Hector P. Garcia Award

The Office of the President and the Hispanic Center of Excellence invite all faculty, staff, students, and public to attend the Hector P. Garcia Award Luncheon celebrating the life of Hector P. Garcia, M.D., UTMB alumni, physician, veteran, community leader, and activist.

The award celebrates Dr. Garcia, a distinguished 1940 graduate of the School of Medicine and civil rights champion. It also recognizes the student whose essay demonstrates both cultural competency and a commitment to providing quality health care to all.

All full-time UTMB students are eligible to submit essays for the award. You can read about Dr. Garcia at http://www.utmb.edu/drgarcia/.

Date: Friday, October 11, 2019, 11:30am to 1:00pm

Location: Levin Hall Dining Room

Guest Speaker:

An associate professor in the division of neonatal and perinatal medicine, Dr. Fonseca teaches medical, physician assistant and nursing students, pediatric residents and neonatology fellows. Dr. Fonseca is an experienced researcher, clinician and educator. As a neonatologist, he takes care of critically ill infants in our NICU with complications such as persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN), congenital anomalies such as gastroschisis, omphalocele, meningomyelocele, intestinal atresias, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, and extreme prematurity. He provides medical care in the clinic in which he does neurodevelopment follow-up of all infants born ≥35 weeks gestation until they reach 24 months of age. His area of research interest is hyperbilirubinemia, and gastroschisis. Additional research projects involve acute kidney injury and vacomycin exposure to neonates, and the use of vancomycin in lines associated sepsis.

Essay Contest

The Hector P. Garcia Committee solicits applications from UTMB students for the Hector P. Garcia, M.D. Cultural Competence Essay Contest.

Selection Criteria

All entrants must:

  • be in good academic standing
  • have demonstrated commitment to personal and professional development of cultural competency skills
  • have demonstrated leadership and service in cross-cultural activities
  • be enrolled as a full-time UTMB student
  • submit a written essay (1,500 words or less)


Essay Deadline - Monday, September 16, 2019 by 5:00 pm.

Register by going to http://tinyurl.com/lrtwa47.

Essay Submission

Once registered, students must submit the following materials to be considered for the Hector P. Garcia, M.D. Cultural Competence Award:

  • A cover letter declaring the student's interest in being considered for the award and providing information on the student's leadership and service on cross-cultural activities.
  • An essay expressing the student's understanding of cultural competence as it relates to his or her ability to work with, conduct research with or treat people from diverse cultures. Students may write about their own personal experiences and the ways in which their understanding, attitudes and skills relative to cross-cultural issues have evolved. Essays should be typed double-spaced with 1.5" margins and should be 1,500 words or less.
    • Applicants should not include their names on their essays, only on the cover letter. Essay submissions will be evaluated in a "blind review" process.

Submit your cover letter and essay to hcoeinfo@utmb.edu.

Award Presentation

The winner of the essay contest is presented with the award, as well as a $1,000 monetary award, at the annual luncheon. Invited guests usually include members of Dr. Garcia's family as well as a dynamic keynote speaker.

Review Process

Essays will be judged by members of the Hector P. Garcia Essay Review Committee. The reviewers will evaluate the writer's personal understanding of cultural competency and how he or she applies it in the delivery of quality health care.

Sponsored by the Office of the President

Managed by the Hispanic Center of Excellence and School of Medicine Special Projects

For further information go to: https://www.utmb.edu/studentservices/hector-p-garcia-award

RSVP to Office of University Events at events@utmb.edu or call 409-747-6735.


For more information about the Hector P. Garcia Cultural Competence Award, contact Ms. Berengaria Navarre at (409) 772-2780 or bcnavarr@utmb.edu

Berengaria Navarre, MS, MFA
Center Manager
For additional information, including past essay winners, photos, and videos, please visit the Hector P. Garcia Event Photos and Video page.

The Hector P. Garcia Essay Review Committee


Lee Hage Jamail Student Center

Mailing Address:
301 University Boulevard
Galveston, Texas 77555-1316
(409) 747-9055
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