Coastlines
January 2010                                                               A Monthly Newsletter for Faculty, Staff and Friends of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Happy New Year
 
University Center Transformed into Study Area for Students Cramming for Finals
Late Night Breakfast More than 500 students took a break from studying for finals to enjoy a free breakfast of eggs, potatoes and French toast during the Late Night Breakfast on Dec. 8 from 8:30-10:30 p.m. in the University Center. The annual event also included the transformation of the University Center into the campus’ first-ever “Study Center” where students preparing for final exams had 24-hour access to group study rooms, quiet study areas, napping space, stress relief rooms and laptops for “SMARTHINKING” tutoring sessions.

 

Campus Rockers Compete for Cash Prizes during Battle of the Bands XICampus Rockers Compete for Cash Prizes
Ten local bands featuring Islander students rocked the campus for cash prizes during the “Battle of the Bands XI” held Dec. 4 in the University Center, Lone Star Ballroom. During the concert sponsored by the Campus Activities Board, bands played 30-minute sets and were judged on technical skill, creativity, stage presence, vocal skill and audience reaction. The winning bands were: First place- The Preview ($500); Second place- Shrimp Scampi & the Heavenly Blues ($350); Third place- Equal People ($250).

 

Local Conservation Group Donates $500 for HRI Fisheries Ecology Lab
Local Conservation Group Donates $500 for HRI Fisheries Ecology LabThe “Sharkathon” catch-and-release tournament donated $500 to the Harte Research Institute’s Fisheries Ecology Lab from the proceeds generated by its annual tournament held in October at the Padre Island National Seashore. The Fisheries Ecology Lab focuses on field research in marine biology sciences and ecology with an emphasis on marine and estuarine fishes to determine their spatial distribution. Pictured are: (From left) Tom Neahr, Sharkathon treasurer; Russell Wier, Sharkathon secretary; Megan Robillard, HRI research associate; Greg Stunz, HRI associate professor; and Mickey Berry, Sharkathon vice president.

 

Michael Martin Murphey's 'Cowboy Christmas' Plays to Sold-Out Performing Arts Center
Michael Martin Murphey's 'Cowboy Christmas' Legendary singer and songwriter Michael Martin Murphey once again packed the Performing Arts Center for his annual “Cowboy Christmas” concert held Dec. 8. Murphey, one of the best-selling singer/songwriters of American cowboy music since the early 1970s, broke ground in 1987 with his nostalgic, down-home, inspirational Christmas show which plays to more than 40 cities, including Corpus Christi, during the holiday season. Murphey, recently hit number one on the Top 50 Bluegrass Chart, with his new album “Buckaroo Blue Grass.”

 

Zimba Named Director of Center for Coastal Studies
Dr. Paul ZimbaDr. Paul Zimba has joined the College of Science and Technology as director of the Center for Coastal Studies. Before taking over as director of the CCS, Zimba was a research microbiologist with the Agricultural Research Service Agency of the United States Department of Agriculture in Stoneville, Miss. He takes over for Dr. Wes Tunnell who stepped down after 25 years to concentrate on his responsibilities as associate director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies.

 
Awards, Honors and Grants
 
Dr. Awni ZebdaDr. Awni Zebda, a professor in the Department of Accounting and Business Law, has received the designation of Regents Professor from The Texas A&M Board of Regents. Zebda, one of 14 professors within The Texas A&M University System to receive the designation of Regents Professor for 2008-2009, was nominated by University President Flavius Killebrew. Zebda received a $9,000 stipend, a commemorative medallion and a certificate at a dinner honoring the recipients.
 

The Ed Rachal Foundation has awarded Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi three grants totaling $100,000.

  • The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies received $30,000 for its Environmental Sciences Teacher Workshops.
  • The Coastal Bend Eco-Historic Awareness Program received $10,000 to highlight the links between the ecology and history of the area.
  • The Army ROTC Islander Battalion received $60,000 for the Ed Rachal Foundation ROTC Field Leadership Reaction Course to develop and evaluate leadership ability and build teamwork.
 
Research and Scholarly Activity
 

Dr. Karen L. MiddletonDr. Karen L. Middleton, professor of management, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to lecture at Yuan Ze University in Taipei, Taiwan, during the 2009-2010 academic year. While at Yuan Ze University, Middleton will serve as visiting professor of management. She is also listed on the National Science Council of Taiwan’s database as a visiting researcher. Middleton is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad during 2009-2010 through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.

 
Around the Island
 

The Islander women’s basketball teamThe Islander women’s basketball team will open the Southland Conference season when they host Central Arkansas on Saturday, Jan. 9, in the American Bank Center arena. The Islanders will face off against Texas State on Wednesday, Jan. 13, before hitting the road. The Islander men will play their first home conference game against Northwestern State on Saturday, Jan. 16, before hosting Lamar at on Wednesday, Jan. 20. For complete Islander sports news and schedules, click on www.goislanders.com

 

Spring 2010 Registration will continue through Tuesday, Jan. 12. Students can also register in the Student Services Center until Friday, Jan. 22. The spring schedule is available for viewing on S.A.I.L. For more information, log onto S.A.I.L; or call the Registrar’s office at 361.825.7024.

 

Assistant Secretary of the Navy Juan GarciaAssistant Secretary of the Navy Juan Garcia was the keynote speaker at the University’s Fall 2009 Commencement Dec. 19 in the American Bank Center Arena. Garcia, who served the 32nd District in the Texas House of Representatives from 2006-2008, was confirmed as the assistant secretary of the Navy for manpower and reserve affairs in Sept. 2009. During the ceremony, around 650 students from the University’s Colleges of Business, Education, Liberal Arts, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Science and Technology walked across the stage to receive their diplomas.

 
The Islander Dance Team is currently holding private tryouts for their competition team for the Spring 2010 semester. The competition team will consist of 12-14 members and is open to all students who are currently taking at least nine semester hours. The team will attend competition on Saturday, March 13, 2010. Cost for the team is $100, including costumes. Travel expenses and entry fees will be provided by the University. For more information including technical requirements and practice schedules, call 361.765.5684; or e-mail Melanie.Lowry@tamucc.edu.
 

Dr. Sylvia Earle reads to children
Dr. Sylvia Earle, chair of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies Advisory Council, read her children’s book “Hello, Fish!” Dec. 5 during the “Holidays at the Harte” celebration. The book written specifically for youngsters, features underwater photos of a variety of coral reef dwellers with educational insights into their habits.

More Than 100 fifth-grade students from Chula Vista Academy of Fine Arts toured the biology and chemistry laboratories
More than 100 fifth-grade students from Chula Vista Academy of Fine Arts toured the biology and chemistry laboratories Dec. 14 in the Center for Instruction. The purpose in hosting the field trip was to encourage young students to pursue careers in science and to show them that science can be fun and engaging.

University President Flavius Killebrew mingled with faculty, staff and students
University President Flavius Killebrew mingled with faculty, staff and students during the Tamalada Holiday Celebration Dec. 17 in the University Center, Lone Star Ballroom. The annual event sponsored by the University President’s Office is a campus holiday tradition.

Students in the First-Year Learning Communities Program
Students in the First-Year Learning Communities Program showcased their freshman research projects during the University’s “First-Year Celebration” Dec. 3 in the University Center, Lone Star Ballroom. This fall, approximately 1,550 students participated in the program.

Santa Claus posed for pictures with children and their parents during the “Islander Lights”
Santa Claus
posed for pictures with children and their parents during the “Islander Lights” celebration Dec. 4 in the University Center. An important part of the campus festival is the “Wishes and Dreams” toy drive which this year netted 282 donated presents and more than $500 in cash donations.

The Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Young Business Professionals Association
The Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Young Business Professionals Association took second place in the Illuminated Boat Parade Dec. 5 at the Corpus Christi Marina. The parade was the highlight of Corpus Christi’s 27th annual Harbor Lights Festival that draws an estimated 20,000 spectators each holiday season.


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