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Garcia Biggs named recipient of distance education award

By T.C. Sprencel
University News Service
November 3, 2010

Mary Joe Biggs

Mary Jo Garcia Biggs

Mary Jo Garcia Biggs, associate professor in the School of Social Work at Texas State University-San Marcos, has been selected to receive the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education’s (AAHHE) Distance Learning in Higher Education Award for 2011.

The award is given to a Latino or Latina who has advanced distance learning in higher education via online instruction, research or the development of distance learning processes that impact Latino students in higher education.

As coordinator of the Master of Social Work Distance Education Program at Texas State, Garcia Biggs provides leadership for distance education initiatives and works with a number of departments and faculty members. The position was developed through a $1 million Children’s Bureau grant which provided funding for an online MSW degree program.

The program, which benefits rural child welfare workers, has received recognition from various publications and has helped to expand the influence of the School of Social Work beyond state, national and international borders.

“We’re one of the leaders in distance education and social work,” said Garcia Biggs. “We have a lot of people interested in the online program.”

Social work professionals in rural areas, as well as their clients, are particularly vulnerable due to limited services and resources, said Garcia Biggs. With the help of the MSW online program, students are able to pursue their degrees regardless of their location.

The AAHHE will present the award to Garcia Biggs on March 5, 2011, at its sixth annual National Conference Awards Luncheon in San Antonio.

For more information, please visit the AAHHE’s Web site at www.aahhe.org.