Discover Your Island

Dr. Randy Bonnette

An Outstanding Islander

Photo of Dr. Randy Bonnette

Returning to the Classroom

In fall 2015, after serving as the “founding” Chair for the Department of Kinesiology at the Island University for 14 years, Dr. Randy Bonnette will return to the classroom as a full-time professor to pursue his passion for working with undergraduate students.

“To date, I am the only chair of kinesiology the University has ever had,” said Bonnette. “I love mentoring and leading the faculty of the department, but nothing compares with the gratification I receive from spending time with students.”

After receiving his Ph.D. in Kinesiology from Texas A&M University-College Station, Bonnette began working at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi as an Assistant Professor in 2000. At the time, the Kinesiology Program was part of the Department of Special Services in the College of Education.

The program was larger than the other programs within the combined department, so Dean Dee Hopkins decided to make it a stand-alone entity. Bonnette was then selected in 2001 to serve as the chair for this newly-independent department.

“I developed key characteristics as an educator through some amazing mentorship and leadership by example from Dr. Bob Furgason, Dr. Bob Maroney, and Dr. Pat Carroll,” said Bonnette. “It was through these Island University ‘legends’ that I learned that there are more important things than me.”

One of the most memorable experiences for Bonnette as Chair for the Department of Kinesiology was his involvement with the design and development of Island Hall. He knew that the decisions made then would influence the environment that the department would live with long after his time as an educator.

“Before I started haggling, I spoke with my ex-dean, Dr. Hopkins. I asked ‘What should I ask for?’ to which Dee quickly responded, ‘Don’t ask for a Chevy, Randy; ask for a Rolls-Royce,’” said Bonnette. “I did just that, and let me tell you, this Rolls has been a smooth ride.”