Catherine García

Assistant Professor

Catherine García joined the Department of Human Development and Family Science as an Assistant Professor in fall 2021 teaching classes in Midlife Development and Gerontology. Prior to joining Syracuse University, García was an Assistant Professor of Sociology and core faculty member of the Minority Health Disparities Initiative (MHDI) at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln where she taught quantitative methods and served as a faculty mentor for the MHDI Summer Research Program. García’s research focuses on Latina/o/x aging and health in the United States and Puerto Rico, applying multidisciplinary approaches to understand how the interaction of biological, environmental, and social factors influence the disease process among older Latina/o/x adults. Her research work has led to 15 peer-reviewed publications and two book chapters, including multiple manuscripts in The Gerontologist and The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. Her research has been supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including an R36 Aging Research Dissertation Award to Increase Diversity from 2018-2020 and an R01 Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research from 2021-2023. Her research has led to several awards, including the Emerging Scholars and Professional Organization (ESPO) Interdisciplinary Paper Award, the ESPO Poster Award, and the Minority Issues in Gerontology Poster Award from the Gerontological Society of America. Currently, she serves as a steering committee member for the Network for Data-Intensive Research on Aging (NDIRA) at the University of Minnesota and is a committee member of the Minority Issues in Gerontology Advisory Panel (MIGAP) of the Gerontological Society of America. In addition, she will serve on the editorial board for the Journal of Health and Social Behavior beginning in January 2022. She earned a Ph.D. in Gerontology in 2020 from the University of Southern California, an M.S. in Sociology from Florida State University in 2014, and a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Human Complex Systems from the University of California – Los Angeles (with college and departmental honors) in 2010.

Dr. Garcia will be accepting graduate students for fall 2024


Ph.D. in Gerontology, University of Southern California, 2020

M.S. in Sociology, Florida State University, 2014

B.A. in Sociology, University of California – Los Angeles, 2010


Biological, environmental, and social factors influencing the disease process among older Latina/o/x adults.

Recent Publications

  • Garcia, M. A., Homan, P. A., García, C., & Brown, T. H. (2021). The color of COVID-19: Structural racism and the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on older Black and Latinx adults. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 76(3), e75-e80.
  • Gauthier, G. R., Smith, J. A., García, C., Garcia, M. A., & Thomas, P. A. (2021). Exacerbating inequalities: social networks, racial/ethnic disparities, and the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 76(3), e88-e92.
  • Hargrove, T. W., García, C., & Cagney, K. A. (2021). The role of neighborhoods in shaping the aging experience during times of crisis. Public policy & aging report, 31(1), 38-43.
  • Garcia, M. A., Homan, P. A., García, C., & Brown, T. H. (2020). The color of COVID-19: structural racism and the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on older racial and ethnic minorities. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B.
  • Garcia, M. A., Reyes, A. M., García, C., Chiu, C. T., & Macias, G. (2020). Nativity and country of origin variations in life expectancy with functional limitations among older Hispanics in the United States. Research on aging, 42(7-8), 199-207.
  • Garcia, C. (2020). Raíces De Salud: How Sociocultural, Cohort, and Contextual Factors Influence Health Among Older Latinos in the United States.
  • García, C., Rivera, F. I., Garcia, M. A., Burgos, G., & Aranda, M. P. (2020). Contextualizing the COVID-19 era in Puerto Rico: Compounding disasters and parallel pandemics.
  • Garcia, C., Sheehan, C. M., Flores-Gonzalez, N., & Ailshire, J. A. (2020). Sleep Patterns among US Latinos by Nativity and Country of Origin: Results from the National Health Interview Survey. Ethnicity & disease, 30(1), 119.
  • García, C., & Ailshire, J. A. (2019). Biological risk profiles among Latino subgroups in the health and retirement study. Innovation in aging, 3(2), igz017.
  • Garcia, M. A., García, C., & Markides, K. (2019). 5 Demography of Aging. In Handbook of Population (pp. 143-161). Springer, Cham.
  • Brown, L., García, C., & Ailshire, J. (2019). Does salivary telomere length explain race/ethnic differences in aging?. Biodemography and social biology, 65(4), 351-369.
  • García, C., Garcia, M. A., Chiu, C. T., Rivera, F. I., & Raji, M. (2019). Life expectancies with depression by age of migration and gender among older Mexican Americans. The Gerontologist, 59(5), 877-885.