Alejandro Garcia, professor at the David B. Falk College of Sports and Human Dynamics at Syracuse University, has won many awards since becoming the first Hispanic to win the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award in 2006. One of those awards is the AARP Andrus Award.
The Andrus Award is the highest award given by AARP. The award is given to members of the community who are at least 50 years old, and who have helped improve the community voluntarily.
Garcia said he’s been involved with AARP at the national level as the national chair of the policy council. Garcia also said he’s been involved at the state level as a member of the executive council, working to ensure the needs of the Latino elderly are addressed by AARP and New York state.
Garcia said he was delighted when he received the Andrus Award.
Garcia earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1963 and has taught at SU for more than 30 years.
“My primary work at Syracuse University has been gerontology and particularly looking at elderly Latinos,” Garcia said.
He also said that growing numbers of Latinos and elderly Latinos raises the question of who will take care of the elderly Latino population because it is a rather young population in the United States.
“Traditionally, the family is responsible for older members, but increasingly that is not the case as we become more acculturated into American society, which is more individualistic,” Garcia said.