Benefits Enrollment Info Available July 1
The online HRConnect Annual Enrollment system will be available July 1 through July 31, for employees of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Full story.
HRI's Furgason to Retire in December
Dr. Robert R. Furgason, executive director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, has announced his retirement effective Dec. 31. Furgason served as the University’s president from 1990 to 2004 before becoming the first HRI director. Since its inception in 2004 the HRI has become the premier research institute for advancing the long-term sustainability and conservation of the Gulf of Mexico. Full story.
Wellness Center Officially Named for Donor
The new wellness center under construction on campus will bear the name of the donors whose $1 million gift seeded the financing of the $21 million state-of-the-art facility. The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents approved naming the facility the “Dr. Jack and Susie Dugan Wellness Center” during its monthly meeting May 24-25 in Kingsville. Full story.
Math Conference Brings 300 to Campus
The third annual (ME)^2 By the Sea Mathematics Conference attracted more than 300 teachers from across the Coastal Bend. Sponsored by the University’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the Coastal Council of Teachers of Mathematics (CCTM), the conference emphasized curriculum alignment and mathematics engagement for kindergarten through college students. Full story.
Youth Talent Shines at Garcia Center
Middle and high school students from around the Coastal Bend displayed their artistic talents through music, dance and poetry during the “Que Pasa Open Mic Night” June 15 at the Antonio E. Garcia Arts and Education Center. “These events provide students in our community with an avenue to help cultivate, nurture and foster their creative talents,” said Robert Garcia, director of the Antonio E. Garcia Arts and Education Center.
Runner Songok Earns NCAA Victory
Junior distance runner Shadrack Songok brought more national recognition to the Islander athletic programs in June, winning the 10,000-meters at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. After his victory Songok, the first Islander athlete to claim a national title, was named the men’s 2007 Capital One/Southland Conference Athlete of the Year. Now a three-time All-American, Songok won conference and regional titles in cross country en route to a 19th-place finish at the NCAA Championship. Full story.
Etheridge, Hilliard Start Radio Book Club
Dr. Charles Etheridge (shown), assistant professor of English, and
Joe Hilliard of the Corpus Christi Film Society recently started the Saturday Morning Book Club radio show on KEYS Weekend Magazine on NewsTalk 1440 KEYS AM. The next broadcast will air July 28 at 10 a.m. to discuss the book “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy. The one-hour program airs on the fourth Saturday of every month. “We’re trying to promote reading, culture and the arts in the community,” Etheridge said. “I love to talk about books.” Etheridge, author of 2006’s “Border Canto Trilogy” (Book 1), will publish the sequel “The Desert after Rain” late this year.
Awards, Honors, and Grants
Dr. Wes Tunnell, associate director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI), has been invited to write an essay on the Gulf of Mexico for the revised “Atlas of the Ocean” compiled by the National Geographic Society. The article will focus on the uniqueness in science, conservation and social impact of the Gulf of Mexico, including recent finds of the HRI. Full story.
If there’s a stubborn weed taking residence in a yard or garden, chances are Ruth O’Brien can identify it. O'brien, 85, graduated with a master of science degree in 1980 when the campus was Corpus Christi State University. Since then she has been a volunteer worker in the University’s herbarium and has also studied plant taxonomy. “When I first looked at a plant under a microscope, I was absolutely hooked,” said Ruth. “They’ve got glands, color and hair. I still get a thrill out of looking at them.”
Due in large part to her initiative, the Ruth O’Brien Herbarium in the Science and Technology building houses more than 1,500 Coastal Bend plants. Full story.
Students in Dr. Chuck Etheridge’s technical writing class, assisted by the English Department’s technical writing faculty, were instrumental in obtaining a $5,000 grant from the Rachal Foundation for the Food Bank of Corpus Christi’s “Get Fit” program for low-income children who are at at-risk for obesity and diabetes. The grant will be used to purchase sporting equipment for use at several locations throughout the city.
Performing Arts Center director Dr. Lari Dianne Young recently graduated from Leadership Corpus Christi Class XXXV. Leadership Corpus Christi is a training program for emerging and existing leaders that builds the needed skills, knowledge, motivation, and vision to develop a stronger community. Established in 1972 by the Chamber of Commerce, the program is the third oldest community leadership program in the nation.
Retired faculty members Dr. Robert Maroney and Dr. Albert Trevino have been awarded the title of Professor Emeritus of Education by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. Maroney joined the University in 1961 and was the associate dean in the College of Education when he retired in 2007. Trevino was a member of the education faculty from 1974 to 2006. The designation of Professor Emeritus is conferred in recognition of the recipient’s years of service and dedication to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Maroney and Trevino will be honored at the University’s summer commencement Saturday, Aug. 4.
|Research and Scholarly Activity
|Dr. Kirk Cammarata, associate professor of life sciences, has been awarded $13,200 from the United States Department of Agriculture for the South Texas Liaison of Laboratories for Agricultural Research’s (STELLAR) program to establish cooperative links between Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University-Kingsville and Del Mar College. The cooperative program is designed to increase the number of students earning degrees in agriculture-related sciences, with an emphasis on recruitment and retention of under-represented students. Its purpose is to promote awareness of technology-based agro-science through enhanced curriculum for different learning styles and funded hands-on research experiences.
|Dr. Egon Weber, assistant professor of environmental science, Rick Hay, assistant director of water supply studies, and Dr. Thomas Naehr, associate professor of geology and environmental science, have been awarded $495,880 from the Landmark Graphics Corporation to supply the Physical and Environmental Science Department with 10 licenses for the Landmark Graphics GeoGraphix software package for three years. This software package is a state of the art, three-dimensional subsurface visualization and data analysis tool that can be used for geological interpretations of oil/gas reservoir problems, groundwater studies and Earth science modeling.
|History professor David Blanke will discuss his book “Hell on Wheels: The Promise and Peril of America’s Car Culture 1900-1940” during a book signing June 30, at 1 p.m. at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 5129 Blanche Moore Drive. The 312-page book examines America’s changing cultural perceptions of the car and explains how the automobile pulled society in two contradictory emotional directions: exhilaration in personal mobility versus anxiety over public safety. Blanke also explores America’s early love affair with cars and drivers’ risk-taking tendencies.
|Dr. Denise Hill, associate professor of education, and Dr. Margaret Bolick, associate professor of education, have been awarded $20,000 from the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program to fund two environmental science courses for teachers, The grant will pay for the teachers' tuition and provide them with equipment and resources to continue the environmental science investigations in the classroom with their students.
|Dr. David McKee, mariculture coordinator, has received a $5,530 stipend from Coastal Conservation Association-Texas to fund a marine science undergraduate internship with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in the Upper Laguna Madre.
Dr. Gary Jeffress, director of the Conrad Blucher Institute, and James Rizzo, research specialist III in the Division of Nearshore Research, were awarded a three-year $445,504 contract for the Installation, Maintenance, Repair, and Management of Mobile Bay Physical Oceanographic Real Time Systems (PORTS).
Around the Island
The Graduate Studies and Research Department is accepting applications to the Fulbright Scholar Program (Traditional) through Aug. 1. The Fulbright Scholar program sends 800 U.S. faculty and professionals abroad each year and provides grants for U.S. Faculty and Professionals Grantees lecture and conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields.
The College of Education is seeking faculty applicants to fill six part-time GEAR-UP/STAR Faculty Fellows Mentor positions. For more information, go to http://education.tamucc.edu and click on Faculty Mentor Opportunity under News and Announcements, or contact Dr. Gilda Ramirez at ext. 6062.
Recreational Sports is holding Summer Group Exercise classes through Aug. 2, in the Glasscock Fitness and Wellness Center and the Moody Sustainers Field House pool. Passes are on sale at the center, the Field House and the Business Office. Classes are at 6:30 a.m., noon and 5:15 p.m. and include water aerobics, step, kickboxing, boot camp, cycling, Rep Reebok and Pilates. Cost is $30 for one class or $50 for unlimited classes.
For more information, call ext. 2170 or go to http://www.tamucc.edu/~recsport.
The Art Museum of South Texas held its second Pop pARTy summer fundraiser and art party June 16. The event included music, food, a silent auction and celebrity appearances. Proceeds from the Pop pARTy support the educational and exhibit programs at the Art Museum.
Jake Schumann, who led his teams to three 30-win seasons in four years at Texas A&M-Kingsville, is the new head coach of the Islander softball team. Full Story.
“Visual Dialogues III: Sights, Sites and Cites of TAMU-CC Art Faculty, Students and Beyond,” which will be on display through Saturday, July 28, at the Islander Art Gallery. Full story.
The Department of Community Outreach and the WorkSource of the Coastal Bend launched their first “Youth in Technology” summer camp June 4, on the University campus. The camp runs through July 6. The first phase of the summer program encourages area students to pursue engineering, computer technology, healthcare and other high-demand occupations in the Coastal Bend. Full story.
The University’s Music Department hosted the Solutions and Specialized Innovations (SASI) Drum Major and Leadership Camp June 25-28. The camp offered extensive training in conducting, corps style marching fundamentals and leadership. Instruction was provided by the University of North Texas and Cedar Park High School staffs.
The University’s Theatre Department held its “Camp on the Coast Summer Theatre Workshop” in June. The two-week residential camp is designed for high school students seeking a highly intensive and creative theatre experience. Students interested in performance rehearsed and performed a one-act play and studied acting, voice and movement in morning classes taught by Theatre Department faculty. Full story.
More than 100 high school students from across the Coastal Bend participated in a Go Center training session at the Holiday Inn Emerald Beach in June. Go Centers are part of the U.S. Department of Education’s federally funded Title V Cooperative Grant and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s “Closing the Gaps” program. Full story.
Mark your calendars for the Gloria and Robert R. Furgason Bravo! Series for the Performing Arts performances beginning in September. Tickets will be on sale soon for this exciting series. Full schedule.