October 9, 2023

Purdue Global to host Veterans Affairs’ executive director of education for Hispanic Heritage Month forum

Forum to be centered around discussion of documentary highlighting Latinos in the military

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – In conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month, Purdue Global will host a forum featuring Joseph Garcia, executive director of education service at the Veterans Benefits Administration – one of the three major administrations within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The forum will take place at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday (Oct. 10) via Zoom and will feature a discussion centered around the PBS documentary “On Two Fronts: Latinos & Vietnam.”

The forum is hosted by the Purdue Global Student Military Association and is designed for military students. Attendees will hear from Garcia and have the opportunity to ask questions. It is highly recommended that students view the documentary prior to the forum to facilitate the discussion on the topic of Latinos and veterans.

Additional Information

The forum will be moderated by:

  • Ernest Norris (veteran), Purdue Global School of Business and Information Technology
  • Joella Milchak (veteran), Center for Career Advancement
  • Dawn Mikalatos (spouse of active service member), Center for Career Advancement

As executive director of education service, Garcia leads more than 1,500 EDU employees in the delivery of education and training benefits and services for veterans and their families, including one of VA’s most frequently used benefits, the Post-9/11 GI Bill. In fiscal year 2022 alone, VA dispersed nearly $10 billion in benefits to more than 834,000 veterans, service members and their families. Garcia directs and supports operational and program management activities resulting in the implementation of statutory requirements. He also provides oversight and accountability to executive and functional team activities.

Garcia previously served in the higher education sector as a vice president at William Jewell College in Missouri, Empire State College in New York and The Citadel: Military College of South Carolina. He served in Senior Executive Service positions at Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/FEMA and at the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Food Safety Inspection Service. He also worked in the private and nonprofit sectors in Washington, D.C. Garcia spent 28 years in the Air Force, including tours at the Pentagon, Air Force Academy, Germany and South Korea, and a Middle East deployment. He taught leadership courses at the Air Force Academy and The Citadel and has authored four leadership books. Among his awards are Male Boss of the Year from the Federal Woman’s Program, CFO of the Year from the Kansas City Business Journal and a superior mission achievement award from DHS.

Garcia earned his MBA from the University of Central Oklahoma and an Executive Master’s in leadership from Georgetown University. 

About Purdue Global

Purdue Global is Purdue’s online university for working adults who have life experience and often some college credits. It offers flexible paths for students to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, based on their work experience, military service and previous college credits, no matter where they are in their life journey. Purdue Global is a nonprofit, public university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and backed by Purdue University. For more information, visit https://stories.purdue.edu/purdue-global/.

Writer/Media contact: Adam Bartels, Adam.Bartels@purdueglobal.edu 

Sources: Barbara Kent, Joseph Garcia

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