A&M-Corpus Christi Celebrates Record Number of Spring Graduates

A Message from Dr. Kelly M. Miller, University President

Congrats Spring 2020 Islander Grads!

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Despite myriad challenges caused by the COVID-19 health crisis, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi students have made it to the finish line in record numbers.

This spring, a record-breaking 1,212 students have earned degrees from the Island University. This is up from spring 2019, which recorded 1,160 graduates, and fall 2019, which recorded 1,027 graduates.

“We are so proud of the spring 2020 class,” Dr. Kelly M. Miller, President and CEO of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, said. “Many of these graduates had their college careers disrupted first by Hurricane Harvey and now by the COVID-19 pandemic. They have shown the traits of Islanders -- great resilience and determination – and we know they will be successful wherever they go next.”

In an abundance of caution, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi administration decided to postpone the in-person ceremony that was originally scheduled for Saturday, May 16, though graduates are welcome to walk the stage at a future ceremony, in August or December 2020, or May 2021.

As in past semesters, the Office of the Provost identified top-achieving students as Outstanding Graduates. The Outstanding Graduates for spring 2020 are Aaron Aguilar, Brittney Fricks, Megan Greige, and Jordan Wainwright.

“All of our Outstanding Graduates have made an impact on the Island University,” Dr. Clarenda Phillips, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, said. “They have demonstrated the importance of giving while receiving. Our Outstanding Graduates pursued excellence in the classroom and in their communities.”

Aaron Aguilar is a first-generation graduate, who earned a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences. During his time at the Island University, Aguilar participated in numerous organizations, earning the Presidential Service Volunteer Award, Most Spirited Award from the Islander Cultural Alliance (ICA), and the Most Involved Award from the Campus Activities Board (CAB). He also held leadership roles in ICA, CAB, The National Society of Leadership and Success, Sigma Pi Fraternity, and the Health Science Association. His favorite memory of his time at the Island University is meeting and working with his mentor, Dr. Clarenda Phillips, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, along with meeting new Islanders during his time as an Island Ambassador. Aguilar’s ultimate career goal is to secure a position as a health care administrator at a long-term care facility working with Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

Brittney Fricks, who earned a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences with a minor in Pre-Law, was a senator in the Student Government Association (SGA) and has served as a volunteer for numerous non-profits, including Habitat for Humanity and PeeWee’s Pet Adoption. Her Islander impact is serving as an advocate for her fellow students as a member of the SGA. As an SGA senator, Fricks aided in addressing issues and implementing ideas brought forth by students and administration through the creation of bills and legislation to serve, guide, and act on behalf of the student body. Her post-graduation plans are to attend law school in the fall where she intends to focus on corporate law. Her long-term career objective is to make partner at the firm where she is employed.

Megan Greige, a Corpus Christi native, received a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. She chose her field due to her love of the ocean. Her interest in the marine environment grew even stronger when she participated in beach cleanups and volunteered at the Texas State Aquarium as a high school student. As an Islander, Griege joined the Student Volunteer Connection and became involved in the Islander Green Team, which she ultimately served as its president. Griege’s most formative experience was her work as a McNair Scholar in Dr. Dorina Murgulet’s Coastal Hydrogeology Lab, which ultimately led to an opportunity to present her research at a national convention. Griege plans to pursue a master’s degree then hopes to work for an institution of higher education or local or state conservation agency conducting research or helping communities develop plans to conserve their resources, restore their habitats, and mitigate their environmental impacts.

Jordan Wainwright, who earned a Master of Science in Kinesiology, was a full-ride scholarship recipient who played for the Islanders Women’s Soccer team as an undergraduate. Wainwright chose kinesiology as her field of study due to the important role sports played in her life. Among her many honors, Wainwright was named to the Southland Commissioner’s Honor Roll from 2016 to 2018 and was a member of Chi Alpha Sigma national college athlete honor society. As a graduate student who studied the physiology behind renal injury following the decline in her own renal health, Wainwright has served as a graduate research assistant in the Kinesiology Department and has coached for the Sting/Titans soccer club in Corpus Christi. Following graduation, she plans to pursue a doctoral degree following a scheduled kidney transplant surgery.

Another student receiving special recognition this spring is Islander ROTC Cadet Andrew John Peter, who is the sixth in Islander ROTC program history to receive the designation of Distinguished Military Graduate. The designation is reserved for the top 20% of cadets nationwide based on a variety of factors. While enrolled in ROTC, 2LT Peter participated in Ranger Challenge for three years. He also completed Air Assault School during his time in ROTC. 2LT Peter held various leadership positions, such as Team Leader, C/1st SGT, C/CSM, and C/S4. 2LT Peter is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences. He has been assigned to the Medical Services Corps and will be reporting to Basic Officer Leaders Course (BOLC) in August. Upon graduating BOLC, he will report to his first duty station at Fort Carson, Colorado.

Congrats, Spring 2020 Grads!

The Island campus along with community members join together to celebrate the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Spring 2020 graduating class.