News

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By Angela Lozano   

 Dr. Steven Lukefahr, is working toward expanding meat rabbit industry in developing countries in need of a good food source. 

  “In 2010 Haiti earthquake killed 230,000 people and injured 300,000,” Lukefahr said. “Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere”. 

 Lukefahr published over 159 articles in national and international journals and is the author of the book Developing Sustainable Rabbit Projects (Heifer International). 

Professor Dr. Lukefahr is helping countries in need of a food source like Haiti. 

“All a family would need is two rabbits maleand female and they would be able to feed their whole family for years,” he said. 

Lukefahr has put his study to work and maintains a Rabbit farm not too far from Texas A&M University Kingsville. 

He plans to continue helping countries and their families and also study all limits of rabbit meat for rural farmers. 

 “With proper farming and breeding, the rabbit is the key factor in sustainability nutrition and other possibilities of a poor family in need,” he said.

 

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By Charlie Bazaldua 

(Summer Intern Reporter)

KINGSVILLE – This season, the Javelinas wrapped up one of the most successful track seasons in Texas A&M University-Kingsville history. While bringing home the Lone Star Conference Title and with overall team effort, head coach Ryan Dall led his team and showed them a great example of how hard work pays with great reward.

 Jeron Robinson won his third straight Lone Star Conference high jump title with a record-setting performance. He cleared 7-7 (2.31m) to break his own Division II record by half an inch , matched the top collegiate mark this season and reached the “A” standard for the United States Olympic Team Trials. And is ranked in the Top 5 in the world. Jeron is from Houston and grew up playing almost every sport they offered in school. He came to Kingsville on a football and track scholarship and eventually he saw that he had a lot more potential in track and that became his sole focus. 

 Robinson says that when the season had started he had a hurt ankle and was barely reaching a 7-2 jump, but what kept him motivated was his hunger for a different outcome this season. Last season he tied the record, so this season he set his goal to beat the record, and with this he was able to achieve his goal. 

“Even though I had a great season, I am still very motivated for next season,” Robinson said. “I want to beat my own record and i am confident that the team will grab another conference title for the school.”
When asked how it feels to see the team succeed as much as he has, he said that it is amazing everyone worked hard all season, and it’s great to see the payoff. 
“I’m doing my best to put TAMUK on the map, and give us a spot in the world spotlight Robinson said.” 
 Graduate student Katherine Trevino had great success this season in the mile relay she was a runner-up in the 400m dash (56.38) at the Lone Star Conference Championship claimed 7th place in the 200m dash. And was a member of 4x400m relay team that was second at the conference meet. This was her last year competing and she knew what was at stake. Kathy as she likes to go by, is from Rio Grande City and up until she was in middle school loved to play volleyball and softball long with track. But once she got into high school she realized that track was her true calling and had a way better chance to get a scholarship in track. So she put all her focus on track

 “I wanted to start this season with a bang,” Trevinio said.

Being her senior year, she knew it was her last chance to make sure it was the best season she had.
 She and her friend and teammate Amber Perry both made a pact to give it all they had so they could bring victory for their team. She is beyond words when she recalls how well this season went for her and her teammates and she is humbled by being a part of the All American Wall. 
“I carry a lot of Javelina pride and I feels good to show it when I compete,” she said.

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          KINGSVILLE (June 19, 2015) – An expanded, state-of-the-art music building will soon be added to campus, thanks to nearly $60 million in Capital Construction Revenue Bonds authorized by the Texas Legislature and signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott June 18.            The funding is part of more than $3 billion allotted for capital improvements by the legislature this year.

            “This is excellent news for Texas A&M-Kingsville and our music department,” said Dr. Steven H. Tallant, Texas A&M University-Kingsville President. “Music is one of our premier programs, and this funding will allow us to create a much better learning space for our students. We have been working on this for a number of years, and we are so excited Gov. Abbott signed this bill. We appreciate the Legislature’s work and recognition of the need for this funding and are extremely grateful for the support of Chancellor John Sharp and the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. We are ready to get to work!”

           Approximately $40 million will fund the construction of the music building expansion. The Department of Music has long outgrown its current 32,000 square-foot facility, the Bellamah Music Building, which was built in 1959. The building was designed to serve approximately 100 students and 12 faculty members. Since then, the Department of Music has grown to serve nearly 250 students with more than 30 faculty members.

            “This is the news that we have been awaiting for years,” said Dr. Paul Hageman, Department of Music chair. “The new facility will allow us to provide our students with the best music education possible as well as to expand into areas of musical study that have been unavailable to us previously. We are so appreciative of the hard work, support, and vision of our administration, especially President Tallant, the A&M System, and the state legislature that will make this new music facility a reality.”

            University officials will spend the rest of the year planning for the new building, which could break ground in 2016. Initial plans include adding several rehearsal halls, state-of-the-art student practice rooms, classrooms, labs, a recording studio, and a new performance hall.

            The remaining $20 million will fund the construction of general classroom building that will help the campus accommodate sustained growth in enrollment.

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  (Photo credit: Sam Zalutsky Spiegel and Grau)

Courtesy of Jason Marton

The third season of the popular Netflix series Orange is the New Black premiered to much acclaim and interest in June. The series’ inspiration was a similarly-titled, best-selling memoir written by Piper Kerman.
Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison chronicles Kerman’s thirteen months spent in the Federal Correctional Institute in Danbury, Connecticut, for a brief dalliance with drug trafficking in her early twenties.

Piper Kerman will speak about her experiences at Texas A&M University-Kingsville at 7 p.m. Wednesday, August 26 in Jones Auditorium, as part of the University Lectureship Series.

The public is invited to attend this free event.

Doors will open at 6:30. Seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis.

About Piper Kerman

In her compelling, moving, and often hilarious book, Piper Kerman explores the experience of incarceration and the intersection of her life with the lives of the women she met while in prison: their friendships and families, mental illnesses and substance abuse issues, cliques and codes of behavior. The book also raises provocative questions about the state of criminal justice in America, and how incarceration affects the individual and communities throughout the nation.

The memoir was adapted into a critically-acclaimed Netflix series of the same name by Jenji Kohan. The Emmy and Peabody Award-winning show has been called “the best TV show about prison ever made” by The Washington Post.

Since her release, Kerman has worked to promote the cause of prison and criminal justice reform. She serves on the board of the Women’s Prison Association, which provides preventative services for at-risk women, works to create alternatives to incarceration, advocates against practices like shackling during childbirth and offers programs to aid reentry into society.

Kerman has spoken at the White House on reentry and employment to help honor Champions of Change in the field. She has been called as a witness by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights to testify on solitary confinement and women prisoners.

About the University Lectureship Series

The University Lectureship Series at Texas A&M University-Kingsville is a student-supported program that invites guest lecturers to present relevant or entertaining topics both to the university and Kingsville communities. Known nationally or regionally for their expertise, invited speakers will educate, inform and engage students, and help them to make meaning of theories they are learning in their classrooms.

For more information about the A&M-Kingsville University Lectureship Series, contact the Office of Student Activities at 361-593-2760.

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By Charlie Bazaldua (Summer Intern Reporter)

​CORPUS CHRISTI – Servando Hinojosa believes in the legacy of the Tejano and his art work, and was displayed Saturday along with of his other paintings to ink at the Tejano Civil Rights Museum in Corpus Christi. 

​“Soy Tejano (I am a Tejano)” Hinojosa says proudly as he finished his last exhibition depicting historical and cultural pieces of the Tejano legacy and culture. 

“Soy Tejano” depicts historical and cultural pieces of Tejano legacy and culture. Hinijosa explained that it represents the first European settlers to what is now Texas and the United States. The Spanish explores mingled with the Native Americas and together they created culture in ranching that still exists today. 

Hinojosa says that his inspiration was his heritage and culture and that the Tejano culture needs to be shown through the arts whether it be paintings, poetry, or music. 

“Tejano culture is on the way of being lost and we need to find ways to preserve it,” he said. “Dr. Hector P. Garcia has done a good job of trying to preserve the culture and served as great inspiration.”

Hinijosa made sure to offer one last word of advice to students who are striving to reach their dreams. 

“To do what you must do. Whatever they feel whether it’s through arts, music, poetry to just do it and keep doing it even if we have doubts in our work.”

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Dr. Steven Tallant, president of Texas A&M University-Kingsville announced the campus will get two new buildings and a 34 percent revenue increase during an “Eggs and Issues” presentation sponsored by the Kingsville Chamber of Commerce, Thursday, June 4, in the ballrooms of the Memorial Student Union Building.

Tallant said the state legislature had approved Tuition Revenue Bonds totaling $60 million for the construction of a new music building and a new classroom building. The legislation expects the approval or signature of Texas governor Greg Abbot before becoming official, he said.

In addition, because of recent enrollment increases at the university, TAMUK will received 34 percent more in funding – more than any other Texas university – in the next two years, he said.

The new music building will be located on the site of the current Bellamah Music Building on Engineering Blvd. He said the old building will be renovated and expanded and will also include part of the back yard of the President’s House where Tallant and his family live.

The new classroom building will be located at the site of the current Tennis Courts, he said.

Both will have state-of-the-art technology and will be dedicated for student use.

He also announced that the university’s Engineering Program will be offering classes at TAMUK’s Citrus Center in Weslaco this fall and that the university would have a capital campaign to raise money for future projects and, in particular, scholarships.

He said the goal for the coming academic year was to reach 9,000 enrollment and to sustain the steady growth the university has experience since he took over as president in 2007. The university has grown 54 percent during his tenure as president, he said.

In addition, Tallant announced there would be a 4 percent overall increase in the near future for faculty and staff.

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Earth Day is observed around the world on April 22, although larger events such as festivals and rallies are often organized for the weekends before or after April 22.

Many communities also observe Earth Week or Earth Month, organizing a series of environmental activities throughout the month of April.

Texas A&M University-Kingsville did its contribution by hosting Sustainability Week from April 15-22.

Sustainability week at TAMUK began with a demonstration at the Javelina pallet garden on gardening techniques by Justin Butts from KEDT’s gardening show “Your Wholesome Garden,” and the week culminated with the Earth Day Fair at the pavilion.

Student organizations, as well as faculty and staff, gathered in the Pavilion with educational posters with information on how to reuse, reduce and recycle among other topics.

Laura B. Prange, Director of Campus Sustainability, said it’s important for students, faculty and every individual on earth to recognize and contribute into maintaining the planet.

“Every individual and every community and every institution has the joy, the privilege and the responsibility of doing what they can to honor and take care of our habitat,” Prange said. “Our habitat is our environment, the place in which we live, whether is on the large scale; that is our planet, or just our campus or home.”

She said even though TAMUK is pretty sustainable there is always room to keep improving.

“We are in such an exciting time,” she said. “We are in the process of tracking and measuring how much sustainability we are doing at this point in time.”

Prange said with all the support there is on campus this is being possible. She also advises students to be mindful day to day with the things they can and can’t do in their surroundings but also to keep in mind the positive contributions and opportunities to be more sustainable.

Hunter Balzen, Junior Environmental Engineer, is an intern at the Office of Campus Sustainability, and he said it’s important to have the Earth Day fair because there are many people that don’t have a sense of recycling or sustainability.

Balzen said here at TAMUK they are trying to instill sustainable values, especially to freshman students, so that students can grow and become more used to sustainable values.

“We try to instill this values so that they’ll grow and become more used to sustainable values in recycling,” he said. “So that as they come through TAMUK we see a greater aggregation towards helping the environment, saving the environment.”

Balzen said he hopes that when students graduate from here they’ll keep those values and hopefully take that to their families and to their jobs.

Balzen said him along with other students are working in a landfill awareness project where he hopes students become more aware where their trash is going and hopefully they become more inclined to recycle.

Toni Cortez, volunteer at the Kingsville Recycling Center, was also present to help spread the word on how and where the community can recycle.

She said in order to make the earth a better living environment people need to cooperate and recycle.

“We take newspaper, plastic bottles, cardboard among many other things,” Cortez said.

Cortez said every effort counts and urges people to get involved in recycling events in the community.

She said if you have anything to be recycled to call the recycling center at (361)595-8098 or to visit their location at 202 W Lee Ave, here in Kingsville.

They also have brochures and information on what things they can take as well as the damages that some of the materials that are thrown into the environment cause.

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Duane Gardiner
Duane Gardiner

Provost Dr. Rex Gandy’s decision to move to Austin Peay State University in Tennessee has prompted a national search for Texas A&M University Kingsville’s next provost.

For now, Dr. Duane Gardiner, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, has been appointed as Interim Provost, university President Dr. Steven Tallant, announced.

Gardiner is set to start as Interim Provost on June 1.

Even though Gardiner will serve his term mostly during the summer, he is expected to address issues such as hiring new personnel, finishing the accreditation report, among other issues.

Tallant said Gardiner will do a great job as interim provost and went on to say that he is exactly who the school needs.  He said he has worked with Gardiner for six years and and said Gardiner is familiar with what the provost does. Gardiner was in charge of SACS, the reaccreditation team that schools go through.

Tallant said he is looking for the next TAMUK provost to be scholarly.

“We want someone that has the rank of full professor,” he said “The provost has to be tenureable, have done all the teaching, all the scholarship and all the research.”

He said the provost is responsible for curricular and academics but works closely with the entire faculty.

“I want an individual that understands the importance of research as we move forward in research and to help develop initiatives along that area,” he said.

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Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s University Police Department reported that a female student was allegedly sexually assaulted Saturday night in a parking lot on campus.
The victim told police that she parked in the Lynch Hall parking lot at approximately 11:30 p.m. when an unknown male approached her from behind, covering her mouth and carrying her to the bed of a parked pick-up truck where he sexually assaulted her before throwing her to the ground and leaving the scene.
UPD has identified the suspect as a male who is about six feet tall with an average build, shaggy red hair and a full beard. The suspect was driving a blue pick-up truck with an extended cab, dark-tinted windows, loud mufflers and a TAMUK logo across the back glass.
“We’ve got a couple of leads but they’ve turned up nothing so far,” said UPD Chief Felipe Garza. “This is a very unusual case because the suspect is not known by the victim, so we’re having to try to identify him and that blue vehicle.”
While UPD seeks out more information on this case, Garza said their priority is taking care of the victim.
“Her health and safety is the most important thing right now,” Garza said. “A counselor has already gone to see her and that’s what we’re concerned with.”
Garza is asking the public for any information on the suspect or his vehicle at this time.
If you have any tips, call UPD at 593-2611.

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By Angela Lozano     Dr. Steven Lukefahr, is working toward expanding meat rabbit industry in developing countries in need of a good food source.    “In...