January 2011                                                             A Monthly Newsletter for Faculty, Staff and Friends of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center opens

University, City Celebrate Opening of Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center Facility
City of Corpus Christi officials joined with the University to turn on the "Lights of Innovation" at the grand opening of the Flour Bluff Building held Dec. 8. The facility is home to the Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center and its incubator program that encourages the development of companies that are committed to remaining in the Coastal Bend. Participants included Mayor Joe Adame; Eloy Salazar, chairman of Corpus Christi Business Job and Development Corp. Board; Dr. Moustafa Abdelsamad, dean of the College of Business; Richard Bell, director of the Business Innovation Center; and University President Flavius Killebrew.

President's Recognition Dinner on Jan. 21 to Honor Generous University Supporters
Tickets are now available for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi's President's Recognition Dinner on Friday, Jan. 21. The event begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m. at the University Center Lone Star Ballroom. Dinner will be at 7 p.m. followed by a ceremony. Honorees include the Estill Foundation and Ewing Halsell Foundation, Platinum Inner Circle of Excellence; Karen and Larry Urban and Port of Corpus Christi Authority, Silver Inner Circle of Excellence; Industrial Fabricators of Corpus Christi, The L C Foundation, Inc., Corpus Christi Roadrunners, Inc., Bronze Inner Circle of Excellence; and Elizabeth Sefcik, Ph.D., RN, GNP, BC, Heritage Society. Tickets are $75 each. Tables are also available. Reservations are requested by Friday, Jan. 14. For more information or to RSVP, call 361.825.5507.

Family Activities, Illumination of Campus Highlight 'Islander Lights' Holiday Celebration
Islander LightsChildren used construction paper, crayons and paper bags to make Christmas decorations during the University's annual "Islander Lights" celebration held Dec. 3. The festivities included a visit from Santa Claus, the collection of gifts for the Wishes and Dreams Toy Drive and a fun run and walk. The highlight of the evening of music, games and family activities was the illumination of campus buildings along Ocean Drive in Islander green and blue lights.

University Receives Outstanding 'A' Grade Distinction from WhatWillTheyLearn.Com
The general education programs at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is only one of 17 nationwide that earned "A" grades in the rating system., launched by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, is an interactive Web site for students, parents and teachers that grades college and universities on whether they require their students to complete coursework in seven key academic areas: English composition, literature, foreign languages, American history, economics, math and science.
First-Year Celebration Showcases Freshman Research Projects
First-Year Learning Communities programFirst-Year Learning Communities Program students showcased their freshman research projects during the University's "First-Year Celebration" held Nov. 30 in the University Center Lone Star Ballroom. The "First-Year Celebration" gives students in the program an opportunity to take their writing public and present their projects in visual, multimedia and other creative formats. This fall, approximately 1,500 students participated in the program.

Students Win Scholarships in President's Council Art Competition
PC art winnersThe President's Council Student Art Exhibit and Reception was held Nov. 30 at the Woo Sung Lee Alumni Welcome Center. Winners of the Council's scholarship competition were Manuel E. Saenz, first place ($1,000) for the oil in canvas "I Am;" Dahlia Alanis, second place ($750) for the acrylic on canvas "Winter;" and Jennifer Recio, third place ($500) for the digital photography "Baila." Their art is on display in the University Center Legacy Hall.

Local Conservation Group Donates $3,000 from 'Sharkathon' Tournament to HRI
SharkathonThe "Sharkathon" catch-and-release tournament donated $3,000 to the Harte Research Institute's Fisheries and Ocean Health Group from the proceeds generated by its annual tournament held in October at the Padre Island National Seashore. Pictured are: (From left) Russell Weir; Greg Stunz, endowed associate research professor and associate professor of marine biology; Megan Robillard; Curtis Mai; and Todd Neahr.

Finals Week 24-Hour 'Study Center' Kicks Off with Late Night Breakfast
Late Night BreakfastMore than 500 students lined up for a free breakfast of eggs, potatoes and French toast during the Late Night Breakfast held Dec. 7 in the University Center. Following the annual event sponsored by Students Affairs, the Waves of Welcome committee and the University Center and Student Activities, the University Center became a 24-hour "Study Center" during finals week.

Camp Danger Improv Troupe Takes Second at Southwest Regional Competition
Camp DangerThe University's Camp Danger improv troupe received second place at the National College Improv Tournament's Southwest Regional Competition held Nov. 6 in Austin, Texas. Camp Danger members are Ellen Buschang, Andrew Robinson, Gary Turman Jr., Esteban Reyna, Travis Delgado and George Coffman.

Research and Scholarly Activity
University President Flavius Killebrew has been selected to serve on the new Texas Statewide Transfer Issues Committee of the Community College Initiative, a partnership between The Texas A&M University System, University of Texas System and the Texas Association of Community Colleges. The committee consisting of a state representative body of presidents, provosts and vice presidents will address issues that promote highly effective and efficient transfer of community college students to universities and health-related institutions.
Field work conducted in the lower Nueces Valley by Dr. Robert Drolet, an adjunct professor in the College of Liberal Arts, is the subject of an article in the winter 2010-2010 issue of American Archaeology magazine, a national publication of The Archaeological Conservancy. The core of the field work, which spanned eight years, was done by University students in Drolet's anthropology classes.
Awards, Honors and Grants
Dr. Robb JacksonDr. Robb Jackson, a professor of English in the College of Liberal Arts, is one of 11 professors to be named a Regents Professor by The Texas A&M Board of Regents for 2009-2010. The Regents Professor Award Program recognizes The Texas A&M University System employees who have made exemplary contributions to their university or agency and to the people of Texas.
HWNTUniversity President Flavius Killebrew and Noel Vella, director of development in the Division of Institutional Advancement, accepted a $10,000 check to help provide scholarships to students at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi from the Hispanic Women's Network of Texas (HWNT) during its Christmas Celebration held Dec. 8 at the Solomon P. Ortiz International Center. Dr. Killebrew was also presented with the HWNT Las Estrellas Award which honors community leaders who have embraced HWNT's mission to promote the advancement of women in the public, corporate and civic life.

Three Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi programs and individuals have been recognized for their contributions in the areas of health, safety and the environment by the Regional Health Awareness Board. University organizations and individuals honored were:

  • Safe Communities, Safe Driving Project for its public safety programs.
  • Gretchen Arnold, director of Community Outreach's Pollution Prevention Partnership, who received two Environmental Awards for her work with the Corpus Christi Air Quality Group and Pollution Prevention Partnership.
  • The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies for its unique contributions toward understanding and protecting the coastal environment.
Around the Island
Join University President Flavius Killebrew and Momentum Campaign Chairs Larry and Karen Urban as they give an update on the status of the University's $30 million campaign during the Momentum Breakfast for faculty and staff on Tuesday, Jan. 25, in the University Center Lone Star Ballroom. The public phase was launched in Sept. 2009 as a $25 million campaign and a $30 million challenge. Breakfast begins at 8 a.m. sharp. Faculty and staff are asked to attend.
Rep. Todd HunterDistrict 32 State Rep. Todd Hunter was the keynote speaker at the University's Fall 2010 Commencement held Dec. 18 in the American Bank Center. Hunter is co-chairman of the Committee on Redistricting and Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence that is conducting joint public hearings on redistricting throughout the state and Hunter a member of the House Select Committee on Transportation Funding. Around 715 students from the University's Colleges of Business, Education, Liberal Arts, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Science and Technology received their diplomas.
Mark your calendars for Homecoming 2011. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi students and alumni and the community are invited to festivities happening from Monday, Jan. 31, through Saturday, Feb. 5, culminating with a downtown parade, shrimp boil and an Islander Men's Basketball game against Northwestern State at 7 p.m. at the American Bank Center. For a full list of Homecoming events, go to
  President's Picnic Senior forward Demond Watt was named Southland Conference Player of the Week after he scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Islanders to an 81-78 victory over the Houston Cougars Dec. 18 at the American Bank Center arena. The Islanders open Southland Conference play on Wednesday, Jan. 12, when they host UTSA.

Student carolers provided holiday entertainment for University faculty and staff as they enjoyed tamales with all the fixings during the Tamalada Holiday Celebration held Dec. 16 in the University Center Lone Star Ballroom. The annual event sponsored by the University President’s Office has been a holiday campus tradition for more than 20 years.

Battle of the Bands XII
Ten local bands competed for cash prizes and the title of "Top Rockers on Campus" during the Battle of the Bands XII held Dec. 3. During the concert sponsored by the Campus Activities Board, bands were judged on technical skill, creativity, stage presence, vocal skill and audience reaction. The winning bands were: first place, Stealing Glory; second place, Subject to Change; and third place, The Preview.

Hazmat exercise
Students in the National Spill Control School's Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) class responded to a "mock hazmat spill" incident on Dec. 3. As part of the field exercise, students mapped out a response to an on-campus spill and implemented their plans while wearing totally encapsulating suits with a self-contained breathing apparatus.

Taylor H. Witmire (left) and Ivan Perez performed a scene from the play "The Philadelphia" directed by Micah Blain during the Student Directed 10-Minute Play Festival Dec. 8-11. "The Philadelphia" was one of 34 plays presented during the festival which is held each year as the final project of the Stage Directing I class in the University Theatre program.

Bayside parking garage
University President Flavius Killebrew presented Crystina Gonzales with a certificate for one year's free parking for submitting the winning entry in the "Put Your Mark Where You Park" contest to name the three-story parking garage under construction in the Jellyfish lot west of the University Center. The "Bayside" garage will add 1,200 spaces and is scheduled for completion for fall 2011.

Michael Martin Murphey
"Singing cowboy poet" Michael Martin Murphey packed the Performing Arts Center on Dec. 7 with his sold-out "Cowboy Christmas" concert featuring the Rio Grande Band. The show, which has become a family holiday tradition for Coastal Bend residents and winter Texans, opened the sixth season of the Furgason Bravo! Series.


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