Dr. Julio F. Madrigal Named Director of University's Dept. of Special Programs

Longtime Laredo educator Dr. Julio F. Madrigal has been named director of the newly established Department of Special Programs at Texas A&M International University.

Dr. Madrigal has served at the University as a faculty member since 1972. Additionally, he has directed the University's "Bridge to Success" program since its inception in 1997 and the Texas Prefreshman Engineering Program (TexPREP) programs since it began at the University in 1984.

The new department headed by Dr. Madrigal is comprised of two offices dedicated to lifelong learning, Pre-College Programs and Continuing Education.

Pre-College Programs, coordinated by Martha S. Treviņo, includes "Bridge to Success," a free 10-week summer residential program that allows recent high school graduates to enroll in summer courses while living on the A&M International campus, and TexPREP, a free summer program for high-ability middle and high school students interested in science, math, engineering and technology careers. The Texas Alliance for Minority Participation Scholarship (Texas AMP) for undergraduate students majoring in mathematics, science, engineering, or computer information systems is also coordinated through the Office of Pre-College Programs.

Continuing Education, coordinated by Ofelia M. Rodriguez, includes professional development programs such as the Advanced Placement Summer Institute for educators, commercial driver training, and computer courses; self enrichment courses for adults such as defensive driving and orchid growing; and educational programs for pre-schoolers to teens such as the Kinder Kamp for 4- and 5-year-olds, the Children's Summer Workshop for 1st-6th graders, the Summer Academy for 7th-12th graders, SAT, ACT, and GRE test preparation, sports summer camps in basketball, volleyball, and soccer, and Mexican ballet folklorico classes for elementary through high school students.

Dr. Madrigal said the Department of Special Programs aims to expand educational horizons beyond the University's academic programs.

"As part of the University's outreach commitment to its service communities, we have developed educational programs for everyone, from toddlers to teens to truck drivers and teachers. Our classes are open to everyone, regardless of their educational background. Our professional development courses provide training for the workforce of the 21st century while our non-credit classes provide a more informal atmosphere with no grades and no exams. Our mission is to enrich minds and lives through education, be it a one-day computer course for working professionals, a financial planning class for retirees, or a summer program for tomorrow's university students," he explained.

A&M International provost and vice president Dr. Ray Keck said Madrigal's dedication and demonstrated leadership are an asset to the newly established Department of Special Programs.

For more information on A&M International's Department of Special Programs, contact the University's Office of Public Affairs at 326-2180. University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - 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