July 2009                                                                                   A monthly newsletter for Faculty, Staff and Friends of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
 

Wielding the ceremonial shovels were Charlie Fote of Satterfield & Pontikes Construction; Fred Heldenfels IV, vice chairman of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; Texas A&M University System Vice Chairman James P. Wilson; Chela Storm, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Foundation board member; Julie Buckley, donor and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Foundation board member; Kathy Killebrew; University President Flavius Killebrew, Karen O’Connor Urban, building donor; Shawn O’Connor, son of the late Michael A. O’Connor, and his wife Pam O’Connor; College of Business Dean Moustafa Abdelsamad; Cristina Ramos, BBA student; Chip and Katie Urban; Courtney Ball, MAcc student; Jared Kirby, MBA student; and Dr. Katy Peeples, associate professor in the College of Business.
University Breaks Ground for Michael and Karen O’Connor Building
More than 150 people gathered June 24 to celebrate the groundbreaking for the new Michael and Karen O’Connor Building. Wielding the ceremonial shovels were Charlie Fote of Satterfield & Pontikes Construction; Fred Heldenfels IV, vice chairman of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; Texas A&M University System Vice Chairman James P. Wilson; Chela Storm, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Foundation board member; Julie Buckley, donor and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Foundation board member; Kathy Killebrew; University President Flavius Killebrew; Karen O’Connor Urban, building donor; Shawn O’Connor, son of the late Michael A. O’Connor, and his wife Pam O’Connor; College of Business Dean Moustafa Abdelsamad; Cristina Ramos, BBA student; Chip and Katie Urban; Courtney Ball, MAcc student; Jared Kirby, MBA student; and Dr. Katy Peeples, associate professor in the College of Business. Full Story.

 
Supporters of Mechanical Engineering Program Recognized at Reception
Supporters of ME Program Recognized at Reception
Edy Valdes (third from left), one of 31 students selected for the new Mechanical Engineering Program that begins this fall, spoke on the importance of the program during a June 24 appreciation reception for businesses, organizations and individuals whose donations and dedication made the program possible. Speakers included (from left) State Rep. Abel Herrero, State Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, Valdes, State Rep. Todd Hunter, State Rep. Solomon Ortiz Jr. and University President Flavius Killebrew.
 

Alumni mingle at ‘Summer Taste of Texas’ MixerAlumni Mingle at ‘Summer Taste of Texas’ Mixer
More than 120 people attended the “Summer Taste of Texas” alumni mixer June 25 at the Islander Art Gallery. The mixer, sponsored by the Corpus Christi Area Alumni Club of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, featured hors d'oeuvres, live music, an array of wines to sample and a silent auction. Proceeds will provide two $500 student scholarships to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

 

“Camp on the Coast” Summer Theatre Workshop,Theatre Takes Center Stage at Summer Workshop
High school thespians performed several one-act plays during the “Camp on the Coast” Summer Theatre Workshop, a two-week residential camp held in June by the University’s Theatre Department. Students interested in performance studied acting, voice and movement, while technical theatre students attended classes in design, created production sets, lighting and costumes, and served as crew for the shows.

 
Computing Sciences Holds Alice Workshop
Thirty educators from across the nation participated in the “Alice Workshop for Educators” June 9-12. The workshop sponsored by the Department of Computing Sciences is designed to train educators to effectively use the Alice programming environment at the secondary and post-secondary education levels.
 

SURFers Explore Coastal WatersSURFers Explore Coastal Waters during Kayaking Trip
Novice kayakers tried their hands at navigating the Lighthouse Lakes Kayak Trails near Aransas Pass during a field trip June 5 for students in the Summer Undergraduate Research Focus (SURF) program. The 10-week program mentored by Department of Physical and Life Sciences faculty provides undergraduate students with research experiences on the effects of human activities on the environment.

 
‘ME by the SEa’ Conference Emphasizes Math and Science Curriculum‘ME by the SEa’ Emphasizes Math and Science
More than 270 educators from across the Coastal Bend participated in the “ME by the SEa” Conference held June 12 in the Center for Instruction. The 45 presentations and workshops featured hands-on activities that teachers of all grade levels can use to address a variety of topics on the mathematics and science curriculum. This year the annual conference included a new science education concentration.
 
Valley Girls Raise 'Like $2,000' for Cancer SocietyValley Girls Raise 'Like $2,000' for Cancer Society
The Valley Girls of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
raised $2,000 to fight cancer during the American Cancer Society’s “Relay for Life” held June 19-20 at Whataburger Field. More than 1,100 people participated in the 12-hour overnight event themed “Groovin’ to the ‘80s” that included a luminaria ceremony, a silent auction, games and contests. The Valley Girls were awarded a trophy for the Rookie Team of the Year.

 

Research and Scholary Activity
 

Dr. Wes TunnellDr. Wes Tunnell, associate director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, displays a copy of volume one (Biodiversity)  “Gulf of Mexico Origin, Waters, and Biota,” a 1,393-page comprehensive update of knowledge of the Gulf of Mexico. Tunnell, Dr. Sylvia Earle, chair of the HRI Advisory Council, and Dr. Darryl Felder, professor of biology and head of the Laboratory for Crustacean Research at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, are overall editors of the seven volume update of “Bulletin 89: The Gulf of Mexico- Its Origin, Waters, and Marine Life” published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

 

Awards, Honors, and Grants
 
Lari Young
Dr. Lari Young, director of the University’s Performing Arts Center, has been elected to a one-year term as president of the Rotary Club of Southside Corpus Christi. She was also named the 2009 Rotarian of the Year for her contributions to the club.

 

Around the Island
 
“The Territory,” a weekly series of four one-hour programs featuring screening and discussion of films by independent media artists, will air Saturdays from July 4  through July 25, at 10 p.m. on public television station KEDT-TV, Channel 16. The series, which is in its 19th season, is a joint project of the Art Museum of South Texas and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. For a full list of films, go to http://artmuseumofsouthtexas.org/education/filmseries.htm.
 

University employees can make changes to their benefits online through the new system iBenefits at https://sso.tamus.edu/ during annual enrollment from Wednesday, July 1, through Friday, July 31. Use your UIN and SSO password and click on the iBenefits link. If you do not wish to make any changes to your benefit programs, no action is required.  However, Flexible Spending Account elections must be re-designated each year.  All changes become effective Tuesday, Sept. 1. For more information, go to http://tamus.edu/benefits/ae/; or contact Human Resources at ext. 2630.

 
The Department of Recreational Sports provides wellness seminars for the campus community. There are a variety of presentations that our fitness/wellness staff can share with you. These presentations are portable, so we can come to you. Additionally, these sessions can be scheduled at the Dugan Wellness Center with our fitness/wellness coordinator. For more information or to schedule a wellness seminar for your staff, contact Chris Dillon at ext. 2171; or e-mail chris.dillon@tamucc.edu.


University’s new bus wrap featuring Islander student athletes
The University’s new bus wrap featuring Islander student-athletes from all 14 NCAA team sports was unveiled June 19 at the Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority headquarters. The new mural replaces the popular design celebrating the University’s 60th Anniversary that has been a familiar sight along the bus route that serves the campus community. Full Photo.

ARTrageous Summer Party model
An estimated 450 patrons enjoyed an outrageous fashion show, performance art and a sale of works by area artists at the ARTrageous Summer Party held June 26 at the Art Museum of South Texas. Proceeds from the Museum’s edgiest function of the year, will help fund youth art education programs and future exhibitions.

Islander Band Camp
High school and junior high students honed their musical talents on woodwind, brass and percussion instruments during the Islander Band Camp held June 8-12. Each year the camp hosted by the Department of Music brings together young musicians for a week of intensive training with area musicians highlighted by an end-of-camp concert in the Performing Arts Center.

Ninth-grade students in the GEAR UP/STAR Program’s Summer Bridge Institute
Ninth-grade students in the GEAR UP/STAR Program’s Summer Bridge Institute sponsored by the College of Education constructed and flew tetrahedron-shaped kites June 23 outside the Early Childhood Development Center. The activity was designed to increase students’ understanding of math and science concepts.

Summer Art Camp participant
University art faculty and graduate students nurtured the talents of more than 30 area junior high and high school students in June during two Summer Art Camps sponsored by the Department of Art. The camps provided students with opportunities to create works in various styles and mediums including drawing self-portraits in charcoal.

students watched Art Professor Jack Gron make a cast from molten lead
Elementary and middle school students watched Art Professor Jack Gron make a cast from molten lead then recorded their observations as one of many exercises during the two Young Authors Camps in June. The camps sponsored by the University’s Department of English included conversations with poets and artists, naturalist walks, and exercises in online publishing and technology in writing.


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