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Staff Spotlight -…

Analisa Garza, originally from Laredo, said even before she moved to San Antonio, she knew it was her home. Garza, MESA Center Coordinator for over a year, did some of her undergraduate course work in San Antonio, but completed her graduate studies in Laredo.

Staff Spotlight - Analisa Garza: Giving students direction

/uploadedImages/San_Antonio_College/Library/Images/News/Analisa-Garza-Staff-Highlight-6.jpg Analisa Garza, originally from Laredo, said even before she moved to San Antonio, she knew it was her home.

Garza, MESA Center Coordinator for over a year, did some of her undergraduate course work in San Antonio, but completed her graduate studies in Laredo.

Garza has a master’s degree in Biology and a composite science degree. She is certified to teach any science for grades eight through twelve.

After spending some time teaching at a high school and being an adjunct faculty member at Texas A&M International in Laredo, she wanted something different.

She liked the dynamics of the university, but she knew if she wanted to go back to school to get her PhD and to grow, that she needed to be in a place that had those opportunities.

She knew about a program in San Antonio where she could work and continue her education.

Another deciding factor, she likes student success work.

“As much as I enjoy teaching, I also enjoy helping students and pointing them in the right direction and helping them find opportunities,” said Garza.

She found the dynamics and student interaction she was looking for right here at San Antonio College.

“To me, this position here at San Antonio College was kind of perfect. It was everything that I wanted all bundled up into one.”

At the MESA Center, Garza brings in guest speakers, communicates opportunities to the students, facilitates connections between students and faculty members through undergraduate research, advises STEM organizations, helps the engineering department and works with the math department as well. She stays busy assisting the departments with events, programs and other things that benefit current and future students of SAC.

Garza’s goal is all about student success. She aims to help students achieve and grow.

In fact, if she had a super hero power that could help others, she would want to be able to see others gifts and talents. She said this is something she tries to do already, but having the “power” to do it would be much easier. She could then point students in the right direction that utilizes them best.

According to Garza, what makes her most happy, is knowing that she, and others, are using their gifts and talents to fulfill his/her purpose.

“I try to help students recognize what they’re good at and help to align that with their future career.”

One way Garza helps students is by sharing opportunities with them. One such opportunity is the AbilityOne Design Challenge. A group of students is currently shadowing someone with a disability in their workplace. The group then has to create something that will help the disabled person in their workplace.

Projects like this is one reason Garza is excited about the planned expansion of the MESA Center that will occur in the spring.

Students will come and ask for certain things, and it isn’t available in the MESA Center. Other departments, such as architecture, have been great at letting the students share their area.

But, Garza said, having their own place will be exciting. It will be helpful to all the students that use the MESA Center.


The interview concluded with a few questions to Analisa like those posed by Vanity Fair magazine (which are, in turn, taken from the Proust questionnaire):

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Perfect balance of time between personal, work and spiritual.  

What is your greatest fear?
I don’t know. I used to fear death. That used to be a big fear of mine. It’s not anymore.  

Which living, or dead, person do you most admire?
Mrs. Barbara Knotts – a professor, Chair of the Department of Creative Multimedia and the Director of the Adelante Tejas (Title V) grant. I admire her willingness to teach others, to help others grow and her leadership skills.  

My grandmothers. My paternal grandma for her spiritual walk with God. My maternal grandmother, who is a very active 90-year-old and remains extremely independent.  

And my mother, a breast cancer survivor, for her strength and positive outlook.  

What characteristic/trait do you most admire in others?  

Integrity and steadfastness. When someone commits to something and keep that commitment. Stand up for what they believe, whether it is popular or not. Stick to their convictions, to their morals, because it’s not always easy to do. I admire when people can keep that conviction.  

What characteristic/trait do you most deplore in others?
The lack of integrity. The unwillingness to listen, to collaborate with others.  

Who is your favorite character from literature?
I read the Bible often and I think that Paul is someone I admire a lot. I admire the books he has written.  

Who is your favorite super hero?  

I like Iron Man. And it’s funny; I am not crazy about his character. What I like about Iron Man is the scientific side of Iron Man. Sitting in a STEM related field, I like that, all the technology he uses, and all of that stuff, the engineering. He is proud and arrogant, I don’t admire those qualities about him, but he is resourceful.  

If you had a superpower what would it be?
A fun one – I would like to be able to blink and be where I want to be.  

But in reality – to be able to see what others talents and gifts are so she can point them in the right direction and help them see their purpose.


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