Joshua Rowe, Island University Outstanding Graduate, Engineers Path to Success

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Many attributes make Joshua Rowe a solid choice as Outstanding Graduate for the College of Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. What caught the attention of Islander faculty is his passion for learning, determination, and interestingly enough for an engineering student, his musical aptitude.

Realizing his career goals at an early age, Rowe, a Corpus Christi native who graduated from Moody High School, made sure to surround himself with the right opportunities to guide him towards a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. His grandfather instilled in him a foundation for wanting to be an engineer, which was further strengthened by enrolling in Moody’s rigorous engineering program. Rowe says choosing the Island University was an easy choice due to its close-to-home location and the reputation of the Engineering Department.

“I came from humble beginnings and helped support my family by cutting grass. My granddad taught me to take pleasure in working with your hands and helping others,” Rowe said. “I chose A&M-Corpus Christi not only because of the engineering program’s accreditation, but also because of its quality students who impressed industry leaders.”

Rowe, who has played trumpet since middle school, was additionally influenced to attend TAMU-CC because of music scholarships he received. During his time as an Islander, he participated in numerous musical ensembles such as the Concert Band, Symphonic Winds, Trumpet Ensemble, Mariachi Band, and Pep Band.

Rowe approached his engineering studies at TAMU-CC with drive and determination, leading him to obtain a 3.9 GPA. He was hired as an undergraduate research assistant by his mentor, Dr. Jangwoon Park, TAMU-CC Assistant Professor of Engineering, to develop a driving simulator. Rowe impressed Park by presenting him with the dimensions, measurements, and a 3D rendering of the project.

 “Joshua will remain in my memory for a long time as he is one of the best students I have ever seen,” Park explained. “In the classroom, Joshua had the greatest attitude. Out of the classroom, he motivated himself to explore new knowledge, as well as collaborated with others to achieve his goals.”

Rowe also worked with Dr. Iltai “Isaac” Kim, TAMU-CC Assistant Professor of Engineering, to help design and manufacture parts. He used his skills to create 3D models of drones for the Islander Innovate Idea competition.

For his senior Capstone project, Rowe collaborated with a team of engineers to convert a Ford Ranger into an electric vehicle by using a generator, electric batteries, and a Tesla motor.

In what Rowe describes as one of his most memorable moments as an Islander, he was accepted into the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minorities Participation (LSAMP) and was invited to present his research at the annual Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), held in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Rowe didn’t just create memories with his engineering proficiency. As a skilled musician, his trumpet performances left lasting impressions with Islander music faculty.

Dr. Mary Thornton, TAMU-CC Chair of the Music Department, describes how Rowe once approached her, determined to learn the Carnival of Venice, a challenging trumpet showcase. Thornton worked with Rowe to practice the piece, and ultimately, Rowe performed the Carnival of Venice at a recital in what Thornton recalls as one of the strongest student performances she’s witnessed.

“Joshua has terrific musical instincts and finds the challenges of the trumpet to be engaging with discipline, scaled learning, and work ethic,” Thornton said. “My greatest wish is that Joshua continues to find time for music in his life, to be happy in his life, and to be fulfilled in his work.”

Rowe has also used his engineering and musical talents to mentor others. Rowe helped guide the Baker Middle School Underwater Robotics Club to the regional competition, and he also volunteered with his high school alma mater’s engineering program and marching band.

“I am proud to have left an Islander Impact,” said Rowe. “It’s something that I feel – a sense of recognition and pride for being part of this Islander culture and paving the way for the next generation.”

Rowe will participate in the TAMU-CC Fall 2021 Commencement on Dec. 11 at the American Bank Center. His future career goals include working as a mechanical engineer in the reliability/maintenance/design industry. He is also considering a master’s degree in industrial engineering.