F. Chris Garcia has always been passionate about his community and helping his peers. Garcia, a 13th generation New Mexican and 4th generation Albuquerquean, has been active in public service and higher education since completing his undergraduate education at the University of New Mexico in 1961. With a focus on Political Science, Garcia has used his education to better serve the people of New Mexico. During a long successful career at the University of New Mexico, where he held several different honorable chairs of office, including Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Provost, and President (F. C. Garcia) of the University, Garcia was able to start an opinion survey research company, Zia Research Associates, Inc.
Zia Research Associates, Inc. would be the first full-service opinion survey research (public opinion polling) organization in the state of New Mexico. F. Chris Garcia founded the company with two other professors, and this venture would ultimately lead to other exciting opportunities such as serving as an election and political analyst for local, national and international media.
This included TV stations, newspapers, radio stations, and national/international periodicals. Garcia has been recognized for his work and public service several times over. He received the Chief Manuelito Appreciation Award for “recognition of meritorious contribution to Navajo education” by the Navajo Nation in 1986 and the State of New Mexico Governor’s Distinguished Public Service Award in 2003. He was privileged to be involved with the University of New Mexico as student, faculty, and administrative staff (Garcia) for 48 years.