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Distinguished Alumni Recognized at Islander Alumni Awards Breakfast

February 25, 2013

Alumni Breakfast

The Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Alumni Association presented the 2013 alumni awards during the 13th annual Islander Alumni Breakfast held February 9 as part of Homecoming Week. 

The following top three alumni awards were presented:

  • Young Alumnus - Mariaha E. Pedder was recruited by KBR for a one-year assignment in Iraq, where she discovered her path as a Human Relations professional. She is currently a Relocation Services Coordinator for KBR in Houston, Texas
  • Outstanding Alumnus - Petra A. Martinez currently serves as Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, a position she has held since 2000. She holds numerous certifications and specialized training
  • Distinguished Alumnus – Dr.  Michelle Wood, Professor of Biology at the University of Oregon, helped create the field of picoplankton ecology in ocean sciences. She was also among the first to publish on Prochlorococcus organisms in the ocean.

Their plaques will be placed on the Alumni Wall of Fame in the Woo Sung Lee Alumni Welcome Center. In addition, bricks were placed on the Wall of Recognition in honor of the award winners. 

Distinguished Alumnus Award recipients for each of the five colleges were:

  • College of Business – Theresa Barrera serves as Vice President of Supplier Diversity for Wal-Mart. She has been named one of the “80 Elite Hispanic Women,” and was named to the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal’s Elite “40 under 40” listing in 2003.
  • College of Education – Dr. D. Scott Elliff was appointed Superintendent of Schools in May 2007 and is the Executive Director of Citizens for Educational Excellence. His career in education began in 1982 as a fourth grade teacher at Prescott Elementary School.
  • College of Liberal Arts - Heidi Hovda is an Operations Analyst with NuStar Energy in Corpus Christi. She is also Treasurer of the Board of Directors at the Harbor Playhouse, Co-founder of the Corpus Christi 7-Day Film Project, and Chair Holder on the Arts and Cultural Commission.
  • College of Nursing and Health Sciences – Jerry Rodriguez serves as the regional Vice President – Administrator of Christus Santa Rosa Medical Center, Christus Santa Rosa Emergency Center-Alon, and the Christus Transplant Institute. He is working with students in the Army-Baylor Resident Program and Trinity University-MHA Program.
  • College of Science and Engineering - Charlotte Busch, Associate Professor in the College of Science and Engineering at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, has taught around the world, including Department of Defense schools in England. She has been a professor at the University for the past 30 years.

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