant parents.
After obtaining my BA in Spanish from Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles, I married, and had three children. I volunteered in my children's schools for ten years, while they were young and my husband traveled for work. I worked as a bilingual teacher in Los Angeles for the first 6 months of my marriage, and for 16 years in Santa Ana Unified School District, after my children were grade school. I served there as a bilingual teacher, resource teacher, assistant prinicpal, professional development coordinator, and director of the Santa Ana bilingual/ESL programs. During that time I also obtained my MAT in Spanish from UC Irvine, and an Administrative Services Credential.
In 1992 I was accepted into the Ph.D. program in the Education Dept. of Stanford University, and was selected to be a team member of a National Science Foundation Grant- California Science Implementation Program. I completed my studies and my dissertation in four years, graduating with a 4.0 GPA. My dissertation was a finalist in the National Bilingual Education Association competition for "Outstanding Dissertation".
While at Stanford I was recruited by my brother's Market Research firm, Garcia Research Associates (GRA), to conduct focus groups for the California Dept. of Health. I also took several courses related to conducting qualitative research. During my sojourn at Stanford, I worked on various market research projects for GRA, and found that I enjoyed the work immensely. Mainly, I relished the opportunity to both help clients to better understand Latino's motivations, and also to give Latinos a voice.
In 2000 I launched my own business, as a sole proprietor, and gradually grew my client base to include AT&T, Planned Parenthood, Disney, Warner Bros., Proctor & Gamble, Frito Lay, Sierra Club, Obama '08, American Diabetes Association, U.S. Navy, etc.
I have also worked as an editor for children's TV programs- Disney's Handy Manny, and the Sprouts Program for preschoolers.
A more complete market research "bio" and a list of references is available upon request.
As for accolades, most of my clients have commended my work verbally. I am also most proud of my three children, who graduated from Princeton, Stanford and Harvard. They now have excellent careers: a lawyer working in Biz Dev for a San Francisco start-up, a physician working as a Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for Blue Shield/Blue Cross of New Mexico, and a banker for Wells Fargo, working in online banking.
The mission of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty. The Rotary Club of Half Moon Bay supports our community Rotacare Clinic, which provides free medical care once a week, for any individual needing medical care. We aslo support education through free dictionaries to all third graders in our area and monetary support of teachers. We are involved in many community events, including the annual Pumpkin Festival and Easter Egg Hunt. Our focus is to eradicate polio throughout the world, through "Polio Plus", which has helped immunize more than 2.4 billion children against polio.