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

Challenge Met with CITGO Donation to ME Program
A $150,000 donation from CITGO Petroleum Corporation put Texas A&M-Corpus Christi over its goal of $3 million in community commitments for the new Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering program. CITGO ’s commitment will help provide laboratory space, faculty, research opportunities, and scholarships. In addition, AG|CM, Inc. has committed $25,000 and HDR Engineering, Inc. has pledged $10,000 to the mechanical engineering program.


Largest Graduating Class Celebrates CommencementLargest Graduating Class Celebrates Commencement
The largest number of graduates in Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi history received their diplomas during Spring Commencement held May 16 in the American Bank Center arena. In all, 914 students from the Colleges of Business, Education, Liberal Arts, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Science and Technology received diplomas, an increase of almost 100 candidates from a year ago.


COB Celebrates Initial AACSB Accounting AccreditationCOB Earns Initial AACSB Accounting Accreditation
The College of Business
held a reception May 11 for the initial accreditation for its undergraduate and master’s accounting programs from AACSB International, the longest serving global accrediting body for business schools that offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in business and accounting. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is one of just 13 Texas universities with this accounting accreditation.


Elisa Beagle, a center on the Islander women’s basketball team, received the first Lee Denmon AwardIslander Athletes Recognized at Annual Banquet
Elisa Beagle
, a center on the Islander women’s basketball team, received the first Lee Denmon Award in recognition of her volunteer work within the community during the annual Student-Athlete Banquet held May 5 at the American Bank Center. The award honors the memory of Denmon, a former men’s basketball player who was fatally shot in his driveway in a mistaken gang related shooting at age 23. Awards were also presented to outstanding athletes in 12 sports as well as members of the band, cheer, dance and athletic training groups. Full Story

“Dancing with the Stars” workshop presented by Dr. Amir HormoziEmployee Development Day Highlights Diversity
University faculty and staff learned to dance to a Latin beat during the “Dancing with the Stars” workshop presented by Dr. Amir Hormozi as part of the University’s annual “Employee Development Day.” The theme for the day-long event which featured more than 40 workshops on professional development, general knowledge, and personal growth was “Diversity: Meeting the Challenges & Opportunities with New Levels of Excellence, Engagement, Expansion, and Effectiveness.”
Research and Scholary Activity

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and GlobalWatt Inc., a Silicon Valley firm specializing in solar cell/solar module manufacturing and outsourced solar factory management, have announced plans to collaborate on photovoltaic technology research and development that will enable the University to develop advanced clean energy technologies and curriculum.


Two spring 2009 graduates were the first to receive Ph.D. degrees in new University programs. Dr. Deborah Crowder received a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in reading from the College of Education. She is an assistant professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Tarleton State University. Dr. Oscar Garcia received a doctorate in Coastal and Marine System Science. He has accepted a position in the Oceanography Department at Florida State University.
Awards, Honors, and Grants

Dr. Arthur E. Hernandez, dean of the College of Education, has been appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to serve on the Texas Diabetes Council. Hernandez is one of four appointees who will serve through Feb. 1, 2015. The Texas Diabetes Council assists in the development and implementation of a public awareness strategy focusing on diabetes and its complications.


The University’s Academic Advising Transition Center (AATC) has received the Silver Award in the Best Practices in Transfer Enrollment Management category in the Successful Transfer Enhancement Program (STEP) Award competition. The STEP Award Competition recognizes outstanding work in serving transfer students within the State of Texas. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s AATC was also named one of the Seven Examples of Excellence.


Dr. Robert VokurkaDr. Robert Vokurka, chair of the Department of Finance, Economics and Decision Sciences, has been appointed to the 2009 Board of Directors for the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award by Dr. Patrick Gallagher, deputy director of the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The award is the highest level of national recognition for performance excellence that a U.S. organization can receive. This is the 10th year that Vokurka has been named to the board of approximately 500 experts from industry, professional and trade organizations, education and healthcare organizations and government. As an examiner, Vokerka is responsible for reviewing and evaluating applications submitted for the award.


Faculty Tenure and Promotions Announced
The following faculty members have been granted tenure by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents effective Sept. 1: Dr. Richard Balkin, associate professor of counseling and educational administration; Dr. Kamiar Kouzekanani, associate professor of educational administration; Dr. Liette B. Ocker, assistant professor of kinesiology; Dr. Raul Prezas, assistant professor of educational administration; Kelly Russell, assistant professor of theatre; Dr. Glenn Tiller, assistant professor of philosophy; Dr. Christell O. Bray, associate professor of nursing; and Dr. Elaine Young, assistant professor of mathematics and statistics.

The promotion of the following faculty members has been approved by Texas A&M University System Chancellor Michael D. McKinney effective Sept. 1: Dr. Valrie Chambers, professor of accounting; Dr. John D. Fernandez, professor of computing sciences; Dr. Mario Garcia, professor of computing sciences; Dr. Kamiar Kouzekanani, professor of educational administration; Dr. Raul Prezas, associate professor of educational administration; Dr. Liette B. Ocker, associate professor of kinesiology; Dr. Chuleeporn Changchit, professor of management information systems; Dr. Elaine Young, associate professor of mathematics; Dr. Christell O. Bray, professor of nursing; Dr. Peter Moore, associate professor of philosophy; Dr. Glenn Tiller, associate professor of philosophy; Dr. Jana Sanders, associate professor of teacher education; and Kelly Russell, assistant professor of theatre.

Around the Island

The Corpus Christi Area Alumni Club will hold their “Summer Taste of Texas” alumni mixer Thursday, June 25, at 6 p.m. at the Islander Art Gallery, 4024 Weber Road in Hamlin Center. The evening will include hors d'oeuvres, special guests, live music, an array of wines to sample and a silent auction featuring art, collectibles and other items. Pre-sale tickets are available; tickets will not be available at the door. Proceeds will benefit student scholarships. The mixer is open to the public. Tickets are $20 ($15 for current Chapter members and spouses). To order tickets, e-mail Chapter President Lee White at lwhite01@stx.rr.com or call Alumni Relations at 361.825.5787.


Texas Woman’s University and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi have received approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to offer a Cooperative Ph.D. in Nursing beginning in fall 2009. The Cooperative Ph.D. will make a doctoral nursing science program available to nurses in South Texas and will offer a blend of online, televideo and face-to-face classes. Students will be taught by Texas Woman’s University doctoral faculty.

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi has accepted an invitation to join the National Learning Communities Conference (NLCC) Consortium. The University will join Delta College, Harper College, Metropolitan Community College-Kansas City, Mo., Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, and Kennesaw State University in the consortium which organizes the annual National Learning Communities Conference. A&M-Corpus Christi's First Year Learning Communities Program has received state and national recognition and is regarded as a national model for learning communities.

Seneca Holland, a research associate with the Harte Research Institute, presented Amazon Kindle2 Wireless Reading Device by University President Flavius Killebrew
Seneca Holland, a research associate with the Harte Research Institute, was presented with an Amazon Kindle2 Wireless Reading Device by University President Flavius Killebrew for submitting the winning entry in the “Name the Land” contest. Holland’s suggestion to name the land “Momentum Campus” was selected from hundreds of entries to name the site donated to the University by the City of Corpus Christi.

Dr. David Mead chats with colleagues during a retirement reception held in his honor May 1 in the Performing Arts Center atrium. Mead, a professor of English and former associate dean and department chair, retired after more than 30 years at the Island University. He has authored and co-authored numerous science fiction stories and is a former president of the Science Fiction Research Association.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi float in the 71st Buc Days Parade
Izzy the
Islander mascot was among the contingent of University representatives who rode aboard the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi float in the 71st Buc Days Parade. More than 25,000 spectators lined the route of the annual parade that celebrates the discovery of Corpus Christi Bay in 1519 by Spanish explorer Alonzo Alvarez Piñeda.

Faculty, staff and students honored David Jensen (center) at a retirement receptio
Faculty, staff and students honored David Jensen (center) at a retirement reception May 22 in the University Center, Legacy Hall. For 19 years, Jensen headed the University’s National Spill Control School which conducts classes in spill prevention and the control of oil, hazardous materials, and hazardous waste.

Nursing Grads
Spring graduates from the College of Nursing and Health Sciences were honored during the spring Recognition and Hooding Ceremony held May 15 in the Performing Arts Center. With more than 900 graduate and undergraduate students, the College of Nursing and Health Sciences is the University’s fastest-growing College.

Dr. Veronica Guerra, director, Title V/Trio, was honored for her years of service to the University during a retirement reception
Dr. Veronica Guerra, director of Title V/Trio, was honored for her years of service to the University during a retirement reception May 5 in the Performing Arts Center lobby. The University’s TRiO Programs are designed to identify students with academic potential and provide tutoring and support services to prepare them for college level work.

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