A&M International Faculty Members Explore Border Interest Topics

The hustle and bustle of life on the U.S.-Mexico border can easily distract us from the study of questions unique to the region.

A group of Texas A&M International faculty members is dedicating this summer to researching border topics like why bilinguals mix Spanish and English and how trade and environmental relationships develop here.

Chosen from different disciplines, all are recipients of mini-grants designed to encourage A&M International faculty research activities. The results will be shared with local, regional, state and national decision makers who allocate resources for the social and economic needs of the Texas border region.

The annual grants are administered by the Texas Center for Economic and Enterprise Development at A&M International and are awarded for research focusing on problems and quality of life issues in the Texas border region.

"Topics can range from colonias and folklore to hazardous wastes and cross-border cooperation," said Dr. Michael Patrick, Center director, "We are excited about the research participants are conducting this year and by their continued interest in contributing towards the betterment of our community."

The Texas Center will publish participants' final report in August for local officials and the public in an effort to increase the amount of available information and knowledge on key community issues, Dr. Patrick explained.

Faculty members and their research topics are the following:

* Dr. Roberto Heredia (Department of Psychology): "Language Code Switching: A Psychological Analysis of Why Bilinguals Mix Spanish and English in La Frontera."

* Dr. Tom Vaughan (Department of Natural Sciences): "Benthic Macroinvertebrates as Monitors of Rio Grande Water Quality."

* Dr. David Yoskowitz (Department of Economics and Finance): "Trade and the Environment: Perceptions from a Region on the Border."

* Dr. Stan Green (Department of Social Sciences): "Catalog of the Archives of the City of Guerrero, Tamaulipas, Mexico."

* Dr. Charlotte Chase (Dr. F.M. Canseco School of Nursing): "GIS Mapping of Tuberculosis Patients in the Two Laredos."

* Dr. Kati Pletsch de Garcia & Dr. Maria Cristina Urruela (Department of Language, Literature and Arts): "A Sociolinguistic Profile of Heritage Spanish in the Secondary Schools in Laredo, Texas."

Established by the Texas Legislature in 1987, the Texas Center is a consortium effort between A&M International, the University of Texas-Pan American and the University of Texas - El Paso. It is designed to provide leadership and support to Texas border communities in their economic and community development efforts.

Topics the Texas Center provides information on include health, education, economics, public administration, and science.

For further information, please contact Dr. Patrick at 326-2547 or visit offices located in Pellegrino Hall 314. University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu