Beginner Surfers Take Board Exams
Students in Phil “Puddy” Albright’s “Beginning Surfing” class rode the waves near Horace Caldwell Pier in Port Aransas as part of their final exam on May 1. The class is designed to teach students the skills to safely enjoy surfing through a combination of classroom lectures and a beach program. In addition to learning how to properly use equipment, students are taught surfing history and environmental issues. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is the only four-year institution of higher learning in the state to offer surfing for credit.
Student Endowment Bill Goes to Governor's Desk
Senate Bill 1417, which provides for the creation of a student endowment fund at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, has been unanimously approved by the Texas Legislature and sent to Gov. Rick Perry for his signature. The bill sponsored in the House of Representatives by Rep. Solomon Ortiz, Jr. gives The Texas A&M System Board of Regents the statutory authority to charge a student endowment fee of $1 per credit hour. The fee may not be increased by more than 10 percent unless approved by a majority vote of the University’s students. Full Story
Students Compete in National NASA Competition
The University’s “Students Today … NASA Tomorrow” (STNT) team presented its program of interactive lesson plans developed for students in grades four through eight at the NASA Means Business student competition the first week in May at the Kennedy Space Center. The lesson plan, or thematic unit, can be used by middle and high school teachers to promote the S.T.E.M. Education Promotion Program’s emphasis on the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in education. Full Story
Series Featuring Independent Films Begins 17th Season
“The Territory,” will present the works of cutting-edge independent filmmakers on three Saturday nights in June at 10 p.m. on KEDT-TV. The series, which is in its 17th season, is produced and hosted by Dr. Bill Huie, professor of communication and Film; Dr. Ethan Thompson and Laszlo Fulop, both assistant professors of communication; and Deborah Fullerton, curator of education at the South Texas Institute for the Arts.
Awards, Honors, and Grants
Dr. Thomas Shirley, endowed chair for biodiversity and conservation science at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, was honored by the National Oceanographic Partnership Program for his part in an expedition to explore World War II shipwrecks in the Gulf of Mexico, during the Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology (JSOST) meeting May 17 in Washington, D.C. Full Story
Patricia Hill, director of the University’s Academic Advising Transition Center, has received the Student Research Award from the National Academic Advising Association. Hill will be honored for her research on “First-Year Students’ Adjustment to a University: The Role of E-Mentoring” at the NACADA Conference in Baltimore, Md. In her research, Hill determined that E-mentoring is an effective way for experienced professionals to work with students through online communication. Full Story
Dr. Robert Vokurka, Chair of the Department of Finance, Economics and Decision Sciences, has been appointed to the 2007 Board of Directors for the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award by William Jeffrey, director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The award, created by public law in 1987, is the highest level of national recognition for performance excellence that a U.S. organization can receive. The board is composed of approximately 500 leading experts from industry, professional and trade organizations, education and healthcare organizations and government. As an examiner, Vokerka is responsible for reviewing and evaluating applications submitted for the award.
More than 20 students from the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Army ROTC Islander Battalion were honored during an awards ceremony Wednesday, May 2 in the University Center. The program recognizes cadets who have excelled in both military and academic skills. The Islander Battalion is an ROTC program that trains and prepares college students to be commissioned military officers. To date, an estimated 150 Islander Battalion cadets have been commissioned as 2nd Lieutenants in the U.S. Army. Full Story
|Research and Scholarly Activity
|Gretchen Arnold, director of the Pollution Prevention Partnership (P3), has received $300,000 from the Valero Corpus Christi Refinery for the Clean School Bus Project. The grant will be used to retrofit approximately 97 Corpus Christi area school buses with EPA approved diesel oxidation catalysts and close crankcase filtration systems to reduce emissions.
|Dr. Gary Jeffress, director of the Conrad Blucher Institute, has received a $50,000 grant from the Texas Water Develop Board for sponsorship of the Texas Coastal Ocean Observation Network (TCOON). Since its inception in 1989, TCOON, which supplies real-time water level and meteorological information, has expanded from three stations to more than 40 stations along the Texas coast.
|Dr. Lari Young, director of the Performing Arts Center, has received a $2,010 grant from the City of Corpus Christi Arts and Cultural Commission for the 2007-2008 Bob and Gloria Furgason Bravo! Series for the Performing Arts. Each year the series produced by the University brings internationally-known performers to the Performing Arts Center.
Dr. Elaine Young, assistant professor of mathematics, and
Dr. Martin Lo, assistant professor in the College of Education, have received an $87,000 Teacher Quality Grant from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to provide funding for 20 participants to earn college credits in mathematics.
|Antonio E. Garcia Arts & Education Center director Roberto Garcia has received a $6,000 grant from the Nueces County Commissioners Court for the “Happy Kitchens, Healthy Choices” program that educates families about medical, nutritional and physical risk factors associated with diabetes.
Dr. Elizabeth Reese, director of the Weil Gallery and Islander Art Gallery and visiting instructor of art, has received a $4,270 award from the City of Corpus Christi Arts and Cultural Commission. The funds will be used for the Mobile Foundry Project, a self-contained casting facility, which enables children to experience the art-making process of creating cast aluminum tiles.
Around the Island
Faculty Tenure and Promotions Announced
The following faculty members have been granted tenure by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents effective Sept. 1: Dr. Philippe Tissot, College of Science and Technology; Dr. James E. Silliman, College of Science and Technology; Dr. Stacey D. Lyle, College of Science and Technology; Dr. Scott King, College of Science and Technology; Dr. Gregory Buck, College of Science and Technology; Dr. Eve Layman, College of Nursing and Health Sciences; Dr. Susan Wolff-Murphy, College of Liberal Arts; Dr. Shawn Wahl, College of Liberal Arts; Dr. Ronald D. Scott, College of Liberal Arts; Dr. Cristina Kirklighter, College of Liberal Arts; Dr. Alan Hansen, College of Liberal Arts; Dr. Charles Etheridge, College of Liberal Arts; Dr. Frank Spaniol, College of Education; Dr. Cathy Pohan, College of Education; Dr. Don Melrose, College of Education; Dr. Denise Hill, College of Education; Dr. Robert Cutshall, College of Business.
The promotion of the following faculty members has been approved by Texas A&M University System Chancellor Michael D. McKinney effective Sept. 1: Dr. Martin Ward, professor of teacher education; Dr. Philippe Tissot, associate professor of physics; Dr. Eve Layman, associate professor of nursing; Dr. Ronald D. Scott, associate professor of music; Dr. Margaret Lucero, professor of management; Dr. Robert Cutshall, associate professor of management; Dr. Don Melrose, associate professor of kinesiology; Dr. Anthony Quiroz, professor of history; Dr. Stacey D. Lyle, associate professor of geographic information science; Dr. Peter Kuntu-Mensah, associate professor of geographic information science; Dr. Swint Friday, professor of finance; Dr. Susan Wolff-Murphy, associate professor of English; Dr. Charles Etheridge, associate professor of English; Dr. Denise Hill, associate professor of educational leadership; Dr. Scott King, associate professor of computer science; Dr. Shawn Wahl, associate professor of communication; Dr. Alan Hansen, associate professor of communication; Dr. Christina Thompson, professor of clinical laboratory science. Dr. James Silliman, associate professor of chemistry.
The Art Museum of South Texas will hold its “Pop pARTy” summer fundraiser Saturday, June 16 from 8 p.m. until midnight at 1902 N. Shoreline Blvd. The event will include music, food, a silent auction and special celebrity appearances. Guests will be transported back to the Pop Era through themed rooms and vignettes, interactive artistic experiences, displays and performances throughout the museum. Tickets are $75 for Museum members and $100 for non-members. Table sponsorships are available. Proceeds support the educational and exhibit programs at the Art Museum.
University President Flavius Killebrew reported on higher education concerns that were considered during the last legislative session during the Faculty and Staff Spring Meeting. Dr. Killebrew also recognized faculty and staff who have recently received awards and grants.
More than 500 students took a break from studying for finals to enjoy the University’s traditional Late Night Breakfast. Students were treated to a free breakfast and aqua massages and enjoyed playing video games. Included in the event was a celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The Late Night Breakfast was sponsored by Student Affairs, the Campus Activities Board, the Islander Cultural Alliance and the South East Asian Student Association.
More than 830 students received their diplomas during Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Spring 2007 Commencement. Christina McAusland, a first-generation college student and honors graduate, delivered the keynote address. The ceremony included graduates from the Colleges of Business, Education, Liberal Arts, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Science and Technology. Full Story
Perry Clark, who guided both Tulane’s Green Wave and the Miami Hurricanes to the NCAA Tournament, is the new head basketball coach at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Clark spent the last three years as a television and radio sports commentator for Fox Sports Network and as an analyst for ESPN. He has more than 28 years of collegiate coaching experience, including 15 as a head coach. During that span, Clark posted a 250-199 record that included seven 20-win seasons and nine postseason appearances. Full Story
More than 300 faculty and staff participated in 30 workshops on topics ranging from dream interpretation to handling personal finances during Employee Development Day. Professional speaker Paul Vitale author of “Are You Puzzled by the Puzzle of Life?” gave the keynote address at the annual luncheon.