Corpus Christi, TX,
23:34 PM

QUICK TAKES - June 2021


During the June regular monthly meeting, the Board of Regents recognized two individuals for their appointments and accomplishments, including Graciela Martinez and Augustin River, Jr.

Gracie Martinez_cropped

Graciela “Gracie” Martinez, Dean of Student Outreach and Enrollment Services, has been appointed to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Texas Transfer Advisory Committee, which is charged with overseeing the new transfer policy framework and advising the Commissioner and the Board on various transfer rules, including oversight of the Field of Study Curricula; recommendations of the Core Curriculum courses and transfer pathways; reviewing and making recommendations to optimize the transferability of credits and increase transfer students’ success within majors; monitoring curricular changes at general academic teaching institutions and student course enrollment patterns; and recommendations regarding the timing and structure of transfer policy-related agency surveys and data collection from institutions of higher education. The TTAC is comprised of 24 members, who serve up to three years, with equal representation from community colleges and general academic teaching institutions.


Augustin Rivera Jr

Augustin Rivera, Jr., Del Mar College District General Counsel, was nominated and elected to the Board of Directors of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) for a three-year term. The At-Large Class that was elected last month will serve through May 2024. Rivera is the only Board member representing a community college from across the nation. With 4,000 members, the NACUA is committed to practicing and promoting the core values of quality, service, civility, collegiality, diversity, inclusiveness and respect. The association’s mission is to advance the effective practice of higher education attorneys for the benefit of the colleges and universities they serve and is organized to provide assistance to higher education attorneys in representing their institutional clients. Congratulations, General Counsel Rivera!


In addition to Board of Regents Recognitions, the following departmental student and faculty accomplishments during the last year were included in the June Board packets as “Accolades.”

Department of Allied Health
• Dr. Sharon Dunnivan-Mitchell, Program Director and Assistant Professor of Physical Therapist Assistant, co-authored an article published in the Journal of Service-Learning in Higher Education. The article, titled “Pre-Departure Training Is Essential For Preparing Healthcare Teams For Service-Learning To Resource-Limited Countries,” concludes that pre-departure training prepares healthcare providers for international service, enhances emotional intelligence, improves interprofessional collaboration and promotes more continuously sustainable services.

Department of Communications, Languages and Reading
• Sarah Contreras, Professor of Speech, received the Collie-Taylor Award for the College’s region of the Phi Rho Pi National Forensics Organization. The Collie-Taylor Award is given to the outstanding coach at the National Tournament with students attending this event voting for the award recipient.

Department of Mathematics
• During the Summer 2020, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters, Mathematics Professor Nader Yassin sent one of his Math-Engineering students, Juan Zambrano, to participate in paid research with the Industrial Engineering Department at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, which included REFLEXME Virtual SRI and a $555 stipend per week. Zambrano was accepted into the university’s BSIE Program with a paid research opportunity that covers all expenses for a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering.

• Additionally, during the Summer 2020 semester, two of Professor Yassin’s Engineering students in ENGR 1201 were involved with an Aeronautical Research project with NASA. They conducted a small rocket launch and documented measurements to write a report about the project.

Department of Music
• Last semester, the Atlantic Harp Duo recorded and released an album that included a composition by Associate Professor of Composition and Theory Dr. Roger Petersen, Naxos and Journey with Dia. The album is called Ariadne Rediviva. Learn more about the album by visiting their web page at

Professor of Music and Pianist Dr. David Sutanto performed Cesar Franck’s “Symphonic Variations for Piano and Orchestra” as a soloist with the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra on March 13, 2021, at the Performing Arts Center on the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi campus.

• As part of the National Band Association’s (NBA) vision, Associate Professor of Concert Band Dr. Abel Saldivar Ramirez has been appointed to a national committee that will study wind band literature as it relates to present day issues of cultural and racial inclusion.

• This year, the South Texas Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) held their voice competition virtually on April 10, 2021. Two DMC Music students won in their respective categories. including Teresa Dehan, a student of Interim Chair of the Music Department and Professor of Music, Voice and Singer’s Theater Cynthia Longoria, winning fourth place and Samuel Benavidez, a student of Professor of Voice Dr. Raphael Rada, winning first place.

Clarinet student Joel Hernandez, who studies as a private student under Professor of Music Bill Lipman (clarinet and saxophone), was selected as a 2021 Del Mar College Hall of Fame inductee.

• Additionally, Joel Hernandez with the studio of Bill Lipman, along with Damien De La Cruz, who is with Associate Professor of Trombone and Low Brass Dr. Donald Pinson's studio, advanced to the 2021 Texas Community College Band Director’s Association Concerto Competition semi-final round. Finalists will be named very soon. During the competition, Del Mar College had more students participate than any other community college in the state. The Music Department is confident that both students, Hernandez and De La Cruz, will advance to the final round with a winner, or winners, to be named after the final competition.

Department of Social Sciences
• In April, The Washington Post published an article written by Associate Professor of History Dr. Dawson Barrett titled “Thirty years ago, Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ Rocked the Midwest.” His book, Punks in Peoria: Making a Scene in the American Heartland, is due to be published by the University of Illinois Press this month (June).

Professor of History Dr. Bryan Stone was named Del Mar College Teacher of the Year for 2020-2021 for the East Campus. He also published an encyclopedia entry: “Edgar Goldberg (1876–1937),” Handbook of Texas Online on the Texas State Historical Association’s website, which can be viewed by going to The entry was published in January 2021.

Dr. Erinn McComb, Associate Professor of History, published in the Yearbook of Transnational History a chapter titled “Pushbutton Masculinity, Democratic Manhood and Operation Paperclip’s Transnational Transfer of Rocket Technology.”

Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Teresa Klein published “Campus Carry and Community Colleges.” In P. Somers, & M. Valentine (eds.). Campus Carry: Confronting a Loaded Issue. Harvard Education Press. 2020. Additionally, Dr. Klein holds the following leadership positions:

  • Vice President for South Texas, Texas Conference of the American Association of University Professors,
  • Vice President for Finance, Texas Association of College Teachers,
  • Executive Committee Member, Sierra Club, Lonestar Chapter, which encompasses the entire state of Texas, and
  • Member of the Democratic National Committee’s Climate Council Committee.



About Del Mar College

Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.