Criminal Justice Major, Outstanding Graduate Brittney Fricks Shines at Island University, Looks to Law School

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – From an early age, Brittney Fricks has maintained a deep interest in the legal profession based on her family’s significant role in the founding of her hometown.

“In 1978, my grandfather, along with several other founding families, decided to incorporate the small town of Bayside, Texas, in which I was raised. My grandfather became the first elected mayor of the town, which is now populated with about 350 people,” Fricks said. “As time went by, my father was also elected into the Bayside City Council and I would regularly attend meetings with him, which most likely originated my respect and interest in debate and the legal aspect of proceedings.”

A top 10% student and member of the National Honor Society at Woodsboro High School, along with a dual-credit student at Coastal Bend College, Fricks selected Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi on the strength of the reputation of the Criminal Justice program in addition to its proximity to Bayside.

“I was raised in a town that is right next to the bay, so the Island campus made me feel at home,” Fricks said. “I also knew students who attended the Island University, and they all spoke highly of the professors and student involvement on campus.”

Fricks earned a Bachelor of Applied Science, Magna Cum Laude, and a minor in pre-law in Spring Commencement and was selected by the Office of the Provost for the honor of Outstanding Graduate. She will participate in the Spring/Summer 2020 Virtual Commencement Ceremony. Her immediate intention is to enroll in law school.

As an Islander, Fricks served as a senator for the Student Government Association (SGA) for the fall 2019 and spring 2020 semesters. Fricks said she was pleased that SGA helped implement free period products in campus restrooms during her time in the organization. She was also a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success.

“The way that I overcome the challenges in my life is by staying busy,” Fricks said. “The hardships I have faced are the reason that I push myself to accomplish the goals I have – they are my motivation. This strategy allows me to get more involved in volunteerism and different organizations.”

Criminal Justice Professor Eric Moore said Fricks made a favorable impression in his classes as a student who demonstrated intelligence, maturity, and effectiveness.

“Brittney has a remarkably professional approach and treats her studies like important work – which they are,” Moore said.

Fricks served as an intern in the Nueces County District Attorney’s Office in fall 2019, researching case law and common law related to individual cases. In addition, Fricks observed a variety of court cases ranging from the probating of wills to capital murder trials.

In a recommendation letter dated Oct. 1, 2019, attorney Tony Bonilla of Bonilla & Chapa, P.C., said Fricks’ demeanor and organizational skills helped her to stand out.

“This young lady is a source of inspiration to all of us who have met her,” Bonilla wrote. “Her study habits as well as her determination to reach her goal is an excellent example for all young people who aspire to be successful.”

In addition to her academic accomplishments, Fricks has served as a volunteer for numerous nonprofits since high school. Her list of activities include support for Toys for Tots, the medical tent at the Beach to Bay race, painting houses with other volunteers at Habitat for Humanity and assisting with adoption tasks at PeeWee’s Pet Adoptions. 

“A particular project that I was honored to be a part of was the At-Risk Children’s (ARC) Program at the high school I attended. My duty for this program was to mentor a troubled child and counsel them on ways to cope with their home and school lives,” Fricks said.

Fricks said her time on campus, especially her time in SGA, has helped to become a more effective communicator, an important skill for her future profession in the world of corporate/business law.

“I have somewhat of an introverted personality; however, due to my participation in student government, I have become more skilled in my communication skills, which has led me to make more friends on campus,” Fricks said. “I would encourage every Islander student to get involved in extracurricular activities. I learned how the University operates and had the opportunity to voice my concerns and make improvements to the University. It was a great experience!”