Posted: 12/23/10

Looking Back on 2010



January 2010

  • A study by the University of Southern California’s Center for Urban Education places TAMIU among the nation’s top 25 universities to be considered exemplars of good practices that lead to the graduation of more Latinos in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.
  • TAMIU continued its commitment to train first-generation Hispanic students in high-quality education and scientific research with a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the amount of $58,511.
  • The Sixth Annual KLRN Laredo Women’s Health Conference is held at TAMIU in partnership with the University and sponsors the Lamar Bruni Vergara Trust, Doctors Hospital and Laredo Medical Center.


  • TAMIU received a gift of $50,000 in support of Student Scholarships by H-E-B Food Stores, San Antonio.
  • Members of the D. D. Hachar Trust provided TAMIU students with a $300,000 gift that will fund student scholarships. It provided $250,000 in General Scholarship support and $50,000 in matching fund support for the Sames Scholars Program.
  • A generous gift of $1 million from the Dolly Richter Watson Foundation is announced. It funds the construction of The Helen Richter Watson Art Gallery, a glass-enclosed gallery for the famed Laredo-born artist’s works, to be located in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library.
  • A new Autism Interventions Center, a first for Laredo, is ushered into existence in ribbon-cutting ceremonies held in Dr. Billy F. Cowart Hall (BCH), room 125.
  • TAMIU hosts a crucial meeting between two Western Hemispheric regions at the First Business Roundtable Laredo-Central America, attracting more than 200 exporters from Central America considering Laredo as a strategic distribution center for their exports to the United States.
  • The research and scholarly efforts of TAMIU faculty members was celebrated by the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library at a “TAMIU Faculty Book Author Recognition,” a 40th Anniversary Celebration event.
  • Investing in higher education continued to attract students in record numbers for Spring semester at TAMIU with a 9.5% increase in official student enrollment to 6,090 students and a 9.9% increase in Semester Credit Hours (SCH) to 60,750.


  • TAMIU expands educational opportunities with Central America by signing an umbrella agreement with the Federation of Chambers and Associations of Exporters of Central America, Panama, and the Caribbean (FECAXA) as well as individual memoranda of understanding with the Association of Panamanian Exporters (APEX), Association of Producers and Exporters of Nicaragua (APEN), Association of Guatemalan Exporters (AGEXPORT), and the Chamber of Exporters of Costa Rica (CADEXCO).
  • “The Met Unbound,” an artful blend of athletic and technically virtuosic mixes of ballet, jazz, modern and contemporary dance by the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, is performed at TAMIU’s Center for the Fine & Performing Arts (CFPA) Theatre.
  • Thirteen TAMIU faculty members are awarded Teaching Excellence Awards by The Texas A&M University System. Recipients included Cecilia Gutíerrez, Claudia San Miguel and Jerry Thompson. Also, Jose J. Cardona Lopez, Patricia G. González, Warren J. Graffeo, Carlene M. Henderson, Michael R. Kidd, Diana Linn, Lola O. Norris, Andres Rivas-Chavez, Bernice Y. Sánchez and Dalia G. Treviño.
  • The Korea Institute of Science and Technology Evaluation and Planning (KISTEP), a prestigious science funding agency, announces the awarding of $40,000 to TAMIU A. R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business assistant professor Dr. Young Jun Kim for research on businesses involved in green technology.
  • Shakespeare's comedy “The Taming of the Shrew,” is presented by the Laredo Theater Guild International (LTGI), a University partner. The performance took place in the recently completed 500-seat Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Theatre.


  • TAMIU Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) take top honors in two regional competitions and prepare to represent the University at two national competitions.
  • Dr. Peter Fuseini Haruna, associate professor of Public Administration and director of TAMIU’s Master of Public Administration program, is awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to lecture and research at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) in Accra, Ghana.
  • Nearly 200 TAMIU undergraduate and graduate students present their research, scholarly and creative activity at the Second Annual Lamar Bruni Vergara and Guillermo Benavides Z. Academic Conference Awards.
  • The University names its 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award winners, from nominations submitted by colleagues, friends and family members. Recipients are Juan Gerardo Alfaro ’03; Lupita R. Canales ’83; Mary G. Capello ’85; Dr. Sara Carrasco ’96; Sandra Cavazos ’82; Carlos Evaristo Flores ’00; Norma G. García ’85; David González, Sr. ’05; Juvenal “JJ”Haynes ’77; Dr. Belinda Villarreal Jordan ’91; Gina Tsai Mejía ’87; Dr. Homero Aguirre Milling ’77; Dr. Linda Marie García Mitchell ’77, ’82; José Angel Moreno ’81; Dr. Elsa Cantú Ruíz ’76, ’82; Martha Speer ’89; Mary Treviño ’72; Victor Villarreal ’99; Yolanda Castillo-Yzquierdo ’03, ’09; and Dr. Jovannelly Zaragoza ’00.
  • TAMIU student José Mario Hinojosa Jr. is named recipient of the United States Army ROTC’s George Catlett Marshall Army ROTC Award held at the George C. Marshall Foundation in Lexington, Va.
  • The TAMIU Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium celebrates its fifth anniversary.
  • The late Jorge Haynes, beloved Laredo leader, coach, father and friend, is honored at a dedication ceremony for the Jorge Haynes Baseball Field and announcement of the Jorge and Olga Haynes Endowed Scholarship Fund.
  • Rising textbook costs and the hardships they often create for students prompts TAMIU to launch a program 
for students to rent textbooks for their classes.


  • The 10th Anniversary of the D. D. Hachar Charitable Trust’s support of the Texas A&M International University Honors Program that bears his name is celebrated with the most fitting measure of his legacy: the May 2010 graduation of 15 Program students.
  • Inclement weather moves the Spring Commencement outdoor exercises for TAMIU’s 500 candidates for indoors.
  • Oscar Widales, Jr. (’09), United High School math teacher, is featured in a new multi-media campaign, “Life is Loud,” which aims to help identify, recruit and graduate 11,000 new math or science teachers Texas needs to address its critical teacher shortage.
  • TAMIU Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) win second place at the SIFE National Exposition held in Minneapolis, Minn., where more than 160 teams nationwide gathered to compete.
  • Dr. Leonard Nardone is hired as TAMIU’s Athletics Director, beginning his duties Thursday, July 1. Men’s soccer coach Claudio Arias served as interim AD since May 2009.


  • More than 30 Laredo and area teachers are selected to participate in “Shaping the American Republic to 1877,” a Summer Teacher Institute sponsored by Humanities Texas and TAMIU.
  • Tom Mitchell, TAMIU dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, is installed as the president of the Nathaniel Hawthorne Society at its biennial conference in Concord, Mass.
  • TAMIU graduate students joined faculty members of the A. R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business for a summer learning journey exploring international economic policy in Washington, D.C.
  • TAMIU is named recipient of a 2010 Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) WealthEngine Award for Educational Fundraising, the only University in Texas to receive the Award.


  • Four TAMIU graduate students and their mentors, Dr. Ruby Ynalvez and Dr. Marcus Ynalvez, travel to Singapore to study the relationships between East Asian graduate students and their mentors and how they influence scientific innovation. Students traveling: Susan Aguilar, Andrea Beattie, Claudia Garza-Gongora and Arturo González.
  • Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano visits TAMIU and meets with law enforcement leaders to discuss the Department’s efforts to support state and local law enforcement along the border.
  • David Crawford, (’07) is one of 12 students chosen nationwide to study for an MFA degree in writing for screen and stage at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.
  • 10 TAMIU faculty members were announced as recipients of The Texas A&M University System’s 2010 Teaching Excellence Awards. They are: Dr. José Martínez Samos, Natalie Burkhalter, Jessica Zamarripa, Dr. Jennifer Coronado, Dr. Ronald Anderson, Patricia Proa, Dr. Jyotsna Mukherji, Dr. Deborah Blackwell, Dr. Lynda Brown, and Dr. Jacklyn Jeffrey.
  • Two TAMIU doctoral students, Collins Okafor and Nacasius Ujah, are awarded the "Best Paper Award" and "Presentation Excellence Award" at the Academic World International Conference 2010.


  • Dr. Minita Ramirez, previously dean of Student Success at TAMIU, is named Vice President for Student Success.
  • Teachers from Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Arkansas and Louisiana attend a lecture by TAMIU professor of music education and guitar, Dr. Gilberto D. Soto, at the DLM Summer Institute held in Austin.
  • TAMIU’s College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Language and Literature announces it will offer hybrid language classes in Arabic, French and Spanish.


  • ’Dr. Humberto González, who retired as dean of TAMIU’s College of Education after 14 years of dedicated service, is named Professor Emeritus.
  • TAMIU makes the short list of best regional universities in the country as ranked by the 2011 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s college rankings. TAMIU was ranked No. 25 and 71 in the “Regional Universities – West (all schools).”
  • TAMIU’s Border Studies Institute hosts the “Border and Homeland Security Conference” on border security, terrorism and trafficking.
  • TAMIU gives a Texas-size welcome to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Sen. Judith Zaffirini and The Texas A&M University System Chancellor Michael McKinney at dedication ceremonies for the new University Success Center (USC).
  • Women's City Club Board members meet with TAMIU’s Dr. F. M. Canseco School of Nursing associate professor Natalie Burkhalter to commemorate the Women's City Club Nursing Scholarship Endowment’s achieving an over $100,000 endowed benchmark.
  • TAMIU welcomes its largest Fall freshmen class with 980 students, an increase of 22 percent. Overall, 6,853 students decided to invest in themselves at TAMIU, an increase of 6.8 percent over Fall 2009’s 6,419.


  • One of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2009, CNN Hero and human rights advocate Somaly Mam, lectures as the third featured author in the “Reading the Globe: the TAMIU Freshmen Experience.”
  • Candidates for the City of Laredo mayoral seat participate in a debate hosted by TAMIU’s Political Science Association (PSA) and Student Government Association (SGA) in the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Recital Hall.
  • The Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra, a TAMIU partner, returns to the concert stage with the opening of its 31st season – “Connections” in the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Recital Hall.
  • TAMIU president Dr. Ray Keck is asked to participate in the National Education Summit and Call to Action in Washington, D.C.
  • The A. R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business is named an outstanding business school by The Princeton Review in its 2011 edition of its book, "The Best 300 Business Schools." The School ranked number five for “Greatest Opportunity for Minority Students.”
  • Congressman Henry Cuellar (’82, MBA) announces the awarding of two grants totaling $6,061,035 in federal funds for two academic programs at TAMIU. The Department of Education funding is part of the Strengthening Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program.
  • Dr. Lynn Hemmer, assistant professor, TAMIU College of Education, department of Professional Programs, receives the 2010-2011 Paul R. Hensarling Distinguished Graduate Student Award at Administrative Leadership Institute (ALI) Banquet ceremonies in College Station.
  • Two Fulbright Scholars join the College of Arts and Sciences’ department of Language and Literature: Ala’eddin Khaled Alqatanani and Caroline Benedetto are visiting Teaching Assistants providing language courses at TAMIU for the 2010-2011 academic year.
  • A new text rental program initiated by TAMIU’s Follett Bookstore shows impressive results in its first semester of implementation with savings to students by renting totaling $105,265.


  • The intriguing intersection of psychology and information systems is explored in a new text, “Evolutionary Psychology and Information Systems Research: A New Approach to Studying the Effects of Modern Technologies on Human Behavior” edited by TAMIU professor of Information Systems Dr. Ned Kock.
  • 15 TAMIU students are selected to travel to Cambodia for the University’s “Reading the Globe” Study-Travel Program during Spring Break 2011. They are: Arturo James Crake, Marcos Roel Cruz, Karen Cristina De La Garza, Olinda Victoria Domínguez, Amanda Michelle Garza, Oscar Eduardo Leyva, María Andrea Martínez, Javier Mendoza, Vanessa M. Navarro, Phillipe Quach, Evelyn F. Richardson, Carolina Yvette Salazar, Erika Salazar, Reymundo Salinas and Luís Alberto Vela.
  • Often relegated to fading memories and pictures, Laredo’s veterans found themselves the subject of a special salute at TAMIU that included the TAMIU Army ROTC Honor Guard.
  • Dr. Patricia C. Abrego, director of TAMIU’s Instructional Technology and Distance Education, is elected Area Director for the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA).
  • Jorge Muñoz, a freshman TAMIU engineering major, is named winner of the Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Scholarship, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Practically all of Muñoz’s education will be funded by the GMS Scholarship through his planned doctoral studies.


  • Lola Orellano Norris (MA ’99) becomes the first doctoral graduate from TAMIU in the collaborative Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies at Texas A&M University.
  • TAMIU students vote their support for fee changes for the 2011-2012 year after the close of three-day online voting. One fee passed funds scholarships for current students while the other helps make TAMIU Athletics self-sustaining, freeing funds for academic instruction.
  • TAMIU was ranked the top state institution with 64.28 percent of its total fiscal year 2010 eligible expenditures, (more than $5 million a year), spent with Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs), according to the Fiscal 2010 Annual Report for the Statewide Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Program issued by the State Comptroller’s Office.
  • Over 520 candidates for graduation participate in three Fall Commencement Exercises at the Kinesiology Convocation Building. Commencement speakers include partners who have helped to make the University’s programs, facilities, scholarships and growth possible: David Winfield Killam, manager of Killam Management, L.C.; Renato Ramírez, president of International Bank of Commerce-Zapata and scholarship supporter, and Shirley Sandlin González, president of the Board of Directors of the Guadalupe and Lilia Martínez Foundation, which has assisted the University’s Study Abroad Program for Students.

--Compiled by the TAMIU Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services


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