Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Three To Receive Distinguished Alumni, Rising Star Honors During Homecoming

KINGSVILLE - October 02, 2008

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

Three alumni of Texas A&M University-Kingsville will be honored Saturday, Oct. 11, when the Javelina Alumni Association meets for its annual Homecoming luncheon at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Center. Tickets to the luncheon are $25.

Each year a number of alumni are chosen for special recognition not only for their professional achievements, but also for their exemplary service to both their alma mater and their communities. This year two alumni will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award and one will receive the Rising Star Award.

Distinguished Alumni are:

Herbie Maurer, Class of 1964, of Friendswood
Jean Claire Turcotte, Classes of 1958 and 1986, of Kingsville

The Rising Star Award goes to:

Dr. Alberto Ruiz, Classes of 1993 and 1995, of Kingsville

About the Distinguished Alumni and Rising Star Award recipients

Herbie Maurer
Herbie Maurer

Herbie Maurer is president of Maurer Advisory and Consultant Service Inc. He spent more than 40 years with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Galveston and helped design, maintain and operate the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. The channel is now the sixth largest port in the country, providing an enormous boost to the South Texas economy. In recognition of his service and dedication, one of the port facilities was named in his honor – the Herbie A. Maurer Dredge Material Placement Area. This honor previously had been reserved only for port commissioners.

“He played a significant part in many of the nation’s critical infrastructure projects to ports, waterways, intracoastal navigation portals, harbors and emergency operations along the Texas coast,” said David Weston, district engineer for the Corps of Engineers in Galveston.

Maurer has actively supported his community by serving as a guest speaker at local schools and Corps of Engineers outreach events. He is active in the Lutheran church and has supported both Boy Scout and Girl Scout programs. His honors include the Bronze and Silver Orders of the De Fleury Metal for inspirational leadership to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Texas Ports Association Lifetime Achievement Award and the William R. Murden Lifetime Achievement Award from the Dredging Contractors of America.

Jean Claire Turcotte
Jean Claire Turcotte

Jean Claire Turcotte retired as principal of St. Gertrude Catholic School in Kingsville in 2003. She had served as the school’s principal since 1981 and had taught at the school for five years before being selected as principal. Her service to the community and her alma mater is extensive and includes The Christus Spohn Kleberg Hospital Advisory Board, the Robert J. Kleberg County Library Board, the Coastal Bend Community Foundation, the Woman’s Club of Kingsville and the Kingsville Community Choir. She serves as accreditation chair of the Texas Catholic Conference Educational Department and is a past chair of the Bishop’s Guild of Diocese of Corpus Christi.

In support of the university, she is a member of the President’s Circle, the President’s Legacy Ball Steering Committee and the John E. Conner Museum Board. She is a member of the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Foundation Board of Trustees and a past member of the Javelina Alumni Association Board of Directors.

As one supporter, Lynn Yaklin, said, “Graduating from Texas A&I didn’t close Jean Claire’s book on the university; it only began one of many new chapters of giving back to a place that means so much to her.” Yaklin is an alumna of the university and a parent of children attending St. Gertrude Catholic School.

Alberto Ruiz

Dr. Alberto Ruiz is an associate professor and assistant dean in the College of Education at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, where he has taught since 2001. At Texas A&M-Kingsville, Ruiz serves on the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee and the Institutional Review Board. He has served on the Faculty Senate and was interim chair of the Department of Health and Kinesiology twice. Ruiz also served on the Student Success Task Force and was graduate coordinator for his department from 2002-2005. He currently serves as the undergraduate curriculum coordinator and is the regional director for the University Interscholastic League.

He is a member of the National Association of Sports Officials, the Texas Association of Sports Officials, the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and a lifetime member of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

As Dr. Nestor Sherman, professor of kinesiology at Texas A&M-Kingsville said, “He has a humanistic approach when working with students and most importantly serves as an excellent role model for what graduates may become. South Texas needs more like him!”

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