Outstanding Islander Graduate William Whitworth ’22 Earns Communications Degree

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – From the first day he arrived on the Island, William Whitworth ’22 has dedicated seemingly every waking minute to making an Islander Impact.

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi faculty and staff describe Whitworth as “a natural leader” and have praised the communication studies major as “talented” and “dedicated;” accordingly, the TAMU-CC Office of the Provost has selected Whitworth as its Fall 2022 Outstanding Islander Graduate for the College of Liberal Arts.

Whitworth’s first immersive experience at the Island University came from his experience at Anchor Camp, a three-day camp hosted exclusively for first-year Islander students in the days before the first day of class.

“I met lifelong friends and created lifelong memories at Anchor Camp,” Whitworth said.

During his time at the Island University, Whitworth held leadership roles in numerous organizations while working on and off campus and maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Campus jobs included facility attendant at the Dugan Wellness Center (DWC), resident assistant for American Campus Communities, and student photographer for the TAMU-CC Division of Marketing and Communications.

Whitworth also served as president of the Student Government Association (SGA) and completed a 22-hour course schedule during the spring 2022 semester. His staunch dedication to his academic coursework paid dividends: Whitworth has made the Dean’s List from 2019 through the present semester. He was also a member of the McNair Scholar Program and the Honors Program.

“I served on multiple university wide committees while also growing my freelance photography business. This was not only because of my curiosity and eagerness to learn and grow, but because I wanted to pursue a stable lifestyle for myself in college,” Whitworth said. “I was able to overcome all these obstacles and challenges because of the support from my friends, family, and even strangers who soon became friends.”

Whitworth, who was adopted when he was 9 months old from the Hunan Province of China, grew up in San Antonio with his older sister and parents. He attended STEM Academy at Lee High School and earned an associate degree in engineering before opting to change direction and selecting communications studies as his major and public relations as a minor upon arrival at the Island University.

Whitworth said he faced stereotypes throughout his childhood, and most recently during the COVID-19 pandemic. He was given the opportunity to combat misinformation about the Asian community as a guest speaker during TAMU-CC’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Month that year. The Island University also provided Whitworth the opportunity to reconcile a life-long split in his identity through mentorship and connection to its faculty and staff.

“The way William conducts himself sets him apart from his peers,” said Edgar De La Garza, TAMU-CC Multimedia Specialist I, Campus Photographer. “William seeks out challenges where others would be content with the comfortable or expected. He uses his drive and insight to bring about positive change.”

Whitworth also used his time at the Island University to nurture his love for music as a member of the Symphonic Winds, Pep Band, and Trombone Choir.

Margaret Dechant, TAMU-CC Associate Vice President for School and Community Relations, said Whitworth represented his fellow students with the highest level of integrity and professionalism, always advocating to improve services for all students, especially during his time as SGA president.

“I have worked in higher education for over 35 years, and William is one of the most intelligent, hardworking, talented, and dedicated students I have ever had the privilege of working with,” Dechant said.

Whitworth has applied to the Master of Arts in Advertising program at The University of Texas; he plans to pursue a career in marketing and to one day serve as an art director. However, he also plans to remain true to his roots by serving as an active member of the Islander Alumni Association.

“Being a student to me meant more than focusing on my schoolwork or my goals,” Whitworth said. “It also meant discovering how my passion and knowledge can help others find their drive. I love the Island University. I love being an Islander. Shakas up!”