Island University Commemorates PASS Program Fall 2019 Graduates

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Celebrating student success and academic achievement, the Programs for Academic Student Support (PASS) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi honored 62 Islander students who will walk the stage on Saturday, Dec. 14.

More than 50 people attended the PASS graduation ceremony held Dec. 4. Islander students were recognized with graduation gifts, including a medallion, graduation cords, certificates, pens, and padfolios.

PASS programs like Student Support Services (SSS), SSS-STEM, SSS-Teacher Prep, Project GRAD, and the McNair Scholars Program, among others, serve the needs of low-income, first-generation, and traditionally underrepresented students in higher education.

“I’ve been a student of this program since the start of my college journey and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made,” said Suzanna Sanchez, a nursing student in the SSS-STEM program who will be the first in her family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree.

Thanks to SSS-STEM, Sanchez was able to utilize resources like free printing, computer labs, academic advising, tutoring, scholarship access, and free school supplies. She credits her success to the resources provided and the support she received from her academic advisor, Heather Herrera, SSS-STEM Director.

Angela Newton, a SSS-STEM student, transferred to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to push herself and to pursue a higher education in her dream field. During her time as an Islander student, she used PASS resources like monthly meetings with a faculty member, workshops, and events to promote student health.

“These meetings helped me realign my focus whenever times got crazy, and they helped me make sure I was reaching my goals. It gave me an opportunity to take a step back and view how far I’ve come,” said Newton, who is a biomedical sciences major with a concentration in pre-med and minor in business administration and psychology.

After graduation Newton will enter her first year as a medical student at University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine in Galveston while Sanchez will start her nursing career as a pediatric nurse in January 2020 in Corpus Christi.

“I would like to thank the PASS program for helping me succeed,” Newton said. “I’m so proud to be a part of the program and I hope that I’ve set an example for future students following in similar footsteps.”