Scholar of the Week

Oscar E. Garza
University of Texas at San Antonio
Lockheed Martin

Oscar Eduardo Garza believes that critical thinking can change the world, and through his passion for computer engineering, math, and technology, he wants to spearhead innovation. For striving to be a model for others through his actions, Oscar was awarded the Lockheed Martin Corporation Scholarship presented at the 2019 Great Minds in STEM (GMiS) Conference. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering with a minor in Cyber Security, Oscar plans to graduate May 2020 from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).

Oscar credits his sense of cultural pride and desire to help others to growing up in the mostly Hispanic Texas border town of Eagle Pass. When he attended college prep courses in high school, Oscar was introduced to a tightly knit and supportive group of teachers who encouraged him to apply for admission to UTSA. With his family’s blessing, Oscar moved to San Antonio and enrolled at UTSA, realizing that by pursuing higher education, he might serve as a role model to other minority students and a representation of everything his small town had to offer.

At UTSA, Oscar understood all too well the hesitations many minority students face when approaching job and scholarship opportunities and sought to set an example through his success. In addition to finding employment at the UTSA Office of Online Learning as a Lab assistant and later as a Student Developer, Oscar participated in multiple competitions, earning himself First place in the Rowdy Hackathon and Best Student Project in the Via Codeathon. In recognition of his academic success, Oscar was inducted into Eta Kappa Nu, the elite Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Honor Society. He also participated in the Google’s Future Leader of Cloud (FLOC) Program and was declared a Student Track Scholar by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) and attended their 31st annual Conference.

At the Conference, Oscar's efforts found breakthrough success when an interaction with recruiters from the Kellogg’s company gained him a cyber-security internship for the multinational company in the Metro-Chicago area. There he helped develop and provide security solutions for the United Way of Metro Chicago Storytelling app. Gaining momentum from the internship, Oscar landed a job as a Security Solutions Intern at Cisco Systems.

With a bright future ahead, Oscar continues to help others find paths to success that were thought to be impossible, sharing “I hope to one day turn my experience into the norm....because I know that diversity in the technology industry will bring an innovative and supportive atmosphere to a field with the potential to change the world.” For his academic achievements and efforts to support minorities in STEM, Great Minds in STEM is proud to recognize Oscar as Scholar of the Week.

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