Ms. Garza’s classes usually start with a personal history riddle: “I was born a Cheesehead; raised in the Wilds of the Last Frontier; a Javelina twice over, I most recently became a Maternal Tejano.” And so, students learn she tends to talk fast and loud like most “Northerners;” her Scandinavian roots compel her to speak (or sing) her vowels on occasion; and yet she addresses classes with a good old Texas “Y’all,” rolls her “Rs” pretty darn well and can throw in a bit of Spanglish here and there.
Upon following her then fiancé, current husband, Robert, to Texas from Alaska (twice the size of Texas) in 1996, Ms. Garza enrolled at Texas A&M – Kingsville (TAMUK). She earned both her Bachelor and Master Degrees in History, minoring in Political Science, from TAMUK. The focus of her MA was on the history and culture of South Texas, which she completed while serving as the first Director of the Texas Tropical Trail Region, part of the Texas Historical Commission’s Heritage Trails Program. Ms. Garza then began a career in philanthropy, having worked for the American Cancer Society and Texas A&M Health Science Center Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy. Ms. Garza has also completed advanced course work at Capella University and will be receiving a second MA in Political Science from American Public University by the end of 2016. With the birth of her son, Ethan, in March 2012, Ms. Garza became a full-time mom and began teaching part-time at TAMUK in September 2012. Ms. Garza has taught both sections of American History, as well as Freshman Student Success courses. As of January 2014, Ms. Garza joined Coastal Bend College, at the Kingsville campus, teaching both sections of American History, Government and My Cougar courses.
Ms. Garza recently ended her three year tenure as the Vice Chair and Program Director for the Kleberg County Historical Commission and served on the 1909 HM King High School Rehabilitation Project Fund-raising Committee.