Staff Spotlight - Analisa Garza: Giving students direction
originally from Laredo, said even before she moved to San Antonio, she knew it
was her home.
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.
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.
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
“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.
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
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.
this is one reason Garza is excited about the planned expansion of the MESA
Center that will occur in the spring.
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.
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
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
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?
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
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
If you had a superpower what would
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.
A fun one – I would like to be able to
blink and be where I want to be.