September 2012                                               A Monthly Newsletter for Faculty, Staff, Alumni, and Friends of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Islander Welcome Center Offers Students One-Stop Application Assistance
Islander Welcome Center ribbon cuttingUniversity President Flavius Killebrew (center) was joined by (l to r) State Rep. Todd Hunter, Jeanetly Garcia, vice president of the Student Government Association,  Margaret Dechant, associate vice president for Enrollment Management, and Provost Christopher Markwood on Aug. 8 as he cut the ribbon on the new Islander Welcome Center. The state-of-the-art facility adjacent to the Bell Library next to Lee Plaza provides prospective students with  a one-stop location to fill out scholarship, financial aid, and admissions forms.

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp Addresses Summer Graduates
A&M System Chancellor John SharpMore than 500 new graduates received their diplomas during Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s summer commencement held Aug. 11 in the American Bank Center arena. Keynote speaker was Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp. Following Sharp’s address, students from the University’s Colleges of Business, Education, Liberal Arts, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Science and Engineering walked across the stage to receive their diplomas from University President Flavius Killebrew.
Regents Approve Naming New Islanders’ Athletic Facility in Honor of Lead Donor
Dr. Jack Dugan Soccer and Track StadiumThe Texas A&M System Board of Regents has approved naming the soccer and track stadium on the Momentum Campus the “Dr. Jack Dugan Family Soccer & Track Stadium.” Dr. Dugan generously contributed the lead gift for the construction of the University’s first soccer and track stadium. When completed in May 2013, the 15,300-square-foot facility, which includes a soccer field enclosed by an eight-lane track, will host Southland Conference competitions as well as games and tournaments featuring nationally-prominent programs.
Two ROTC Islander Battalion Cadets Take Oath of Commitment to US Army
Cadets Brittany Wilcut and Matthew Daniels take an oath of commitment to the U.S. ArmyROTC Islander Battalion cadets Brittany Wilcut and Matthew Daniels took an oath of commitment to the U.S. Army on Aug. 21 during Island Warrior Day. The cadets made a contractual agreement with the ROTC Islander Battalion to maintain a high grade point average, an Army standard of physical fitness, and upon graduation, commission into the U.S. Army, Army National Guard, or the Army National Reserve.
Research and Scholarly Activity
Dr. Wes TunnelDr. Wes Tunnell, associate director and endowed chair for Biodiversity and Conservation Science with the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, co-chaired the “Texas Coral Reefs, Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow” Conference Aug. 23-24 at Rice University’s James Baker Institute for Public Policy. The event brought together scientists, policymakers, and community leaders to discuss the future condition of Texas reefs in the context of global warming, ocean acidification, overfishing, pollution, and other environmental issues.
University President Flavius KillebrewUniversity President Flavius Killebrew has been named the chair of the Council of Public University Presidents and Chancellors (CPUPC) for fiscal year 2013. Killebrew served as CPUPC treasurer from 2005-2007 and has been active in a variety of committee capacities since becoming president of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in 2005. Council members are the chief executive officers of Texas’ 53 publicly-supported general academic universities, system offices, and health-related institutions.
Recognitions, Honors, and Awards
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi ranks seventh in the nation in the number of physical sciences bachelor’s degrees awarded to Hispanic students and 22nd in the number of mathematics/statistics master’s degrees. The Island University was recognized for the achievements in a recently-released study by Excelencia in Education, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit aimed at accelerating Hispanic student success in higher education.
University President Flavius Killebrew with newly-promoted and tenured facultyTwelve professors were recognized as newly-promoted and tenured faculty during a reception held on Aug. 24, at the Harte Research Institute Conference Center. They were: Dr. Eugene Bland, Dr. Randy Bonnette, Dr. Randall Bowden, Dr. Jose Flores, Dr. Yolanda Keys, Dr. J. Matthew McClung, Dr. Laura Munoz, Dr. Joshua Ozymy, Dr. Karen Paciotti, Dr. Sandrine Sanos, Dr. Delbert Smee, and Dr. Blair Sterba-Boatwright. During the reception, University President Flavius Killebrew, Provost Christopher Markwood, and deans from each of the colleges spoke on the success and accomplishments of the recognized faculty.
Around the Island
The Office of Community Outreach will offer a “Bird Identification 101” class to the general public beginning Sunday, Sept. 16. This class will be taught by noted local birding expert Gene Blacklock. The cost, which includes 10 classroom style lectures and three field trips, is $195. To register or for more information, go to; or contact Joe Miller, director of Education and Youth Issues at 361.825.5967; or email
The Eagle Ford Shale: LITE (Logistic, Infrastructure, Transportation, Energy) conference will be held on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 27-28, at the Congressman Solomon Ortiz International Center, 402 Harbor Drive. This conference for local small business owners who want to know how their business fits in with the Eagle Ford Shale economic impact and for those looking for information on what jobs are available in the shale, is a collaboration between the Corpus Christi Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Port of Corpus Christi, the Ortiz Center, Del Mar College, and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Registration is $200 through Saturday, Sept. 15; and $300 from Sunday, Sept 16, until the day of the conference. Proceeds will go to scholarships for Del Mar College and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi students through the “Mano a Mano” program at the Corpus Christi Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. For registration and a full agenda of speakers, go to For more information, call 361.888.9473; or email

Diver at Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary
Graduate students in the Marine Science program received a close-up look at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in August during a five-day cruise with scientists from the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies. The sanctuary approximately 100 miles off the Texas coast is comprised of a series of coral-topped submerged banks with a higher percentage of living coral coverage than any other reefs in the Gulf or the Caribbean Sea.

Islander Men's Basketball Team with Cub Scout Pack 26
Members of the Islanders men’s basketball team helped Cub Scout Pack 26 celebrate their first meeting of the new school year on Aug. 27.  Joining the Cub Scouts were assistant coach Collin Authier and players Hameed Ali, John Jordan, Joy Williamson, and Jake Kocher. Fans can get a first look at this year’s team when the Islanders tip-off off the season with an exhibition game against Incarnate Word on Monday, Nov. 5, at the American Bank Center.

Hispanic Heritage Month Folklorico Dancers
The University’s Hispanic Heritage Month observance will kick off with a celebration featuring live music and salsa dance lessons on Thursday, Sept. 13, beginning at 5 p.m. in the University Center, Lone Star Ballroom 142. The event is free and open to the public. Check out all the Hispanic Heritage Month events, including a Dr. Hector P. Garcia State Holiday Celebration, a Hispanic Film Series, and a health fair at

Dr. Stacey Lyle addresses new students at the FYI Convocation
Dr. Stacey Lyle, research scientist at the Conrad Blucher Institute for Surveying and Science, models the type of “suit” he likes to wear to work for new students attending the First-Year Islanders Convocation Aug. 21 in the Performing Arts Center. Following the convocation welcoming new students to campus, new Islanders were invited to meet faculty during receptions held by each of the five University’s colleges.


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