The ELITE Graduate Program is excited to welcome its newest team member: Ms. Joanna Crutison.
Joanna brings 13 years of business management and 9 years of accounting experience to ELITE. She commands expertise and versatility, having managed a restaurant, served as a bank accountant, and managed trading and implementation at an asset management firm. Joanna graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from AIB College of Business in Des Moines, Iowa.
Joanna is the team’s new Business Support Specialist and will be carrying out ELITE’s essential accounting and fiscal functions, as well as administering travel funding and payroll for ELITE’s popular student and faculty travel programs and research fellowship program.
We are thrilled to have Joanna join our ELITE Family! She is a major anchor that will help continue to steer our program toward student success!
The ELITE Graduate Program is pleased to welcome Ms. Meredith Coplen as its new Business Support Specialist.
Meredith has served Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi since 2010. She joined the university as an Administrative Assistant and Space Planner for the Assistant Directors of the Facilities Services, and in 2011 she became an Administrative Assistant to the Director of the University Center and Student Activities.
She draws on her versatile background which has given her 15 years of progressive experience in coordinating and administrative services, particularly in the interest of providing outstanding customer service. She also carries 10 years of budget management experience at a number of private enterprises. In the 1990’s, she was a Sales Manager for Netsales until 2000, when she worked as a Regional Account Manager at Pryor Resources. After owning her own business, The Speaker’s Resource, she became the Internet Manager for Bob Sight, managing a small budget and providing internet services for the dealership. Meredith served as the Director of New Media for KRIS Communications from 2007 to 2009 where she prepared and managed a large budget and managed the content and advertising for kristv.com. In 2009, she freelanced, providing administrative support to various businesses. She has learned a great deal throughout these adventures and we are excited to add her experience to our team.
Previous to gaining her extensive experience, Meredith was awarded an academic scholarship to Allen County Community College in Iola, KS, and she later attended Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS. She will be enrolling in TAMUCC in the fall to finish her degree.
Meredith will be conducting ELITE’s accounting, budgetary, and procurement functions, as well as administering payroll and managing grant funds disbursements for our travel, fellowship, and other graduate student programs.
Team ELITE is excited to have Meredith onboard for the road ahead! WELCOME!!!
One event that affirmed the success of our ELITE Graduate students this month was the ELITE Cohort Graduation Celebration!During the celebration, 34 ELITE Cohort members received medallions to wear at the Spring Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 12, 2012. Outstanding ELITE Cohort members were also honored and recognized at the celebration.
In addition, Dr. Bradley Shope was recognized at the celebration as an Outstanding Faculty member because of the scope of contributions he has made to the ELITE Graduate Program. Dr. Shope’s contributions range from mentoring two ELITE Fellowship students to collaborating with ELITE and the CASA Writing Center on several workshops, including the entire “Write Way Series”! Click here to learn more about Dr. Shope…>>
As the summer semester approaches, ELITE would like to make sure students are equipped with necessary academic resources! These academic resources can be found throughout ELITE’s amazing network of services.One of the great services to utilize is the Academic Indicator. The indicator offers students an outlet to express their feelings, experiences, and questions to our Grad Coaches as you navigate through your semester.
It’s starting. All over Texas, students are stepping up, finding their voices, and fueling the movement called Generation TX. Equal parts inspiration and information, Generation TX(spoken “Generation Texas”) connects us to each other and clarifies the steps we need to take on the path to college and Read the rest of this entry »
ELITE Graduate Programs is proud to recognize and congratulate Mr. Randy J. Davis on his most recent award as Outstanding Graduate Student Advocate through the Texas Counselors for Social Justice division of the Texas Counseling Association. In addition to his recent award, Mr. Davis has made many noteworthy and outstanding contributions to the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi community and to ELITE Graduate Programs worthy of recognition.
Mr. Davis’ career is underscored by his strong commitment to community engagement, leadership, and advocacy. His most recent award celebrated his efforts in the area of advocacy and community engagement by recognizing the many contributions he’s made to the greater Corpus Christi Community and to the counseling profession.
Mr. Davis has been active in providing the community with tools and resources to tackle concerns including bullying, LGBTQ concerns, elementary through college level career development issues, and has been active in promoting and providing resources for mental health and personal wellness.
One of the events Mr. Davis has been consistently involved in over the past 3 years is the Community Speak Out on Bullying. Mr. Davis recruited administrators of the Corpus Christi Independent School District, teachers, school counselors, concerned citizens and parents, and other professionals to discuss the impact of bullying on students and communities. Davis encouraged citizens to take action providing the opportunity to sign letters encouraging civic leadership to continue efforts to respond to incidents of bullying and implement preventative measures to keep children safe. In response to the speak out, Mr. Davis was recognized and interviewed by Kiii TV.
As a Licensed Professional Counselor-Intern and Counseling and Training Clinic Director Mr. Davis not only models a counselor identity rich in the areas of social justice and advocacy, but provides opportunities to supervisees and clients to partake in community action efforts thus helping to shape and educate future counselors and professionals.
Davis’ history at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi goes beyond his work as a Ph.D. student and Clinic Director. From January, 2009 to August, 2011 Davis served at a Career Counselor assisting students and graduates in discerning career paths, connecting them with job resources, providing skills training for successful interviewing and resume writing, and assisting with organizing numerous events and preparing classroom presentations to help students succeed beyond their academic work here at the University. Mr. Davis sees his work as a career counseling as yet another extension of advocacy; “Career counseling gets at the core of who we are” he states “so working with individuals to connect them with their interests and career paths in which they can be successful assists them in achieving their full potential.”
In addition to his work as a counselor, Mr. Davis has demonstrated a commitment to excellence through his support of ELITE Graduate Programs. Davis actively encourages his fellow graduate students to take advantage of campus resources. He also shares information about workshops, fellowship opportunities, funding opportunities, and other programs beneficial to students seeking to enhance their educational experience at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
Congratulations to Mr. Davis on his award and thank you for all your outstanding contributions to the University and to the Corpus Christi community!
Get your popcorn ready as PHD Comics storms our campus Tuesday, February 7th for a special screening of their new feature film. The Marine Science Graduate Student Organization in conjunction with Research & Graduate Studies and the ELITE Graduate Program have put together an exclusive airing of Piled Higher & Deeper, a film that introduces audiences to the unique and funny culture of Academia, in Bay Hall 103 from 7 – 9 p.m.
We just received notice that the ELITE Program’s very own Jason Rydzewski is the recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Student Award during the 18th Annual Counselors’ Institute, a professional growth conference organized by the Rio Grande Valley Counseling Association, this Friday, January 27th.
This is an outstanding achievment by a very dedicated student and ELITE Graduate Coach. We are proud to call him one of our own!
Click here for more information about the conference.
For more than 32 years, the YWCA has recognized 229 exceptional women who stand out in their career field. Congratulations to our ELITE Director, Dr. Laura Rosales, on being inducted into the Hall of Fame of the YWCA!
Through grant writing and management, Dr. Rosales has dedicated herself to the development of nationally recognized programs that promote student excellence in learning by working hard to expand educational opportunities, improving academic attainment, and enhancing the quality of programs for students at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
Dr. Rosales’ social responsibility extends throughout the partnerships she has built in the Corpus Christi community. She mentored a fifth grader at Smith Elementary School and every Friday she spent time with the fifth grader and helped guide and inspire her to grow up into a healthy and productive woman of our community. She also hosts a wonderful program on our campus called the Future Islander Campus Tour for fourth grade students. She hosted two tours last year with over 200 students participating and learning all about attending college at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
As members of the ELITE Graduate Program family it is a great honor for us to have Dr. Rosales as our leader because, in our opinion, she has dedicated more time and accomplished more than any others we know providing grant writing and student support to the Corpus Christi community.
Article featured in the Caller Times Newspaper, January 19, 2012 The YWCA annually honors Coastal Bend women who inspire others through the significant impacts they have had during their careers. This year’s eight additions to the Y Women in Careers Hall of Fame include business owners, executives, professors, an attorney and an assistant city manager.
They will be honored at the 32nd annual awards banquet March 1. The Hall of Fame has honored 229 women since 1979 for their career achievements. It is a group the honorees said they are shocked, excited and humbled to belong to.
We’re proud to welcome Jared Lewis to the ELITE team as our new Production Assistant.
Jared comes to us with tons of experience in marketing and development. He is a first year MBA student with a Bachelor’s in Corporate Communications from University of Texas at Austin. When he wasn’t volunteering in the Austin community, Jared was developing marketing plans for UT Athletics, the NCAA and various affinity programs!
When asked about how he felt about working for ELITE Jared commented, “Watching my ideas ‘come to life’ is a feeling like none other. Marketing is something I truly enjoy and passionate about.”
We are very excited to have Jared on board and we look forward to using his creative skills in this exciting position at ELITE.
Glad to be back near his hometown of Beeville, Jared is ready to put his skills to the test. Stop by and get to know our new team member!
Congratulations to ELITE Cohort student Julianne Schroeder! Ms. Schroeder was recently hired by the Glasscock Student Success Center as a Graduate Assistant helping to support and facilitate student success!
Ms. Schroeder, ELITE Cohort member and M.S. Counseling student was recently brought on to the Glasscock Student Success Center (GSSC) team in a GA position where she serves as a knowledgeable resource for the federally funded programs such as Title V, Student Support Services, and Upward Bound that enhance qualifying students’ educational endeavors by providing various services. Additionally, she answers questions and addresses concerns that students face, connecting them with appropriate persons or resources. She also assists students in connecting with valuable resources to supplement their learning experiences here at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, such as the Writing Center, Math Lab, and tutoring opportunities.
In addition to her work with GSSC, Ms Schroeder is also active in several professional organizations including Gulf Coast Counseling Association, American Association of Christian Counselors, American Counseling Association, and was a member and officer of Delta Delta Delta. She is currently researching and preparing a presentation for the Rio Grande Valley Counseling Association 18th Annual Counselors Institute on personal wellness and has received training in the area of ethics.
Congratulations on your new GA position, and thank you for all your contributions to the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi community and the ELITE Graduate Program!
ELITE Graduate Programs congratulates Dr. Kakali Bhattacharya on being named an Outstanding Faculty Member. Dr. Bhattacharya is committed to providing students with the resources they need to succeed in their educational journey.
Dr. Bhattacharya was instrumental in creating and implementing an EndNote Software training program to assist students, faculty, and staff in learning the EndNote program. Additionally, she has helped connect students with other resources such as fellowships, travel funding, tutoring, and writing assistance.
Dr. Bhattacharya has been an active contributor to the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi community since 2008. She has taught various courses at TAMU-CC, been active on numerous dissertation committees, worked on approximately 11 university committees, has extensive contributions of service to her department, and has an extensive list of presentations, publications, and workshops. She has research interests in: De/colonizing epistemologies, social and organizational context of transnational education and gender, qualitative inquiry, social foundation of higher education in the U.S., gender, race and ethnic studies in education, and technology-integrated learning and social environments.
She is committed to helping others realize and exceed their potential, reaching goals that may have seemed impossible. She demonstrates drive and passion, communicating through her work with students an understanding on how each can create their own success. In the classroom, she adds a personal touch to her work injecting humor, narrative, and sharing personal experience and expertise with her students.
Congratulations Dr. Bhattacharya, and thank you for all your contributions to ELITE and the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Community!
ELITE Graduate programs would like to recognize the outstanding achievements of Shelly Fox, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi graduate student and ELITE Cohort Member. In addition to excelling academically, Ms. Fox was recently awarded several thousand dollars in grant funding to perform research on Native American identity and sovereignty issues.
Ms. Fox, a graduate student seeking her M.A. in Rhetoric and Composition and Borderlands studies, has been an active member of the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi community since she began pursuing her undergraduate degrees here in English & Psychology, and Criminal Justice. Her many contributions to TAMU-CC include working as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, holding an ELITE Fellowship Position working as Assistant Assignment editor with Kiii TV, assisting with the Young Author’s Camp, tutoring in writing techniques as a Graduate Assistant, working with the Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center as Editor-at-large, and her notable research grant award to perform research on Native American identity and rhetorical Sovereignty.
Ms. Fox has also spoken at several conferences and delivered numerous presentations on topics such as “Female Criminality,” “Threatening Rhetoric as a Tool for Persuasion,” “Modern Native American Identity and Rhetorical Sovereignty,” and an award winning presentation entitled “The Rhetoric of Tecumseh.” Ms. Fox also has an extensive community service record, contributing to various causes such as the Sierra Club, the public library system, the environment, and the TAMU-CC community.
Congratulations on all your achievements and thank you for all your outstanding contributions to the ELITE Graduate Program and the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi community!
ELITE Graduate Programs would like to recognize and congratulate ELITE Cohort Student Victor Garcia on being named an Outstanding Islander!
Read the article about Mr. Garcia, published on the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Outstanding Islanders Website, below:
Victor Garcia is exploring research on sex and gender as he prepares for a future career as a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) specializing in sex therapy. Garcia, who graduated Summa Cum Laude in spring 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology from the University, is now pursuing a master’s in psychology with a clinical emphasis. For his Sociology Capstone class, he surveyed 100 students on campus about their sexual attitudes and behaviors. Additionally, while studying abroad in Istanbul, he surveyed Turkish students on the same topic, presenting his findings this year at the 91st annual meeting of the Southwestern Social Science Association (SSA) in Las Vegas, Nev. His current research, an ethnography of South Texas drag queens, will explore this underground world through a combination of interviews, surveys, observations, and focus groups. Garcia, a member of the ELITE graduate cohort who has earned numerous scholarships including the College of Liberal Arts Graduate Scholarship and Sembradores de Corpus Christi Scholarship, is applying for a grant from the National Science Foundation to expand his research. Also, as president of the University’s Sociology Club, Garcia wants to generate more student interest, so he will revamp the group to become the Social Sciences Organization in fall 2011. Under his leadership, he has led Sociology Club members in various activities. The club sponsored the Social Science Silver Screen, where monthly films highlighting contemporary social issues were shown and discussed. Garcia also acquired funding (from campus sources and fundraising) and arranged for Sociology Club members to attend both the 2010 Southwestern Sociology Association meeting in Houston and the 2011 SSA meeting in Las Vegas. For the past two years, Garcia has worked with several professors in the Social Sciences Department as a grader and now as a departmental assistant. He is the recipient of numerous honors including second place in the 2011 Racial Justice Essay Contest for his paper on latent and overt racial obstacles in contemporary society. In May he visited the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction at Indiana University, where he plans to pursue a Ph.D.
Congratulations on all your achievements Mr. Garcia!
ELITE Graduate Programs would like to congratulate Dr. Jana Sanders and Dr. Norma Zunker on being named Outstanding ELITE Faculty Members at the 2011 Summer Commencement ELITE Cohort Celebration.
Dr. Zunker and Dr. Sanders, College of Education faculty members, have shown their commitment to student success through the passion they exhibit in their teaching, advocating for student needs, and professional involvement. Both Dr. Zunker and Dr. Sanders have gone above and beyond in connecting students with valuable resources to help them through their educational journeys.
Dr. Sanders has been an active part of the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi since 1997. She earned her Ed.D. from Oklahoma State University, and holds an additional certification in Early Childhood Education. Dr. Sanders has given numerous presentations at the international, national, regional and local level with titles such as “Graduate students mentoring undergraduate students: Yes, they can!,” and “Using literature based themes to teach undergraduate students.” Additionally, she has published numerous articles in peer reviewed journals, has been awarded research funding and grants, including a $50,000 “Plan for Social Excellence Grant”, and is active in numerous professional and institutional organizations.
Dr. Zunker earned her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Reading. She has been a part of the TAMU-CC community since 2001, but has been on campus since 1985 where she earned her BS in Elementary Education from Corpus Christi State University. Dr. Zunker is active in numerous professional organizations some of which include the Association for Childhood Education International, Islander Association for Childhood Education International, and the Bay Area Association for the Education of Young Children. She also has given numerous presentations, and has published in several peer reviewed journals. Some publications include “A survey of reading professors to determine seminal works in reading comprehension,” “Nonfiction means real: The Accessibility of nonfiction texts in the elementary classroom, ” and an instructional CD and script entitled “Teaching reading in bilingual classrooms.”
Thank you for your commitment to the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi community and the visible enthusiasm you bring to your students, work, and to ELITE.
ELITE Graduate Programs would like to congratulate Ms. Jinnelle V. Aguilar, M.S. Counseling student and ELITE Cohort Member, on her recent scholarship award to attend and present at the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute at the Wellesley Centers for Women in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
Ms. Aguilar is currently completing her M.S. Counseling at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, after earning her B.A. in Sociology and Theatre Arts from Texas A&M University-Kingsville, where she graduated cum laude. As part of her counseling education, Ms. Aguilar became passionate about the Relational-Cultural Theory (RCT) of human growth and social-psychological development. The theory, first introduced in her counseling theories course, spoke to her and her views on the world. Her interest in RCT inspired her to pursue more intensive training in the practice of the theory in the counseling session, and subsequent application and award to attend the Intensive Institute. RCT therapy “posits that people grow through and toward relationships throughout the lifespan” and in practice, work “focuses on relationship development,” and “examines both the personal and social factors that lead to painful disconnections… seek[ing] ways to increase [the] capacity to find strength and facilitate social change by building respectful and encouraging connections” (Jean Baker Miller Training Institute). While at the workshop Ms. Aguilar attended training sessions on “Creating Connection in a Sea of Disconnection: Research Informed Clinical Practice,” “Getting Unstuck: The Tools of Empathy,” round tables and talks, and other presentations.
In addition to attending the workshop Ms. Aguilar is also featured as a presenter, sharing her research findings on a study she co-conducted utilizing elements of Relational-Cultural Therapy. Her study implemented a single-subject research design to investigate the change in relational health and supervisory working alliance over time as associated with engaging in a clinical supervision model that integrates principles of Relational-Cultural Therapy. Visual trend and percentage of non-overlapping data analyses indicated that integrating RCT concepts into a supervisory intervention is an effective means for promoting relational health and the supervisory working alliance.
Ms. Aguilar’s passion for the counseling field extends beyond her educational career and research interests. Ms. Aguilar has extensive experience and demonstrated success working with a variety of populations including Veterans, adjudicated adolescents, couples, families, and individuals in various capacities including Group Counseling Leader, Intern, Case Manager / Coordinator, and Child Protective Services Specialist. Professionally, she has published articles, presented at conferences, and demonstrates her strong leadership abilities through various honors and professional associations. Her work is a clear example of her drive to make a positive impact on humanity, and deep compassion for others; it ultimately has motivated her to higher goals including social activism and change within the mental health and human service field, improving service deliverability, quality, and identifying and servicing underserved populations.
Congratulations on your accomplishments Ms. Aguilar! We are proud of all your contributions to the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi community!
Congratulations to ELITE Cohort Student Stacey Barrera! ELITE Graduate Programs is proud to recognize your professional successes and achievements!
Ms. Barrera, a Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi graduate student studying Public Administration, was recently hired on to a full time position working with the City of Corpus Christi. Ms. Barrera was following up on a fellowship position advertised through the ELITE Fellowship Program database when she had the opportunity to speak with a city official who decided her excellent qualifications warranted a full time position working with Development Services. Ms. Barrera performs a number of duties working with the city including high level policy research, assisting with development projects within the city, emergency and disaster response planning, and aiding individuals and businesses in planning and developing new facilities, buildings, and homes. The opportunity with the city gives Ms. Barrera a chance to put her education to work, gaining hands on experience, and assisting her in exploring and honing in on an area of focus to pursue in her future educational career.
In addition to her position with the city, Ms. Barrera has been active in local politics working for State Representative Solomon Ortiz, Jr. as a Legislative Assistant, and the Nueces County Democratic Party as an Election Administrative Assistant during the 2008 Democratic Primary Election. Her passion for civic involvement is additionally highlighted by her extensive volunteer work, which has included serving as a board member for the Women’s Shelter of South Texas, co-founding and past President over the Coastal Bend Young Democrats, serving as Communications Committee Chair for the Coastal Bend Chapter of the Texas Democratic Women, and much more.
Ms. Barrera’s passion for politics began in 2004 when her mother successfully ran for local office. She was actively involved in assisting with her mother’s campaign and began getting involved in civic engagements. She continues to explore and narrow her focus in her studies, and in the future hopes to be involved in non-profit research, specifically identifying and meeting the needs of marginalized populations with unmet service needs.
Congratulations on your position with the city and on all your contributions to the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi community!
ELITE Graduate Programs, in conjunction with the College of Education hosted nearly 125 Smith Elementary School fourth grade students as they experienced the “college experience” for a day.
Smith Elementary Students visited Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi on May 17, 2011 to participate in various events and activities. Students had the opportunity to see the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi campus, and participate in fun activities led by TAMU-CC faculty, staff, and volunteers. Students had an opportunity to tour the sciences labs with Dr. Riccardo Mozzachiodi, tour the Wetlands on Wheels with Jay Tarkington, learn how to Zumba dance and about nutrition from Stephanie Arevalo, tour the Mary and Jeff Bell Library with Kristen Davis, and participate in a math project led by Dr. Faye Brunn titled “Are you a Square?” where students measured each other’s height and arm span to determine if they are a square, or a tall or wide rectangle.
The trip was coordinated by Dr. Laura Rosales, director of ELITE Graduate Programs, and Dr. Faye Brunn, assistant professor in the College of Education and provided students with an opportunity to learn about University programs and introduce them to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. In addition to assisting in coordinating the experience for the students, ELITE also provided volunteers to guide the student groups around campus as they moved from activity to activity.
Thank you to all those who helped make this experience a success for the students!