Michael Martin Murphey's Cowboy Christmas Concert
Texas-born singing cowboy poet Michael Martin Murphey will bring his "Cowboy Christmas" concert to the Performing Arts Center Friday, Dec. 1 at 8 pm. He has had six gold records including "Cowboy Songs", the first album of cowboy music to achieve gold status since Marty Robbins, and hit singles including his signature song "Wildfire." The tour spans 40 cities per holiday season. The concert is part of this season's Furgason Bravo! Series.
Chapman Gift Funds New Baseball/Softball Facility
A planned press box facility funded by John O. and Louise G. Chapman will become the centerpiece for the baseball and softball venues at Islander Field. The Chapmans are longtime generous benefactors to A&M-Corpus Christi. The structure is anticipated to include three stories—public restrooms and a concession stand on the first floor; a press box on the second floor; and an upper-level suite.
Leading Medical Institutions to Test Pulse!!
Three prestigious medical institutions have agreed to serve as test sites for the Pulse!! Virtual Clinical Learning Lab being developed by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. In development since March 2005, a pre-release version of Pulse!! will begin testing in January at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn.; The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md.; and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Full Story
State Senator to Speak at Commencement
State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa will be the keynote speaker at the 2006 Fall Commencement Saturday, Dec. 16 at 10:30 a.m. at the American Bank Center Arena. The ceremony will include the College of Business, College of Education, College of Liberal Arts, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and the College of Science and Technology. GH Broadcasting will broadcast the ceremony live on KXPX, Channel 14. Cable carriers with KXPX are: Grande, Channel 14; Charter, Channel 14; and Cable 1, Channel 10. Hinojosa Bio
Clearinghouse for Mexican-American Research Opens
The University’s Clearinghouse for Mexican-American Research (CMAR) officially opened its doors in October. The clearinghouse is dedicated to generating external funding for faculty and graduate student research. Full Story
Heart Gallery Gives Hope to Difficult-to-Place Children
The dozens of photographs displayed during the Heart Gallery of South Texas exhibition reflect the hopes and dreams of children who wake up each morning wondering if this could be the day; the day that some caring family welcomes them into their home. The second Heart Gallery exhibition was a collaborative project between the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Spaulding for Children, and the University’s Community Outreach Department. Full Story
Fraud Prevention Week’ Focuses on Corporate Scandals
Two of the most infamous white-collar crimes in recent U.S. history were discussed and analyzed as part of the recent College of Business’ “Fraud Prevention Week” this semester. According to the FBI, tremendous growth in the securities and commodities markets at the institutional, corporate, and private investor levels has led to great numbers of individuals involved in intentional corporate fraud and misconduct, particularly senior corporate executives. Full Story
Awards, Honors, and Grants
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s production of “Bloody Poetry,” British playwright Howard Brenton's factional drama about Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, received eight awards at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s Texas Region I competition.
Chopin Named Regents Professor: Dr. Suzette Chopin, professor in the College of Science and Technology was one of nine professors within the Texas A&M University System to receive the designation of Regents Professor at the Board of Regents meeting in College Station Thursday, Nov. 30. The Regents Professor Award program was established in 1996 to recognize employees who have made exemplary contributions to their University. Nominees must be full-time professors who have held the rank in the University System for at least five years and have produced a distinguished record of teaching and research. Chopin, who was nominated by University President/CEO Flavius Killebrew, received a $9,000 stipend, a commemorative medallion and a certificate at a dinner honoring the recipients.
B.J. Sparks, database assistant for Recruitment and Retention in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, has been awarded an Air Force Salute for her assistance in establishing key working relationships between Air Force recruiters and University officials. Sparks, who has been with the University since 1999, maintains databases to track the graduation success of students in the College.
Dr. Gary Jeffress is the new director of the University’s Conrad Blucher Institute for Surveying and Science. Jeffress has been with A&M-Corpus Christi for 16 years, serving as a professor of Geographic Information Science and as the coordinator of the same program within the College of Science and Technology. The Blucher Institute now has three primary components; Academic Teaching of Geospatial Science, the Division of Nearshore Research, and the Texas Height Modernization Project.
The Army ROTC team from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi took third place in a field of 30 universities at the Ranger Challenge competition at Camp Bullis in San Antonio, Oct. 13-15. Among the competing teams were: The University of Texas-Austin, Texas A&M University-College Station, New Mexico State University, The University of Texas-San Antonio, Texas Christian University, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, and The University of Texas-Arlington. The Ranger Challenge is a series of seven events that test the mental and physical toughness of team members while developing team cohesion.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi a five-year, $999,998 grant to participate in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program (STEP). The “Recruitment, Retention, and Success in Science (R²S²) proposal presented by A&M-Corpus Christi was one of only 15 funded from the 141 reviewed by the NSF. The Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) assisted University faculty with the proposal, and will act as the project’s fiscal agent. The program will be led by principal investigator Dr. José H. Giraldo, associate professor of mathematics. The STEP co-principal investigators are Dr. Katherine Price Blount, professor of geology and environmental sciences; Dr. Fereshteh Billiot, associate professor of chemistry and director of the First-Year Chemistry Program; Dr. David Grisé, assistant professor of biology and director of the First-Year Biology Program; Dr. Susan Wolff-Murphy, assistant professor of English and co-director of the University Core Curriculum Program; and Dr. Cherie McCollough; assistant professor of biology.
Dr. Eugene Billiot, an associate professor in the College of Science and Technology, was honored as one of 20 recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) during a White House meeting with President George W. Bush. The award, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on scientists and engineers early in their careers. Twenty professors were honored from the approximately 400 who received NSF grants. Billiot was recognized for his work to separate pharmaceutical drugs from their asymmetrical molecules.
A database developed by researchers at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI) has earned first place in the EPA Bi-National category of the 2006 Gulf Guardian Awards. “GulfBase” is a Web site of resources within the Gulf of Mexico that is designed to regroup, synthesize, and make research information freely available in one place. The members of the “GulfBase” team are Professor Wes Tunnell, editor and HRI associate director; Marion Nipper, managing editor and associate editor for the United States; Patrick R. Michaud, Web site developer; Professor Julio A. Sanchez Chavez, associate editor of science for Mexico and Cuba; and Anne Evans, master’s student and HRI research assistant.
Patricia Durham, a doctoral student in Curriculum and Instruction, was awarded a $15,000 grant from the Verizon Reads foundation in Nov. The grant will fund Read One a Day (ROAD) Scholars, a literacy outreach program designed to promote reading comprehension and motivation among middle school students. During the ROAD Scholar program, undergraduate education students from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi will visit approximately 200 fifth graders at the Ingleside Independent School District. Their visits will include literacy sessions, book talks, and a reading symposium that will promote books in a convention-like atmosphere.
Around the Island
Wishes and Dreams Toy Drive: The University will host a “Wishes and Dreams” toy drive in conjunction with the Islander Lights festivities Friday, Dec. 1 from 6 to 7 p.m. Bring an unwrapped, non-violent toy to the area outside the University Services Center to share with a child this holiday season. Those wishing to make a monetary donation may do so at the table in the University Center foyer Friday, Dec. 1 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call ext. 2612.
World Aids Day: The University Counseling Center will host “World Aids Day” Friday, December 1 from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. at the University Center Foyer and East Lawn. Pick up a red AIDS Awareness ribbon to demonstrate care and concern about HIV and AIDS. Free and confidential HIV testing will be available. For more information, call ext. 2703.
Holiday Concert: The Department of Music will present a holiday concert Sunday, Dec. 3 at 4 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, call ext. 5523.
10-Minute Play Festival: The Department of Theatre will present a 10-Minute Play Festival Monday, Dec. 4 and Tuesday, Dec. 5 from 6 to 10 p.m. in the Wilson Theatre located in the Center for the Arts. The performances are free and open to the public. For more information, call the University Theatre box office at ext. 5800.