Grad Spotlight: Naama Garcia

Name: Naama Garcia

Age: 22 

Course of Study (degree being earned): B.A. in History with a concentration in social studies (Clinical Teacher)

Hometown: San Antonio  

I am originally from Mexico, but I have been living in San Antonio since I was 5. I am extremely attached to my roots and I love showing my Mexican pride. I love K-pop (Korean pop music) and that began my interest in learning about other cultures. BTS is my favorite K-pop group because I love their message and they are very different from other artists. I chose to major in history because I love learning about the past to better understand our world today, and I’m intrigued by the stories we have never heard of. History opens doors to a new world and with the understanding of our past we can make sure we have a better tomorrow. I chose UTSA because it allowed me to complete my degree while staying close to home and my roots. 

What was your favorite class and/or who was your favorite professor? Why? Professor Hardgrove taught me so much about the Middle East and India. Her class was amazing, and I developed an interest in learning more about those cultures. Professor Ng was very strict, but he brought out the best in me in whatever I did and I appreciate that. Professor Haddad taught me how to be a better teacher and showed me a different side to history. Dr. Chavez was my supervisor for my clinical teaching and thanks to him I made it through. He was always supportive, and he showed that he cared about us. 

What would you say is the most important thing you’ve learned over the course of your studies? History can be interesting when we find out the complexity of the stories we heard in grade school. Students should not have to go college to know the true history. Usually in grade school they filter the stories and it’s not until you get to college when you find out that that version of history is not very accurate, there are things that are omitted. 

Describe any professional experiences or internship opportunities you have had. I was a clinical teacher this semester. Being a teacher requires a lot of hard work, but it was also very rewarding forming bonds with my students and seeing them grow academically. 

What is your fondest memory of your time at UTSA? I loved going to the football games and showing my roadrunner pride. Those last 6 seconds before the touchdown made me believe that anything is possible if you just don’t give up. 

How has COVID impacted you, either personally or professionally? I missed out on half of my junior and senior year, which was sad because I only got to go to class in person for a semester and a half throughout my whole time at UTSA. On the bright side, I made really awesome friends through my Zoom classes; we haven’t lost touch since Covid started. 

What are your plans for the future and/or your career? I’m going to be a high school social studies teacher, but I might try to get into the FBI or become a lawyer later on. 

What has brought you inspiration during this time? E.g., music, books, people, etc. BTS kept me going; every time I listened to them it made me feel safe and took away my stress. My friends and family were also a big support system since they always encouraged me every time I doubted myself.

Congratulations to all of our 2021 COEHD graduates! See more COEHD graduate spotlights here