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On Campus

November 16, 2000 - VOL. 27, NO. 23


greek columnspacerArete: Alexandra García

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Rick Cherwitz and Courtney Dillard

 

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Editor's note: Arete is an ancient Greek word for virtue, describing the quest for individual excellence. In this regular feature of On Campus, the University salutes its graduate students — whose considerable contributions to the academy and larger community are truly virtuious. These features will be framed and posted in the lobby of the Office of Graduate Studies, Main 101.

spacerName: Alexandra García
spacerHometown: Brownsville, TX
spacerDepartment: Nursing
spacerPh.D. Adviser: Sharon Brown
spacerEducation: B.S., Nursing, College of Notre Dame of Maryland, 1988; M.S., Nursing, University of Maryland, 1990; Ph.D., Nursing, UT Austin, 2001

Alexandra García's current work with the Starr County Diabetes Education Project (Sharon A. Brown, PhD, RN, FAAN, principal investigator) has given her a wide variety of opportunities to research, teach, and give back to the community.

In her work, García focuses primarily on diabetes self-management for the significant Mexican American population residing in Texas.

As a nurse committed to community health issues, García is interested in the ways patients interpret and experience the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

In an attempt to determine why some patients work hard to control the problems of diabetes while others disregard them, García has interviewed patients in the Rio Grande Valley and in two clinics in Austin.

Her dissertation, Diabetes Symptom Self-Care of Mexican Americans, combines quantitative and qualitative methods to better understand the variety of responses enacted by people with diabetes.

García also is dedicated to teaching. She taught nursing in Baltimore, Md., for three years before moving to Austin. She worked with undergraduates at UT to develop and implement a proposal to analyze data from the Starr County Diabetes Education Project and she was the teaching assistant for two doctoral-level research courses.

Outside of the university, García volunteers to teach English as a second language through the Literacy Austin Agency.

Finally, as an individual who is focused upon the development of scholarship within her discipline, García participated in the development of data collection tools pertinent to her research objectives. She also facilitated a number of focus groups at UT Austin and through the Texas Department of Health. She served as president of the Association of Nurses in Graduate School and was a representative to the Graduate Student Assembly.

García believes she has found the best way to integrate her love for community, teaching and research through her work on the Starr County Diabetes Education Project and her dissertation. She hopes to continue this type of work after earning her Ph.D.

García's many awards include the National Research Service Award through the National Institutes of Health, and the Bruton Fellowship provided by the University of Texas.

Her work can be found in the journals Diabetes Educator (1998) and Diabetes Care (2001).

NOTE: Nominations (including self-nominations) for ARETE should be sent to Associate Dean Richard Cherwitz at spaj737@uts.cc.utexas.edu


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December 21, 2000
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