End of Year TAMIU Highlights Shared
Posted: 12/20/12

2012 at TAMIU: A Month-
by-Month Highlights View

Here’s a look back at 2012 in a month-by-month view of highlights of life at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU).  Links to expanded news on each event are provided as available.


A new state law passed by the Legislature in 2011, became effective Jan. 1, 2012, and requires all college-bound new students, transfer students and returning students provide proof of bacterial meningitis vaccination. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-NewLaw010512.shtml

Even though they were more than 4,500 miles away, a group of 15 TAMIU students shared their study-travel experience on a blog. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-ChileBlog010512.shtml

The TAMIU Leadership Initiative, a credit-bearing course sequence combined with community service that will help students to develop their leadership abilities in real-world applications, was launched by two TAMIU professors, Dr. Carol Waters, TAMIU associate vice president for Academic Enrichment and International Development and Dr. Barbara Baker, of University College with the elective course, “Foundations of Leadership.” http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-Leadership010512.shtml

More than 200 local and area middle and high school students heard about careers in science from special guest Michael E. Fossum, NASA astronaut. Congressman Henry Cuellar (’82), who supports STEM Day at TAMIU, said the event helps to encourage student to pursue STEM careers. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-StemDay012612.shtml


Visitors from around the area and community visited the TAMIU Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library Special Collections and Archives photography exhibit, “Community Response to the Hurricane Beulah Crisis in the Rio Grande Valley,” a collection of photographs of the infamous Hurricane Beulah in the late 1960’s. The exhibit included 50 photographs of Hurricane Beulah taken from the personal archives of Mario E. Ramírez, M.D. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-LibraryExhibit020212.shtml

A group of over 40 TAMIU student members of TAMIU’s Freshman Leadership Organization (FLO) and Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), opted to give their organization’s names special relevance through a FLO service project that paired them with the Feed My Starving Children Program. Students worked to prepare nutritional food packets to be distributed by the Feed My Starving children program.  http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-StudentFLO020912.shtml

Union Pacific donated $30,000 to TAMIU’s Union Pacific STEM Endowed Scholarship and the Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium. Their donation to the STEM Endowed Scholarship will be matched by the Department of Education’s Title III Hispanic-Serving Institution’s SYSTEM (Serving Youth in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program.              http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-UnionPacific020912.shtml

Amidst much student excitement, TAMIU presented the grand opening and return of its game room, “Dusty’s Den.” Renovations to Dusty’s Den, located in Student Center, room 202, included additional floor space to accommodate new gaming tables. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-DustyDen021612.shtml

Family members of Laredo’s Arguindegui Oil Company initiated the Arguindegui Oil Company Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Endowment Fund at TAMIU. The Arguindegui gift of $75,000 will provide student scholarships for students planning careers in STEM fields. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-Arguindegui021612.shtml

TAMIU assistant professor of education Dr. Israel Peniel took audience members on a journey through Black History buoyed by the sounds of gospel music. Dr. Peniel’s one-man show borrowed from his own personal experience to weave together a unique teaching presentation, which blended history with music. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-BlackHistory021612.shtml

A TAMIU doctoral student won top recognition for a paper he wrote on social networking by employees. Murad Moqbel, a doctoral candidate in International Business and Management Information Systems at TAMIU’s A.R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business, won the Decision Science Institute Southwest Region’s “2012 Best Student Paper Award” recognition for his paper entitled, “Explaining User Acceptance Of Social Networking: Employees’ Perspective.” http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-StudentAward022312.shtml

The Texas Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments in a historic public session at the TAMIU Student Center Ballroom. This was the first time in the history of the State of Texas that the Texas Supreme Court visited Laredo and Webb County to hold oral arguments. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-Court022312.shtml

More than 500 dancers from a four-state region converged on Laredo and TAMIU for a historic offering of the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) Conference, “Bridging Paths.” http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-DanceConf022312.shtml


John Prendergast, best-selling author and world-renowned human rights activist in Africa, spoke about his peace efforts in Sudan and the Republic of the Congo. Prendergast’s presentation, entitled, “War and Peace: Success Stories in Africa and the Implications for the Congo and Sudan,” was part of his visit to TAMIU’s Foundation of Leadership class. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-Prendergast030812.shtml

Twelve TAMIU students presented original research at the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Conference in New York City. The group was comprised of three teams with each team presenting its own original research. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-cjnyc031312.shtml

A group of five Aston, PA., nursing students and a faculty member visited TAMIU as well as various clinics and non-profit organizations in Laredo as part of their clinical observation. The senior nursing students, part of a collaborative program with TAMIU’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences and Neumann University, toured Mercy Health Ministries, the City of Laredo Health Department, Sacred Heart Children’s Home and Bethany House. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-nursingvisitors031312.shtml

Student members and of the TAMIU chapter of the Practicing, Innovation, Research and Academics Through Engineering Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (PIRATE SHPE) were honored with an appreciation luncheon by Time Warner recognizing their volunteer service to the First Tech Challenge Robotics Competition. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-TimeWarner030112.shtml

Students at TAMIU celebrated spring beginnings with an abundance of color at the first Holi – Festival of Colors held on campus. During the festival, participants splashed each other in vibrant colored powder and colored water. The event was one of many cultural awareness events co-sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs and the Association of International Students. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-Holi030112.shtml


The TAMIU Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium celebrated seven years of operation with its popular Family Movie Day and an interactive dinosaur exhibit. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-JurassicPark040512.shtml

TAMIU graduate, undergraduate, and graduate students participating in the Graduate Retention Enhancement at TAMIU (GREAT) program and local high school students met with top Harvard researcher Robert Sackstein, M.D., Ph.D. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-HarvardResearcher040512.shtml

Joining the Laredo Phil for the first time as soloist was Melissa Treviño, TAMIU student and winner of the Third Annual Laredo Concerto Competition. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-LPOConcert041312.shtml

TAMIU undergraduate and graduate students presented their research – scholarly and creative activity – at the Lamar Bruni Vergara and Guillermo Benavides Z. Academic Conference. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-ConferenceWinners051712.shtml

The Beaumont Foundation of America announced the establishment of a scholarship endowment at TAMIU that honors Carlos and Judith Zaffirini and is dedicated to providing scholarship assistance to first-generation TAMIU students.  The first TAMIU student to be assisted by the Carlos and Judy Zaffirini Endowed Scholarship, Rafael E. Contreras III. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-ZaffiriniScholarship041912.shtml

TAMIU student clubs and organizations joined together to offer a broad spectrum of activities to underscore TAMIU’s commitment to its Green Campus Initiative.http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-GreenWeek042312.shtml


The TAMIU student organization, Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), was named “Regional Champions” at the SIFE USA Regional Competition in Dallas. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-SifeTeam050312.shtml

Trustees of the Delfina and Josefina Alexander Family Foundation announced a gift of $500,000 to TAMIU that will support student scholarships and emergencies. Students awarded a scholarship under this gift agreement will be “Delfina and Josefina Alexander Scholars.” http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-AlexanderScholarship051412.shtml

Local artist and TAMIU art instructor, Angela Carbone’s artwork showing in West Texas won over judges and the public in a competition that included works by 87 artists. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-CarboneAwards051712.shtml

Oral historian and filmmaker Josh Parshall was at TAMIU to premiere the documentary film created by the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL). The event also served to launch the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library’s South Texas Jewish Heritage Collection. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-JewishFilm052112.shtml


KLRN, the Guadalupe and Lilia Martinez Foundation and TAMIU presented a special screening of the PBS documentary, “Mariachi High.” http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-Mariachi060712.shtml

TAMIU awards $2.92 million in student scholarships to deserving Laredo high school graduates. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-LaredoScholarships060712.shtml

The commitment and service by David VerMilyea, a 42-year employee at TAMIU, is celebrated at a special reception for the retiring director of international student services. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-MrVRetirement061412.shtml

Six TAMIU students join a select nationwide group of university students to participate in the Latino Leadership Initiative at Harvard University. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-HarvardStudents062112.shtml

A new $3.8 million grant from the US Department of Education aimed at enhancing the transfer student process and increasing faculty development was announced between TAMIU and Laredo Community College by U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar (’82).


The Texas Higher Education Journal names TAMIU the State’s 2011 top producer of degrees for Latinos and the US Department of Education’s research shows among public, four-year or above universities, TAMIU is among the nation’s lowest net priced universities. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/TopDegreeProducer.shtml

Fifteen TAMIU faculty members received The Texas A&M University System’s Student Recognition Awards for Teaching Excellence.  The Awards are based solely on student nominations. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-TeachingAwards071912.shtml

TAMIU receives the Five Star Service Award from the Laredo Chamber of Commerce. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-CoCAward072612.shtml

The TAMIU Criminal Justice Program adds online classes and offers 5-week online graduate courses as well. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-NewCourses072612.shtml


TAMIU is a featured institution by researchers at the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment in their report “Using Assessment Reports:  Promising Practices of Institutions that Do It Well.” http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-RobustPractices080212.shtml

TAMIU Alum Karina Moreno Saldivar  (’04, ’08) became the first Hispanic woman in history to earn a doctoral degree in Public Administration from Rutgers University-Newark, NJ. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-TAMIUGrad08092012.shtml

An anonymous donor’s gift to TAMIU provides an additional $500,000 in support of student scholarships. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-ScholarshipAid082212.shtml

TAMIU’s GEAR Up IV hosts a rally, “Today’s Learners, Tomorrow’s Leaders,” attended by some 10,000 regional eighth to twelfth graders at the Laredo Energy Arena. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-GearUpRally083012.shtml

TAMIU’s campus becomes completely wireless with an expanded wireless network capability that blankets the entire campus. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-WiFiUpgrade083012.shtml


TAMIU meets Gov. Rick Perry’s challenge of offering a degree priced at $10,000 by launching its online Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing.  http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-OnlineNursing090612.shtml

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board provides its approval for a new Master’s degree in Language, Literature and Translation at TAMIU. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-TranslationMA090612.shtml

TAMIU’s unofficial Fall enrollment grows 4.7% over the same period the previous year to 7,367 students. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-FallEnrollment090612.shtml

TAMIU alum, U.S. Captain Samuel B. Cantrell (’08), is awarded the Bronze Star Medal in Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan (OEF-A). http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-Cantrell092012.shtml

The State’s top leaders join to help celebrate the formal dedication of the Senator Judith Zaffirini Student Success Center. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-ZaffiriniDedication092012.shtml


Neuroscience research at TAMIU is invigorated with a $98,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-NewEquipment100412.shtml

TAMIU holds the first Eagle Ford Shale Stakeholders Summit, “Maximizing Resources through Regional Partnerships.” http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-ShaleSummit100412.shtml

TAMIU’s all-discipline Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is the recipient of a Chapter of Merit Award. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-PKP101112.shtml

The A. R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business is featured in the Princeton Review’s “2013 Best Business Schools” and named as a “Greatest Opportunity for Minority Students.” http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-PrincetonReview101112.shtml

TAMIU is ranked in the Top 10% nationally of Master’s universities in a survey conducted by Washington Monthly Magazine for its “2012 College Rankings.” http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-WashingtonMonthly10112012.shtml

In cooperation with the Laredo Theatre Guild International, bilingual performances of “Bodas de Sangre” are held at the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts’ Theatre. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-BloodWedding101812.shtml        


Longtime arts supporter E. H. Corrigan is feted with “A Celebration of Thanks,” a special concert featuring the Sharkey Corrigan Pipe Organ and recognizing Corrigan for his partnership. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-CorriganFete110112.shtml

TAMIU Regents Professor of History Dr. Jerry Thompson receives the 2012 Summerfield G. Roberts Book Award for his book, “Tejanos in Gray:  Civil War Letters of Captains Joseph Rafael de la Garza and Manuel Yturri.” http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-ThompsonAward111512.shtml

Eduardo A. Garza Robles, Un-Trade chief executive officer, presents TAMIU with a generous $50,000 gift in support of TAMIU’s participation in the Harvard Latino Leadership Initiative. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-UniTradeGift111512.shtml

TAMIU students give back to the community through multiple service projects ranging from food and toy drives to art projects and recycling initiatives. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-DifferenceDay112112.shtml

TAMIU student Amanda M. Garza earns the Top 1% Award for her research in life science at the 10th Annual Pathways Student Research Symposium, hosted at Texas A&M University-Galveston. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-Pathways112912.shtml


In partnership with American Student Assistance, TAMIU launches a free of charge online financial and debt management program for students and alumni named SALT.  http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-SALT120612.shtml

The Texas Historical Commission provided a Recorded Texas Historical Landmark noting the achievements of TAMIU champion, the late Radcliffe Killam, which was unveiled in a ceremony held in front of the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-KillamMarker121312.shtml

619 students participated in three Fall Commencement Exercises held at the Kinesiology-Convocation Building.  The Commencement Address for the A. R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business was provided by Cliffe Killam.  In a fitting end to his 42-year career in higher education, Dr. Rex Ball, professor of History, provided the Commencement Address for the Colleges of Arts and Science, Education and Nursing and Health Sciences. http://www.tamiu.edu/newsinfo/newsarticles/2012-FallCommencement120612.shtml

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