Julie Truax ’24 named Outstanding Islander Graduate for the College of Business

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Achieving excellence both inside and outside the classroom is at the heart of being an Outstanding Islander Graduate. Each semester, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi selects a group of exceptional graduating Islanders — one from each academic college — who have made a lasting Islander Impact. These students are not only high academic achievers but have often overcome major adversity to reach the graduation stage.

This year’s seven Outstanding Islander Graduates will earn their diplomas at the Spring 2024 Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 18. Their journey to this moment — fueled by determination, perseverance, and grit — highlights their unwavering commitment to finishing what they have started.

Please join us in celebrating Julie Truax ’24, who is earning a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the College of Business.

Like many high school seniors, Truax had just graduated when a harsh reality hit her —what’s next? For Truax, it was a numbers game.

“I discovered that accounting is akin to solving a complex puzzle, where each piece must be meticulously arranged to reveal the bigger picture,” said Truax as she explained why she chose her field of study.

It was in 2009 when Truax was first introduced to the world of accounting. Fresh out of high school, she started a job at a bookkeeping firm, but it wasn’t until 2013, when she transitioned into the role of an accountant assistant, that her passion for accounting was ignited. The passion eventually led her to apply to the RELLIS campus, TAMU-CC’s satellite campus in Bryan, where Truax calls home.

“TAMU-CC’s strong reputation as an academic institution was a major selling point,” Truax said. “But ultimately, location played the primary factor for me because of my family responsibilities in Bryan.”

Those responsibilities added up quickly for Truax, who is a first-generation college student. They included being a caregiver for an ailing parent, a parent to her own child who was diagnosed with ADHD, and her personal battle with cancer.

“This adversity not only shaped my academic journey but reinforced my resolve to overcome obstacles and achieve my goals,” Truax said. “Each hurdle has taught me valuable lessons in time management, resilience, and the importance of seeking support from others.”

She is a grateful recipient of the Celika Storm Endowed Scholarship in Business, which she calls a pivotal mark in her academic journey.

“This generous support has not only allowed me to accelerate my progress toward graduation by taking a summer course, but it also alleviated the need for additional loans, thereby preventing further accumulation of educational debt,” she said.

She also credits her professors with keeping her focused when there were so many opportunities to be overwhelmed. Truax says their unwavering dedication and encouragement helped her make it to the graduation stage. 

“Professors Sellers, Smith, and De Leon have been instrumental in my growth and development,” Truax said. “Whether through their inspiring lectures or personalized guidance, they have consistently fostered an environment of learning and empowerment.”

That empowerment would come in handy as Truax embarked on another role in her busy life. She became treasurer at her church. It’s there she discovered just how important accounting and accountability can be.

“I discovered that two employees were engaging in embezzlement activities,” Truax recounted. “By working hand-in-hand with law enforcement, we were able to ensure justice. And through the lessons I learned in college, I implemented new measures at my church to prevent a future crime.”

That incident, which highlighted the importance of her education, also highlighted something else for her — the importance of giving back.

“I have discovered that accounting is not just a career for me, but a true calling,” Truax said. “My ambition is to attain my CPA license and then use the knowledge I’ve gained to help nonprofit organizations avoid becoming the victim of financial crime.”

As Truax prepares for this next phase in her life, she said she is thankful for the growth she has experienced because of her time as an Islander.

“Despite not being physically on the main campus, I have always felt fully integrated into the TAMU-CC community,” Truax said. “The university ensured that students like myself, studying remotely, are not overlooked.”