Islander Alum Makes It Big in the Windy City

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — What Albert Ramon ’05 remembers most about his time at the Island University is the whirlwind of energy. While a student, he was already working as a weathercaster at KZTV, which demanded early 4 a.m. starts. After delivering morning and noon weather reports, he’d head to his classes on campus. After classes wrapped, he would race over to K-99 Country for an evening shift as a DJ playing Nashville chart toppers.

“After work, I’d come home, have a bite to eat, study, go to bed, and do it all over again,” Ramon said. “Every semester I had at TAMU-CC was the best because I was doing what I loved already even before I had a degree.”

Today, Ramon has risen through the broadcasting ranks and is now in the No. 3 market in the United States, Chicago, where he serves as Chief Meteorologist for CBS News Chicago. It’s his second chief meteorologist position in the Greater Chicago area and he recently earned industry recognition for his work; last fall, Ramon received the Outstanding Achievement for Weather Anchor award at the Chicago Midwest Emmys.

It’s been an astronomical rise for the Beeville, Texas, native whose career began humbly as an intern at KRIS 6 News in summer 2003. He remembers watching former Chief Meteorologist Dale Nelson and the late Matt Terhune provide continuous coverage during Hurricane Claudette, which made landfall near Port O’Connor, Texas, on July 15, 2003. Ramon said it was that moment which confirmed his desire to become a meteorologist.

“That’s when I knew that I had to do this,” Ramon said. “I saw Matt and Dale on the green screen, and I thought, ‘What they’re doing right now, I have to do that.’”

Ramon, who majored in communication at TAMU-CC, credits Dr. Kelly M. Miller, then the Communication Department adviser and internship coordinator, with helping him secure internship opportunities at both KRIS and KZTV. Miller became President and CEO of the Island University in August 2017.

“Dr. Miller designed an internship course for me, and as a 19-year-old, I took that for granted, but now that I’m getting closer to 40, I have an incredible amount of gratitude for her support and guidance,” he said.

In fall 2023, Ramon accepted an invitation from the university’s Corpus Christi American Meteorological Society (2CAMS) student organization to return to campus to give a talk reflecting on his career success to students majoring in atmospheric science, environmental science, and communication.

“I also shared best practices on communicating weather with empathy and compassion, which is especially important during severe weather events,” he said.

He said he was especially pleased to be able to visit with President Miller at the event.

“Albert’s exceptional qualities as a student were evident from the first time we met, and I always knew he was destined for great things,” Miller said. “We are truly honored that he made time to come back to the Island University to inspire the next generation of Islanders and I’m thrilled to have played a role, however small, in his amazing journey.”

Houston Hall ’24, atmospheric science major, serves as outreach coordinator for 2CAMS and initiated Ramon’s invitation to return to campus. Hall, an Austin native, remembers watching Ramon’s meteorology broadcasts on KVUE-TV, where Ramon worked for 10 years, and he kept up with Ramon via social media after his move to Chicago.

“When Albert spoke during his presentation, he was passionate, and so were the students. It was our best-attended meeting of the year,” Hall said. “Hearing his presentation gave students hope for the future [in the tough times] like when we’re struggling in a class or when we might be applying for a job. Knowing that Albert got where he is today in such a short span of time shows that Islanders can do anything they put their mind to.”