Four Retired Professors Receive Emeritus Status for Continued Service to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

Published: February 27, 2015

Four Retired Professors Receive Emeritus Status for Continued Service to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents recently approved emeritus status for four long-time faculty members at the Island University.

In recognition of long and distinguished service to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, the Board of Regents conferred emeritus status on the following:

  • Dr. David McKee, retired Professor of Marine Biology: McKee worked at the University since 1987, and in that time has left a lasting impression on the Department of Life Sciences. McKee helped develop the current Fisheries and Mariculture Master’s program and implement the annual assessment of Oso Bay, which still occurs each year. He has also successfully acquired approximately $2 million in external funding to support student research. The author of two books, McKee is currently working on another book about the history of recreational fisheries in the Laguna Madre.
  • Dr. William “Bill” Huie, retired Chair for the Department of Communication and Media: Serving as a faculty member from 1974-2011, Huie was instrumental to the development of four-year programs in communication, TV film, music, art, and theatre at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. He dedicated more than 20 years of service to the department through his service as the President of the University Film and Video Association and the University Film Foundation. Not only did Huie have an impact on the University but he also collaborated with the local community to bring independent film screenings to the area.
  • Dr. John “Wes” Tunnell, Associate Director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies and Endowed Chair for Biodiversity and Conservation Science: During his many years of service, Tunnell founded the University’s first research center, the Center for Coastal Studies, which has brought in more than $25 million in research grants. Tunnell, who has always been dedicated to student learning, advised or co-advised 63 Master’s, six Ph.D., and four Post-doctoral students during his time at the University. He has also developed and taught 18 courses at the undergraduate and graduate level, including an annual field trip to study the coral reefs in Mexico.
  • Dr. Robert Bezdek, retired Professor of Political Science: Bezdek, who was a key figure in the development of the Political Science Program at the Island University, served as a faculty member from 1973-2010. His leadership led to the successful development of the program during the transition of the University from Corpus Christi State University to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. A Texas A&M University System Regents Professor, Bezdek also served as a valued political analyst for the community.

Since 1994, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi has awarded emeritus status to distinguished former faculty members and administrators in recognition of significant contributions to the University. Many emeritus faculty members and administrators continue to serve the University during their retirement.