Island University Hosts Largest Summer Commencement to Date, More than 570 Students Graduate

Published: August 05, 2017

Island University Hosts Largest Summer Commencement to Date, More than 570 Students Graduate

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Students from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s five colleges walked the stage during the summer 2017 commencement ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 5, at the American Bank Center. With 579 students graduating, this was the Island University’s largest summer commencement ceremony to date.

“Each of you have made, and will continue to make, a great impact on our community,” said Dr. Kelly Quintanilla, Interim President and CEO of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, to the graduating class.

The commencement speaker was Nick Jimenez, Editorial Page Editor Emeritus of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and proud Islander alumnus. Jimenez spoke to the students about the virtues of empathy, tolerance, humility, respecting the truth and having a passion for your work.

“The true value of your college education is being able to determine what the truth is, and then use reasoning to have your voice be heard,” said Jimenez.

After the ceremony, students including Myra Marshall-Mixco, gathered outside the American Bank Center with their families for photos and celebration.

“I’m the first one in my family to receive such an advanced degree and that’s a huge honor,” said Marshall-Mixco, who earned a Master of Science in Nursing Leadership.

Other students leave behind a University that allowed them to create lifelong memories.

“My best memory is the time I spent as an Islander Ambassador and orientation leader,” said Bryan Colon, who received a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. “I was able to create all types of networks and get involved with the school. It made me fall even more in love with the Island University.”

Kristen Veit earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and is excited for the next chapter in her life.

“Life at the Island University was great for those late night studying sessions, to focus, to pay attention and succeed,” said Veit. “I really loved my time as a student videographer on campus, getting to know my fellow students, attending great events, and sharing their stories through my job.”

The graduates included two “Outstanding Graduates,” chosen by the deans of their respective colleges.

Stephanie Parlamas: Stephanie Parlamas is the sixth person in her immediate family to graduate with a degree from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Receiving a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Parlamas also joined the ranks of Commissioned Officer in the United States Army. Having been awarded a full-ride scholarship from ROTC, Parlamas says her experience at the Island University was nothing less than superb. From thought-provoking class lectures to lessons in discipline and leadership in ROTC, Parlamas experienced a practical and conducive learning environment that provided her with knowledge she will be able to use in her future. She plans to eventually pursue an MBA at the Island University. To read more about Parlamas, click here.

James Tallman: A seasoned researcher, scholarship recipient, published author and mentor, James Tallman graduated with a Master of Science in Marine Biology and will be moving on into the Molecular Virology and Microbiology Ph.D. program at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Tallman’s thesis work consisted of DNA sequencing technology and bioinformatics to detect antibiotic resistance genes indicative of antibiotic resistant bacteria in four marine bodies of water along the Texas coast. He did this by analyzing the stomach content of oysters. Tallman contributes his success at the Island University to a core group of dedicated faculty who nurtured his research and education. To read more about Tallman, click here.

To watch a video of the ceremony, visit