2010 Fall Regular Meeting Minutes

Thanks to all who attended the meeting on 9/24.  I think we have an awesome group of people and an incredible brain trust to draw upon for advising the university.  I am excited about working with all of you.

Thanks to Dee for recording and submitting these minutes.  Please note that due to the absence of Dr. Loon, an alternate agenda was used (see the original agenda here).  Following are the minutes from the meeting.  Anything on the original agenda that was not addressed at this meeting will be at a future time.

We will NOT read the minutes at the meeting, but will have time for changes and discussion at the meeting if needed.  In the interest of time, please post  any changes or additions to the minutes in the comment form below (be sure to login first), in advance of the meeting.


TAMU-CC Academic Advising Committee Agenda

September 24, 2010 12:30 pm, Conrad Blucher Institute conference room

Committee Members in Attendance

  • William Bernsen, Chair
  • Jeff Myerson, Vice Chair
  • Noela Garza
  • Ken Gold
  • Brian Autio
  • Tim Alford
  • Brandi Kolenovski
  • Mike Beavers
  • Jack Avis
  • Dan Stone
  • Michael Ouimet
  • Sterling Harris

Guests in Attendance

  • Dr. Stacey Lyle
  • Dr. Gary Jeffress, left early
  • Dr. Lucy Huang
  • Richard Smith
  • Dr. Peter Kuntu-Mensah
  • Joe Califa, President of GISSO
  • Wesley Gaertner, Vice President of GISSO
  • Dr. John Fernandez, Chair of CSI, left early
  • Christine Allman, ABET Coordinator


  • Sheila Steffenson with notice
  • Davey Edwards with notice
  • Keith McNease with notice
  • Joanna Sanchez with notice
  • Dr. Joseph Loon with notice

Welcome/Introductions/Call to Order

Meeting called to order at 12:50 following Introductions, lead by Dr. Stacey Lyle.


The AAC Website is up and Billy said he would give a demonstration at the end of the formal meeting.  He encouraged everyone to register at the site, to stay in touch, give suggestions, or make general comments through the web.

Reading of Minutes from previous meeting

Minutes had been sent out for review.  Noela Garza made motion to approve minutes, second by Jeff Myerson.  Minutes approved.

GISSO Report

Joe Califa is the new president and Wesley Gaertner is the Vice President of the student organization.  Currently there are 22 members.  Future plans are to hold an SIT prep course on October 9, 2010, attend the annual TSPS meeting where 15 students will be manning a booth for the GISC/GSEN program, and participate in GIS day in November which will be held on our campus in November.

Mr. Califa had brought questions from students to the board concerning the new 5 year plan and when it would start and what it would entail.  Dr. Lyle answered by stating the plan is explained in the Fall 2010 catalog and is now currently in place and available to students.

A question was also asked about scheduling where there are some conflicts with the core courses.  Noela Garza explained that all students need to make sure they have a 4 year degree plan set up before classes begin.  Dee Edgar also explained that when we set up courses we must follow the block schedule as determined by the University.  All students are required to take core courses and the program tries to best of our ability to avoid conflict but acknowledges that we will probably always have one or two courses that will conflict with the core due to time block scheduling.  Dr. Lyle also assured students that we have made every effort to avoid conflict problems and try to work individually with students as these conflicts occur.

Discussion was held on how to get GISSO more involved in the program itself.  Several felt by letting the GISSO President know well ahead of meeting dates it would allow GISSO more time to pose questions and to receive answers.

Report and Action Items from Early Meeting

  • Approval of bylaws amendments, Sec 2.05 and Sec. 2.06

The floor was open for discussion concerning the changes proposed to bylaw amendments, Sec 2.05 and Sec. 206.  Jeff Myerson moved to approve changes to the two bylaws, Ken Gold 2nd the motion, amendments to bylaws were passed.

Ken Gold suggested changes to the member reappointment procedures.  Mr. Gold was appointed by Billy Bernsen to send suggestions to him and they would handle these proposed procedural changes at the next meeting.

Unfinished Business

  • Invite Members from Professional Associations

Billy Bernsen reminded all that in the past there was discussion about inviting others from various professional associations to be a part of the AAC Board.  The committee currently stands at 15 persons with several new members who now cover the areas of GIS where the Board was weak in the past.  The question was raised if the Board still felt the need to add additional members.  All Board members felt this idea should be tabled until a later date when this issue may be readdressed.

  • Election of new Vice Chairperson

Nominations were taken for a new Vice Chairperson.  Brandi Kolenovski was nominated by Noela Garza.  Ken Gold moved nominations closed.  Discussion was called for with no reply.  Brandi was voted as Vice Chair by acclamation.

Agenda Items

  • Request demonstration of course curriculum on boundary reconstruction, baseline surveying and construction surveying?

Lengthy discussion was held on this issue.  Dr. Lyle addressed this by suggesting that the board members might like to see student portfolios, labs, tests, etc. showing how this is being included in our courses.  Also discussion was held on adding to the request the showing of ethical and technical standards as a side issue. All board members were encouraged to read the syllabi that are now posted on the web and Billy demonstrated where those syllabi are found.  This will give each member of the Board a broader idea of what is taught.  If any questions or concerns are found, members were encouraged to post them on the AAC website or contact the professor directly.  Once these are reviewed, further discussion can be held at the Spring meeting if necessary.
ACTION:  In Spring 2011, or at the earliest convenience thereafter, the GISC faculty and selected students will present an hour long presentation on how this is covered in classes to the AAC Board.  Internship students should be included in this process as well.

  • University Update

Dr. Lyle reported that the University now has over 10,000 students.  There is currently going to be a new school of Computing and Engineering Sciences (the name is still not set) and that Dr. L. D. Chen will become the Dean for that school.  The GISC/GSEN programs will fall under this school.   Dr. Lyle continued to give an overview of the future of the University including the new expansions on the land donated.

  • Enrollment Update/Endowment Info

Dee Edgar gave enrollment as 56 undergrads, 11 new Master’s students and a total of 22 in the Master’s program.  We have had approximately a 10% drop in Freshmen as reported by Dr. Lyle and nationally enrollment is down in many universities offering a similar program.  He went on to say that he has received a USDA grant that will allow five “full ride” scholarships over the next five years for students.  Blucher also has $20,000 in scholarship monies given with preference to freshmen, the Ball scholarship, Mary Catherine Lowe and Josh Mazurek scholarships, designated tuition monies, industry and TGIF scholarships.

At this point Rick Smith, who is currently in charge of recruitment, took time to explain the plans he has for this year’s recruitment.  He will be working with a group of volunteer students in going to local and area high schools to introduce GIS to the students.  Along with hosting over 600 students for GIS Day in November they will be actively recruiting Island Days, seeing high school counselors, and even utilizing some of Dr. Lyle’s USDA grant monies to travel to various events around the State for recruitment purposes.  Dr. Lyle and Mr. Smith will also be teaching a special topics class that will take students to Costa Rica for 10 days of work with the A&M Campus located there and recruitment brochures will be taken.

  • Current and Future Catalog

There will be no major changes at this time in the Undergrad catalog since most of the significant changes have all ready been made in the last few years.  Faculty is still working on the graduate catalog but no major changes in courses will probably be made;  just a few changes in when we offer which courses to allow students to begin in Spring as well as Fall.  Any other changes will be made as needed.

  • Adjuncts/Professionals

Questions were raised as to how many professional adjuncts the program was employing this semester and in Spring.  Dr. Lyle replied that currently we have no adjuncts due to the fact that there is no need in the Fall session for such.  However, in the Spring, Jamie Pyle, a licensed professional and Donald Mulcare, a former State of Texas Geodetic Advisor will be teaching for us.  The Board recommended strongly that we utilize as many as possible from the professional fields.

ACTION:  Faculty should discuss, at their next meeting, the use of professionals as Guest Lecturers in their classes.  A series of topics should be developed to determine where outside professionals can help teach.

New Business

  • Individual Committee Member Advisement/Other Recommendations

Richard Smith asked members who have special interest in GIS if they feel the program is doing what they think is necessary to prepare our students  for the workforce; are we on the right track?  A lengthy discussion was held on the content of the GIS classes that are taught.  It was stressed that we continue on the present course and utilize technologies that are for the GIS field.  Overwhelmingly, all members agreed that indeed the program is heading in the right direction.

Final thoughts and comments

Jeff Myerson was recognized for his work on the Academic Advising Board.  He is resigning after this meeting after serving for many years as a loyal supporter of the GISC/GSEN program here at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.  Thanks were given by all attendees.

Next Meeting.

Billy Bernsen will determine the next best available date for meeting and he will coordinate meeting with Dee Edgar.


Noela Garza motioned for meeting to adjourn, seconded by Ken Gold.  Meeting was adjourned at 3:05 for those who needed to leave but demo of the AAC website was done by Billy Bernsen for a few minutes afterward.


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  2. These minutes will not be read at the meeting.  In the interest of time, please review in advance and make comments here, or email the chair.  You may also propose changes to the minutes at the meeting, but to save time, we will not be reading them.

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