Two University Professors Among Corpus Christi ‘40-Under-40’ Honorees, 'Person of the Year'

Published: January 22, 2013

Two University Professors Among  Corpus Christi ‘40-Under-40’ Honorees, 'Person of the Year'

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Two Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi professors have been recognized by Corpus Christi Under 40 (CCU40) for contributions in their professional fields and through service in the community.

Dr. Magesh Thiyagarajan, Assistant Professor of Engineering, and Dr. Isabel Araiza, Associate Professor of Sociology, are among 40 young professionals under the age of 40 to be chosen for the award. Thiyagarajan was also named “Person of the Year.” The recipients were recognized during the Mayor’s breakfast today at the Omni Bayfront Hotel.

Dr. Magesh Thiyagarajan, Assistant Professor of Engineering

As Director of the Plasma Engineering Research Lab, Dr. Thiyagarajan directs an interdisciplinary research team comprised of research scientists, post-doctoral research associates, graduate and undergraduate students on projects ranging from laser induced plasmas and optical diagnostics, materials processing to cold plasma induced cancer treatment and cold plasma induced enhanced wound healing and bacterial sterilization for food safety. These research projects will have a direct impact on the betterment of the society, particularly Corpus Christi. He serves in several regional and statewide organizations including Gov. Rick Perry’s Emerging Technology Fund, NASA Texas Space Grant Consortium, South Texas Engineering Alliance Consortium, and the Del Mar College Engineering Advisory Board.

 Dr. Isabel Araiza, Associate Professor of Sociology

A native of Corpus Christi, Araiza graduated from Mary Carroll High School in 1991 and, four years later, received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. After earning her Ph.D. in Sociology from Boston College, she returned to the Island University where she teaches sociology and mentors a wide-range of students, including McNair Scholars. She has served on the boards of local non-profit organizations such as the South Texas Colonia Initiative and the Institute for Interfaith Dialog and is a member of Corpus Christi ISD Student Health Advisory Committee. Most recently, she worked with Head Start to secure funding for a STEM program. 


Texas A&M-Corpus Christi alumni earning the prestigious award were College of Business graduates Matthew Ezell, Gregory Freeman, Michelle E. Ramirez, and Colette Rye; College of Education graduates Leslie Balerio, and Adam Farrell; College of Liberal Arts graduates Lindy Burns, Marco Castillo, Krystal Houck, and Barbi Leo; and College of Science and Engineering graduate Marco Longoria.

Other Recipients

            Other community members being recognized by CCU40 are Isabel Barrera, Bart Bedsole, Victor Banancourt, Logan Burton, Marco Castillo, Derek Chang, Christopher Dunn, Adam Farrell, Rebecca Garcia, Shelly Hulse, Jeff Lehrman,  Bryan Mayhood, Gary Moore, Shana Moreno, Nicole Morin, Fonzie Munoz, Alissa Pena, Samantha Person, Chad Peters, Lindsey Pietsch, Sara Poe, Laura Rogers, Valerie Russell, Luciano Salazar, Stefany Schade, Maurice Smith, John H. Stearns, Eric Villarreal, and Michael Zamora.