Posted: 1/04/07

TAMIU Looks Back at 2006



As a New Year begins, Texas A&M International University offers a look back at a year of remarkable growth and change.


The University received word of its successful reaffirmation of accreditation by the Commission on Colleges Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (CCSACS along with 35 other institutions of higher education. The University's bid for reaffirmation takes place every 10 years and includes an exhaustive self-study process that impacts all levels of the University community.

Elizabeth Newman Martínez, TAMIU associate vice president for administration, was featured in the January edition of Business Officer, the magazine of the National Association of Colleges and University Business Officers (NACUBO). In the six-page article, Martinez was profiled in the article “The More You Know,” that profiled her and other NACUBO 2005 Award recipients.


TAMIU’s yearly observance and celebration of Black History Month included a performance by Broadway and television actor Charles Holt in the one man show, “Black Boy,” a dramatization of Richard Wright's autobiographical novel by the same name.

In response to the large number of Spanish-speaking visitors to the TAMIU Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium, Spanish versions of two shows, “Microcosmos” and “Maravillas del Universo,” were added to the show schedule.

The University hosted the KLRN Laredo Women’s Health Conference for the second year in a row.


Official enrollment for the Spring Semester 2006 at TAMIU was 4,380, a 4.23 percent increase in enrollment over Spring 2005. Semester credit hours were up to 43,985, a 7.77 percent increase in semester credit hours.

TAMIU received $391,481 from The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program for a joint effort with Texas A&M University and the Rio Grande Institute for a “Cover the Texas-Mexico Border” Hazard Mitigation Planning Initiative to develop a comprehensive, multi-jurisdictional regional hazard mitigation plan for jurisdictions in 10 counties in the Rio Grande border region.

TAMIU announced the College of Education would offer fitness and sports as a new graduate area of study in Fall 2006.

Dr. Juan Hernández, one of the naiton’s top thinkers on immigration reform and the first U.S.-born member of México’s former President Vicente Fox’ cabinet, met with students for an informal discussion, presented a special lecture at TAMIU and signed copies of his book, “The New American Pioneers: Why Are We Afraid of Mexican Immigrants?” (Pneuma Life Publishing).

Carina González, Cristina J. Hernández and Óscar Widales, TAMIU freshmen, went to Weber State University’s 20th Annual National Undergraduate Literature Conference in Ogden, Utah, where they presented their papers, to an audience of peers from campuses across the country.


The TAMIU Phi Kappa Phi Chapter 296 initiated 48 new members and provided academic achievement awards to 33 freshmen and sophomore students.

Looking to further increase international collaborative efforts, TAMIU’s College of Arts and Sciences, department of Behavioral, Applied Sciences and Criminal Justice, met with representatives of the Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM), Mexico’s department of psychology.

The University’s facilities in Dr. Billy F. Cowart Hall and Dr. F.M. Canseco Hall were renovated thanks to a federal grant of $942,400 to make it possible for many student services to be clustered together and other academic programs to be expanded. Additionally, existing computer labs in the Lamar Bruni Vergara Science Center were refitted to allow for the expansion of academic programs in high-demand science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines.

The TAMIU Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) Team competed at the Dallas, Texas SIFE USA Regional Competition, and won first runner-up honors and the regional competition in the Individual Topic Competition in the Success Skills category.

The TAMIU LBVSC Planetarium celebrated its one-year anniversary. In less than a year, about 35,000 people visited the Planetarium.

Marcela Moran, TAMIU assistant professor of communication, showed her 10-minute documentary, “Casa del Migrante” at the New York City Downtown Short Film Festival and Austin’s 9th Annual Cine Las America’s International Film Festival. The film received “Best Documentary” Award at the NYC Downtown Short Film Festival.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the addition of a new degree, a Master of Science degree with a major in Mathetics to TAMIU’s graduate inventory.

In a historic move from an old friend and new Laredo corporate citizen, Laredo National Bank-BBVA Group presented TAMIU with $1 million for an Endowed Professorship in International Finance for the College of Business Administration.


Eleven teachers from the Webb County Head Start Program and Texas Migrant Council learning centers in Laredo signed up for the TAMIU College of Education’s department of special populations’ “Excellence in Early Childhood Education: The South Texas Hispanic Early Childhood Collaborative.” As part of the program, also known as E3, they will be able to work full-time while they obtain their BS degree in Early Childhood Education and a teaching certificate in Bilingual Education.

TAMIU employees walked a total of 7,934.5 miles as part of their participation in the six-week Walk Across Texas program. The University’s physical plant team racked up the most mileage of 15 teams with 682.32 miles.

Bill Jones, vice chairman of The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, served as commencement speaker at Spring Commencement Exercises for more than 440 undergraduate and graduate candidates for degrees at TAMIU. A highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of an honorary doctorate to Laredoan Elmo Lopéz.

Congressman Henry Cuellar announced combined federal funding awards of $331,126 in support of TAMIU student and faculty development initiatives.

One of the nation’s top motivational lecturers on effective teaching, Dr. Harry Wong, co-author of “The First Days of School,” provided a special lecture to Laredo and United Independent School District educators and TAMIU interns and mentors.

TAMIU students benefited from a $9,000 award provided by the AEP Texas, Laredo office.

Four TAMIU music majors and 10 other local piano students received honors from the National Guild of Piano Teachers, Teacher Division of the American College of Musicians and were honored with membership into the National Fraternity of Student Musicians.


TAMIU hosted the “kick-off” meeting for the “Cover the Border” process designed to assure each local Texas border jurisdiction has systematically assessed potential hazards to reduce risks posed to life and property during and after disaster strikes.

The first of non-credit certificate courses offered by TAMIU’s COBA division of international business and technology studies launched a series of courses to a positive response.

TAMIU’s College of Education hosted its summer Graduate Education Research Conference, “Transforming Public Schools: Challenges for Improvement.”

For her work with TAMIU students with disabilities, The Texas A&M University System Disability Training Network awarded Ruby Smith González, TAMIU disability services coordinator, with a $1,000 grant.

The University and Higher One, a financial service institution, formed a partnership that allows student to quickly withdraw their tuition refunds, or remaining financial aid funds, through a debit card instead of waiting for paper checks to arrive by mail.

TAMIU announced it received a gift from the Guadalupe and Lilia Martínez Foundation of $150,000 that will go towards study abroad scholarships.

Enrollment was up 12.66 percent or 2,652 students at TAMIU during the summer session versus 2,354 students enrolled Summer 2005. Semester credit hours (SCH) increased 19.53 percent (12,383) compared to 10,360 the previous summer.

The CEOs of Laredo’s four hospitals announced a combined Gift of $93,000 to benefit the University’s Dr. F. M. Canseco School of Nursing to provide faculty salary support and help the School increase the number of nurses in the community.

Dr. Ray M. Keck III, president of TAMIU and Dr. Rumaldo Z. Juárez, president of Texas A&M University-Kingsville TAMUK, signed an intrasystem cooperative agreement regarding communication sciences and disorders programs.


Texas Governor Rick Perry held a ceremonial signing of House Bill 153 at TAMIU that will provide $1.9 billion in Tuition Revenue Bond (TRB) funding to 48 universities and colleges statewide, the largest outlay of TRBs in the history of the state. State Senator Judith Zaffirini accompanied Governor Perry at the signing that will provide TAMIU $37.5 million.

TAMIU’s Sharkey-Corrigan Organ made its debut with an inaugural performance with Dr. David Heller of Trinity University. The Organ was a gift of the E.H. Corrigan Foundation, lead by longtime Laredo businessman E.H. Corrigan Foundation.

TAMIU representatives made a special live appearance on KLDO to answer viewers’ questions, in Spanish, about the educational opportunities the University offers, what’s new on campus, housing and everything from financing a higher education to registration steps.


TAMIU representatives made a special live appearance on KLDO to answer viewers’ questions, in Spanish, about the educational opportunities the University offers, what’s new on campus, housing and everything from financing a higher education to registration steps.

TAMIU and the Laredo Philharmonic Chorale announced a collaborative agreement that gives the LPC a new home and a new name — the TAMIU Philharmonic Chorale.

TAMIU was once again included in U.S. News and World Reports’ annual publication “America’s Best Colleges” because of its small class sizes, high percentage of full-time faculty, its student faculty ratio, impressive retention rates for freshman and for being among those few University-Masters where graduating students accumulate the least debt.

TAMIU announced a gift of $413,774 from the National Institutes of Health to fund “PUENTES” (Promoting Undergraduate Education Now Through Experimental Science), a program created by the University and Laredo Community College to provide a “baccalaureate bridge” between the two for under-represented minority students to obtain degrees in the biomedical sciences.


TAMIU’s Texas Center for Border Economic and Enterprise Development announced that it is sponsoring the world-renowned HIPPY—Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters program—to help parents in Rio Bravo and El Cenizo access the tools, skills and confidence to help prepare their children for success in school and life.

After months of speculation and surveys involving student, faculty, staff and alumni, the University decided that its mascot would remain “Dusty” the Dustdevil.

NurseWeek, a monthly publication, featured the TAMIU Dr. F.M. Canseco School of Nursing in its September edition article entitled  “Opening Doors:  Nursing Schools Reach Out to Hispanic Students.” The article notes the Canseco School’s summer camp program for Laredo-area high school students that exposes them to the University, the School of Nursing and the nursing profession.

The TAMIU’s new Business Technology Center, located in the Western Hemispheric Trade Center, was dedicated in ceremonies. It places the world of financial information at students' fingertips in milliseconds, bringing business pedagogy to a new level at TAMIU’s College of Business Administration. The Center is a gift of The A. R. “Tony“ and Maria J. Sanchez Family Foundation.


TAMIU posted a whopping 14.4 percent increase in enrollment and 13.5 SCH over Fall 2005.  Total Fall 2006 enrollment climbed to 4,917, up  from last Fall’s 4,298.

TAMIU was named the recipient of a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for its “Mathematics and Engineering Best” (ME-Best) Program. The award is from the NSF’s Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) Program. It will provide annual scholarships to 26 undergraduate and six graduate students majoring in Computer Science, Engineering or Mathematical Sciences (CSEMS).

Dr. Jerry Thompson, Regents Professor of History at TAMIU, unveiled his latest book, “Civil War to the Bloody End: The Life and Times of Major General Samuel P. Heintzelman,” based on the personal writings, papers and journals of Major General Samuel P. Heintzelman.

Dr. Ned Kock, TAMIU associate professor of Information Science, division of International Business and Technology Studies, was listed as a “top IS researcher” by authors Jan Guynes Clark and John Warren, faculty members at the University of Texas at San Antonio College of Business, writing in CAIS Volume 18 (2006).


TAMIU’s College of Arts and Sciences department of fine and performing arts held its first-ever Band Extravaganza Concert and featured the Jazz Ensemble, the Mariachi Ensemble and newly formed Dustdevil Marching Band.

TAMIU’s student newspaper, “The Bridge,” joined the digital age as a supplement to its published editions at thebridgenewspaper.com

Oscar Reyna, TAMIU registrar, was elected treasurer of the Texas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, a statewide organization of university and college registrars and admissions officers.

Members and officers of the Texas A&M International University chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society, provided the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library with the complete BBC Shakespeare Collection on DVD in special ceremonies at the Library’s Great Room.

TAMIU, the University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas A&M Engineering and the University of Texas at El Paso signed a Memorandum of Understanding that formed the Texas Homeland Security Group (THSG), creating a proactive multi-institutional team to train, educate, respond and deliver products to address important issues in homeland and border security. The THSG is a team effort whose goal is to attract and apply research funding targeting important issues in homeland and border security. As a group, the four Texas universities provide more integrated capabilities and expertise to solve security issues than any single university.


The South Texas Writing Project, now at TAMIU, held its annual Conference, “TAKS Rx: Student-Centered Learning.”

TAMIU’s Distinguished Professor of International Business Administration and director of the University’s Ph.D. Program in International Business, Dr. Tagi Sagafi-nejad, presented the United Nations’ World Investment Report 2006 in Mexico City. The report’s findings were offered in the world-wide release of the UN’s annual report on foreign investment presented to the world press.

TAMIU associate provost and professor of English, Dr. Jeff Cass, co-edited “Interrogating Orientalism: Contextual Approaches and Pedagogical Practices,” an important new text for scholarly study of Orientalism for The Ohio State University Press. The book is a collection of essays that look at both context and teaching of Orientalism, a 19th century belief rooted in the British colonial period that maintained that Western culture was superior to that of the Islamic countries of the Near and Middle East.

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission approved The University’s Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library’s petition to be designated as a Regional Historical Depository for a six-county region.

TAMIU added an additional track in Health Administration for Spring 2007 to one of its most popular graduate programs, the Master of Public Administration.

The TAMIU “Fighting Dustdevil” Marching Band won first place in Creativity and second place in Originality at the 24th Annual Candlelight Posada Holiday Lighted Parade in McAllen, Texas.

On an unusually warm and sunny afternoon over 5000 attended TAMIU's Fall Commencement Exercises for the University’s largest graduating class to date—528 students were candidates for undergraduate or graduate degrees. State Senator Stephen E. Ogden provided the Keynote Address and Marisela Cantú Reyes provided the Distinguished Student Scholar address.

TAMIU’s Fall 2006 Commencement Exercises made history with the graduation of the first recipients of the Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner from the Dr. F.M. Canseco School of Nursing.

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