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Outstanding Faculty Speaker Series

Learn more about our Outstanding Faculty that make Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi the destination for many students around the world. Nominate yourself or a colleague to be our next Outstanding Faculty Speaker.

Dr. Michael Ramirez - Outstanding Faculty Speaker

Meet Dr. Michael Ramirez

Dr. Michael Ramirez Outstanding Author PhotoMichael Ramirez is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi. He earned his PhD in sociology from the University of Georgia and has been at the Island University since 2008.

Dr. Ramirez' primary research interests center on the intersections of gender, race, and social class stratification embedded in cultural practices. The common thread in his diverse array of work is a focus on sociology of the everyday -- how individuals make sense of their social worlds and social selves in the context of everyday life, be it in the workplace, leisure pursuits, and private interactions.

His work has been published in Journal of Adolescent Research, Journal of Men’s Studies, Qualitative Sociology Review, and Symbolic Interaction. His first book, Destined for Greatness: Passions, Dreams, and Aspirations in a College Music Town, was published in 2018 by Rutgers University Press. The book is a life course study of independent rock musicians pursuing careers in the informal world of music as they move into adulthood.

Reviewers have described Destined for Greatness as “a fascinating reminder of music's profound impact across the life course” (cultural sociologist Ross Haenfler), as well as a “meticulous study [in which] Ramirez sketches a captivating picture of the motivations, considerations, and concerns of these musicians and their endeavors to make music their vocation" (book review in Work and Occupations).

Dr. Chuntao Liu - Outstanding Author


Dr. Chuntao Liu portrait


Dr. Chuntao Liu is an Associate Professor of Atmospheric Sciences in the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences and has been employed at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi since 2013. His primary research interests are in the areas of satellite remote sensing of global precipitation, cloud, and severe weather events, with an emphasis on the cloud object recognition in space borne radar and radiometer observations. Chuntao completed his Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences at the University of Wyoming in 2003, where he also stationed at McMurDo, Antarctic monitoring the ozone hole for two seasons. Then he joined University of Utah working on the global precipitation and severe weather events using NASA satellites. Currently Chuntao maintains an observatory measuring the fair weather electric field at Barrow, Alaska, and is a science team member of NASA precipitation science.

Chuntao’s authorship includes 62 peer reviewed journal publications and over 70 conference presentations. Some selected recent publications led by his students and himself include:



  • Adhikari, A., C. Liu, and M. Kulie, 2018: Global distribution of snow precipitation features and their properties observed by GPM satellite, Journal of Climate, 31, 3731-3754.  doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0012.1.
  • Lavigne, T., C. Liu, W. Deierling, and D. Mach, 2017:  Relationship between the global electric circuit and electrified cloud parameters at diurnal, seasonal and interannual timescales, Journal of Geophysical Research, 122, 8525–8542, doi:10.1002/2016JD026442.
  • Ni, X, C. Liu, D. Cecil, and Q. Zhang, 2017: On the hail detection with satellite passive microwave radiometers and radar, Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climate, 56, 2693–2709,
  • Liu, C., 2017: Severe weather in a warming climate, Nature news & views, 544, 423-424. Doi:10.1038/54422a.
  • Chen, B., C. Liu, and B. Mapes, 2017: Relationships between large precipitating systems and atmospheric factors at a grid scale, Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, 74, 531-552, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-16-0049.1.
  • Ni, X., C. Liu, Q. Zhang, D. Cecil, 2016: Properties of hail storms over China and the United States from the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission, Journal of Geophysical Research, 121, 12031-12044, DOI: 10.1002/2016JD025600
  • Liu, N., and C. Liu, 2016: Global distribution of deep convection reaching tropopause in one-year GPM observations, Journal of Geophysical Research, 121, doi:10.1002/2015JD024430.

Dr. Kathy Smith and Dr. Murphy Smith - Outstanding Authors

Dr. Katherine Smith
Dr. Katherine T. Smith, a marketing professor at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Her academic record includes 50 research articles, 8 books, numerous academic conference presentations, plus awards for teaching and research. She ranks in the top one percent of authors on Social Sciences Research Network ( by downloaded articles. Her work has been cited over 1100 times, as shown on Google Scholar.

 Dr. Smith’s major areas of research include digital and mobile marketing, corporate social responsibility, and marketing to Digital Natives and Millennials. She has published in journals such as Journal of Strategic Marketing and Journal of Consumer Marketing.

 She has received a number of recognitions for teaching and research, including the following:

  • Distinguished Research Award 2015, Business Studies Academy.
  • Emerging Scholar Award 2014, Murray State University.
  • Outstanding Researcher Award 2014, Bauernfeind College of Business, Murray State.
  • Invited Reviewer, National Science Foundation (NSF) 2013.
  • Best in Track Award 2013, Society for Marketing Advances.
  • Distinguished Research Award 2012, Academy of Marketing Studies.
  • Outstanding Educator Award 2010, Academy of Educational Leadership.


Dr. L. Murphy Smith, CPA is a Professor of Accounting at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. His academic record includes over 200 research articles, books and monographs, academic conference presentations, research grants, and awards for teaching and research. He ranks in the top one percent of authors on Social Sciences Research Network ( by downloaded articles (over 57,000). His work is highly referenced, with over 2,200 citations to his work shown on Google Scholar. His work has been reported in various news media, including National Public Radio, Fortune, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal.

His major areas of research include: ethics, financial reporting, international accounting, and information technology. Among the journals in which he has published are the following: Advances in Accounting; Contemporary Accounting Research; Journal of Business Research; Accounting Horizons; Journal of Information Systems; Journal of Business Ethics; Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting; Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance; Critical Perspectives on Accounting; Internal Auditing; Strategic Finance; and Journal of Accountancy.

He has received a number of recognitions for teaching and research, including the following:

  • Distinguished Member Award 2017, Institute of Management Accountants.
  • KPMG Outstanding Published Manuscript Award 2014, American Accounting Association, Gender Issues and Work-Life Balance Section.
  • Outstanding Researcher Award 2009, American Accounting Association Strategic and Emerging Technologies Section.
  • Outstanding Educator Award 2004, Texas Society of CPAs.
  • Invited Speaker, Congressional Hearing regarding Accounting and Business Ethics in Washington, D.C., July 26, 2002.

Dr. Smith has been involved in a variety of service roles in the accounting profession, the university, and the local community. During his career, he has held a number of leadership positions in academic and professional organizations. He served on the Ethics Task Force of the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy, on the American Accounting Association’s Professionalism and Ethics Committee, and as President of the American Accounting Association Gender Issues and Work-Life Balance Section.

Dr. Jennifer Sorensen -- Outstanding Author

Meet DDr. Jennifer Sorensenr. Sorensen

Jennifer Sorensen is an Assistant Professor of English at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. She earned her B.A. summa cum laude in English from Princeton University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Michigan.  

Her first book, Modernist Experiments in Genre, Media, and Transatlantic Print Culture, published in January 2017 in the Ashgate Studies in Publishing History Series by Routledge.  Modernist Experiments argues that Virginia Woolf, Henry James, Katherine Mansfield, Jean Toomer, and Djuna Barnes understood acts of reading as inherently material, mediated encounters.  Drawing on recent textual theory, media theory, and archival materials, she demonstrates that these modernists radically redefined literary genres and refashioned the material forms through which their literary experiments reached the public.  Her work shows how modern genres developed in dialogue with modern cultures of print.    The central dynamic animating her work is how genres—both textual and paratextual genres—are mixed and juxtaposed to create new aesthetics and new material forms. She has published articles in Studies in the Novel, Narrative, Intervalla, and the Henry James Review.  

Dr. Jeremy Conkle - An Outstanding Author

Dr. Jeremy ConkleMeet Dr. Jeremy Conkle

Jeremy earned dual bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Chemistry at Longwood University in Farmville, VA.  Following graduation, he worked as a chemist on hazardous waste cleanup sites, emergency responses and natural disasters for an EPA contractor. He continued to work for the contractor while completing a Masters in Environmental Studies at the College of Charleston in 2006.   Jeremy completed his Ph.D. in Oceanography & Coastal Sciences at Louisiana State University in 2010, where he studied the fate and transport of “emerging contaminants” in wetlands. He then traded the wetlands of Louisiana for the desert of Riverside, California while working on a post-doc studying the fate, transport and ecosystem effects of current-use pesticides, legacy pollutants, like PCBs and DDT, and emerging contaminants under Jay Gan in the Environmental Sciences Department at the University of California Riverside. In the fall of 2014, Jeremy joined the faculty of the Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences at Texas A&M Corpus Christi where his current funded research includes studies of pesticide fate, transport and impacts to Black Drum in Baffin Bay Texas, the fate of triclopyr, an herbicide, at Fort Hood in collaboration with the USACE, quantification of plastic loads in the Mississippi River, remote sensing of plastic debris using unmanned aerial systems (a.k.a. drones) and projections for future water quantity and quality throughout the U.S. with an attention to impacts on aquaculture feasibility and product safety related to emerging contaminants.

Jeremy’s authorship includes 17 peer reviewed journal publications, 2 textbook chapters and 2 technical reports. Some recent publications include:

Jiang, W., J. L. Conkle, Y. Luo, J. Li, XU, K., J. Gan. (2016) Occurrence, distribution and accumulation of pesticides in exterior residential areas. Environmental Science & Technology, 50 (23), 12592-12601

Jiang, W., Y. Luo, J. L. Conkle, J.L. Li, J. Gan. (2016) Pesticides on residential outdoor surfaces: Runoff model prediction and aquatic toxicology. Pest Management Science, 72, 1411-1420

Conkle J.L., J.A. Cabrera, J. Thomas, D. Wang and J. Gan. (2016) Effects of CO2 dissolution on phase distribution and degradation of dimethyl disulfide (DMDS) in soils under grape production. Pest Management Science, 72, 349-353

Wu, S., L. K. Dodgen, J. L. Conkle, J. Gan. (2015) Plant Uptake of Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products from Recycled Water and Biosolids: A Review. Science of the Total Environment, 536, 655-666.

Wu, S., J. L. Conkle, F. Ernst, J. Gan. (2014) Treated Wastewater Irrigation: Uptake of Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products by Common Vegetables under Field Conditions. Environmental Science & Technology, 48(19), 11286-11293.

Young, M. H., R. L. Green, J. L. Conkle, M. McCullough, D. A. Devitt, L. Wright, B. J. Vanderford, S. A. Snyder. (2014). Field-scale monitoring of pharmaceutical compounds applied to active golf courses by recycled water. Journal of Environmental Quality, 43(2), 658-670.

In addition to his research interests, Jeremy teaches courses on Environmental Chemistry and Wetlands & Water Quality. To read more about his lab and their research, please visit his website:

Dr. Michelle Maresh-Fuehrer -- Outstanding Author

Meet Dr. Michelle M. Maresh-Fuehrer

Dr. Michelle M. Maresh-Fuehrer is an Associate Professor of Communication in the Department of Communication and Media and has been employed at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi since 2009. Her primary research interests are in the areas of crisis communication and public relations, with an emphasis on the impact of social media in these contexts.

Michelle’s authorship includes 3 textbooks, 5 textbook chapters, 6 journal articles, one magazine article, and over 25 conference papers. Her recent (2016) works and works-in-progress include:

  • Co-author of the 12th edition of the market leading textbook for Business and Professional Communication, Communicating at Work: Strategies for Success in Business and the Professions (McGraw-Hill).
  • Co-author of Public Relations Principles: Strategies for Professional Success (Kendall Hunt Publishing)
  • Co-author [with current TAMU-CC graduate student, Deborah De Cillo Ottoni Teixeira] of a textbook chapter titled “Skol’s Viva Redondo (Live Round) Crisis” in Cases in Public Relations: Translated Ethics into Action (Oxford University Press).
  • Author of a textbook chapter titled “Apple’s ‘Bendgate’ Crisis and the Technology-Image Expectancy Gap” in Casing Risk and Crisis Communication (Kendall Hunt Publishing)
  • Co-author (with TAMU-CC GIS professor, Rick Smith) of a journal article titled “Social media mapping innovations for crisis prevention, response, and evaluation” in a special issue dedicated to social media and the crisis lifecycle in Computers in Human Behavior.

In addition to her research interests, Michelle serves as the Internship Coordinator for the Department of Communication and Media. She regularly teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in crisis communication, public relations, research methods, and communication theory, and was awarded the University Educator of the Year by the Texas Speech Communication Association in 2015.