Sara Garcia is a Texas Tech University undergraduate plant and soil science major with a concentration in viticulture and enology. Garcia took on a unique path after receiving her first bachelor’s degree.
Garcia grew up in Houston, Texas. Following high school, she attended Texas State University in Round Rock, Texas, where she received her degree in international business. For years, she thought her next step would be to pursue further study in accounting. Instead, she took a leap of faith and enlisted in the United States Navy.
Her Navy career began with work as an information systems technician. Her service included assignment to U.S. Navy Sea, Air and Land Teams, or SEALs, where she worked hands-on with radios and communication within the platoons.
After 6 1/2 years of active duty and one year in the naval reserves, Garcia knew that the military was not her long-term goal and began to search for her next step in life. During her time in the Navy, she had picked up an interest in winemaking, and she wanted to study the entire process from grape cultivation to actual winemaking.
She was now married to a fellow sailor, Jay Masterson, who wanted to pursue veterinary medicine. The two wanted to find a school tailored to both of their interests. Together, they landed at Texas Tech University.
Initially, adjusting from the military life—being around a constant group of people that she considered a “dysfunctional family”—to spending time alone was hard. She learned to reach out and meet people that shared the same interests.
She is thankful for the Matador Institute of Leadership Engagement, or MILE program, a professional development and leadership program for students. Through MILE, she found other passionate individuals within the Davis College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
In the future, Garcia hopes to gain hands-on experience working in a vineyard or winery with the goal of pursuing a doctoral degree in enology, the study of wines.