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Photograph By PAUL CHOUY

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Chapter of the American Marketing Association recently earned awards at the AMA shown here with their awards from the AMA annual competition in New Orleans. Featured, from left, are Eric Rodríguez, Saydahli Mejía, Julio Salinas, Óscar Ramos, David Pérez, Fabiola Cortés, Fuad Chagollán, Jolene Arellano, Martín Nievez, Ángela López, Albert Adame and Alexandra García. The AMA Collegiate Case Competition is an annual, international contest open to undergraduate teams at schools that have an affiliated AMA Collegiate Chapter. The purpose of the competition is to provide AMA Collegiate members an opportunity to work together on a problem that illustrates a real marketing situation, and to provide competition sponsors direct contact with marketing students who have possible real-world solutions to a marketing problem.

Photograph By PAUL CHOUY

Where and when concealed handguns may be carried at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, allowing Doctors Hospital at Renaissance to use trademarks of UTRGV’s School of Medicine, and creating a new Ph.D program to take advantage of the coming creation of the SpaceX launch site are among key items that will be taken up on Wednesday, May 11 and Thursday, May 12, 2016, by the UT System Board of Regents, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The EEDC, along with the City of Edinburg, promote the best interests of UTRGV and the UTRGV School of Medicine through its extensive legislative lobbying efforts before the UT System Board of Regents, the Texas Legislature, and Congress.


Concealed handguns at UTRGV, trademark agreement with Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, and new Ph.D program tied to SpaceX set for action this week by UT System Board of Regents

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Where and when concealed handguns may be carried at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, allowing Doctors Hospital at Renaissance to use trademarks of UTRGV’s School of Medicine, and creating a new Ph.D program to take advantage of the coming construction of the SpaceX launch site in the Valley are among key items that will be taken up on Wednesday, May 11 and Thursday, May 12, 2016, by the UT System Board of Regents, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced.

The EEDC, along with the City of Edinburg, promote the best interests of UTRGV and the UTRGV School of Medicine through its extensive legislative lobbying efforts before the UT System Board of Regents, the Texas Legislature, and Congress.

The EEDC, of which Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council.

The EEDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mark Iglesias as President, Harvey Rodríguez as Vice President, Ellie M. Torres as Secretary/Treasurer, and Mayor Richard García and Richard Ruppert as Members.

Richard García and Agustín García, Jr. are not related.

Those and dozens of other major issues facing the UT System campuses statewide are part of the regent’s regularly scheduled meeting, which will be held on the ninth floor of Ashbel Smith Hall, 201 W. 7th Street in Austin.

The agenda book and links to the live webcast for the meeting are posted online. The meeting will be live tweeted from @utsystem.


According to the House Research Organization, which is the research arm of the Texas House of Representatives, Senate Bill 11, approved in early June 2015 by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Gregg Abbott, allows concealed handgun license holders to carry concealed handguns onto the campuses of public higher education institutions or private or independent higher education institutions.

That legislation and resulting law became known as “campus carry” by lawmakers and in the news media.

Senate Bill 11, as passed by the 2015 Texas legislature, requires universities to create rules allowing for the carrying of handguns by individuals who are licensed by the Texas Department of Public Safety to carry a concealed handgun within Texas.

As of December 31, 2014, there were 825,957 individuals licensed to carry a concealed handgun in Texas, according to the DPS

Also according to the DPS, that state police agency evaluates the eligibility of applicants through criminal history background checks and monitors those currently licensed to ensure their continued eligibility. DPS also trains and certifies instructors who teach the required course to applicants.

The HRO bill analysis on SB 11 adds the following background on the new law:

After consulting with students, staff, and faculty, private or independent institutions may prohibit handguns on campus, including any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by the institution is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle owned by the institution.

Higher education institutions may establish rules for licensees carrying concealed handguns on campus after such consultations, but these regulations may not generally prohibit or have the effect of generally prohibiting license holders from carrying concealed handguns on campus.

These provisions may be amended as necessary for campus safety and are required to give effective notice of any premises where license holders may not carry handguns.

Institutions also may establish rules concerning storage of handguns in campus dormitories or other residential facilities that are owned or leased and operated by the institution.

The regulations must be reviewed by the board or regents or other governing board of the institution, which may amend them.

The final regulations must be widely distributed to all students, staff, and faculty, including by posting them on the institution’s website.

Institutions must submit a biennial report to the Legislature that describes and explains the institution’s regulations for carrying concealed handguns on campus.

The summary of the “campus carry” issue that will be facing the nine-member UT System governing board on May 11 and 12, which includes attorney and McAllen Municipal Court Judge Ernest Aliseda, featured these highlights:

The bill created Texas Government Code Section 411.2013, which permits the university presidents to establish reasonable rules, regulations, or other provisions that may not generally prohibit or have the effect of generally prohibiting license holders from carrying a handgun on the institution’s campus.

Under (d-2) of Section 411.2031, the board of regents must review the provisions not later than the 90th day after the date the rules are established. The board of regents may only amend the provisions by a two-thirds vote of the full board.

Following board of regents’ review, each president and the chancellor will be responsible for formatting the rules and including the rules in their respective handbooks of operating procedures. The presidents and the chancellor are required by law to widely distribute the provisions to students, staff, and faculty.

The presidents of the UT System institutions submit each institution’s rules, regulations, and other provisions regarding the carrying of handguns by license holders on campus for review by the Board of Regents with the recommendation that the Board not amend the provisions in whole or in part.


Also on the regents’ agenda is a proposed Mutual Trademark License Agreement with Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, Ltd. in connection with the UTRGV School of Medicine’s residency and graduate medical education programs.

Medical residency training is required to practice as a physician in the United States, even for physicians who are fully licensed to practice medicine in other countries, according to AboutCareers. com (

While it is possible to obtain a medical license to practice medicine in the U.S. without completing a U.S. medical residency, it is much more difficult, and in some cases impossible, to become board certified by the American Board of Specialties without U.S. residency training, according to Andrea Clement Santiago, the health career expert or

“Being board ineligible significantly limits the practice opportunities available to a new physician, and impacts their ability to get hospital privileges for many potential employers,” Santiago noted. “Even if someone practiced medicine for many years in another country, it is a requirement of most medical facilities to complete a U.S. residency program before being granted privileges to practice there.”

Medical residency is a minimum of three years for primary care physicians and some other specialties, up to five years for some surgical specialties.

According to the UT System agenda summary:

This agreement would not involve any exchange of funds, but it would be effective for at least 10 years, beginning March 17, 2016, and would automatically renew for one-year terms unless otherwise terminated.

The UTRGV School of Medicine, which has a major presence in Edinburg, and DHR, Ltd., whose sprawling and growing hospital system is centered in Edinburg, have entered into a license agreement where UTRGV is the sponsoring institution for graduate medical education programs at DHR, which is a teaching hospital and major participating site for UTRGV’s residency programs.

This license agreement is part of the ongoing residency education collaboration between these institutions. Each party desires to allow the other to use its trademarks worldwide in connection only with the UTRGV residency programs.

During the term of this license agreement and subject to terms and conditions of the license agreement each party grants the other nontransferable, royalty-free, nonexclusive, revocable, limited license to use of their respective Marks.

“Trademark licensing can of course be valuable in many ways – both to the trademark owner and the licensee,” explains Timothy J. Kelly, a partner at Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto in New York, and specializes in trademark litigation, licensing and portfolio management.

“For example, from the trademark owner’s perspective, licensing can provide a way to increase revenue and brand presence without the need to increase capital,” Kelly illustrated (


Although the famous American phrase, “It isn’t rocket science”, is used to describe something that is easy to understand, UTRGV is proposing to add to its impressive academic coursework a new degree program that is, indeed, “rocket science”.

The UT System Board of Regents are scheduled to take action on the approval of preliminary authority for a Doctor of Philosophy in Physics, and university leaders are tying that program to the brainpower among faculty and students already in place in deep South Texas, according to UT System Chancellor William H. McRaven.

“While a strict needs analysis suggests that the supply of Ph.D.s in physics will be greater than the demand, the concentration of excellence in the area of gravitational wave physics and astronomy research in the UT Rio Grande Valley Department of Physics strongly suggests that a stand-alone Ph.D. program could quickly achieve national and international prominence,” McRaven states in his executive summary provided to the regents.

“The well-recognized departmental excellence, along with the close proximity to the SpaceX launch site, will provide unique opportunities to conduct doctoral research that are unavailable at other institutions. Such distinction will likely make graduates of the program highly competitive in both the academic and industry job markets,” he added.

Further, the core faculty within the department has extensive experience teaching and mentoring doctoral students in the cooperative Ph.D. program in physics with UT San Antonio and the cooperative Ph.D. program in physics with UT Arlington, the chancellor continues.

Once preliminary authority has been approved, UT Rio Grande Valley will submit the degree program for approval by the UT System Board of Regents and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Currently, there are four Ph.D programs offered at UTRGV, with two cooperative PH.D programs also available through the Valley-based campus.

Those post-doctoral programs are:

• Business Administration (Ph.D);
• Curriculum and Instruction (Ed.D);
• Educational Leadership (Ed.D); and
• Rehabilitation Counseling.

The two Cooperative Doctoral Programs are in Pharmacy (PharmD), offered with the University of Texas at Austin, and Physics (PhD), offered with the University of Texas at Arlington


Almost two years ago, on Monday, September 22, 2014, then-Gov. Rick Perry announced a combined investment of $9 million from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund and The UT System to create a powerful research and technology commercialization partnership that will create limitless possibilities for South Texas.

The governor spoke at a groundbreaking ceremony for SpaceX, a much-anticipated private space launch facility being built by business magnate and inventor Elon Musk at Boca Chica Beach near Brownsville.

“This announcement represents a huge step forward for our state and continues our nation’s proud legacy of scientific advancement,” Perry said. “It builds upon our pioneer heritage, our tradition of thinking bigger, dreaming bolder, and daring to do the impossible. SpaceX is the latest in a long line of forward-thinking companies that have made Texas home, and I couldn’t be prouder to help break ground on this revolutionary new facility.”

The launch and control facility presents extraordinary opportunities for the development of high-tech jobs for South Texas, both directly with SpaceX and with the associated commercial development it will draw to the Rio Grande Valley.

The importance of the study of physics to space flight is explained by the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a major university in the U.S. with more than 44,000 students.

In one of its popular online sections, “Ask the Van”, the university provides insights into physics, which is generally defined as the branch of science concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy. The subject matter of physics, distinguished from that of chemistry and biology, includes mechanics, heat, light and other radiation, sound, electricity, magnetism, and the structure of atoms.

According to “Ask the Van”:

In order to put a spaceship into space, NASA has to use lots and lots of physics. You can think of physics as “how things work.” When they launch a spacecraft or a satellite or anything, they have to understand a whole bunch about how things work, because if they don’t, their spacecraft could go the wrong way and not be able to come back, or it may never even get into space.

First, they have to figure out what the best way to launch something is in order for it to escape the Earth’s gravity and get into space. Then, if they want it to stay in orbit (like if it were a satellite), they have to use physics to figure out just how much fuel to fire off and which directions to do it in. Similarly, if they want to send a probe to another planet (say.. Jupiter), they have to use physics and astronomy (astronomy is sort of like the physics of the stars and planets) so that they would know where the planet will be and where and how to send the probe so that it will get there.

Once they’ve got what they want where they want it, they have to be able to get it back (if they want to). For that, they have to use physics to determine how to send it through the atmosphere so it won’t burn up, and how to bring it back to the ground in such a way that it won’t hit the ground so fast that it crashes. For instance, if they wanted to land a satellite in the Pacific ocean, they would have to do different things than if they wanted to land a shuttle on a runway in Texas… and that would take physics!


For The UT System, the arrival of SpaceX provides a platform for the establishment of STARGATE – the first research center of excellence for the new UT Rio Grande Valley.

STARGATE is a cooperative effort with SpaceX to develop and support commercialization of phased-array technology for satellite and space vehicle communication.

The STARGATE facility will be a radio frequency technology park located adjacent to the SpaceX launch site command center. SpaceX will assemble and launch their signature advanced rockets and spacecraft, with launches every month at the Boca Chica Beach site. When not being used for launches, SpaceX facilities will be used by student and faculty researchers at STARGATE for training, scientific research and technology development.

“This is more than a once-in-a-generation or once-in-a-lifetime moment; this is history in the making,” said then-UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, M.D. “The research partnerships we are establishing hold the promise to catapult the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley to the leading edge in the study of astrophysics. Our students and faculty will be assisting with space launches and exploration – that is a matchless experience that offers incredible possibilities for research.”

UTRGV’s Center for Advanced Radio Astronomy (CARA) will initially partner with SpaceX to create STARGATE. UTRGV’s world class teaching and research program in the Department of Physics and Astronomy was key to establishing the partnership.

Many UTRGV students who study astrophysics go on to graduate school at internationally-renowned programs after earning their degrees.

“Virtually overnight, STARGATE is establishing UTRGV as a leader in space exploration research, giving worldwide recognition to the new University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and it will have a tremendous impact on our faculty and especially our students,” said Fredrick A. Jenet, Ph.D., [1] the creator of the STARGATE project and the director of CARA.

Juliet V. García, Ph.D., Senior Advisor to the Chancellor for Community, National and Global Engagement, who also is former longtime President of The University of Texas at Brownsville, credits the work of visionary professors like Jenet who were originally recruited to UTB to establish the university as an international front-runner in astrophysics.

“Once in a great while, the planets align so that we might take a giant step forward. This is one of those moments,” García said. “Because of the good work of these visionaries, UTRGV is now poised to become a global leader in astrophysics, and our students will be positioned to lead the next generation of scientific research and explore the many opportunities related to the space industry.”

Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy concerned with the physical nature of stars and other celestial bodies, and the application of the laws and theories of physics to the interpretation of astronomical observations.

STARGATE comes at a momentous time with UTRGV.

“UTRGV will be focused on research, and STARGATE will provide a strong research anchor and a pipeline of researchers, innovators and leaders that will help UTRGV reach global status,” said UTRGV President Guy Bailey, Ph.D.

A total of $4.4 million from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, $4.6 million from the UT System and $500,000 from the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation will enable STARGATE researchers to develop the next generation of radio signal receiving and transmitting systems based on “phased-array” technology. This technology has the potential to be transformational in the commercial space and aviation sectors as well as in commercial communications markets. UT System’s contribution will primarily fund facilities and support infrastructure for the project.

In addition to laboratories for research and development, STARGATE also will be home to a focused business incubator that will help promote space exploration related businesses in the region.


Vicky Brito, Jenny LaCoste-Caputo, Letty Fernández, Timothy J. Kelly, and Andrea Clement Santiago contributed to this article. For more information on the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and the City of Edinburg, please log on to or to

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