Posted: 5/09/22

New TAMIU Partnership Takes Students to Sea with Texas A&M University-Galveston 



Thanks to a new partnership affirmed Monday, May 9, 2022, students at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU), may find that a future classroom comes with waves, an assortment of sea life and an abundance of fresh sea air.

That’s because TAMIU has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with The Texas A&M University branch campus, Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMU-Galveston), and the Texas A&M University Maritime Academy (TAMMA).  The agreement makes it possible for TAMIU students to join in high-impact student experiences, including internship, learning and research opportunities at sea. 

Joining TAMIU president Dr. Pablo Arenaz at the partnership announcement were congressman Henry Cuellar and A&M System Chancellor John Sharp.  Texas A&M University at Galveston chief operating officer and Texas A&M Maritime Academy superintendent, Col. Michael E. Fossum was unable to attend.

Chancellor Sharp was effusive in his comments about the new partnership.

“This partnership not only provides fantastic opportunities for students in Laredo, but the research they do with Texas A&M Galveston will benefit us all,” Sharp confirmed.

Cong. Cuellar, who helped champion critical support from the U.S. Department of Transportation for TAMMA and its training ship, echoed Chancellor Sharp.

“The TAMIU partnership with TAMU-Galveston affords Laredo area students with the opportunity to access maritime internships, research opportunities, and additional educational experiences at the Texas A&M Maritime Academy (TAMMA). As the only marine academy on the Gulf of Mexico, this program is a unique opportunity for students to learn skills for protecting our economic and security interests at sea—that is why I secured $390 million in federal funding for the third and fourth ships that will be used in this educational partnership,” said Congressman Cuellar, “As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, and an advocate of education, I will continue to prioritize the funding of projects and ventures that benefit students with cutting edge technology and resources in south Texas.”

The 524-foot state-of-the-art ship represents a significant investment by the federal government in supporting the future of the maritime industry and future merchant mariners in Texas. The NSMVs are designated as State-class vessels and each are named for the State in which a State maritime academy operates.   The Lone Star State is expected to arrive on the Galveston campus in 2025.  The ship is the fourth in a new class series of vessels specifically designed to support both maritime training needs and disaster response capabilities.

Colonel Fossum said the opportunity to partner with TAMIU is a distinct advantage for TAMU-Galveston.

“We are eager to partner with TAMIU and its students and help them to realize unparalleled internship, learning and research experiences onsite and onboard.  Expanding opportunities for all students is mission critical for us,” Fossum explained.

TAMIU president Arenaz said that as a scientist himself, he can’t underscore the rich opportunity this represents for TAMIU students.

“As a biologist, I know the importance of being able to conduct field research.  You can’t get a better ‘field’ than the vastness of the oceans and the ability to learn and research in a vessel dedicated to this.  It’s terrific to be able to extend this opportunity to our students and to enable our science offerings to grow in such a rich and relevant way. I’m deeply appreciative to Chancellor Sharp, Congressman Cuellar and Colonel Fossum for their partnership and support of this bold, new initiative for TAMIU and TAMU-Galveston,” Dr. Arenaz observed.

TAMMA is one of only six state maritime academies in the United States designated by the United States Maritime Administration and is administered by TAMU-Galveston. Additional opportunities the partnership makes possible include coordination of academic programs or support, field trips and the mobilization of campus resources to enrich and promote student success and learning.

Texas A&M University at Galveston is an ocean-oriented branch campus of Texas A&M University which educates nearly 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students in a unique blend of marine and maritime programs, including majors in science, business, engineering, liberal arts, and transportation. It is driving the development of the blue economy in the Gulf Coast Region and is a critical contributor to Texas A&M’s sea-grant portion of Texas A&M’s rare land-, sea-, space-grant mission with nearly $10 million in research expenditures.

It is also home to TAMMA, the only academy integrated into a Tier 1 academic institution, which trains over 400 cadets annually for maritime service and employment around the world. Texas A&M-Galveston is ideally located in Galveston, TX on the Gulf Coast where is it surrounded by the industry, environment and programs essential to fulfilling its special-purpose mission. Aggies are known for their deep commitment to the success of each other and their strong desire to serve. For more, visit https://www.tamug.edu 

A Member of The Texas A&M University System, Texas A&M International University is a primarily Hispanic-serving, State-assisted university founded in 1970. Its 300-acre campus is located in northeast Laredo on former ranchland. 

The campus is home to a diverse enrollment of over 8,400 students from 31 countries and 28 US states. TAMIU offers transformative undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees in the arts and sciences, business, education and nursing. As its name affirms, the University maintains a special focus on developing an international academic agenda for the State of Texas. The University’s 31,000+ graduates lead lives of change and impact around the world. For more, visit https://www.tamiu.edu/

Additional University information is available on its social channels on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.


Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) president Dr.  Pablo Arenaz joins The Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp and Congressman Henry Cuellar in celebrating a new partnership with Texas A&M University – Galveston that will bring TAMIU students new internship, learning and research opportunities at sea.