In February 2011, Jim participated in a panel discussion, "From SVSU Student to CEO." Hear how about his experience at SVSU and how it helped him get to national politics.
Elected to the Michigan Legislature in 1976 at age 24, Jim Barcia went on serve the region for 34 years in public service. At the state level, he served as democratic majority whip (1979-1982) and was considered a strong advocate for working families, people with disabilities and senior citizens. Barcia was a member of the Michigan State House of Representatives from 1977 to 1983. In the House of Representatives, Barcia served on the Science Committee and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He left the House after being elected to the Michigan Senate, where he served until he resigned in 1993 to enter the United States House of Representatives. Barcia represented Michigan's 5th congressional district for five consecutive terms from 1993 to 2003.
After the United States 2000 Census, Barcia's congressional district was dismantled in 2002, and he ran for his old seat in the Michigan State Senate and won. He served as a state senator from 2003 to 2011. He announced his retirement in 2011.
A lifelong resident of Bay City, Barcia received his bachelor’s degree from SVSU in 1975. As a student, he majored in political science and served as president, vice president and senator of the University’s Student Government. In 1977, Barcia received SVSU’s Distinguished Alumnus of the Year award. In 2001, Congressman Barcia was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws for his outstanding record of public service in both state and national government. In 2011, he was recognized with the Distinguished Service Award, SVSU's most prestigious award for a community member. He is an SVSU Board of Fellow, an advisory group to SVSU.