Mariluz Garcia, Ph.D.

Dean's Future Scholars Executive Director
Photo of Mariluz


Dr. Mariluz Garcia is a first-generation college student who was born and raised in Elko, Nevada, but her father is from the Basque Country and her mother is from Mexico. After high school, she moved to Reno to attend the University of Nevada, Reno where she earned all three of her college degrees.

Dr. Garcia has 19 years' experience working with low-income, first-generation students in a variety of settings. She was an Americorps volunteer in Colorado, a graduate assistant for the Dean’s Future Scholars program, a middle school counselor at Dilworth STEM Academy, an elementary school counselor at Glenn Duncan STEM Academy, and has served as the Executive Director of the Dean’s Future Scholars program for ten years.

In 2021, Dr. Garcia received statewide recognition for her work when she was granted 4 million dollars from Senate Bill 461 and founded the Nevada First-Gen Network in 2022 to help prospective first-generation college students in grade 6 or higher who were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the State of Nevada. Outside of work, Dr. Garcia is passionate about giving back to the community and has served as a board member for the Education Alliance of Washoe County, Sierra Nevada Journeys, the Reno Zazpiak Bat Basque Club, the Children’s Cabinet, and the Influential Women of the Sierra Nevada.

Dr. Garcia has been recognized for her contributions in the field of education with awards from the City of Reno, the Nevada Women’s Fund, the Nevada State of Education Association, the Young Professionals Network, and the College of Education & Human Development. Dr. Garcia enjoys spending time outdoors with her two elementary-aged children and her dog.


  • B.S., Elementary Education, University of Nevada, Reno
  • M.A., Counseling, University of Nevada, Reno
  • Ph.D., Equity & Diversity in Education, University of Nevada, Reno