Outstanding Graduate Hansley Osborn Earns Communication Studies Degree, Blossoms as an Islander

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – As an Islander, Hansley Osborn ’21 triumphantly juggled a full-time job while dividing the rest of her time between communication studies classes, leadership clubs, campus organizations, and internships.

Osborn’s high-wattage personality and inspiring work ethic as a student at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi has helped her make a substantive impact on the Island; she was selected by the Office of the Provost as the College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Graduate for the summer 2021 semester. Osborn will participate in the Island University Commencement Ceremony on Aug. 7.

“I’ve been working very hard to earn my degree, and the fact that the Island University considers me an above-and-beyond student is an honor,” said Osborn, a first-generation college student.

Initially, Osborn came to TAMU-CC to obtain a degree in business in the hope of becoming an entrepreneur.

“I was immediately drawn to TAMU-CC after taking a campus tour,” she said. “I loved the laid-back, yet ambitious atmosphere, and the bright cheeriness of the campus’ ambiance.”

After a year of taking business courses, however, Osborn changed her major to communication studies after a heart-to-heart discussion with her younger sister, Halley.

“I had to ask myself, ‘what am I good at?’ and all I could come up with is ‘talking,’” said Osborn. “I’ve always been very empathetic, observant, and insightful in my conversations and relationships with others. After researching the Comm and Media website, I realized many of the major’s descriptors were things that I was interested in and intrigued by.”

Now taking classes that were a better fit for her personality and strengths, Osborn found herself inspired by her professors and immersed in courses that provide a rich context for the world we live in.  

Osborn’s enthusiasm about communication stems in large part from Dr. Diana Ivy, Professor of Communication. Osborn first met Ivy in her Interpersonal Communication course, which eventually led to a mutually meaningful mentorship.

“That particular class will go down in history as one of my best classes, and Hansley played a huge role in that,” Ivy said. “Hansley has tremendous character. She’s ambitious and determined to excel, and she’s outstanding in every way.”

Osborn’s favorite memory of her time as an Islander is taking three of Ivy’s courses, each one more engaging than the previous one. As a result of her passion for communication, Osborn was inducted into Lambda Pi Eta, a communication studies honor society, during her senior year.   

As mentor and mentee, Ivy and Osborn shared the unique experience of performing together in the Corpus Christi Chorale. One of a handful of students recruited to join the Chorale, Ivy said Osborn was the only student to persist the entire 2020 season, which was fouled up by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ivy says Osborn’s endearing personality left a lasting impression that will be missed by Chorale members upon her graduation.

“Hansley has so many enduring qualities – she’s a fighter. With all that energy, humor, and good will, she is an incredible person,” said Ivy. “She is one of those unique students that really gets to me and brings tears to my eyes. I just love her to death.”

For her senior capstone study, “The Perception of Power, Status, and Worth in Societal Communication Evaluated through Stereotypic Association,” Osborn wanted to focus on the perceptions that society has of minority groups and how those perceptions affect communication with members of those groups.

“I really wanted to deep-dive into how we are conditioned to socialize – how we get along in society and how stereotypes tie into that,” Osborn said. “I wanted to look at what is perpetuated and what is learned and the importance of critical thinking in our everyday interactions. It was really interesting.”

Osborn participated in many extracurricular activities throughout her time as an Islander, including Chi Alpha Campus Ministries. She also interned at The Church of the Good Shepherd. However, serving as a kindergarten instructor at the Texas State Aquarium was perhaps Osborn’s favorite experience. In that role, Osborn led young children in entertaining instructional activities that would range from STEM to learning about conservation practices. 

“Being away from home, I found volunteering to be important because I was able to be impactful in the Corpus Christi community as well as grow my own community,” said Osborn, who hails from San Antonio.

Reflecting on her time as an Islander, Osborn says the university has given her everything she needs to prepare for success after graduation. From feedback and advice given by professors to eye-opening experiences, Osborn will always remember her time at the Island University.

“My biggest accomplishment is attaining a degree along with expanding my perspective and experiencing growth as an individual. My professors were always dedicated to my success, which I found very encouraging throughout my college career,” Osborn said. “I’ve always felt a great sense of community here at TAMU-CC.”

Osborn plans to attend graduate school to pursue journalism at New York University. Her ultimate career goal is to work for a company like National Geographic, BBC News, or The Travel Channel.

“Walking across the stage as an Outstanding Graduate means that my time here was worth it and as an Islander, I made a meaningful impact at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi,” Osborn said.