Joseph Garcia completes 5-year term as Bowman Distinguished Professor and director of the Karen W. Morse Institute for Leadership at Western

Joseph Garcia, the Bowman Distinguished Professor of Leadership Studies and founding director of the Karen W. Morse Institute for Leadership at Western Washington University, has completed his five-year term and will be stepping down from those positions in September. An internal search for Garcia’s successor has been announced.

Garcia will return as professor in the Department of Management at Western’s College of Business and Economics. Garcia previously served as associate dean of CBE and founding director of the CBE Center for Excellence in Management Education (now the Center for Innovation in Education), and has been a Western faculty member since 1984.

“I want to thank Joe Garcia for his superlative work as the Bowman Distinguished Professor of Leadership Studies and founding director of the Karen W. Morse Institute for Leadership. As a scholar, teacher, mentor, and administrative leader, Joe Garcia has shown what ‘walking the talk’ means when it comes to leadership here at Western. His impact on students and colleagues here and around the country is long-lasting,” said Western President Bruce Shepard.

“It has been a privilege serving as founding director of the Karen W. Morse Institute, collaborating with university colleagues and external community partners, and contributing to the intellectual and leadership development of a diverse and inspired group of students. Thanks to the support of many, the Institute has created an interdisciplinary minor and a variety of Leadership Studies courses available to all interested Western students. We have created a highly successful virtual mentoring program which connects over 120 working professionals and leaders annually to our students, personalized the Western experience for a wide range of community leaders who served as leaders in residence, and provided faculty and staff leadership development opportunities.
The Institute has been a wonderful place to demonstrate the value of interdisciplinary scholarship and education and promote Western’s Leadership Advantage. And most important, our students are great.”

Garcia’s academic leadership extends far beyond Western’s walls. In spring 2014, he was selected as a Fellow in OBTS: Teaching Society for Management Educators, a highest honor recognizing a lifetime of outstanding service, achievement, leadership, and collegiality, and shared with only 15 others in the history of the organization. He previously received the Society's Peter J. Frost Excellence in Mentoring Award and the Susan J. Herman Distinguished Service Award.

For the past 6 years, Garcia has served in a leadership role for the Society for the Advancement of Chicano/Hispanic and Native American Scientists’ prestigious Summer Leadership Institute. He also is former president of the Management Faculty of Color Association, and twice served as the vice president of OBTS: Teaching Society for Management Educators. He is widely published and frequently serves as a reviewer and editor of academic journals in management and management education.

Garcia is a recipient of the Western Washington University Diversity Achievement Award, the Western Washington University Foundation Board of Directors Campus Volunteer of the Year, the SACNAS Distinguished Service Award, and the Academy of Management’s Organizational Behavior Division Exceptional Leadership and Service Award.

When he is not at work he serves on the program committee and the board of the Bellingham City Club and can otherwise be found hiking, climbing, or skiing with his wife, Karen Copetas, former Vice President of Enrollment Management at Western State Colorado University and Director of Admissions and Enrollment Planning at Western Washington University.