Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Mark and Caryn Garcia

An Outstanding Islander

Outline photo of Mark and Caryn Garcia

A Family Affair

Mark and Caryn Garcia are excelling as a father and daughter team at the Island University so they can surpass their families’ past accomplishments and secure a bright future for generations to come. After they graduate, Mark wants to coach volleyball and Caryn dreams of becoming a veterinarian.

“There are times when we butted heads, but we did really well in our classes,” said Mark, a kinesiology major. “We were actually competing over who would have the highest grade.”

During the fall 2012 semester, the duo from San Antonio scored A’s and B’s in the classes they took together, including Media and Society, Anthropology, and French. Sharing classes also has its bonuses when it comes to carpooling, always having a study partner, and taking turns to pick up the lunch tab.

While most students plan their classes around their friends’ schedule or significant others, Mark and Caryn admit they’d have it no other way.

“One of the benefits of going to school together was gaining a closer relationship with each other,” Mark said.
Mark and Caryn feel they have had a positive impact on the University community as father and daughter attending classes together and helping enhance the lives of others. Every semester, the Garcias reserve study rooms and encourage others to join them for final exam study sessions. The duo also volunteers to teach volleyball for the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club of Corpus Christi.

“When you go to school with one of your parents, it’s like meeting a whole different person,” said Caryn, a freshman biology major. “I’d do it all over again. I can’t wait for next semester.”

Mark has taken classes with three of his grown children, and his wife. He has been taking classes with his daughters for the past five semesters; however, Caryn is his most current classmate. Years back, Mark turned down the opportunity to attend school with his father, which he now regrets.

“I was younger and thought ‘Me go to school with my Dad? No way,’ said Mark. “But little did I know I would lose him more than a year later. What I would give to attend one class with him. But I received something better, the chance to do it with my own children. This has been the fuel for me to keep pushing along to acquire my bachelor’s degree.”
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