Word on the Island, September 2023

Celebrating our Hispanic-Serving Identity

During the months of September and October, we enthusiastically and intentionally embrace a month of celebration, reflection, and appreciation. Hispanic Heritage Month, from September 15th to October 15th, is a focused time to honor and recognize the profound contributions of Hispanic and Latina/o communities to our nation's rich tapestry. This annual observance offers us a platform to celebrate who we are as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and provides us an invaluable opportunity to delve into the vibrant cultures, traditions, and histories that have shaped our society.

Throughout the weeks of Hispanic Heritage Month, we embark on a journey of exploration, highlighting the achievements, artistry, and resilience of Hispanic and Latina/o individuals. From trailblazing leaders to talented artists, entrepreneurs, and countless unsung heroes, their impact reverberates throughout our campus and daily lives. We invite you to join us in embracing this cultural exchange and fostering understanding about the diversity that makes our university, community, and world a more vibrant and interconnected place to learn, live, and work.

Check out the many events and activities occurring now through October 17.


Clarenda M. Phillips, PhD
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs


Zero Textbook Cost stipends are available for competitive application. Apply by October 13. For more information, visit the Bell Library OER page.

Applications for Faculty Development Leave are being accepted now until October 20. This program supports professional development and research for tenured, full-time faculty.

The Faculty in Residence program is currently accepting applications for the 2024-2025 school year. FIR offers a unique opportunity for faculty to reside in campus housing and mentor students outside the classroom. Apply by October 20.

The Bell Library will feature a banned book display for Banned Books Week October 1-7. Stop by the Library to see why books were banned and share your thoughts. A banned books live screen-printing tee-shirt sale will occur October 4 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Textbook adoptions will occur October 9-13. Now is the time to determine your course material selections so that you will be ready to adopt next month.

School-University Partnership Conference of Education (SUPCE) will hold its annual conference on Saturday, October 14, 2023, in UC from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The theme is “Transforming Education through Collective Action: Reimagination, Academic Success, Mental Health, and Cultural Development.” SUPCE showcases the work of CEHD and additional campus faculty and staff. Community partners and school districts will also present their work and share information about their programs and research.

The inaugural Health Sciences and Technology Research Symposium will be held Saturday, October 28, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in UC. The event is jointly hosted by TAMU-CC and Driscoll Health System.


We suggest the following resources to help you stay informed and maximize your Islander Impact:


The Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) will begin accepting applications for the 2024-2025 school year on November 1. Students who will be 3 or 4 on September 1 of that school year are eligible to apply if they are unable to speak or comprehend the English language, qualify for free or reduced-price meals (SNAP or TANF), homeless, military dependent, currently or previously in foster care, or a child of a person eligible for Star of Texas award as a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical responder. Children who do not meet these eligibility criteria can apply for a tuition-based spot at a rate of $468 per month for 10 months. For more information, please visit https://ecdc.ccisd.us or contact ECDC at 361.825.3366.


Islander faculty received the 2023 Fellows’ Ernst Posner Award from the Society of American Archivists, the oldest and largest national archival professional association in North America. The team’s winning article explored digital literacy in underserved student populations and presented a widely applicable model for programs that  increase students’ understanding and skills. For more information, view the TAMU-CC news article.


TAMU-CC’s Open Access Publication Fund awarded 56 faculty and staff from all colleges over $44,000 during the 2022-2023 academic year. The fund was established by the Mary and Jeff Bell Library, the Division of Research and Innovation, and the Office of the Provost. It supports publications in open access scholarly journals, books, and monographs. Awards help increase access to research and scholarship produced by TAMU-CC researchers, cover publishing costs, and encourage innovative models of scholarly publishing. The fund is now accepting applications for the 2023-2024 academic year.

A groundbreaking research project on coral reef conservation is being co-led by Dr. Keisha Bahr, a TAMU-CC faulty member. The Island University’s portion of the funding totals $419,000 and comes for the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program on behalf of the National Oceanographic Partnership Program. The program will provide training opportunities for underrepresented people, as well as paid internships for undergraduate students at TAMU-CC.


The College of Nursing & Health Sciences has been awarded $650,000 in scholarship funds for disadvantaged students. The award comes from the Health Resources Services Administration, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The funds will support Islander students during the current academic year.


Dr. Ed Proffitt, a TAMU-CC faculty member, has been studying the ecological impact of black mangrove plants in the Coastal Bend region. The plants can help prevent erosion during hurricanes but can also affect whooping crane habitats.



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