Also In This Issue

On Campus: News From Across Texas A&M

Aggies Invent Sparks Innovation

Held seven times annually, Aggies Invent is an intensive design experience offered at Texas A&M University in which students have just 48 hours to create prototypes that address real-world challenges. This April, student participants will focus on developing technologies that could enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities—such as tools that could improve classrooms for visually impaired students or allow physically disabled adults to live more independently.

The competition, which engages 60 or more students of all majors, is held in the Engineering Innovation Center, a 20,000-square-foot rapid prototyping lab. Each event has a different theme designed in collaboration with industry and faculty. Past event objectives include designing novel products to assist the U.S. Special Operations Command; creating new Internet of Things devices (objects that use metadata from the internet to make decisions); and enhancing augmented and virtual reality capabilities.

Alejandra Hernandez ’18, an industrial engineering major, is a two-time participant. “Aggies Invent has been the most fulfilling personal and academic experience in my life,” she said. “You never know when the right idea will take hold and change the world.”

As each team presents its prototype, engineering, business and communication skills intersect. The top three teams receive $1,000, $750 and $500, respectively. The Engineering Innovation Center and Aggies Invent also assist students working toward commercialization or the establishment of their own startup companies.

On the Air

A new radio station is sweeping the airwaves in Southeast Texas. Rudder Radio, the first student-run internet radio station at Texas A&M University at Galveston, launched last spring on KTOR–The Tornado, Ball High School’s radio station. The station provides quality music, news and entertainment to the Galveston campus and local community.

“Not only is Rudder Radio an interesting and relatable form of entertainment, but it’s beneficial for getting information around campus quickly,” said producer Tyler Gillis ’18. “We try to create a sense of community and actively encourage listeners to interact with us.”

The station’s all-inclusive sound features various musical genres and integrates music from the ’60s, for example, with modern jams. Its morning “Pre-Lunch Pump Up” show offers classic rock and pop, while the “Whatabeat Podcast” includes popular hit songs and electronic dance music.

Named after Gen. Earl Rudder ’32, the radio station is a collaboration between students in the Journalism and Communication Learning Community at Texas A&M Galveston and students in the media arts and digital technology department at Ball High School. University and high school students alike learn from each other as they improve in their communication, editing and teamwork skills.

Warrior-Scholar Project Expands

Texas A&M University will serve for a second time this summer as one of 12 host campuses for the Warrior-Scholar Project, a weeklong academic boot camp designed to prepare veterans for the transition from military to college life. Enlisted veterans often enter the military directly from high school, resulting in a long absence from the classroom upon their transition out.

During the boot camp, former enlisted service members develop and rediscover the skills and confidence necessary to successfully complete a four-year undergraduate program. Participants focus on three key areas: academic writing and reading; tactical and technical skills, such as notetaking, studying and time management; and confidence-building and transitional techniques.

Nineteen veterans from across the nation completed workshops at Texas A&M last summer. This summer, the same number of veterans will participate, but an additional week will be added to support students transitioning into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) majors. According to U.S. Department of Defense data, more than 70 percent of transitioning veterans indicate an interest in STEM fields.

Full House

Texas A&M University student Melissa Pawlowski ’14 ’19 returns home from class every day to spend time with her 36 four-legged roommates.

As a third-year student in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Pawlowski lives with three other veterinary students at the Stevenson Companion Animal Life-Care Center, a unique retirement home for pets whose owners can no longer care for them. The students assist staff members and care for the animals, many of whom are aging and suffering from medical conditions such as arthritis and diabetes.

The privately funded 11,000-square-foot center, which opened in 1993, can accommodate up to 100 dogs, cats and birds. Current residents include Angie, a cheerful 11-year-old cat who greets newcomers at the door; Happy, a 16-year-old Chihuahua who loves to be carried around the house; and Reveille VIII, Texas A&M’s retired mascot.

“The center offers a unique home-like environment where I can bond with each animal,” said Pawlowski. “It is a great privilege to be part of such a special mission and to ensure that each animal receives the love and attention they deserve.”

  • Study Workout

    Students can now bicycle and study simultaneously, thanks to the introduction of FitDesk Bike Desks at libraries across campus. The adjustable units include an attached desk space, a water bottle holder and a computer to track the time, distance and calories burned during each session.
  • Howdy, Miss Rev!

    Reveille IX was named the best dog mascot in the nation by the NCAA. The ranking noted her celebrity status as the highest-ranking member of the Corps of Cadets and her unique ability to end class by barking.
  • Return on Investment

    Texas A&M University placed No. 18 in a Forbes magazine national ranking of highest-earning graduates among public schools, showing a high return on investment for students.
  • School Supplies

    As part of its mission to help South Texas communities, the Colonias Program in the College of Architecture provided more than 1,400 students with free school supplies last fall.

Dunae Reader '15

Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications/Spirit Editor/Maroon Co-Editor