A message from your Texas A&M Galveston Development Office
Howdy! The intent of the Texas A&M University at Galveston Development Newsletter is to share just a little bit of all of the exciting things going on at our campus. Here we are well into the 2016/17 academic year at Texas A&M Galveston. At close to 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students, we are at an all-time high for enrollment. It’s been an exciting year with plenty of changes.
Texas A&M University at Galveston’s “WAVE OF CHANGE” continues. We are in the final stages of two active searches:
It is also exciting to witness the “WAVE OF CHANGE” in the form of new facilities on campus. Construction on Phase 1 of our Academic Complex is well underway, with its opening scheduled for July 2017. Groundbreaking for Phase 2 is scheduled for this winter, with an expected opening in September 2018. We are also looking forward to this winter’s groundbreaking on our Waterfront Pavilion/Amphitheater. We anticipate having access to this new facility in the summer of 2017.
Students, faculty and staff are excited to be welcoming these two new faces and three new buildings to campus in the near future. In the next newsletter, we’ll be sure to update you on the construction status as well as more about the addition of our two new leaders and their vision for the future. With each TAMUG Development Newsletter, we like to spend a little time sharing about those individuals who represent the success of this campus. As in previous newsletters, this edition will again spotlight a:
We realize that donors are a very important component in our pursuit of having the best students, faculty, programs, and facilities at Texas A&M University at Galveston. Now more than ever, TAMUG relies on the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations to support the many vital programs and activities of our campus. Texas A&M Galveston students are fortunate to be pursuing an education which stresses the importance of the ocean to our way of life. The region, state, nation and world prosper when TAMUG graduates apply their maritime and marine knowledge, research and experiential learning to industry.
Over the course of the last two years we’ve made concentrated efforts to recognize our donors for their much-needed support. As an example, in the current Fall 2016 semester alone, Texas A&M University at Galveston students have been actively engaged with TAMUG supporters to display our students’ gratitude. To illustrate:
On a personal note: Stewardship is a very important part of what we do. We cannot thank our supporters enough for all that they do for Texas A&M University at Galveston. In response to a thank-you letter from a student after a recent reception, a donor reached out to us to say, “I wanted you to see what a wonderful group of students you have. This is just an example of the paybacks we get.” To receive this donor’s expression of how touched he was after giving support to a student makes it all worthwhile. Again, thanks to all of you who generously support TAMUG so that we may continue to support the endeavors of our
Please contact the Development Office (www.tamug.edu/develop/) to explore ways that you can impact our current and future students. To learn more about our campus or if you’re interested in visiting, please contact any of us on the Development Team.
Finally, on behalf of the Texas A&M University at Galveston Development Office, I wish all of you and your families safe and Happy Holidays.
Senior Director of Development at Texas A&M University at Galveston
Texas A&M Foundation – LEAD BY EXAMPLE
Jason W. Morton '04, M.Ed., '10, Manager of Development Communications
Rick Kline, Senior Director of Development
Alice Maffay, Development Business Coordinator
The George P. Mitchell Society is comprised of individuals and organizations committed to the well-being of our oceans through maritime and marine research, education and training as conducted at the only maritime university on the gulf coast’s premier ocean front, Texas A&M University, Galveston Campus. Christened in honor of George Phydias Mitchell, fighting Texas Aggie class of 1940. The Society’s function is to aid in the bolstering of the mission of Texas A&M University at Galveston. Your patronage boosts the entire University to beyond that which could be achieved with state and other traditional means alone. For more information on membership into the George P. Mitchell Society, please visit www.tamug.edu/develop/Campaigns/MitchellSociety.html
My name is Dr. Doug Palmer and I am the Interim Chief Operating Officer at Texas A&M University at Galveston, as well as Interim Vice President of Texas A&M University, and 2016 has been a year of promise for our Galveston campus. In my short tenure on the island, it has been evident to me that this campus is “on the move” and has a very bright future.
Earlier this year we opened the Maritime Academy residential hall, 612 bed dorm housing our campus’ Corp of Cadets. When you visit our campus, you will also see construction of the new Academic Complex Phase 1 building with a planned completion date of July 2017. The adjoining Academic Complex Phase 2 building will begin construction in the Spring 2017 semester. Once completed, these two building will provide students, faculty and staff with state of the art office, laboratory, classroom and meeting spaces. Also, the Waterfront Events Pavilion to be located next to the small boat basin will begin construction in December 2016 and will be completed in the Summer of 2017. This facility will provide an extraordinary venue for conferences and campus gatherings. These construction projects will further enhance the teaching, research and outreach mission of our campus; it is an exciting time.
We also have launched a number of new instructional initiatives this year. These programs include new collaborative initiatives with the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University main campus. For example, this Fall we have over 240 first-year engineering students at TAMUG and a new collaborative program in Ocean Engineering.
I want to thank each and every one of you for your continued support of our students, faculty, and staff development and research initiatives. Because of your efforts, we are able to make bold steps forward on our Galveston campus through facility expansion, program development and support of our students and faculty. We are pursuing excellence at Texas A&M University at Galveston and your continued support is vital in our efforts to provide outstanding educational programs and conduct research that will impact the state, nation and globally. Again, I appreciate your support for this amazing campus and our TAMUG community; thank you.
Douglas J. Palmer, Ph.D.
Interim COO, Texas A&M University at Galveston
Interim Vice President, Texas A&M University
Eddie Compass, fightin’ Texas Aggie class of 2006, is a former student of the Galveston campus from New Orleans, LA. Eddie was a stellar student during his tenure as a student at the Galveston campus. We had the opportunity to talk with Eddie a little bit about his TAMUG experience and his new company Next Generation Marine.
Can you talk a bit about your background and connection to Texas A&M University at Galveston?
“I am from New Orleans, LA. I entered Texas A&M in 2003 and graduated in 2007 with a B.S. in Marine Transportation. During my breaks from college I worked as a deck hand on tugs in the New Orleans area and learned a lot about the inland waterways. After I graduated, I began my sea career working on offshore supply vessels as a 3rd Mate / DPO. I initially worked in the Gulf of Mexico on vessels carrying cargo for Shell to deep water offshore installations. My company at the time offered me an opportunity to work overseas which I accepted. I began working in Chaguarmus, Trinidad. I thoroughly enjoyed working overseas. I was a workaholic. I would work long stretches at sea so I could accrue the sea time needed to upgrade my license and to make more money! After my tenure on OSV's I wanted to have a more thorough knowledge of the Oil & Gas industry so I decided to work on drill ships as a 2nd Mate / DPO. While working on drill ships I made invaluable contacts with decision makers in the Oil & Gas industry. I realized that technology was taking over the industry and that if I wanted to stay relevant I had to continue to upgrade my licenses (which I did) and also work on the newest vessels. Working overseas in Brazil on drill ships is where I realized I had a unique skillset and was good at what I did. I won the Star of the Sea Award and was given various other accolades and safety awards. I began receiving inquiries from project managers and OIM's which basically became the beginning of my Marine consulting. I have always had a passion for business and wanted to be an entrepreneur and viewed this as the perfect opportunity.”
One of the highlights of this article for our readers, is to hear about how our Former Students have gone on to use the education they received at Texas A&M University at Galveston in the work force. Talk a little bit about Next Generation Marine, the company you started in 2015.
“I officially started Next Generation Marine in January of 2015. We are a marine transportation and logistics company. We own 2 offshore model bow tugs and also a fleet of vessels and barges we broker. We service clients in several facets of the maritime industry. With our tugs we do everything from rig mobilizations and demobilizations, move project cargo, coastal restoration and coastal reformation and also ship docking. We had a very high profile job on the Mississippi River during high tide. Our vessels did complex ship positioning and acted as holding tugs when the Mississippi River was at historic high levels. Our original business model was to service oil and gas companies, but since the downturn we have been forced to pivot into what we are doing now. We have recently began dredging and offering our dredging services. I recently passed the Louisiana contractors test for dredging and we are excited about the opportunity that this dredging license opens up to Next Gen.”
How did your time on the Galveston Campus of Texas A&M University prepare you for starting Next Generation Marine?
“My time at TAMUG greatly prepared me for what I am doing today, more specifically what I have done in my sea career. I learned how to navigate from Capt. Bourgeois. I was not a natural and struggled early on in college. Capt. Bourgeois went above and beyond working with me and then one day it all clicked. At that point everything that once seemed overwhelming now became enjoyable. While on my senior cruise I began mentoring the underclassmen. They would tell me how hard it was and how they wanted to quit the program and I encouraged them with my story. I have always viewed life in a way that we are obligated to give back and help the next generation. I also learned a lot from the simulator on campus. I would go to the simulator on my own and practice navigating and ship
I understand you are one of two minority shipping company owners in the entire industry. That’s a very proud accomplishment. Can you tell our readers a little bit about your endeavor and what that means to you?
“The maritime industry is historically one where companies are inherited and passed down from generation to generation. The barrier of entry is extremely difficult due to large capital investments needed to acquire assets. This in correlation with several other factors doesn't warrant many opportunities for new companies to start (especially minority owned ones.) Next Generation is fortunate to be certified through the NMSDC as a MBE owned marine transportation company. To my knowledge there is only one other company which owns vessels and who is nationally certified. This accreditation is something I take great pride in because of how hard we have worked to get to where we currently are.”
In closing, looking back on your time at Texas A&M University at Galveston, what was your favorite class, student organization and activities to do off campus?
“I actually had two favorite classes at A&M. My first favorite class was Ocean Transportation taught by Capt. Fanning, whom I greatly miss. He would assign projects where he forced his students to think outside of the box and gave us real insight to the industry. He taught me the importance of networking and how to always work my hardest in everything I did. My second favorite class was Step Aerobics taught by Deb Maceo. I know what you're thinking, but this class changed my life. I originally signed up for this class as an "easy A". I figured I would show up a few times and easily get an A, because it was step aerobics after all. Was I in for a rude awakening. Deb had a policy for every unexcused absence you would drop a letter grade. I thought this policy didn't apply to me, lol. The third time I missed class Deb called me on my cell phone and told me get my butt to class. She explained to me that my education is what would give me my opportunity to make it. She told me "If I kept doing was I was doing, I would keep getting what I was getting." She was the first person to hold me accountable and wouldn't let me make any more excuses. I took this course during the first semester of my sophomore year. I keep in touch with her to this day and she is my "2nd mom" and I love her dearly.”
Dr. Grace W.Y. Wang is an Associate Professor in the department of Maritime Administration at Texas A&M University Galveston Campus. She holds a PhD in economics from Texas A&M University. Her research focuses are in the areas of port efficiency, privatization and incentive mechanism design in terminal concessions in seaports. Her research also includes policy implications of the global banking crises, deposit insurance and the early warning systems in predicting banking failures.
We had the opportunity to ask this popular professor an array of questions from her background, her research, and what brought her to Texas A&M University at Galveston.
Can you talk a bit about yourself and what brought you to Texas A&M University at Galveston?
“I was born and raised in Taiwan, a tropical island next to mainland China. For those who are not familiar with Taiwan, despite the political disputes, we share the same language and some rich culture and history with China. Once getting a masters degree in economics and working in a research institute as a researcher for six months, I found out certain graduate schools in the United States offer great courses that I always wanted to learn. In addition, one of my mentors who is an Aggie alumni talked about how Texas A&M has great traditions in an easy-going college town.
Raised in Taiwan with high population density, 23 million people in approximately 14 thousand square miles, it is not surprising how wonderful the College Station campus looks like. Huge green campus, great courses and completely different study abroad experience. I decided to pursue my dream of getting an Economics PhD in the United States.”
What department are you in and what is your specialty?
“I currently work in the Department of Maritime Administration, research maritime topics and teach economics-related classes. I teach Principles of Economics, Money and Banking for undergrad and economics issues in shipping in the graduate program. My specialties in the PhD training are monetary economics and econometrics. The former is related to bankruptcy of banking system and the financial crises and the latter is how to use statistical tools to proof economic theory or hypotheses you want to test. Similarly, this knowledge can be easily applied to analyze maritime issues. For example, the applications on shipping companies’ performance and bankruptcy analysis, conflicts with the interests of cruise in renewing annual contracts, and performance-based efficiency evaluation, etc.”
What is the best part about working with young Aggies?
“Working with young Sea Aggies is exciting and challenging. While some students think economics is a difficult subject that requires good mathematical skill, others think economics can hardly apply to their daily lives. With this in mind, the first day of school is always nerve-racking. However, once we start talking about real examples, things may be different. For example, think about how a product is assembled in Texas using parts designed in Japan, made in China, shipped by a Greek container shipping company. Or how much Euro you need for a two-week study abroad program in London and when the best time is to make exchange. Those economic issues can be analyzed using logical and critical thinking. Our students are not shy to share their thoughts and discussion in those open-ended questions once interests are stimulated.”
I know one of your specialties is Port Efficiency, can you please expand on that?
“The maritime industry and shipping business’ are competitive at nature. That means if you are not good at what you do, you may be out of business pretty quickly. Port efficiency is one of the indicators to evaluate port performance. If a port can efficiently serve their customers, which are shippers and/or various shipping companies in this case, total volume handled by this port will increase and the unit cost is reduced. At the same time, cheaper cost and shorter processing time seem attractive for port users. This cycle will boost port business and further create more jobs, employment, and greater economic impact for locals. Meanwhile, to achieve efficiency, better port infrastructure, sufficient supply chain and well-connected transportation system to hinterland are critical to ensure the sustainability of the long-term growth of a port.”
Finally, what do you like most about working at Texas A&M University at Galveston? What would you tell prospective students about this university and why they should choose Texas A&M University at Galveston?
“With the experiences of both huge and small campuses, for example like College Station versus Galveston, Aggies by the Sea offers a great professor-student connection. I personally think that is very valuable for college experiences. What I love the most is the relatively smaller size of the class that makes one-on-one time with faculty possible. I know students by their names and am willing to be there for course related questions or just be a listener. In addition, with colleagues who share genuine interests in maritime economics but with various professional trainings and background, we always have fresh ideas in research and creative pedagogy in teaching. That makes work more fun and enjoyable. Also, who doesn’t like to work at a campus that has the best ocean view
outside the window and a warm breeze in all seasons?”
Taylor Byron Roy
This edition spotlights the Roy family and the scholarship they endowed in loving memory of their son Taylor Byron Roy. This particular scholarship is intended for a bright young student from the Kingwood, Texas area pursuing an undergraduate degree in Maritime Administration or Marine Transportation. We had an opportunity to sit down with Mr. Brian Roy, (Taylor’s father,) and Mrs. Lynn Downey (Taylor’s mother) to talk about why Texas A&M University at Galveston is so special to them and their family.
Please talk a little bit about your family and its connection to Texas A&M University at Galveston.
“I (Brian Roy) graduated from Texas A&M University in 1986 with a bachelor of science degree in Industrial Distribution, and was greatly influenced in the “giving-back” to A&M by the visiting professionals who guest-lectured to our classes. The connection to the Texas A&M graduates/professionals and industry is something that TAMUG has as well, and it directly helps and promotes the transition from student to graduate to professional by informing a student of “what’s a day like in your profession?”
Mr. Roy went on to talk in more depth about his journey that led him to Texas A&M University. “I did not really know about the Galveston campus when I was picking colleges back in 1978, but if I had to do it all over again – I would have attended Texas A&M University at Galveston as a Maritime Transportation or Maritime Administration major. I have no regrets on my path to my current
positions, but the Texas A&M Galveston’s program is more focused on specific outputs and careers and sets-up the student for a faster track to success.”
Mr. Roy and Mrs. Downey talked about Meagan (Taylor’s older sister) and their two step daughters that have all attended Texas A&M University as well; “Meagan, Taylor’s older sister, attended Texas A&M Galveston, and has both an undergraduate and graduate degree obtained while working full time for MI Swaco. We have had numerous friends and family members attend the Galveston campus and graduate or go on to Texas A&M University in College Station. Our son Taylor was a Junior majoring in Maritime Administration when he was involved in a tragic car accident on Galveston Island in March of 2012 and sadly did not survive. We have two other stepdaughters who are Aggies as well, one attended the Galveston campus for one year and then moved to main-campus and is about to graduate in December 2016 as well as another who graduated from the College Station campus in 2011. Taylor’s family continues to be involved with the Galveston campus since Taylor’s accident by sponsoring students directly and through a memorial scholarship set-up in his name that currently funds four Marine Transportation or Maritime Administration students per year. We are involved in campus improvements via the bench and brick programs as well as donating Century Oak Trees to be placed near the new academic building in Taylor’s memory and I am an active member of the Texas A&M University at Galveston’s Board of Visitors – which we are very proud of.”
You touched on it a bit already, but your scholarship is awarded to a Texas A&M Galveston student pursuing a degree in Maritime Administration or Marine Transportation. Can you talk about why you chose those two fields of study and how your scholarship is dedicated to fostering young leaders in the maritime industry?
“Taylor started out as a Marine Transportation major and then changed to Maritime Administration at the start of his Sophomore year. We chose those two majors to focus on as these were Taylor’s interest and path. Via his memorial scholarship – we hope to continue Taylor’s path through helping other students achieve what Taylor was not able to finish in either of these two programs. Meagan, Taylor’s sister, wrote a brief overview of Taylor’s character for the memorial scholarship along with his picture next to his 1966 Chevy Truck that he and his family built. Taylor was a natural born leader, but one who had to work hard on the academics of school. Taylor, Marine Transportation, Maritime Administration, and Texas A&M Galveston are similar in that they all represent a focus and determination around the Maritime Industry. The scholarship requirements are not to be the best, fastest, or smartest – but the ones who work the hardest at what they believe in and enjoy life while they are pursuing their dreams.”
What in your opinion does the Texas A&M University at Galveston have to offer the state and nation and maritime industry?
“As stated above – Texas A&M Galveston offers to educate and prepare graduates who will focus on the commerce of the maritime industry by applying both theory and hands-on application along with interaction from professional graduates in a critical infrastructure of our state and country. There is a practicality to this school and degrees that are missing in other schools and this practicality is realized by obtaining a career/job in this industry that pays higher than others and allows you to obtain employment when others can’t.”
You and your family have been involved in our campus’ Endowed Scholarship Reception. From a donors prospective on what does it mean to you to get to meet your scholarship recipient each year?
“Participating in the Endowed Scholarship Reception enables Taylor’s family and friends to meet and be a part of the recipient’s activities and life while at the Galveston campus. This is important to us as we did not and will not see Taylor complete all of those life events. In a way, this enables us to continue to be involved in things that our son was involved in and would have achieved. We have continued to be active in several of the recipient’s lives and activities well past graduation with weddings and career changes. And several of the recipients have started giving back to Texas A&M Galveston by donating to Taylor’s scholarship
or other areas of Aggie life.”
In closing, what would you tell a senior in high school thinking about going to Texas A&M University at Galveston, that makes this place so special and different from any other institute of higher learning?
“We would tell them that this campus is a very good place to have a “hands-on” campus experience – hands on with the faculty, facilities, and all things surrounding the ocean environment. It is not just a class-room in a building, it is a class-room in the industry. It prepares the students for life after graduation much better than other schools that are far removed from the industries and applications they are educating students around.”
Texas A&M University at Galveston hosted its second annual Endowed Scholarship Reception on Wednesday, October 26th, 2016. The event provided a wonderful opportunity for the recipients of endowed scholarships on the Galveston campus to meet and personally thank their respective donors.
Texas A&M Galveston’s Senior Director of Development, Rick Kline, addressed the gathering of over 150 faculty, staff, TAMUG Board of Visitor members, donors and students regarding the importance of providing scholarships and the impact their involvement has on current students and future generations of Aggies by the Sea. The reception was held to honor the donors of 44 Texas A&M Galveston Campus Endowed Scholarships representing approximately $2.9 million in investments of student’s higher education on this campus.
TAMUG’s 2016 Endowed Scholarship Recipients with Dr. Doug Palmer and Rick Kline
Cornelia Jones with the Henry Jacob Jones Memorial Scholars
Helen Jenswold with the Bernice E. Powell Maritime Education Scholars
On November 2nd, eight scholars along with various leading delegates from Texas A&M Galveston, were invited to attend a luncheon in Houston at the American Bureau of Shipping’s (ABS) corporate headquarters. The luncheon was hosted by President and COO of ABS and Board of Visitor member at Texas A&M Galveston, Admiral Jim Watson. ABS provides annual support through scholarships for students at the Galveston campus studying various disciplines of marine and maritime studies. The luncheon was hosted to honor the hard work these eight scholars have put into their education Scholars had the opportunity visit the ABS facility and meet various employees from different departments.
We want to thank Admiral Watson and his staff for the outstanding effort and support they provide to our campus each year and for the warm hospitality of hosting the eight outstanding scholars at the ABS. We hope this will be the first of many opportunities the recipients to visit their facility and get to meet the outstanding leaders of American Bureau of Shipping.
Texas A&M Galveston’s Rick Kline and Admiral Jim Watson of ABS
Admiral Jim Watson and the Texas A&M Galveston ABS Scholars
Two of our larger non-endowed scholarship donors to the Galveston Campus of Texas A&M University are American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and the Abe and Peggy Levy Foundation. Our campus’ scholarship recipients, faculty and staff greatly thank you for your generous support.
Abe and Peggy Levy Scholars
On Saturday October 15th, the Sea Aggie Former Student Network held its first “all year” reunion in ten years for the Former Students of Texas A&M Galveston. The day was filled with food, fun, and good times with close friends not seen in quite some time.
The day started with registration and welcoming remarks by Sea Aggie Former Student Network President Mr. Kyle Durden followed by a campus overview by Texas A&M Foundation’s Senior Director of Development on the Galveston campus, Mr. Rick Kline. The Keynote address was delivered by Dr. Patrick Louchouarn, Executive Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer at Texas A&M Galveston. Dr. Louchouarn spoke eloquently on the growth and quality of our faculty, student body, academic programs, facilities, and research initiatives. He also spoke in depth on the need for former students to stay informed and involved on the future development of the Galveston campus.
After welcoming remarks, the network of Former Students sat down to enjoy good company and a wonderful lunch held in the gymnasium. At the conclusion of lunch, the Former Students and their families spent the early part of the afternoon touring the campus facilities, visiting the ship simulator with Captain Scott Putty ‘79, and taking harbor tours aboard the RV/Trident with Captain Allen Post ’16. The afternoon concluded with a social on the waterfront with assorted appetizers and drinks. For more information on how to participate in the Sea Aggie Former Student Network, please visit www.aggienetwork.com/seaaggies/
Dr. Doug Palmer, Maureen Patton, H.L. “Shrub” Kempner, J.P. Bryan, and Tyson Voelkel ‘96
Texas A&M University at Galveston and the George P. Mitchell Society hosted a reception for honored guests at the Bryan Museum on the evening of Thursday August 25, 2016. The event was held to welcome Dr. Douglas J. Palmer, Ph.D. to the Galveston campus and to introduce Dr. Palmer to the community of Galveston.
Among the speakers were Board of Visitor member Ross Margraves, who spoke of the importance of the George P. Mitchell Society and recognized the 2016 recipient of the George P. Mitchell Society II Endowed Scholarship incoming freshman and Galveston native Jesus Castro ’20. Mr. J.P. Bryan owner and founder of the Bryan Museum spoke of the history of Galveston and his love for southwestern art and historical artifacts in heritage tourism. Mr. Bryan was accompanied by his loyal canine companion, English springer spaniel, Chalk, who from time to time chimed in and contributed to Mr. Bryan’s speech from the buffet table in the back of the room exacting laughter from the audience in attendance.
To close the evening, Dr. Palmer spoke eloquently about his background and ever evolving passion for Texas A&M University. Dr. Palmer stepped in as the Interim COO of Texas A&M University at Galveston following the retirement Admiral Robert Smith in June of this year.
We would like to thank all who attended in welcoming Dr. Palmer to our campus and community of Galveston. Thank you as well for your continued support of the George P. Mitchell Society and all that it does to better the campus, faculty, staff, and student body of Texas A&M Galveston.
The George P. Mitchell Society is comprised of individuals and organizations committed to the well-being of our oceans through maritime and marine research, education and training as conducted at the only maritime university on the Gulf Coast.
Established in honor of Mr. George Phydias Mitchell, fighting Texas Aggie class of 1940, the spirit of the Mitchell Society is to enhance the development of the Galveston campus of Texas A&M University. Your membership dues will help to support the student body, faculty, and various programs at Texas A&M Galveston. For more information on membership into the George P. Mitchell Society, please visit www.tamug.edu/develop/Campaigns/MitchellSociety.html