The Kinsey Institute is pleased to announce that Justin R. Garcia, current research director of the institute, has been named the institute's acting executive director, effective July 1.
Dr. Garcia, who is also the Ruth N. Halls Associate Professor of Gender Studies and a Bicentennial Professor, is an evolutionary biologist and an international leader in sex research. He has co-authored dozens of academic articles and book chapters and is co-author of the book "Evolution and Human Sexual Behavior." His research program focuses on the evolutionary and biocultural foundations of romantic and sexual relationships across the life span, with emphasis on variation in monogamy and the tensions between gender and sexuality and between romantic and sexual desires and how they shape intimate relationships.
For the past several years, Dr. Garcia has served as the primary faculty partner for the Bloomington campus climate assessments of sexual violence. He serves as co-chair of the Interdepartmental Graduate Committee on Human Sexuality at IU, which administers the Kinsey Institute's Ph.D. minor in human sexuality, and is co-director of the IU School of Medicine's new human sexuality and health concentration.
"I'm honored and excited to serve as the Kinsey Institute's acting director," Garcia said. "I'm privileged to work with remarkable faculty and staff at the Kinsey Institute. They are full of knowledge and passion for the scientific and scholarly research the institute is known for. I look forward very much to furthering that work and seeing us through several exciting initiatives over the coming year."
In his new role, Dr. Garcia will focus on the research and education goals of the institute, including fostering strong campus partnerships with crucial IU initiatives such as the Grand Challenges program, the Center for Rural Engagement and the Emerging Areas of Research program at IU Bloomington. Working with the IU Foundation and deans of the academic schools, Dr. Garcia intends to deepen the institute's research program and promote new activities related to education and outreach, including a revamped research blog platform and a recently accredited continuing education program.
"Justin is extremely well-respected as a productive and innovative faculty member, a generous and collaborative colleague, and a dedicated mentor and educator," said Rick Van Kooten, vice provost for research at IU Bloomington, whose office provides oversight and support for the institute. "He has been a key member of the Kinsey Institute, actively contributing to the institute's academic and public success. I am confident that he will be an outstanding leader for the institute, advancing the very important research and education it provides at IU and to the world."
Dr. Garcia replaces Dr. C. Sue Carter, director of the institute since 2014, who steps down from her position on June 30. Dr. Carter will continue her research program at IU on oxytocin, social bonding and reproduction, and she will focus on a new collaborative project on the maternal brain, funded by the NIH. She will hold the titles of Emerita Professor of Biology and Emerita Rudy Professor and Distinguished University Research Scientist at the Kinsey Institute.
"We deeply thank Sue Carter for leading the Kinsey Institute over the past five years, as well as expanding its science-based studies of sexuality with research into the endrocrinology of love and social bonding," Van Kooten said.
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