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Rep. Cuellar Announces over $3.1 Million in Federal Funds for TAMIU Posted: 10/26/18

Rep. Cuellar Announces over $3.1 Million in Federal Funds for TAMIU


Rep. Henry Cuellar

In a press conference Friday at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) announced  more than $3.1  million in federal funds in two separate grants for TAMIU. 

TAMIU received a grant of $1,937,380 as part of the Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HIS) Program for ADVancing the Instruction of Science Educators (ADVISE) Project and a $1,169,368 grant for its Advance Nursing Education Sexual Assault Nursing Examiner (ANE-SANE) Program. 

The ADVISE Project

The HSI grant, which comes from the US Department of Education, will help TAMIU expand educational opportunities and improve the attainment of Hispanic students. It  is aimed at increasing the pool of Hispanic Science teachers committed to teaching high-need schools in both rural and urban school districts in Webb County.

Over five years, it will prepare 60 qualified, State-certified general science teachers who will be employed primarily at Laredo and United  independent school districts. TAMIU has a 94 percent Hispanic and 79 percent low-income student population. . The funding is for five years covering annual budget costs ranging up to $424,052.

Rep. Cuellar said the program provides tremendous opportunity to students and long-term benefit.

“The ADVISE Program will afford Webb County Hispanic students, regardless of their economic background, the opportunity to participate in general science higher education curriculums.  This year, through the House Appropriations Committee, I was able to secure $157 million in funding, a $15 million increase from FY17, for the Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program.  This will continue to provide funding for migrant workers and their children, so that they can pursue college or training for jobs.” 

TAMIU president Dr. Pablo Arenaz concurred. 

“As we look forward to the future, we know that it will surely be measured in science-driven innovation.  The TAMIU ADVISE program will help to ensure that we empower a talented pool of qualified, State-certified general science teachers who can educate and lead the next generation of scientists. Those young scientists will lead discovery and innovation for generations to come. We are gratified that Congressman Cuellar shares in this expansive vision of a world made better by science education,” Dr. Arenaz said.

Dr. Michael Kidd, chair of the College of Arts and Sciences’ department of Biology and Chemistry and principal investigator for the TAMIU ADVISE program, said the potential long-term impact of the grant is substantial.

“There is no greater long term impact that a University can have on a community than by producing talented and dedicated teachers. For me, as a former high school science teacher and as a current father of a son in the Laredo school system, my desire for outstanding science teachers is both personal and selfish.The ADVISE program will increase the pool of highly qualified Hispanic science teachers committed to teaching in high-need schools in the Laredo area by increasing the collaboration between the faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education and developing an extensive outreach and advising web to promote science education as a profession,” Dr. Kidd explained.

Advance Nursing Education Sexual Assault Nursing Examiner (ANE-SANE) Program

 Funded by the Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration, the ANE-SANE Program will fund advanced nurse education to help increase the number of forensic nurses trained and certified as sexual assault nurse examiners. The Program seeks to provide better physical and mental health care for survivors, better evidence collection and higher prosecution rates.

The Program goal is to train 54 predominantly Hispanic registered nurses over the next three years.  This includes faculty nurses who are actively practicing their profession. Funding is for an anticipated three year budget at approximately $390,000 annually.

Although the US Census Date shows that Webb County has an estimated 274,794 residents, there is only one active SANE trained nurse in the target area.  A recent report from the Laredo Police Department indicates that so far in 2018 only 8 percent, or 7 out of 79 sexual assault victims, were taken to the emergency room for forensic evaluation. 

Congressman Cuellar said the Program will strategically serve a medically underserved region. 

“The ANE-SANE Program will utilize the actively practicing nursing faculty at TAMIU and expand their numbers, in order to better service this medically underserved region. These services need to be provided directly to our local residents by our local practitioners.  This network will ensure that victims no longer need to be transferred to a SANE facility outside of Webb County due to a lack of SANE nurses in the area,” Cong. Cuellar said. 

TAMIU president Arenaz noted that the University is proud to be the lead agent in addressing the shortage of SANE nurses.

“Once again, the University, in partnership with Cong. Cuellar, proudly steps forward as the lead agent in forging a solution to a troubling problem:  the chronic shortage of SANE nurses here.  In doing so, we fulfill our mission of creating programs responsive to local needs and, through strategic community collaborations, deliver needed healthcare specialists to our service region,” Arenaz said. 

Dean of the TAMIU College of Nursing and Health Sciences’ Dr. F. M. Canseco School of Nursing, Dr. Glenda Walker, principal investigator for the grant, said its funding represents a true source of collaborative and  personal pride. 

“I have been working on providing support to victims of sexual violence for most of my lifetime. I’ve built programs for other institutions, but consider the funding of this grant to be one of my proudest collaborative achievements. I am so appreciative of our partners who worked so diligently to get this grant completed.  I know that it will have a dramatic impact on our community, region and  nation.  It will establish the College of Nursing and Health Sciences’ Dr. F. M. Canseco School of Nursing as a leader in sexual assault health care,” Dr. Walker said. 

For additional information, contact the TAMIU Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 956.326.2180, email, click on or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 268.

In addition to its website, University information is available on its social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.


HSI ADVISE Program Announcement
The HSI Program for ADVancing the Instruction of Science Educators (ADVISE) Project targets the preparation of 60 general science teachers.


ANE-SANE Grant Announcement
The ANE-SANE Program Grant will train and certify 54 registered nurses as certified sexual assault nurse examiners.