Timothy Garcia

Dean's Scholar

Theatre Arts
College of Humanities & the Arts


Why did you choose your major?

Upon enrolling at SJSU I was fully prepared to pursue an inherently long-established passion I’ve had since age 5: theatre arts, more specifically - performance and creative writing. As I share in later pieces of my testimonial, these interests have equipped me with a driven sense of purpose in life and, ultimately, a rewarding sense of personal and communal fulfillment.


What does receiving this particular award mean to you?

This award serves as an additional validation concerning the staunch commitment and discipline I habitually espoused to get where I am today.


Who has been influential in your life and/or who has contributed to your academic success?

Professor Laura Long’s dedicated and pivotal role as an insightful beacon of professional and personal guidance, artistic growth, nourishing tutelage, and compassionate authenticity continues to inspire me in transcending new heights as both an artist and human being; encouraging me to seek, discover and convey truthful and stirring theatrical portrayals, and to celebrate, believe and love the art within myself. To this day, Professor Long remains profoundly instrumental in my continued artistic endeavors and success as a college graduate.

In addition, Professor Karl Toepfer’s unwavering encouragement and motivational counseling, ranging from guidance during intensive research project studies to exploring uncharted media territories, has instilled energizing affirmations concerning the scope of my unique talents, skills and potential.


Did you overcome any hardships or adversities in your life that have helped shape who you are today?  And if so, could you please briefly elaborate?

Some of my most challenging life experiences include enduring the wrath of homophobic bullying, discrimination and harassment, in school and society at large. Throughout my college career I have encountered unprecedented ways of healing past trauma by channeling emotions and expressing them in artistically coherent manners including, but not limited to, dramatic stage performance and “the power of the pen”. By embracing my past I have allowed it to galvanize me in significant ways as I continue to explore the wonders and complexities of theatre arts and evolve as an actor, writer and self-proclaimed LGBT activist.


What would you say to other students to encourage or inspire them to attain academic excellence?

Remember that in order to achieve long-term goals, you have to get busy today – right now. Securing academic excellence takes an organized and skillful approach involving incremental steps to propel you forward. It is also imperative to connect with professors within your department, as soon as possible. Be sure to make appointments and take the initiative – networking begins at the university level.


How do you envision yourself in 5-10 years?

Ideally, I foresee myself having secured a harmonious balance of active work within the marketing, theatrical and sociopolitical arenas. I strive for a broad horizon and keep reminding myself that the opportunities and missions are endless.


A few words from her nominating professor:

Timothy Garcia was in my Fall 2012 upper division Contemporary Theater class…Tim's work and thinking for this course was remarkably advanced, not only in relation to those who took the course in the Fall, but in relation to all the students I have encountered in the course over the years…his writing was extremely sophisticated, intellectually complex, scholarly, and highly engaged…He displayed an exceptional measure of ambition insofar as he clearly expected his writing to persuade an audience (not just a professor) to reexamine assumptions about the relationship between drag performance and political power…Tim is a very talented actor, who has done very fine work for the Department's theater productions. But it is evident that his scholarly and intellectual capacities, as well as his ambitions, differentiate him considerably within his student cohort at this university and probably at nearly any other university. He is exceptionally scholarly, he is a gifted actor, and he is an excellent collaborator, very curious and open to adventurous thinking and problem solving.

- Professor Karl Toepfer