January 2009                                                                        A monthly newsletter for Faculty, Staff and Friends of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
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“Islander Lights” holiday celebrationIslander Lights Brighten Campus for Holidays
Campus buildings along Ocean Drive were illuminated in Islander blue, green and white during the annual “Islander Lights” holiday celebration Friday, Dec. 5, at the Performing Arts Center plaza. The evening featured music, games and activities, and a visit from Santa Claus. In the spirit of the season, guests were also invited to brighten a child’s Christmas by donating an unwrapped toy for the Wishes and Dreams Toy Drive.
 
“100 in December” Exhibit'100 in December' Exhibit Features Art for Sale
The Department of Art and University Galleries presented the exhibition “100 in December,” which celebrated various media created by University students, alumni and local artists. The fundraiser featured works which were sold for $100 or less. The artwork included drawings, paintings, ceramics, sculpture and wearable art such as jewelry and handbags. Proceeds will benefit the Department of Art and the artists.
 

drum circleVictims of AIDS Remembered at Memorial Service
Campus organizations observed World AIDS Day Monday, Dec. 1, in the University Center with a memorial service and drum circle to remember victims of the pandemic that has killed millions of people world-wide. Faculty, staff and students were encouraged to wear red ribbons to raise AIDS awareness and Planned Parenthood offered free HIV/AIDS screenings.

 
Dr. Richard GigliottiRetiring Liberal Arts Dean Honored at Reception
Dr. Richard Gigliotti, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, was honored with a retirement reception Friday, Dec. 12, in the Performing Arts Center lobby. Prior to the celebration, Gigliotti delivered his “Last Chance Lecture” to colleagues, students and well-wishers. Gigliotti, former dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Montclair State University, joined the University in July 2004.
 

‘Holiday Gala’ Features Music Ensembles'Holiday Gala’ Features Music Ensembles
“The Peanuts Christmas Special” and Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride" were among the musical selections performed at the “Holiday Gala Concert” Sunday, Dec. 7, in the Performing Arts Center. The concert presented by the Department of Music also featured a musical setting of “The Night before Christmas” with former KZTV 10 anchor Walter Furley as narrator.

 
First-Year CelebrationFirst-Year Celebration Showcases Student Presentations
Freshmen students in the First-Year Learning Communities Program (FYLCP) showcased their freshman research projects during the “First-Year Celebration” Thursday, Dec. 4, in the University Center, Lone Star Ballroom. The celebration gave the students an opportunity to take their writing public and present their projects in visual, multimedia and other creative formats. Approximately 1,429 students participated in the program.
 

Reception Kicks off Photographic Exhibition
The Department of Art and University Galleries held an opening reception for “Toward What Sun: Photographs by Philip Van Keuren” Thursday, Dec. 4, in the Weil Gallery. The exhibit, which is on display through Friday, Jan. 30, showcases photographs which address the fleeting nature of existence. Van Keuren is an associate professor of art and curatorial studies and director of the Pollock Gallery at Southern Methodist University.

 

Quintanilla Named Interim Dean for College of Liberal Arts
Dr. Kelly Quintanilla
, professor of communication in the Department of Communication and Theatre, has been named interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts. The appointment will be for the period of Jan. 1 to May 31, 2009. Quintanilla joined the University faculty in 1994 after earning her Ph.D. in Communication from Pennsylvania State University and, since 2000, has served as either a department chair or a program coordinator. 

 
Awards, Honors, and Grants

The University’s Historically Underutilized Business Program (HUB) has been ranked among the top 25 in the state by Texas Procurement and Support Services (TPASS). The statewide HUB program provides information on the procurement process to minority and woman-owned businesses and facilitates the use of those underutilized businesses. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi was ranked number 13 on the list.

 

Professor Robert WoosterHistory Professor Robert Wooster received the designation of Regents Professor at The Texas A&M Board of Regents meeting, Friday, Dec. 5, in College Station. Dr. Wooster, one of 12 professors within the system to receive the designation, was nominated by University President/CEO Flavius Killebrew. He received a $9,000 stipend, a commemorative medallion and a certificate in his honor.

 

University President Flavius Killebrew has been appointed to the Governing Board of The Texas A&M University System Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (TAMUS LSAMP) program. The program plays an important role in enhancing retention and degree completion for underrepresented minorities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics ((STEM). The Governing Board is composed of the presidents of the three alliance institutions and outstanding academic, business and civic leaders selected by each institution.

 
Research and Scholarly Activity
Brien A. Nicolau, assistant director of operations/research associate, and Erin M. Hill, research specialist II with the Center for Coastal Studies, have been awarded $167,887 from the City of Corpus Christi to continue the Rincon Bayou Diversion Project-Biological Monitoring 2008-2009 in the Nueces Delta. This ongoing multi-year project is a freshwater inflow “adaptive management” study conducted jointly with the Center for Coastal Studies, Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, the Conrad Blucher Institute-Division of Nearshore Research, and the University of Texas Marine Science Institute at Port Aransas.
 
Around the Island
The campus community is invited to the grand opening of the Dr. Jack and Susie Dugan Wellness Center Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009 at 10:30 a.m. on the east lawn between the University Center and Moody Sustainers Fieldhouse. A reception will follow the ribbon cutting. At 3 p.m. the Islander men's basketball team will host UTSA in the first Southland Conference game ever played on the University campus.
 
Ana BilleauxAna Billeaux has been named student advisor for the University’s new Office of International Education (OIE) which opened Monday, Dec. 1. The OIE will support international students pursuing a bachelors or advanced degree as well as students in English as a Second Language International (ESLI) classes. In addition, the OIE will work to increase the number of students and faculty who travel abroad through reciprocal agreements with educational institutions around the world.
 
Three-time Olympian Crystl Bustos will be the guest speaker at the Islander Softball First Pitch Dinner Saturday, Jan. 17, from 6-8 p.m. in the University Center, Lone Star Ballroom. The 2009 softball squad and coaches will be introduced. Tickets are $75 per person or $500 for a table of eight. For more information e-mail Shana Riggleman at shana.riggleman@tamucc.edu.
 
Dr. Frank B. Ashley IIIDr. Frank B. Ashley III, vice chancellor for Academic Affairs for The Texas A&M University System, was the keynote speaker at the University’s 2008 Fall Commencement Saturday, Dec. 20, at the American Bank Center. More than 700 students from the Colleges of Business, Education, Liberal Arts, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Science and Technology received their diplomas during the ceremony.

University President Flavius Killebrew mingled with faculty staff
University President Flavius Killebrew mingled with faculty, staff and students as they enjoyed tamales with all the fixings during the Tamalada Holiday Celebration Thursday, Dec. 18, in the University Center, Lone Star Ballroom. The annual event sponsored by the University President’s office has been a holiday campus tradition for more than 20 years.

 

“The Spirit of Symbolism of Freedom and Peace in the World” door decoration
“The
Spirit of Symbolism of Freedom and Peace in the World” designed by supply employees (from left) Michael Benavidez, Olga Barrera, Gloria DeLeon and Gloria Monreal was selected as the “Most Original” entry in the Physical Plant’s 4th annual Door Decoration Contest. The award was announced during a holiday luncheon Friday, Dec. 19.

 

Michael Martin Murphey
Legendary singer and songwriter Michael Martin Murphey returned to the University’s Performing Arts Center to celebrate the holiday season with another sold-out “Cowboy Christmas” Concert, Wednesday, Dec. 10. Murphey, one of the best-selling singer/songwriters of American cowboy music since the early 1970s, broke ground in 1987 with his innovative holiday season show which now spans 40 cities including Corpus Christi each holiday season.

 


Businessman Brad Lomax, owner of Water Street Inc., was presented with a proclamation recognizing him as an honorary Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi alumnus Friday, Dec. 12, at Agua Java, one of several downtown businesses owned by the local entrepreneur. In celebration of 25 successful years with his Water Street Restaurants and Water Street Market businesses, Lomax was cited for his years of dedication and collaboration with the University’s Alumni Association chapter.

 

Fall 2008 Academic Honors Ceremony
Students from the University’s five colleges who graduated with a 3.5 GPA or higher were honored during the Fall 2008 Academic Honors Ceremony Saturday, Dec. 6, in the Performing Arts Center. The 132 students were escorted by their deans as they were corded and awarded a certificate recognizing their academic success.


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