The Amarillo Pioneer

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WTAMU Announces New Pipeline to Graduate Studies Program

"West Texas A&M University is partnering with Texas A&M University (TAMU) to broaden the graduate educational opportunities for students at WTAMU through a Pipeline to Graduate Studies program.

The University is currently home to 40 exceptional and highly competitive graduate programs, but thanks to the Pipeline to Graduate Studies, students will now have even greater opportunities to pursue a graduate education through a wider array of studies that may not be available at WTAMU. The Pipeline will offer extended opportunities in master’s and doctoral programs through Memorandum of Agreements (MOAs) between WTAMU and various schools and colleges at Texas A&M University in College Station.

The University’s population is represented by students from all around the world who come for WTAMU’s outstanding programs and faculty. After four years at the University, many consider the Texas Panhandle home and stay here to build a career and raise a family. Officials at WTAMU recognize this and acknowledge the need for students to continue their educational success at an advanced level and to help build a stronger Texas Panhandle economy.

“In many cases we provide our students with the high-quality graduate programs they seek,” Dr. Wade Shaffer, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said. “But by partnering with Texas A&M University, we can greatly expand the options for graduate studies available to our students.”

The Pipeline to Graduate Studies is designed to bolster and encourage a student to continue their education through extended opportunities in master’s and doctoral programs to reach desired career goals here in the Panhandle and beyond. 

“We want to give our students the very best avenue for success,” Dr. Angela Spaulding, vice president for research and compliance and dean of graduate studies, said. “The agreements between TAMU and WTAMU enhance collaboration and develop a mutually beneficial relationship that supports capacity for graduate study and are already paying dividends.”

WTAMU’s pipeline with the TAMU College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) guarantees admission to five WTAMU graduates into the DVM class who meet the admission requirements at the internationally competitive CVM. Nine WTAMU students were accepted for the 2017 class. Two WTAMU McNair Scholars, Liliana Vasquez and Joshua Castro, attended the TAMU College of Medicine fall recruiting event, Aggie Recruit Day, on Saturday, Oct. 21. This opportunity provides WTAMU students a chance to be introduced to the TAMU Medical Science graduate program and the TAMUS campus and facilities. This is at no cost to the WTAMU students and helps prepare them for medical school and associated careers.

Other WTAMU pipeline students, including Kryn McLain and Jenna Stewart, participated in the Public Service Institute in the Bush School of Government and Public Service Oct. 20-21. This opportunity, also at no cost to WTAMU students, prepares students for careers in government agencies, nonprofits, government contracting, think tanks and related fields. The Public Service Institute attracts the best and brightest student in Texas, including WTAMU student Jonathan Espinoza, recipient of the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship. 

Another example of a student benefit is connected to our graduate pipeline program with TAMU College of Engineering. WTAMU students have an opportunity to attend, at no cost, the TAMU College of Engineering summer research experience, where students conduct research projects that prepare them for research work at the doctoral level. Three WTAMU students participated in the summer 2017 research program—Melissa Chavez, Andy Pimentel and David Jacob Martinez. Pimentel and Martinez worked with TAMU professor Dr. Sevan Goenezen and conducted biomechanical materials research utilizing a digital image correlation system. Martinez was part of a team that designed a modular biometric data recording system for the Aggies Invent Competition. Chavez worked with TAMU professor Dr. Tanil Ozkan and was involved in additive manufacturing research and 3D print pharmaceuticals. She won honorable mention in the Tech Brief Contest with the exoskeletal mesh project and second place in the Aggies Invent Competition.

WTAMU currently has MOAs with TAMU’s Bush School of Government and Public Service, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Architecture, College of Engineering, College of Geosciences, College of Liberal Arts, College of Medicine, College of Science, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Mays Business School and the School of Public Health. Departments in each of these areas at TAMU will manage the graduate admissions, and WTAMU will play no role in the admission decisions.

Tracy Helbert, pipeline coordinator at WTAMU, will work with students interested in participating in the Pipeline to Graduate Studies program. Helbert will help students explore recruitment opportunities and initiatives to reach desired educational goals. Laura Seals in the WTAMU Office of National Competitive Scholarships will assist students in the preparation of pipeline admission materials.

For more information, contact Helbert at 806-651-2727 or"

-West Texas A&M University

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