16:18 PM

UHD Graduate Caps Off Creative Journey by Debuting Unique Poem during Commencement

Mariey Garcia Presents “Pompeii,” a Work Crafted by UHD’s Class of 2021


By Sam Byrd

For graduating college senior Mariey Garcia, the choice to attend the University of Houston-Downtown was an easy one to make. After all, she was following in her mother’s footsteps.

“My mom would always talk about the community. She said it was smaller than other universities, but it has an enriched community,” Garcia recalled.

Like many students transitioning directly from high school to college, she wasn’t entirely certain in her educational path, but over time she found one thing to be vital: her creativity deserved an outlet.

“As I continued taking classes, I recognized that my personality mattered in what I could incorporate into my education. Learning that my creativity could be embedded in my education excited me to further my education at UHD,” she said.

She declared her major in English in UHD's College of Humanities & Social Sciences to allow her artistic side to flourish as well as explore imaginative expression in other’s works. She credits the English department’s professors with nurturing her growth, declaring, “You feel like you have a voice, you’re being heard, and you’re important.”

She also took a position with the University’s literary magazine, The Bayou Review. “Being part of The Bayou Review has shown me ways to edit and interact with different people in terms of literature. It helped guide me in the right direction with my own literature and develop as a writer,” she added.

That experience guided Garcia as she wrote the poem “Pompeii,” which compares UHD’s student experience to the famed Italian city. She’ll recite the poem during UHD’s Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 15. “I tried to capture what students experienced during this previous year. I asked students in the Class of 2021 to send me a word describing what this semester felt like, and I incorporated those words into the work,” Garcia described.

Garcia reflects on her experience at UHD and how that close-knit student body her mother talked about helped her to realize an important part of her heritage as well as her future.

“At the beginning of college, I was insecure and didn’t know where I belonged. UHD has a robust community of Mexican Americans, and that helped me develop my identity and embrace my culture as an individual and through my writing,” she said.

She has plans to attend graduate school to become an English professor who explores Chicana and Chicano literature.