2007 Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit:
“Portraits of Alumni Achievement”
Dr. Laura Cruz-Garza ‘00
“I would advise young Hispanic individuals to never feel ashamed of their heritage.”
Dr. Laura Cruz-Garza ‘00, BA
Texas A&M University-Kingsville
“Ganas” is a Spanish word that is used to describe the desire to achieve. Laura Cruz Garza used those “ganas” to overcome many obstacles in her life that many would have seen as a barrier to achieving higher education. One of these was racial discrimination, which she experienced while pursuing her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology.
Growing up in Laredo, she was never exposed to issues of racial diversity. Once outside her beloved hometown, however, she found discrimination against Mexicans still existed. Not one to let negative attitudes get in her way, Cruz-Garza worked to further her education and “achieve the impossible”. That is what was instilled in her by her parents. Her love of education is reflected in her teaching. She was named as one of the Outstanding Hispanic Faculty at Texas A&M-Kingsville, received a fellowship from the Teaching Effectiveness and Career Enhancement Program, and was awarded the Outstanding Professor Award from Pi Beta Phi.
Cruz Garza has achieved much since earning her bachelor’s degree at TAMIU, but she always remains humble. Her father taught her to be proud of who she was and where she came from.
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Alumni Relations / Office of the Vice President for Institutional Advancement firstname.lastname@example.org • TEL 956.326.GIVE (4483) • FAX 956.326.2174
5201 University Boulevard, Killam Library, Rm. 261
Laredo, Texas 78041-1900