Discover Your Island

More than 2,400 Island University Students Participate in First-Year Symposium

December 07, 2017

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – With the fall semester coming to a close and finals drawing near, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s first-year students participated in the First-Year Learning Communities Program’s (FYLCP) First-Year Symposium on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, in the University Center ballrooms. More than 2,400 first-year students presented their research via poster or PowerPoint presentation, answered questions and discussed their findings with interested attendees.

“The First-Year Symposium provides our first-year students the opportunity to have a real audience for their work and to demonstrate their knowledge in a public forum,” said Dr. Rita Sperry, Professional Associate Professor and FYLCP Coordinator. “It’s a formal welcome into the world of academic research and is a wonderful way to celebrate the culmination of their first semester as Islanders.”

With topics ranging from video game development to the use of music to treat Alzheimer’s patients, the symposium was abuzz with students who waited to present their work.

“I like presenting our work because I’m getting to show people that computer science isn’t just boring coding, it can be fun,” said Abrar Ahmad, a freshman computer science major with a concentration in game programming.

The goal of the FYLCP is helping students develop habits that will make them successful in their first year of college. The FYLCP also recently added separate learning communities for engineering and music majors, which link two major-related courses to the First-Year Seminar.

“I’m extremely proud of our first-year students and faculty in the FYLCP across the colleges,” said Dr. Melissa Jarrell, Chair of the Department of Undergraduate Studies (DUGS). “It’s clear that our students are learning and thriving in a wonderfully collaborative and caring environment at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.”

This past year, the FYLCP found a new home under DUGS, a department that is dedicated to serving all undergraduate students and assisting them with building relationships with other students, faculty, staff and becoming familiar with campus resources.

“My learning community has impacted me by helping me to love my major and to know more about the College of Nursing and Health Sciences,” said Yuvia Lopez, a first-year nursing major who presented her project on music therapy for Alzheimer’s patients. “I’ve met a ton of awesome friends and it’s cool that we are all nursing majors who are in all of the same classes.”

The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi FYLCP is a nationally-recognized program that helps students make successful academic and social transitions from high school to University. The program has been awarded a Texas Higher Education Star Award by the Texas Higher Education Board.