Island University Celebrates more than 1,250 Graduates during Spring 2024 Commencement

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It’s a day that signifies not only the culmination of an academic journey but also the beginning of new opportunities and adventures. On Saturday, May 18, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi hosted its Spring 2024 Commencement Ceremony, where more than 1,250 graduates crossed the commencement stage into a new stage of their lives.

Among the proud Islanders graduates was Madison Clausen ’24, a Corpus Christi native who earned a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology.

“In the psychology department, I was able to build meaningful working relationships with my professors and mentors that will benefit me as I embark on my career,” she said. “The knowledge and skills I earned here are undeniably valuable, but there is also unique value to the specific experiences that allowed me to grow as a person.”

Some of those specific experiences included working as a graduate researcher with the university’s Lone Star UAS Center for Excellence and Innovation where she investigated the impact of various human factors on unmanned aircraft pilots. She also credits her clinical-based projects — ranging from providing mental health services at a nonprofit preschool to forensic evaluations at the office of Dr. Kathryn Soward — with broadening her perspective on the vast opportunities in her field.

“At the Head Start preschool, I worked with children struggling with emotional and behavioral difficulties who may have not otherwise had access to the support and mental health services that will help them thrive in life,” Clausen said. “Through that internship, I saw how well-implemented mental healthcare can positively impact a person’s life.” 

For Priciliano Diaz III ’24, who is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, much of his time at TAMU-CC was spent growing his leadership skills. As a member of the ROTC Islander Battalion, the Brownsville native served in key leadership positions, planned complex training events, and participated in the Cadet Troop Leader Training program at the U.S. Army’s premier combat training center in Fort Lewis, Washington. He was one of only 3,400 cadets in the nation to shoot a perfect score during a marksmanship evaluation in summer 2023.

“Being a part of the ROTC program was very humbling,” Diaz said. “Coming into the program, I had already gone through basic training since I was in the Army Reserves, so I thought I would be ahead of the game. But what I learned here as a student was much deeper. Even in areas I thought I was proficient, I realized I could still learn more.”

Diaz, who is also earning a double minor in mathematics and military science, was a Dean’s List student, participated in an engineering research assistantship, and will be a commissioned officer in the United States Army after graduation.

Kasey Young ’24, graduating with a Bachelor in Business Administration in Management Information Systems, said he always knew he wanted to be an Islander. Young’s academic endeavors were complimented by his participation in the Islander Pep Band. 

“Each time I took my place by the court, adorned in blue and green, I felt an immense sense of pride,” Young said. “The unity, passion, and shared excitement of those moments are ones I will always hold close to my heart as I reflect on my journey as an Islander.”

Almost as long as he has been an Islander fan, Young has also been in love with computers. From his earliest memories in grade school, he found himself drawn to the intricacies of computing, and by the time he was in high school, he was building his own computers. At TAMU-CC, his passion for computers resulted in him creating the Information Technology Club.

“The primary objective of the IT Club is to forge stronger connections among TAMU-CC students with all facets of information technology,” Young said. “Through the club, we endeavor to cultivate an environment that is both educational and enjoyable, offering students enriching opportunities to expand their knowledge and engage with like-minded peers.”

Young said he was a grateful recipient of the Student Endowment Internship Scholarship, which enabled him to embark on a summer internship in California as a network support engineer intern, which he said helped jumpstart his career journey and gain invaluable real-world experience.

The spring commencement speaker was Garrett Frazier ’04. Frazier used his Bachelor of Business Administration from TAMU-CC to springboard into several successful businesses including his own marketing company Magnifico Media. He is also a partner in an outdoor technical product company called ANETIK, and he was instrumental in building his family’s business, Magnum Oil Tools International Ltd., into a global powerhouse in the oil and gas industry.

In his speech, he gave the new graduates advice about conquering fears, valuing hard work, and taking ownership of one’s life.

“You don’t have to have it all figured out, but you do have to take responsibility for your actions,” Frazier told the graduating class. “Sometimes things fall apart, but that’s life. Through being accountable, you can shape your future.”

To view a recording of the Spring 2024 Commencement Ceremony, visit