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Spotlight


Dr. Sergio Garza with students

Dr. Sergio D. Garza has been in the teaching profession for over 31 years. Dr. Garza has his Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and his Master’s degree in Elementary Education. He decided to pursue his Doctorate degree in Bilingual Education when he was assigned both the bilingual and recent immigrant students from Mexico while teaching at Zapata Middle School in Zapata, Texas.

His extensive education has afforded him the opportunity to teach students as young as kindergarten all the way to the master’s level. He started his career in Mirando City ISD in Mirando City, Texas which is now a part of Webb Consolidated School District. After a short stay in this district, Dr. Garza taught in Zapata County ISD for 15 years. Aftewards, he was hired to work at United ISD and eventually went to work for LISD in the area of administration. While working for the Laredo schools, he was hired to do adjunct teaching for adult education in Texas A&M Kingsville. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Garza was hired at Texas A&M International University in the Special Populations Program. He has enjoyed his stay at TAMIU, meeting and making many friends amongst the faculty as well as the students. Currently, he works in the TAMIU Curriculum and Pedagogy Department, where he is involved with several initiatives.

One initiative that he is proud of is working with the Service Learning Department. Dr. Garza has been involved with the I.N.E.A. Plazas Comunitarias Program in conjunction with the Mexican Consulate. His students are also involved with the Bethany Homeless Shelter in the “Luz de Esperanza” tutoring program. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Laredo is another service learning piece that affords his students the privilege of working with children who come from a different socioeconomic status. His classes have also been involved with Communities in Schools (CIS) to help with tutoring the in the public school districts of LISD, UISD and ZCISD. This Fall 16 semester, his ESL students were involved in teaching students involved in a study abroad program at TAMIU. These students came from the following Mexican Universities: “El Instituto Campechano,” Universidad Politécnica de Quintana Roo and Universidad Politécnica de Querétaro.

He is highly involved in service with the community and the county. He has served as the dean’s liaison for early childhood initiatives: Project TEEM and AVANCE. He currently serves as the Border Region Behavioral Center’s PNAC chair and is the chair for a 17-county collaborative - Money Follows the Consumer. Most recently, Mayor Pete Saenz appointed Garza to the Laredo Housing Authority where he serves as vice-chair for the organization.

His research interests are in the areas of code-switching and vocabulary acquisition. His service learning opportunities have also caused him to be interested in poverty and adult education. In closing, Dr. Garza was the Curriculum & Pedagogy 2016 Teacher of the Year as well as the College of Education Teacher of the Year.