Susan "Sue" Owen '94 September 28, 2022 10:14 AM updated: September 29, 2022 8:48 AM
Hear from A&M athletic director Ross Bjork, MSC wood carving creators Rodney and Susan Hill, A&M's official glassblower and more in a new 30-minute TV show about Texas A&M online or via PBS in the Brazos Valley and Waco areas.
Future episodes will feature A&M’s science fiction and fantasy collection, wildlife center and barbecue camp, A&M President M. Katherine Banks and incoming Corps commandant Brig. Gen. Patrick R. Michaelis '93.
Read on for more.
The story below originally appeared Sept. 23 on Texas A&M Today.
By Texas A&M University Division of Marketing & Communications
KAMU-TV on Monday will debut “Texas A&M Today,” an original 30-minute show highlighting history and art lessons that aren’t tied to grades or a classroom: Featured will be an engineering-based creative collection worth millions and a professor who spent two years literally carving Aggie traditions out of walnut wood.
Viewers also will learn why Texas A&M has an official glassblower and the reason behind Aggieland being chosen to house a rare replica of the Liberty Bell.
These lesser-explored stories will be followed by a question-and-answer discussion with well-known A&M Athletic Director Ross Bjork, who addresses some challenges accompanying the 2021 NCAA rule allowing athletes to monetize their name, image and likeness.
The six-episode season, which features a new program every other week, showcases the work of extraordinary students, faculty and staff, while exploring some of the “hidden gems” around Aggieland.
The “Texas A&M Today” show complements the university’s digital storytelling site, which has the same name. Both are part of the Division of Marketing and Communications, which is overseen by Senior Vice President for Academic and Strategic Collaborations Susan Ballabina.
“Whether you’re an Aggie, an Aggie fan or have never heard about Texas A&M, these stories are interesting and engaging — there’s something for everyone,” Ballabina said. “KAMU has created a program offering viewers content that’s both fun and informative, but also inspiring.”
“Texas A&M Today” is hosted by Chelsea Reber '10, an A&M graduate who co-hosts “The Infomaniacs” morning show on Bryan Broadcasting’s WTAW 1620 AM.
Highlights include Bill Merka, the university’s official glassblower for almost 40 years, who uses his knowledge of mechanics and chemistry, mixed with artistic flair, to create custom pieces for researchers. Next, Professor Emeritus Rodney Hill and his wife, Susan, take us back nearly 50 years to their creation of a stunning piece of Aggie-themed art that hangs in the Memorial Student Center.
Fast-forward to the 21st century, the art collection in the Zachry Engineering Education Complex features pieces designed by 10 visionary artists who drew inspiration from science, technology, engineering and mathematics. “Aggie Facts” features a sliver of history within the 108-year-old Academic Building.
The program’s premiere begins at 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26, and will rerun at 6 p.m. on Saturdays. The show can be viewed several ways, including on Suddenlink, DirecTV, Dish and cable, streamed live on KAMU’s website and on demand the following day here.
Additional highlights from Season 1 include a visit to A&M’s world-renowned science fiction and fantasy collection, and a peek at a priceless map hand-drawn by a famous Texan. We’ll take you to the university’s wildlife center and its aviary; stop at a camp for barbecue enthusiasts; and find what corner of campus features a 40-foot long, endless science experiment. Plus, Reber visits with Texas A&M President M. Katherine Banks; incoming Corps of Cadets Commandant Brig. Gen. Patrick R. Michaelis '93; head of the College of Engineering John E. Hurtado '91, and more notable individuals from across campus.