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

Distinguished Alumnus Honored at GroundbreakingDistinguished Alumnus Honored at Groundbreaking
Longtime benefactor, alumnus and local entrepreneur Woo Sung Lee was presented with a proclamation recognizing him as a “50-Year Distinguished Alumnus” during an April 24 groundbreaking ceremony for the new Alumni Welcome Center that bears his name. Lee, a 1959 graduate of the University of Corpus Christi, provided the resources to build the Center which will house the University’s alumni relations operation and several development functions. Full Story


Island Day Reception Draws Record Crowd
Around 1,500 prospective students and parents filled Lee Plaza April 24 for the Island Day open house event welcoming reception. The recruitment activity brings people from throughout Texas to campus for a full day of programs where they learn about the University’s many degree opportunities, enrollment process, housing and student life. This was the largest group to visit an Island Day event in the history of the University. Nearly 200 employees and current students were on hand to provide information and lead sessions.

Sam L. Susser Honored as Kirkland Award Recipient

Sam L. Susser Honored as Kirkland Award Recipient
Sam L. Susser, president and chief executive officer of Corpus Christi-based Susser Holdings Corporation, addressed students, faculty and staff, April 21, after receiving the 2009 G. Russell Kirkland Distinguished Visitor in Business Administration Award. Through its subsidiaries, Susser Holdings Corporation operates more than 510 retail and supplies motor fuel to 370 branded locations in its network.


AEP Makes $250,000 Commitment AEP Makes $250,000 Commitment to ME Program
AEP Texas President and Chief Operating Officer Pablo Vegas presented University President Flavius Killebrew with a $250,000 ceremonial check to confirm the AEP Foundation’s commitment to the University’s upcoming mechanical engineering degree program. Pictured are (from left): Bernard Paulson, University donor and former Koch Refining president; Dr. Killebrew; Vegas; and AEP representatives Ken Griffin and Julio Reyes.


Alice High School Students and Dads Alice High School Students and Dads Tour Campus
Ninth graders from Alice High School and their fathers or father-figures participated in a perch dissection and other activities April 8 during a tour of the University campus hosted by the College of Education’s GEAR UP/STAR Pre-College Outreach Center, and Fathers Active in Communities and Education (FACE). Participants attended 30 to 45 minute class sessions conducted by GEAR UP/STAR Faculty Fellows and other instructors.

Tutoring and Learning Center Renamed CASA, Headed for Glasscock
The University’s Tutoring and Learning Center has been renamed CASA to better reflect its commitment to students as their home for programs that support academic success and achievement. During the fall 2009 semester, CASA will move from its current location in Bell Library to the Glasscock Building. Gerardo Moreno, who heads CASA operations, has been named Assistant Vice President for Student Success.


Miranda Debord Named Student Employee of the Year, First runner-up was Psyril Apacible, and Second runner-up Andrew PadronMiranda Debord Named Student Employee of the Year
Senior biomedical science major Miranda Debord, who works in the College of Science and Technology/Dean’s Office, was named 2009 Student Employee of the Year during an April 16 awards ceremony sponsored by Career Services. Debord was selected from 17 finalists nominated from more than 700 student employees at the University. First runner-up was Psyril Apacible who works with the University Center and Student Activities. Second runner-up Andrew Padron works at the Mary and Jeff Bell Library.
Awards, Honors, and Grants

Islander Athletics and the University Counseling Center have received a $30,000 grant from the NCAA to implement the “Islanders Impacting CHOICES,” a program that engages student athletes to educate their peers about the importance of making healthy choices. The CHOICES Crew will become an integral part of the Islanders Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team.


Dr. James Gibeaut, Harte Research Institute chair and professor, has been awarded $42,979 from the Texas General Land Office to study the status and trends of dune volume, morphology, and vegetative cover along the Texas Gulf Coast.


Dr. Patrick Larkin, associate professor in the College of Science and Technology, has received a $40,281 Texas Sea Grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for mapping genetic structure in the shoal grass along the Texas Gulf Coast.


Dr. Paul Montagna, Harte Research Institute chair and professor, has been awarded $43,575 from the Texas A&M Research Foundation and the United States Army Corps of Engineers to study the long term impacts at the McMurdo Station Antarctica.


new graphic markThe University has received the Award of Excellence for its new graphic mark from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education Southwest District IV during the annual conference held in Oklahoma City, Okla., in April. The new graphic mark competed in Communications Awards Competition with entries from universities and colleges from throughout Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana and Mexico.


Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi has earned 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 joins Texas A&M University as the only two schools in The Texas A&M System with this distinction.


The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has awarded a three-year $750,000 grant to the University’s College of Education for the Governor’s Academy for Teaching Excellence (GATE) free summer educational program. The program for high school students interested in teaching careers in mathematics and/or science at the elementary or secondary levels will be held on the University campus July 12-August 1.

Around the Island
Islander men’s tennis team won its second consecutive Southland Conference Tournament ChampionshipThe Islander men’s tennis team won its second consecutive Southland Conference Tournament Championship to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament in College Station, Texas, where they will face Arizona at 1 p.m. on Friday, May 8. The winner will face the winner of the Texas A&M vs. Binghamton match, on Saturday, May 9, at 4 p.m. at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi will host the Southland Conference Baseball Tournament from Wednesday, May 20, through Saturday, May 23, at Whataburger Field. The winner of the eight-team tournament will receive an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. Information on tournament passes and day passes is available at For more information, contact Alamar Cavada at ext. 3361; or e-mail

The University will hold its 2009 Spring Commencement Saturday, May 16, at 10:30 a.m. at the American Bank Center arena. Commencement speaker will be graduating senior Eric Holguin who will receive his bachelor’s degree in media communication and public relations. For more information, contact Norma Cantu at ext. 2722. Please note:
  • Due to construction near the American Bank Center, parking lot 4 will be designated for faculty parking with overflow going to parking lot 5.
  • The “Beach to Bay” relay marathon is scheduled for the same morning, so allow extra time for travel.
For more information, contact Norma Cantu at ext. 2722.
The Islander Women's Golf Team won the Southland Conference Championship and will compete in the NCAA West Regional in Tempe, Ariz., Thursday, May 7, through Saturday, May, 9. The top eight teams and two individuals from non-qualifying teams advance to the NCAA Championship at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md. After leading her team to its first conference championship, women’s golf coach Carol Blackmar (far right) was named the Southland Conference Coach of the Year.
The 13th annual Islander Awards Celebration will be held Friday, May 8, at 1:30 p.m. in the University Center, Lone Star Ballroom. Service Award Pins will be presented to employees who have achieved 5-year service milestones. Faculty and staff excellence nominees and winners will be honored along with Honors Faculty and the traditional Parade of Achievers.
Service pin recipients and Awards by location

Teacher Job Fair, April 15
Recruiters from more than 100 Texas school districts met with future educators during the Teacher Job Fair April 15 in the University Center, Lone Star Ballroom. The event sponsored by Career Services gives students an opportunity to present their resumes to recruiters and learn about opportunities with school districts throughout the state.

Holi Indian Festival
Students marked the beginning of spring by dousing each other with bright-colored powder paints during the Holi Indian Festival celebrating the end of winter and the triumph of good over evil April 3 on the Bay Hall lawn. The festival was sponsored by the India Students Association and Islander Cultural Alliance. 

Dr. Arthur E. Hernandez  welcomed
Dr. Arthur E. Hernandez
(right), the new dean of the College of Education, was introduced to the campus community at a reception in his honor April 7 in the Performing Arts Center. As dean, Hernandez also oversees the Early Childhood Development Center, University Preparatory High School, Antonio E. Garcia Arts & Education Center, and the college’s bachelors, masters, and doctoral programs.

Best Special Edition or Section for its Breast Cancer Awareness issue
The Island Waves
student newspaper won 10 awards at the 100th Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA) Conference held April 11 in Dallas, Texas. The Island Waves staff took first place in three categories including Best Special Edition or Section for its Breast Cancer Awareness issue. Full Story

“Parade of Nations”
Students representing countries from around the world presented dances, skits and fashion shows during the first “Parade of Nations” dinner held April 20 in the University Center. The dinner sponsored by the Office of International Education featured music and dance performances by the Islander Cultural Alliance, the Chinese Student Association, the Vietnamese Student Association and the Indian Student Association.

Corpus Christi City Council member Nelda Martinez
Corpus Christi City Council member Nelda Martinez was one of nine at-large candidates and three candidates for mayor who addressed political science students during a campus forum just days before the April 4 municipal elections. Each candidate was given the opportunity to make an opening statement before taking questions from students.

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