Maranatha’s newest science faculty member is an MD who spent most of his life in Mexico, earned a doctorate in an engineering specialty, once taught high school biology and college linguistics at the same time, recently completed a research fellowship at one of America’s most prestigious universities, and doesn’t yet own a real winter coat.
It’s safe to say Dr. Marcos Garza-Madrid will be a somewhat unique addition to Maranatha’s faculty when he arrives on campus to begin teaching during the spring 2013 semester.
“God had given me the opportunity to pursue all of these studies, and I knew He really wanted me to use all of that knowledge for something—for His purposes,” Garza-Madrid said. “For me and my family, this is a very important move. It’s an answer to our prayers of many years.”
Garza-Madrid will teach primarily biology classes. He is currently completing a postdoctoral research fellowship at Johns Hopkins University.
Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. John Brock said Garza-Madrid evaluated himself as being able to effectively teach more than 50 percent of Maranatha’s current science courses.
“The range of Dr. Garza’s formal science education is deep and wide, and his transcripts provide robust coverage of our science curriculum,” Brock said. “Dr. Garza’s work has been published in several peer-reviewed scholarly journals, and he has been active in making numerous scholarly and medical peer presentations. He is 100 percent fluent in Spanish and English and has experience in scholarly activity and research, both internationally and in the United States.”
Garza-Madrid, 33, worked in a private medical practice, taught classes at Universidad Cristiana de las Americas in Guadalupe, Mexico, and worked through a research fellowship and taught a lab at Instituto Technologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey—all at roughly the same time (2004-2011).
“Every doctor thinks about private practice, but teaching is something I’ve always loved to do,” Garza-Madrid said. “It keeps you awake to have contact with young, fresh minds.”
Garza-Madrid’s doctorate is in Engineering Sciences with a Biotechnology specialty.
“Biotechnology is a very broad discipline that is best described as the use of living organisms for the betterment of human life,” Garza-Madrid said. “The research I am doing now focuses on how to apply chemical and physical principles to solving medical problems.”
Garza-Madrid’s spiritual focus turned to Christ in 2003. He was a “pretty hard core” Catholic who taught catechism class in his local parish. Garza-Madrid began discussing spiritual things with a female friend, Aleyda Luna de Leon, who was already a believer.
“Praying to the saints, kneeling down before the Virgin Mary, doing what the priest wanted me to do … it was irrelevant,” Garza-Madrid said. “What God wanted was relevant. I was saved on December 14, 2003, when I made my decision to trust only in Christ and start my own personal relationship with God.”
Marcos and Aleyda married a few months later. They now have three children: Marcos, Priscila, and Monica.
Garza-Madrid has worked in Hispanic ministries at his local church in Baltimore and has also been an usher and Bible class teacher. He has provided medical services at Operation Renewed Hope free clinics in Mexico and Uganda and volunteered with wheelchair adjusting and distribution for the St. Louis branch of Joni and Friends Wheels for the World.
“We have been looking for a place to serve the Lord full-time; His will has been very clear to me on that point,” Garza-Madrid said. “We know we will need to get new clothes, but we know in our hearts that this is the will of the Lord for us right now. We will obey Him and serve the students to the best of our abilities.”