A&M-Corpus Christi New Students Ready for College Life Thanks to Islander Launch

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Surfers, kayaks and blue and green flags lined Ocean Drive as Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi incoming students made their way to campus for Islander Launch, the University’s new student orientation hosted by the Department of Undergraduate Studies (DUGS). As students and their families turned the corner toward the Performing Arts Center (PAC), they were greeted by University faculty and staff in blue Hawaiian-themed shirts, waiting to help them prepare for their first day of classes and learn more about their college.

Each Islander Launch is geared toward a specific college and providing students with the tools they need to successfully transition from high school. The most recent Islander Launch took place on June 18 and welcomed incoming freshman and transition students who would be joining the College of Liberal Arts.

“We are excited to welcome our new students, parents and guests to the Island University!” said Dr. Melissa Jarrell, professor of criminal justice and chair of DUGS. “This year, we wanted to make sure our new students were introduced to faculty in their fields of study, so they can connect with the faculty and each other before they arrive on campus. Our faculty are excited to meet with students too, which makes this is a great experience for everyone at the Island University.”

In the morning, after equally nervous and eager students gathered in the PAC to check in, they were welcomed to the University by Dr. Kelly Quintanilla, president and CEO of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. President Quintanilla shared her excitement and welcomed everyone into the Islander family. She also discussed many of the traditions and events the new Islanders can look forward to during their time on campus. Many students, like Cristin Martin, an incoming theatre major, were happy to learn more about their new home away from home.

“We had a lot of traditions back at my old school in Electra, Texas,” said Martin. “Having these traditions here, along with all the people who absolutely feel passionate about the campus, makes the Island University feel more like home.”

After the welcome ceremony, incoming students headed over to Bay Hall to meet their professors during major-specific break-out sessions. During this time, they learned more about their degree programs, including what classes are required and how to prepare for their first day of classes.

“My favorite part of the day was talking with professors and instructors,” said Megan Mora, an incoming criminal justice major from Edinburg, Texas. “Meeting them and learning about the program made me feel like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and like I’m going to fit in here at the University.”

Students then learned about all the amenities and services offered at the Island University, ranging from the Mary and Jeff Bell Library to CASA to Career Services. One session, Passport to the Island, invited the new students to learn about all the campus resources at their disposal and the many student organizations they could join.

“Everyone here has such a good sense of community. They care about the people on the Island,” said Phoebe Odom, an incoming biochemistry major from Arizona. “I love how service-oriented everyone here is and how all the faces are so friendly.”

Islander Launch wrapped up with an Island University themed luau complete with delicious food for students to enjoy while surrounded by members of the campus community.

With three orientations completed and nearly 600 new students and 450 guests welcomed, there are still four more opportunities to register. Click here for a full list of orientation dates and majors, or register for an upcoming Islander Launch.