Texas A&M University-Kingsville

June 2012

In This Issue

Featured News Other Campus News
Alumni News Javelina Summer Fun Alumni Association Update Athletics Quick Hits

Featured News

University & Diocese of Corpus Christi Conduct Land Swap

Officials from Texas A&M University-Kingsville and the Diocese of Corpus Christi signed a land exchange agreement on June 25 that will initiate a land swap that paves the way for construction of a Newman Student Center and Chapel as well as adjacent student housing.  According to the agreement, the university will exchange approximately five acres of unimproved land with the Diocese of Corpus Christi and received improved property that is the current site of the St. Thomas Aquinas University Catholic Center, which is owned by the Diocese.  The student center and chapel will be built and operated by the Diocese of Corpus Christi.  The Newman Student Housing Fund, a limited liability company formed to construct student housing for the Catholic Church, will build and operate a new Catholic housing complex that will initially serve 300 students.  Texas A&M-Kingsville will become one of only a few universities in the country that will have a Newman Center and Chapel complex with a residential component on its campus. "As the only traditional, residential campus in the region, it's important for Texas A&M-Kingsville to be responsive to the needs of our students.  We know that many of our students want the kind of close-knit, spiritual giving environment that a Newman Center can provide, and we are pleased to be able to add it as an option for them,"  Texas A&M University-Kingsville President, Steven Tallant, said. To read an article about the land swap from the Corpus Christi Caller Times.

Texas A&M University-Kingsville Honor Students

The university has released the names of individual students that have received recognition as President's List, Dean's List and Honor Roll students for Spring 2012 semester.  The achievements are based on GPA standing.  For the list of award recipients CLICK HERE.

KTAI Radio Station Honored Nationally

KTAI 91.1, the student-run campus radio station continues to earn national honors.  The station's "Kingsville Country" radio show, hosted by Gabriel Ochoa (pictured at right) - whose on-air persona, Roughneck Rich is a popular mainstay on KTAI - was selected as one of four student radio music shows nationally to earn the Best Music Show award at the first Radio Star Awards, sponsored by RadioFlag.  KTAI also won the first RadioFlag Spirit of College Radio Day Award in 2011. 

A&M-Kingsville Engineering Approves Natural Gas Degree Program

The Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering is reinstating the natural gas engineering bachelor's degree program thanks to renewed interest sparked by the development of new extraction technologies and the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas.  The revitalization has also received support from a number of alumni.  The program was introduced by the college's name sake in 1936 as one of the first engineering degrees at the university.  The programs popularity slowed in the 1990s and it was eventually suspended.  But the program has received renewed support as of late and will restart in Fall 2012.  For more information CLICK HERE.

More Javelina News Available Are you trying to catch up on all the Javelina news?  There are a lot of ways to keep up to speed.  An archive has been created for the Bell Tower Newsletters where you can view all of the past issues.  You can also view the online version of the most recent Javelina Today.  Don't forget to check out all of the interactive videos and features.  You can also sign up to receive university news feeds in your email inbox or get connected on all the major social media network sites.  Visit the university website for all the different ways you can stay connected.  

Other Campus News

Geosciences Launches Field Camp Program

The Geosciences Program in the College of Arts & Sciences is developing a new Field Camp program that is unique in the United States.  The program involves the training of future Geologists with three two-week field experiences in Big Bend National Park (spring intercession), Central Texas (summer intercession), and on campus (fall intercession).   The first two field experiences incorporate traditional training exercises to teach students how to map complex geological terrains and to place the knowledge gained into the development of the regional geology.  The third part of the Field Camp was developed to provide students local job training in the mining, petroleum, and hydrogeology industries with professionals from these career fields. The first, two-week part of Field Camp was recently completed in Big Bend (photo at right).

The Geosciences program releases a newsletter sharing its activities.  To read past issues CLICK HERE.

TAMUK Student Maps Historic Trek Commemorating Cheyenne Exodus

Jesus Garza, a junior history and political science major recently took on a unique and historic project.  He created a map that eight horseback riders took on a 1,391-mile journey across seven states to commemorate the Northern Cheyenne Exodus of 1878.  Garza served as the expedition's chief navigator and historian and used paper maps and GPS technology to plot the course across seven states.  To read more about their extraordinary journey CLICK HERE for an article from the Indian Country Today Media Network.

Environmental Engineering Program Receives Grant

The Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment (ISEE) in the Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering has received an $835,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.  The grant is part of the Clean Water Act dealing with Nonpoint Source Pollution.  It will fund Phase III of ISEE's "Evaluation of Innovative Low Impact Development Activities in Urban Storm Water Management in the Arroyo Colorado," an endeavor to promote Low Impact Development (LID) in one of the fastest growing regions in the country.  READ MORE HERE.

Kingsville Symphony to Hold Patriotic Concert at Jones Auditorium

On July 1st, the Kingsville Symphony Orchestra will be presenting a Patriotic Concert at Jones Auditorium (855 N. Armstrong St.) at 3:00 p.m.  The show, conducted by Oleg Proskurnya, will include a virtual firework display.  Active duty military and veterans will be admitted free of charge and family of active duty military will be given a $2 discount.  Band and music students from area schools are also invited to attend for free, but need to make reservations through their teachers.  Children under 12 are also admitted free if accompanied by an adult, and TAMUK students are admitted for free with proper ID.  Regular ticket prices are $10 for back seating, $20 for premium seating and $30 for VIP seating.  Tickets can be purchased at the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Music Department Office (361) 593-2804.  Visit the Kingsville Symphony Orchestra at www.kingsvillesymphony.org for updates on upcoming performances.

Alumni News

Alumni Spotlight:  Trent Westbrook

Written by:  Anissa Rivera Hernandez ('94), Javelina Alumni Association Board Member

Writing and illustrating comic books has been a passion for Trent Westbrook, and after years of perfecting his craft, he finds even more enjoyment creating graphic novels now that they are finding commercial success.

In many ways, Westbrook found his inspiration at Texas A&M-Kingsville.  After graduating from Banquete High School (Banquete, Texas) in 1991, he enrolled at then Texas A&I that fall with plans to pursue a degree in English with a minor in Communications.  After only a year of classes, his English professors, including Dr. Wayne Gunn and Dr. Ann Lathrop, noticed his creativity in writing and illustrating comic books.  In addition to providing encouragement, both professors met frequently with Westbrook outside of class to discuss his writing and offer input on how he could improve. “They began to encourage me as early as my freshman year in creative writing,” Westbrook said.

Falling ill to rheumatic fever in the fall of 1995, Westbrook was forced to withdraw from school.  Health problems and finances prevented him from completing his degree, but his experience working for the campus technology department while he attended paved the way for a job in the technology department of Corpus Christi Independent School District.  He has worked there for the last 16 years.  Despite the setback, Westbrook’s love for writing and drawing never ceased.  And the inspiration he drew from Gunn and Lanthrop motivated him to continue writing short fiction.  In particular, he focused on an independent comic book called Corpus Christi, which features recognizable landmarks from the city and area for which it is named.  In that graphic novel his professors’ inspiration took a new form, with both Lanthrop and Gunn having characters named after them.  In the book Ann Lanthrop is a nurse who is the target of a rapist stalking women on Ocean Drive, and Wayne Gunn is a detective assigned to the case. >“Both of them were a large part of my development as a writer, and I wanted to name characters after them in reverence and appreciation for all they taught me, not to mention the simple fact that they believed in me,” Westbrook said.

Roberto Garza Recognized by JAA for HOF Induction

Former Javelina football star, Roberto Garza ('00), came from humble beginnings.  Largely looked over by recruits out of high school, Garza received his shot to play at Texas A&M University-Kingsville as a backup offensive lineman.  Through diligent hard work he earned the starting spot and never looked back.  His stellar career as a Javelina turned into an 11-year NFL career with the Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears.  Recently, he was honored by the Javelina Alumni Association at a reception in the The Valley for his induction into the Lone Star Conference Hall of Fame.   "TAMUK gave me my life.  I met my wife there and we have two kids.  I played college football, and that's where my dreams began," Garza said.

Alumnus Named Principal of Pleasanton

Dr. Matthew Mann ('01, '11), a December doctoral graduate from Texas A&M University-Kingsville's College of Education and Human Performance, was recently named principal of Pleasanton High School.  The Colorado native also holds a Master of Science Degree in Education Administration from Texas A&M-Kingsville and has served for seven years as assistant principal at Jourdanton Junior High School.  Fore more about Mann's recent appointment CLICK HERE to connect to an article from the Pleasanton Express. >

Arnold Gonzales to Display New Exhibit in New York

Javelina alumnus, Arnold Gonzales ('71), will be holding an art exhibit entitled "Pathway to Abstraction" from July 7 - 27 at the Agora Gallery (530 West 25th St., New York, NY).  An opening reception has been scheduled for the evening of July 12.  For more information visit www.Agora-Gallery.com.  

Alumni Association Update

Alumni Enjoy Several Javelina Alumni Association Events in June

June was a very busy month for the Javelina Alumni Association with several events across South Texas.  On June 8th, the JAA hosted a social in Laredo at Palenque Grill.  Roughly twenty-five alumni turned out for the event where the special announcement of an Alumni Chapter forming in Laredo was made. A week later, on June 15th, the JAA sponsored a reception in the Rio Grande Valley the night before the On The Border Golf Classic.  At the event Roberto Garza (pictured at right) was recognized for his induction into the Lone Star Conference Hall of Fame for his illustrious career on the Javelina football team in the late 90s.  On June 20th the JAA hosted another mixer, this time in Corpus Christi at Trinity Towers.  Several alumni attended the event, which featured a university update from Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Scott Gines as well as a special message from 2012 spring graduate and graduate school enrollee, Zinnie Offordile. For more information about upcoming events click on the events on the left menu bar, visit our website or our Facebook page.

Javelina Pride Baby Contest Entry is Now Open for Entries!

The Javelina Alumni Association and Office of Marketing and Communications present the Javelina Pride Baby Contest.  Open to toddlers up to two (2) years of age, and whose parents/guardians are current members of the Javelina Alumni Association as of July 31, 2012.  Deadline for entry is July 31, 2012.

Looking to Re-Connect with Alumni - the JAA can help! Is there a fellow Javelina you would like to re-connect with?  The Javelina Alumni Association can help you try to find fellow Javelinas. Contact the JAA office by email or at (361) 593-4338.

Athletics Quick Hits

Javelinas Having Summer Fun Javelina alumni are making the most of the summer traveling and reconnecting with one another.  Below are some photos from some of our alumni during their summer ventures.

 Harriet "Momma Hog" Williams ('74)  & Valentin Jalomo ('73) catching up at an Astros game Yvonne Trachta ('94) bumped into  Heath Sherman ('88) at the 4th Annual Javelina Pack Reunion in Glen Flora, TX.

While visiting Garmisch (Bavaria), Col. (ret.) Edward Preston ('62) found a statue of a German Javelina and for fun decided, like any cowboy, to ride it like a steer.

This page was last updated on: November 13, 2014