October 2010                                                              A Monthly Newsletter for Faculty, Staff and Friends of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
10,000 students

Enrollment Hits Record High with More Than 10,000 Students Beginning Fall Classes
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi marked a major milestone in its history when more than 10,000 students reported for fall 2010 classes at the Island University. As of Friday, Sept. 24, 10,037 undergraduate and graduate students were enrolled, an increase of 6 percent over the 9,468 students enrolled a year ago.

More than 800 Business & Community Leaders Attend State of the University Luncheon
State of the UniversityAchieve Scholar Sarah Murphy, a sophomore English and Economics major, addressed more than 800 business and community leaders in September at the sixth annual "State of the University" luncheon in the Henry Garrett Ballroom at the American Bank Center. Keynote speaker President Flavius Killebrew spoke about the growth and development of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and shared University news and information that has an impact on the Coastal Bend. Proceeds from the luncheon benefit the Achieve Scholarship Program.

University Again Designated as 'Military Friendly' by G.I. Jobs Magazine
Military FriendlyFor the second year in a row, Texas A&M University-Corpus has been named as a "Military Friendly School" by G.I. Jobs magazine. Colleges, universities and trade schools named as "Military Friendly" must rank in the top 15 percent nationwide for efforts and results in recruiting and retaining military and veteran students to increase diversity among the student body, faculty and staff. Pictured are (l to r): Lt. Col. Lee Overby, commander of the Islander ROTC Battalion, University President Flavius Killebrew and Rene Coronado, coordinator of the University’s Veterans Affairs office.

Research and Scholarly Activity
Dr. Magesh ThiyagarajanDr. Magesh Thiyagarajan, director of the Plasma Engineering Research Lab and an assistant professor of engineering in the College of Science and Technology, has received $700,000 research grant from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to establish a state-of-the-art Plasma Engineering Research Laboratory (PERL) facility.
Terry TatumTerry Tatum, associate vice president for Information Technology and the University's chief information officer, has been appointed chair of the Health Information Exchange Technical (HIE) Committee of the Health Information Network of South Texas (HINSTX). The HIE is a method to electronically move personal health and medical information securely between doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers when it is needed for patient care.
Awards, Honors and Grants
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded a $290,000 grant to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi for the Undergraduate Scholarly Research for Hispanics Program (U-SEARCH), a student experimental learning model that, for nine semesters, will pay tuition and wages for five students working on research projects with the USDA.
The Texas A&M System Board of Regents has granted tenured faculty status to Dr. Luis Cifuentes, dean of Graduate Education and associate vice president for Research and Scholarly Activity, and Dr. Phyllis Hensley, a professor in the College of Education, effective Sept. 1.
Around the Island
Dig PinkIslanders Athletics will hold the "Dig Pink" carnival on Wednesday, Oct. 6, beginning at 4 p.m. outside the Dugan Wellness Center. "Dig Pink" includes a dunk tank, cake walk and other activities. Following the carnival, the Islanders will take on the UTSA Roadrunners in a Southland Conference volleyball showdown beginning at 7 p.m. in the Dugan Wellness Center.  General Admission is $5, and $3 for faculty and staff. Students will be admitted free with their SandDollar$ ID. The first 200 fans will receive a free pink shirt. For more information, call Sean Kelly in the Athletics ticket office at ext. 2255.
The KEDT Challenge returns to campus on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at noon in the University Center Commons with students competing against faculty for the coveted Islander Challenge trophy. Political science professor Carlos Huerta, who heads the First-Year Learning Communities program, is assembling student and faculty teams from among those in the program. The KEDT Challenge televised show begins in November with area high schools competing for scholarships through academic questions asked by host Eric Boyd. The University version will pit "those who teach" against "those who are taught." The campus community is invited.
Families are needed to host international students for a Friendship Families Thanksgiving dinner. The program pairs families with international students who are eager to learn about American culture and tell unique stories about their country. A friendship family can be an individual, couple, family, or roommates. To sign up, e-mail; or go to The deadline to sign up is Sunday, Oct. 31.
The University Theatre will present "Back of the Throat," a black comedy about an Arab-American writer tangled up in the post-9/11 paranoia following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, from Tuesday, Oct. 12, through Sunday, Oct. 17, in the Warren Theatre in the Center for the Arts. Performances begin at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee. Tickets are $10 for adults, $6.50 for students, and $5 for University students with a valid Sandollar$ ID. For more information, call 361.825.5800.
  President's Picnic University President Flavius Killebrew and first lady, Kathy, joined hundreds of students, faculty and staff who enjoyed hot dogs and hamburgers at the President's Picnic to kick off the 2010 fall semester. Due to rain, the picnic was moved into the Dugan Wellness Center where the crowd enjoyed various activities including dance, baton twirling and cheerleading demonstrations. The annual fall picnic is sponsored by the Student Activities Waves of Welcome Committee.

Scenes from Judas Iscariot
Total attendance for the University Theatre's 2009-2010 main stage productions was 5,623 patrons, with students accounting for more than one-third of the attendance. According the Don Luna, chair of the Department of Communication and Theatre, the increase is due to the support of the University's Student Affairs and Student Government offices. This season, in addition to three main stage plays and a musical, the Theatre Department will present a series of 10-minute plays, and 40-minute student directed plays.

Students in Professor Jack Gron's Sculpture I class used recycled materials to create a flotilla of art for an assignment during September. For the project, each student had to make a socio-political, economic and/or environmental statement by building a raft with a sail that was able to float in the waters at the University beach for at least five minutes. The most successful creation was "Orca," a whale piece created by Bob Algeo using recycled plastic, 55 gallon drums, PVC pipes, canvas and wood.

The University's Pollution Prevention Partnership held a free AutoCheck Clinic Sept. 25 during the Moody High School "Go Green" Clean Air Fair. AutoCheck, a state-of-the-art auto engine analyzer that quickly identifies vehicles that are discharging harmful pollutants into the air, breaks down exhaust components of a passing vehicle to determine if it is running clean.


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