Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Incoming State Rep Tara Rios Ybarra Will Keynote A&M-Kingsville Commencement Aug. 9

KINGSVILLE - July 30, 2008

Contact: Julie Navejar
julie.navejar@tamuk.edu or 361-593-2590

System Center-San Antonio ceremony scheduled Aug. 8

More than 400 prospective graduates are ready to cross the stage during two summer commencement ceremonies at Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s Steinke Physical Education Center Saturday, Aug. 9.

Students graduating at the 3 p.m. ceremony will be from the Dick and Mary Lewis Kleberg College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences, the Frank Dotterweich College of Engineering, the College of Business Administration and University College. The colleges of Arts and Sciences and Education will issue degrees at the 6 p.m. ceremony.

Among the prospective graduates, 204 are bachelor’s candidates and 207 are scheduled to receive master’s degrees. There are seven doctoral candidates.

This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Tara Rios Ybarra, incoming State Representative for District 43. Gabriel Geyne, Student Government Association president, will present the Distinguished Student Awards. Alvaro Hinojosa, Javelina Alumni Association president, will present the official university ring to one graduate, who is selected based on leadership, campus and community service and honors and awards. Representing The Texas A&M University System will be Dr. Brett Giroir, vice chancellor for research.

Five graduating students will be commissioned into the U.S. Army after completing the university’s ROTC program. They include Roberto Carlos Almanza of Brownsville; Alon Leon Conley of Harlingen; Arianna Longoria of Brownsville; Evaristo Angeles Rivera and Monica I. Marino Rivera, both of Rio Hondo. Evaristo Rivera will be commissioned as a Distinguished Military Graduate.

The Texas A&M University-Kingsville System Center San Antonio will hold its commencement ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8, in the auditorium at South San High School, 2515 Navajo St., in San Antonio.

About Tara Rios Ybarra

Dr. Tara Rios Ybarra is the next state representative for Texas District 43. The winner of the Democratic Primary Election, she is running unopposed in the November General Election. She currently lives in South Padre Island, but was born in Corpus Christi. Her father and grandfather were born in Kingsville.

She attended the University of Texas in Austin and graduated from dental school at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio with a doctorate in dental surgery. Rios Ybarra completed a forensic odontology fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center. She has practiced dentistry since 1997 and has owned her own practice for the past eight years. She is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and past member of the 911 World Trade Center Odontology Team, which include mass disaster training.

Rios Ybarra is currently serving her second term as city council member for the town of South Padre Island. During her tenure, she has become involved with various projects including initiating the Litter-Free South Padre Island Project and the Ecotourism Summit. Rios Ybarra has worked on improving indigent health car through the free indigent dental care mobile unit, has sat on the board of the Family Crisis Center against Domestic Violence and attended several Cameron/Willacy County Child/Infant Fatality reviews as well as serving as dental consultant for the United States Department of Homeland Security Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

She and her husband, Dr. Richard Joe Ybarra, have two daughters. She is an avid runner having completed three marathons in New York City, Alaska and Austin.

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