Outstanding Graduate Timor Barrett ’21 Balances Sport Management Classes with Track Team Demands

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – After his exemplary performance as an international student-athlete at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Timor Barrett ’21 is set to pursue a career in sports management.

A native of St. Catherine, Jamaica, Barrett decided at a young age that he would use his running talent to get an education and support his family, which consists of his mother and three brothers. As a student-athlete from a country with a storied track and field tradition that dates to Arthur Wint’s gold and silver medals at the 1948 Olympics, this was certainly a formidable challenge.

“It has taken a lot of grit and determination to overcome the challenges I experienced growing up in rural Jamaica,” he said. “In a country obsessed with track and field and filled with an abundance of talent, I had to work really hard to be noticed. I earned scholarships in high school and at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Attending college in the United States was a far-fetched dream that I clung to despite challenges, but I persevered.”

As a first-generation college student, Barrett said he found it difficult to be away from home even though he was living his dream. But with the support of his family as well as his coaches and professors, he remained focused on meeting his academic and athletic objectives as an Islander.

“Balancing training, competition, and studies was and continues to be very challenging, but failure has never been an option for me,” Barrett said. “I will graduate as the first – but hopefully not the last – in my family to attend college.”

As a result of Barrett’s accomplishments in the classroom and on the track, he has been selected by the Office of the Provost as the Summer 2021 College of Education and Human Development Outstanding Graduate. Barrett will participate in the Island University Commencement Ceremony on Aug. 7, graduating with Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, with a concentration in Sports Management. Barrett made the dean’s list multiple times and earned numerous academic awards during his time as an Islander and graduates with a 3.6 GPA.

After representing Jamaica at multiple marquee events at the international level – including the CARIFTA Games, Pan-Am Games, and World Junior Championships – he moved to the United States on a full athletic scholarship at Johnson C. Smith University in North Carolina. In 2019, he enrolled at TAMU-CC.

“Being an Islander means a lot to me. As a student from Jamaica, which is also an island, coming to study at the Island University makes me feel like I’m home in some way,” he said.

Scholastic coordinator in Islanders Athletics Dr. Nikola Grafnetterova ’19 said that it’s not easy adjusting to life as an international student-athlete, but Barrett was able to find a way to excel.

“I love his calm attitude and positive outlook on life – he’s never stressed out,” she said. “Timor loves to stop by my office and say hello; he likes to talk about life and his classes. I will always remember him in my office, doing assignments on his iPad as we talk about everything that’s going on in his life.”

As a member of the TAMU-CC Track and Field team, Barrett represented the Islanders for meets up to the regional level, along with qualifying for the NCAA Nationals this year. He helped the Islanders men’s team earn fourth place at the Southland Conference Indoor Championships in 2021, the highest in school history.

“Timor is serious about his sport, and that’s what we love about him,” said Cross Country/Track & Field Head Coach Brent Ericksen.

Being an Islander means a lot to me. As a student from Jamaica, which is also an island, coming to study at the Island University makes me feel like I’m home in some way.

Timor Barrett '21

Barrett said he made the most of his time at the Island University.

“Representing my school is such an honor and responsibility and I take it very seriously,” Barrett said. “Training with my team, building relationships with my teammates, traveling and competing together, and being an ambassador for TAMU-CC every time I step out on the track certainly broadened my Islander experience.”

This summer, Barrett worked as strength and conditioning coach for Bommarito Performance Systems, a client-based training facility in Davie, Florida, where he gained valuable hands-on experience in his field and is using innovative training and motivation techniques to take his clients to the next level. Barrett plans to attend graduate school.  

As for his long-term goals, he aspires to not only improve his skills as a runner but to support his family back at home. Barrett also plans to help create a pipeline for Jamaican student-athletes.

“In five years, I see myself doing what I love: helping people, either becoming a coach or running professionally,” Barrett said. “I also want to sponsor one young Jamaican athlete every year in academics or track and field to help them achieve their goals. I have been very lucky. There has always been someone there to help me just when I needed it and I want to give back in that same way.”