Discover Your Island


Past Speakers

 Speakers for the 2015

Dr. David Blanke portrait

Dr. David Blanke will be our keynote speaker. Dr. Blanke is a Professor of History in the Department of Humanities within the College of Liberal Arts. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in his areas of specialization, including U.S. history, the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, and Modern Popular Culture. Dr. Blanke has published four scholarly books and dozens of articles and reviews. His research examines the role of culture in modern American life, including consumerism, automobile safety, and commercial film. His latest study examines the career of Cecil B. DeMille, a noted and long-standing American film director. Dr. Blanke has taught in the First-Year Program every year since arriving at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in 2001. When not teaching or working on his research, Dr. Blanke enjoys bicycling, listening to new music, watching films, and spending time with family and friends.

Mairin Cahill will be our student speaker. Mairin is a Sophomore at TAMU-CC and is a member of the Honors College and the Inclusive Islander Network. She is a student athlete in Cross Country and Track and Field and is majoring in Political Science. In the future, she hopes to work for the State Department and continue developing her Chinese Language skills. As a native of Dodgeville, WI, she embraces community involvement and service, and grew up farming and showing livestock in 4-H and FFA.  Volunteerism is an important part of her life, as she finds it supports an accepting and thriving community.

 Speakers for the 2014  

Dr. David Blanke portrait

Dr. Michelle M. Maresh-Fuehrer is an Assistant Professor of Communication in the School of Arts, Media, and Communication.  She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in crisis communication, public relations, research methods, instructional communication, and communication theory.  She recently authored a book on crisis communication, titled Creating Organizational Crisis Plans.  She enjoys working with students in various capacities, such as serving as the Faculty Advisor of the COMM Club and Lambda Pi Eta student organizations and being a mentor to students in the McNair Scholars Program.  She has been honored with the ELITE Outstanding Faculty Member Award, the Texas A&M System Student Recognition Award for Teaching Excellence, the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Young Alumnus Award and Distinguished Alumnus Award for the College of Liberal Arts, as well as the Corpus Christi Under 40 Award.  In addition to her teaching and research, Dr. Maresh-Fuehrer enjoys spending time with her family, teaching dance classes, and volunteering her time to various service projects and organizations.

James ‘Gus’ Ladwig is a sophomore studying Geographic Information Systems (GIS) here at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. After graduation, he plans to have a career in this highly rewarding field, using his knowledge of computers and GIS to his advantage. As a dedicated and involved Islander, he serves prospective and incoming students as an Orientation Leader and an Aloha Days staff member. Also, he works on GIS research under the guidance of Dr. Philippe Tissot, referees Intramural sports at the Dugan Wellness Center, and serves as an officer for Islander Catholic. In his spare time, Gus enjoys listening to music, reading, computer gaming, spending time with family and friends, and going to movies and Broadway shows.


 Speakers for the 2013  

Leigh Shaver is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.  She works with undergraduate nursing students primarily in the Women’s and Neonatal Services areas of their clinical education.  She also teaches in Health Assessment, Fundamentals of Nursing Care and Nursing Care of the Community Health Client courses.  She is leads College activities that reach out to pre-nursing students, like the Meet & Greet held each semester in Island Hall, and the College Homecoming Float.  She serves as the College representative to the University Honors Council, working closely with CONHS students in the Honors Program.  She received the Honors Program Service Award of 2011-12, has been featured as an Outstanding Islander and was nominated for the CASE Professor Award.  She served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in St. Lucia, Eastern Caribbean, has worked on the Navajo Reservation, and has two internationally adopted daughters.  

Armando Guerrero is a sophomore at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi where he is currently pursuing an English degree. Upon receiving his degree, he plans to attend law school and then practice law for several years before entering politics. Serving as a proud Islander in his role as an Orientation Leader for New Student Programs, he works with prospective and incoming first-year students. In addition, he is a member of the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Honors Program. Outside of the university, he continues to practice his leadership skills as a church youth group leader and a participant in many community service activities. When time permits, Armando enjoys exercising, playing guitar, spending time with family and friends, listening to music, and reading.