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Home | Tag Archives: texas tech

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Med School on the Cheap: Why Becoming a Doctor in Texas is a Bargain

When Caitlin Comfort decided to go to medical school, the Yale grad had her heart set on staying on the East Coast. But her wallet had different ideas. Facing $90,000 per year price tags for tuition, she said no thanks, and started applying to schools back home in Texas.

That’s exactly what state legislators and educators want.

In Texas, a decades-old law caps tuition at public medical colleges in a bid to bridge a doctor shortage by a) getting students like Comfort to come back, or, b) getting students like her partner, Justin Cardenas, to stay in Texas to get their degree. Right now, tuition is about $6,550 per year for in-state students.

This puts Texas medical schools at the top of rankings of cheap (as well as reputable) places to get a medical degree, and several students who spoke with STAT said it was an important, if not the deciding, factor for them.

“It was just a much better deal,” Comfort said, rattling off interest rates and payments and how much she’d owe today if she had gone to one of those $90,000 schools. “Thinking about trying to keep up with a $500,000 loan is crazy.”

Like many states in the South, Texas has a growing population. Children under age 18 make up more than one-quarter of its residents. Having enough doctors is a constant challenge, said Stacey Silverman, a deputy assistant commissioner at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

“In Texas, we have a shortage of just about everything,” she said. “We need physicians in all specialties, but especially primary care.”

Texas ranks 47th in physician-to-patient ratio. The state has often recruited foreign medical graduates to fill shortages, with about 14,000 currently in practice, according to the Texas Medical Association. But that’s not enough, so the state has also invested heavily over the last several years to build new medical schools.

Texas Tech University converted a satellite campus in El Paso to a full four-year medical school in 2009. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine and Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin admitted their first classes in 2016. Other schools are in the works.

All public schools abide by the tuition cap, as do some private schools, like Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where Comfort, from San Antonio, and Cardenas, a Texas A&M graduate, are in their fourth year.

Tuition, of course, isn’t the only expense for students; there are fees, books, housing, and travel costs to consider as well. So some med students do end up with six-figure debt. But it’s typically a lot less than they would owe if they’d gone to schools elsewhere. The Association of American Medical Colleges puts median medical student debt at $180,000 for public schools and $202,000 for private schools for 2017.

“It kind of made a difference for me,” said Michael Lapelusa, a second-year student at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (which waived two years of tuition entirely for its inaugural class). Lapelusa, who is hoping that time spent working in Houston will qualify him for in-state tuition for years three and four, wants to work in medically underserved areas, estimates his debt will be less than $100,000 at graduation.

“With smart decisions during residency and shortly after, I think that amount of money won’t dominate my life,” Lapelusa said.

The med school building boom in Texas has drawn some questions. Namely: Where are the residencies for all these new doctors? They all need years of supervised training in a hospital after graduating from med school, and those slots can be sparse.

Texas officials see an urgency to keep newly minted M.D.s in the state for that training — about 65 percent of young doctors end up staying in Texas after residency, according the AAMC.

So the state Legislature has earmarked $97 million in the 2018-2019 budget to support residency programs and expand the number of slots, said Silverman. There are about 6,700 medical students in Texas, according to the AAMC’s 2016-2017 data, and so far, Silverman said that the state has started eight new residency programs.

But it’s unclear who will stay. One irony: The lower debt they have after graduating from med school in Texas often gives young doctors more flexibility to travel the country looking for their ideal residency instead of staying close to home.

Cardenas, for instance, will leave Baylor with about $40,000 in debt. Comfort will leave with about $200,000 in debt. The two are trying to match to residencies in the same city. They’d like to stay in Texas, Comfort said, but on the other hand, both agree that now might be the time for adventure.

“We’re looking at where’s the best programs for us and the best cities to raise a family,” said Cardenas. “And not to be eating peanut butter jelly all the time.”

Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in STAT, a national publication focused on health, medicine and scientific discovery.

Disclosure: Texas A&M University, the Texas Medical Association and Texas Tech University have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

Read related Tribune coverage:

  • A recent study found that the average medical student may have more than $164,000 in debt, but Texas is home to five of the 10 most affordable medical schools. [Full story]

Author:  MEGHA SATYANARAYANA, STAT / Texas Tribune

El Paso Community College Unveils New Architecture Building

Friday morning, community members from around the region, as well as dignitaries from El Paso Community College (EPCC) and Texas Tech celebrated the Grand Opening of EPCC’s new architecture building with a ribbon cutting ceremony and building tours.

The new building is the home for a partnership between EPCC and Texas Tech University El Paso.  Through this collaboration, students take their first two years of architecture classes at EPCC, then complete a bachelor’s degree in architecture at Texas Tech.

The EPCC Architecture Z Building is the home of this new program, located on the college’s flagship Valle Verde Campus (919 Hunter), between student service building and Building ‘A.’ (map)

Representatives from both institutions as well as students talked about importance of this program for our community.

“We are dedicated to providing students the knowledge needed to gain career opportunities in architecture, the building industry and many related fields,”  Dr. Carlos Amaya, Dean of Architecture, Math and Science said.

EPCC has offered architecture as a program of study since 1987 and the program has more than 260 graduates.  The partnership with Texas Tech began in 2005 and more than 150 students have completed this program.  Many have gone on to complete master’s degrees and have become licensed architects.  These graduates are working locally and throughout the nation.

“EPCC is transforming education with progress, innovation and engagement.  The Architecture Program is just one example of this innovation,” Dr. William Serrata, EPCC President said.

One of these graduates, Emmanuel Rubio is a first generation American who dreamed about being an architect since he was a child.   He achieved his dream and received his Associate’s of Arts in Architecture in 2008, received his Bachelor’s of Arts in Architecture from Texas Tech in 2011 and his Masters from Lawrence Technological in 2016.   He currently works for the local architectural firm Wright and Dalbin Architects.  “My experience at El Paso Community College and Texas Tech University have been far beyond what I had ever anticipated,” Rubio said.  “I’m certain I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish my dreams without the two.”

This program is the result of significant collaboration and partnerships.  The El Paso architecture community provided vision and leadership to provide a professional architecture pathway for the students in the region.

The Departmet of Education funded the building through a HSI STEM Architecture Grant.   “This partnership is fully visible in the new Architecture Building at the Valle Verde Campus,” Dr. Valerie Osland Paton, Special Assistant to the President/Provost for SACSCOC Certification of Compliance Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso said.  “The building and professional architecture degree pathway is a testimony to what can be created through sustained partnerships between communities, community colleges and universities.”

EPCC also announced that new Texas Architecture Curriculum was recently approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB).  The EPCC/Texas Tech partnership served as a model for developing this curriculum.  As a result, the field of study is now posted on the THECB website and has been shared with higher education institutions statewide.

“This grand opening marks an important milestone in EPCC’s efforts to create access to affordable education and to increase the number of graduates in our region,” Art Fierro, EPCC Board of Trustees Chair said.  “Together we will further expand the pathway to higher education and build the next generation of architects.”

 

From left to right: Wanda Camacho, Architecture Student, Dr. Carlos Amaya, Dean at EPCC of Architecture, Math & Science at the Valle Verde, Dr. Jim Williamson, Dean Texas Tech College of Architecture, Dr. Valerie Osland Paton, Special Assistant to the President/Provost for SACSCOC Certification of Compliance Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, Mr. John Uxer Jr., EPCC Board Member, Dr. William Serrta, President of EPCC, Dr. Michael Galyean, Provost & Senior VP of Academic Affairs from Texas Tech, Ken Gorski, Mr. Steve Smith, EPCC Vice President of Instruction & Workforce Education, Dr. Robert Gonzalez,  El Paso Director for College of Architecture at Texas Tech University, Mr. Art Fierro, Chair of the Board at EPCC, Mrs. Gracie Quintanilla, former Board Member, EPCC, Dr. Aditi Sarkar, Project Director for the HIS, Miranda Rodarte, EPCC Architecture student.

 

Plastic Surgeon Brings New Skills, Services to TTUHSC El Paso

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) recently added Jose Castro-Garcia, M.D., to its team of health care providers. Dr. Castro-Garcia specializes in plastic and craniofacial surgery.

“My scope of practice is very wide and not limited by any anatomical area, making my work very exciting and challenging,” says Dr. Castro Garcia. “On the same day, I could be doing a child’s cleft lip, a breast reconstruction, a hand anomaly, and then a trauma case.”

As the only plastic surgeon in the Department of Surgery, Dr. Castro-Garcia dove straight into work after arriving in September and has performed nearly 600 surgeries since. The plastic surgeon is capable of addressing a range of health issues, including skin cancer, scars, upper and lower extremity reconstruction, post-traumatic injury, burns, and congenital malformations.

His skill set is, perhaps, most beneficial for patients of the Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso (TTP El Paso) Breast Care Center. With Dr. Castro-Garcia’s expertise, the team is now able to perform breast reconstruction immediately after a mastectomy — minimizing patient recovery times and the number of surgeries a patient may need to undergo.

“Performing reconstruction at the same time as the mastectomy provides patients with the best cosmetic results,” he explains. “This is because there is no scar tissue or post-radiation injury to deal with.”

Dr. Castro-Garcia is familiar with the border region. He completed a general surgery residency at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine in 2012.

“I really enjoyed my time in this city and always planned to come back,” he says. “I enjoy the culture and the patient population that we have the opportunity to treat in this area.”

Dr. Castro-Garcia received his Doctor of Medicine from the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi in Mexico. He went on to complete a prestigious plastic surgery fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and continued his training at the Medical City Hospital Craniofacial Center in Dallas, Texas.

Texas Tech Downs UTEP, 8-0, in Five Frames

LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech scored six runs in the fifth inning to run-rule UTEP, 8-0, on a cold and windy Friday afternoon at Rocky Johnson Field.

The Miners (3-12) tallied only two hits, a double by Cortney Smith in the first inning and a single by Mallorie Cross in the fifth. The Red Raiders (9-7) registered eight hits, as Susan Welborn, after coming off an injury, used her first at bat of 2017 to hit a solo home run in the second inning for the game’s first run.

Erika Harrawood (1-3) started the contest, throwing 4.0 frames and tallying three strikeouts. After allowing Welborn’s homer, Harrawood would strikeout the next three batters to get out of the second inning.

Kierra Miles knocked in Raina O’Neal in the third, giving the Red Raiders a 2-0 edge. It was after a scoreless fourth when the wheels came off for the Miners. Texas Tech scored six runs on two hits and three errors committed by the UTEP defense to claim the victory.

Kassidy Scott (5-4) earned the win as she threw 5.0 innings on 51 pitches. Scott didn’t walk anyone nor tally a strikeout in the solid outing.

Up Next

UTEP will continue the Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic on Saturday as it takes on Wichita State (10:30 a.m. CT) and Texas Tech again (3:30 p.m.).

H-P Sports In Depth: UTEP Softball to Play Four Games in Lubbock

After its big win at NM State on Wednesday night, the UTEP softball team will compete at the Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic hosted by Texas Tech March 3-5.

The Miners will open against Texas Tech on Friday (4 p.m. CT). The weekend will continue with a pair of contests on Saturday, the firstagainst Wichita State (10:30 a.m. CT) and anther contest against the Red Raiders (3:30 p.m.). The Classic will conclude against the Shockers on Sunday (10:30 a.m.).

The Miners (3-11) defeated the Aggies, 5-3, on Wednesday night behind a four-RBI effort from Kiki Pepi. The senior infielder blasted a two-run, line drive home run and came up with a liner up the middle that scored two runs.

Starting pitcher Devyn Cretz tallied five Ks in 5.1 innings, while gaining her second win of the season. Erika Harrawood finished the game, throwing 1.2 frames and striking out the last batter to secure the triumph over the Aggies.

MORE ON UTEP’S VICTORY

The Miners’ 5-3 win over the Aggies was just the third overall road win in the rivalry, and the first triumph at NM State Softball Complex since Feb. 15, 2010 – a 22-5 (5) victory. The victory against the I-10 rival is the second for fourth-year head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk. Her 2014 squad defeated NM State, 5-1, on March 14at the Helen of Troy Softball Complex.

The two programs will meet again on March 28, this time a doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. in the Sun City.

ALL-TIME SERIES VS. TEXAS TECH

The programs have spits their 10 games, as the Miners have won their last two games against the Red Raiders. UTEP swept Texas Tech on March 11 in El Paso. The Orange and Blue claimed a 5-3 victory in game one, while winning game two 9-7. Kiki Pepi went hit a home run on a 1-for-2 performance in game one.

Kaitlin Fifield and Taylor Grohmann combined for 7.0 innings and two strikeouts. Grohmann started the contest, throwing 4.0 frames and Fifield earned the victory. Pepi added two more RBI in the game.

SCOUTING TEXAS TECH

The Red Raiders have had a pretty split preseason so far, leaving their most recent trip in Tuscaloosa, Ala. with an overall 8-7 record. The Red Raiders competed at the Easton Bama Bash, tallying two wins in five games.

Texas Tech took two games from Garner-Webb, 6-5 and 4-0. Although the team has a total of a .227 batting average, Raina O’Neal has tallied five home runs and 11 RBI. Kassidy Scott is leading the pitching staff with a 2.38 ERA, 21 strikeouts and four wins on the season so far.

ALL-TIME SERIES VS. WICHITA STATE

The programs have split their only two contests. UTEP defeated Wichita State, 2-0, on Feb. 21, 2010 at the QTI Getterman Classic in Waco, Texas, while the Shockers claimed an 11-0 victory on March 4, 2011 at the North Texas Courtyard Classic in Denton, Texas.

SCOUTING WICHITA STATE

The Shockers have kicked off their 2017 season with a 9-3 record, only falling short to no. 20 Arizona State, 6-4, South Dakota, 3-2 and most recently no. 9 Oklahoma, 7-3. They are currently hitting a solid .345 as a team with Kelli Spring being consistent at the plate recording a .462 average, 18 hits and six RBI.

Laurie Derrico and Macklin Hitz each have hit four home runs, while Hitz leads the team in RBI (14). Paige Luellen ranks second with 11 RBI. The Shockers defense has also been very strong, starting with their two pitchers. Between them they have totaled a 1.87 ERA with Katie Malone tallying eight wins and 49 strike outs.

KIKI’S BAT IS LIT

Entering the Riverside Classic, Kiki Pepi was struggling at the plate, hitting .136 (3-22) with a pair of RBI in nine games. Since then, Pepi’s bat has been smoking as she’s hitting .500 (8-16) with a home run, 10 RBI, six runs and three walks during her last five games. She’s upped her average to .289 and currently leads the team with 12 RBI.

HARRWOOD’S FIRST SAVE

Erika Harrawood threw 1.2 innings and struck out the last hitter to secure UTEP’s 5-3 victory at NM State on Wednesday night. She also earned her first career victory on Feb. 24 against Utah State in Riverside, Calif. She’s thrown a staff-high 25.0 innings and has a 4.48 ERA. The El Paso native has 17 Ks and has made seven appearances.

STRIKEOUT QUEEN

Devyn Cretz tallied five more strikeouts at NM State on Wednesday night. The redshirt freshman leads the staff with 24 Ks in 23.0 innings. Cretz also leads the team with a 4.26 ERA. In her last three appearances, which includes a pair of starts, Cretz’s ERA is 2.15 and she’s fanned 17 batters in 13.0 innings.

CROSS’S SOLID START

Mallorie Cross has been off to a good start to begin her career. The freshman has played in 12 games, starting eight and is hitting .350 (7-20) with an RBI and a double. She’s made multiple starts behind the plate, tallying 16 putouts and three assists. One of those assists came at NM State when she threw a runner out trying to steal second.

MORENO THE BALL MAGNET

Hope Moreno was hit by another pitch at NM State in a pinch-hit effort in the fourth inning. It’s her fourth time being hit by a pitch, while it was probably the biggest HBP this season. She stepped into the batter’s box with bases loaded and drew the hit on the first pitch. The junior has now been hit 22 times in her career. She ranks fourth in program history behind Chelsea Troupe (24), Ashley Ellis (26) and Amber Bennett (27).

TTUHSC El Paso Physician Hosts Facebook Live Q&A on Colorectal Cancer Friday

An upcoming Facebook Live Q&A will invite the community to listen in and pose health questions to a physician at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso).

In honor of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Navkiran Shokar, M.A., M.P.H., M.D., a physician and clinical researcher in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, will host the session. Dr. Shokar, who specializes in cancer prevention and early detection, will take questions from viewers about all things related to colorectal cancer, including prevention, screening, and treatment.

Dr. Shokar has brought nearly $8 million in grant funding to the El Paso community for cancer detection and early prevention services. She received her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Oxford Medical School and completed residencies at Oxford University Hospitals’ Horton General Hospital and St. Joseph Medical Center in Houston, Texas.

Participants are encouraged to submit their questions to Dr. Shokar in advance and RSVP on TTUHSC El Paso’s Facebook Live Q&A on Colorectal Cancer event page.

This Q&A session is part of a new TTUHSC El Paso initiative called The Exam Room. The Exam Room encourages the El Paso community to engage with expert health care professionals at TTUHSC El Paso.

Each month, The Exam Room will hold one or more public Q&As, each focusing on a different health-related topic and highlighting a TTUHSC El Paso health care specialist who has volunteered to answer questions on the subject.

What: Live health care Q&A open to the El Paso community

When: 10 a.m. Friday, March 3

Where: Online at facebook.com/ttuhscep

march-the-exam-room-flyer

Texas Tech to Begin Offering Degrees From a New Costa Rica Campus

Far from the plains of West Texas, students seeking a degree from Texas Tech University will soon have a new place to go — Costa Rica.

The university announced Thursday that it finalized a deal with a business conglomerate in South and Central America to open a branch campus in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. Students enrolled there will be able to earn Texas Tech bachelor’s degrees in engineering, computer science, mathematics and restaurant and hotel management. The campus will also offer a graduate certificate in business.

The goal is to open in spring 2018.

Texas Tech already operates study abroad sites in other countries, but this will be different. The university plans to enroll students from Costa Rica and nearby Latin American countries. Those students will take classes in English and be able to earn their entire degrees there.

School officials say the goal is to raise Tech’s international profile.

“This project also … advances our reputation and competitive position by preparing our graduates to live and work in different cultures,” Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec said.

The university says the campus will be entirely self-sustaining. Its funding will come from student tuition and payments from the Promerica Group, a group of banks and other businesses that operates throughout South and Central America. Details about the funding arrangement or tuition costs weren’t immediately released.

The campus won’t be the first of its kind for a Texas university. Texas A&M University operates a branch campus in Qatar, funded by a private foundation in that country.

Disclosure: Texas Tech University and Texas A&M University have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

Author:  – The Texas Tribune

Guns Up: Texas Tech Will Allow Firearms in Classrooms, Some Dorms

Texas Tech University plans to ban guns in its recreation center, chapel and some dorms, but won’t prevent students with concealed handgun licenses from carrying in classrooms, the school announced Tuesday.

The policy, which was finalized by Interim President John Opperman, will be reviewed by the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents in April. Under state law, the board doesn’t have to approve the policy but can change it if it sees a need.

“I am confident we have submitted a set of recommendations that respects the spirit of the law while reflecting input from our community,” Opperman said.

Each university in Texas has been given the task of coming up with its own rules to comply with the state’s new campus carry law, which allows concealed handgun license holders to carry their guns in campus buildings. Schools are allowed to impose some limited gun-free zones, as long as those zones don’t have the cumulative effect of making it impossible to carry a weapon on campus. The law goes into effect Aug. 1.

That limited rule-making power has sparked debate at colleges across the state. Many professors have urged their leaders to ban guns in classrooms and faculty offices. Others have asked to ban guns in dorms. But some supporters of the law have questioned whether those rules would violate the spirit of the law.

Tech seems to be trying to find a middle ground. Guns will be allowed in dorm rooms that are “suite style and apartment style,” specifically the Carpenter Wells, Murray, Talkington and West Village residence halls, according to the policy. They will be banned in all other on-campus residencies.

Students who are assigned to rooms where a firearm is stored will be allowed to request a transfer to another room, the policy says.

Texas Tech officials indicated that they considered allowing faculty to ban guns in their individual offices. But administrators eventually decided against that.

“While this ‘local option’ seemed reasonable to the committee, further research revealed that such personal decisions would
violate the spirit of SB11 which allows only the president of the institution to declare gun-free zones,” the policy says, referring to the law, Senate Bill 11.

Texas Tech University Campus Carry PolicyPDF (75.0 KB) download

Disclosure: Texas Tech University is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

Author: Matthew Watkins  – The Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues

Texas Tech planning to open a Vet School

Citing student demand and growing industry needs, the Texas Tech University System announced Friday that it will seek to open a veterinary medicine school in the coming years.

If successful, the new school would be the state’s second, but the Tech system will need approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and funding from the Legislature to move ahead. And it may have to ward off resistance from the one university that already has a vet school: Texas A&M.

“Addressing the veterinary education needs in Texas is crucial not only because of the region’s and state’s deep-rooted history with agriculture and ranching but also because of its continued prosperity,” said Tech Chancellor Robert L. Duncan.

Details of Tech’s plans are scant. System officials said they don’t know where it would be located, although they said Amarillo is a promising site. No targeted opening date has been disclosed.

But Tech officials said they are a natural choice to create a new vet school, given their flagship university’s prominence in the ranch lands of West Texas and its leadership in agricultural and livestock research.

“Being in West Texas, where most of the state’s and nation’s livestock are concentrated, we understand the importance of veterinary medicine and see the industry’s needs firsthand,” said Michael Galyean, dean of Tech’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

The news will likely be greeted with glee by the hundreds, if not thousands, of Texas undergraduates seeking careers as veterinarians. Texas Tech said it alone has 150 students on a pre-veterinary medicine track. But spots in veterinary schools in Texas and across the national are limited, and competition is fierce.

A&M officials seemed less excited, and they hinted at another looming higher education turf battle in Texas. Their vet school has been around since 1916 and is considered one of the country’s best. It’s known both for producing most of the state’s veterinarians and for its research. The school claims to be responsible for the first-ever cloning of a calf, pig, goat and deer.

After Tech’s announcement, A&M System Chancellor John Sharp seemed to hint in a statement that A&M was considering expanding its school to other areas in the state.

“As a courtesy, last weekend I informed Chancellor Robert Duncan that the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine would soon announce a presence in several Texas A&M System schools,” Sharp said. “In response, Mr. Duncan comes up with this long-rejected claim we should fund a vet school at Texas Tech. The Coordinating Board has specifically rejected the notion. The Legislature has rejected this for 40 years. We will proceed with our announcement as planned.”

Sharp didn’t list the universities where the expanded presence would exist. But the A&M system includes Tarleton State in Stephenville and West Texas A&M in Canyon. West Texas A&M is also building a presence in Amarillo.

Two other university systems in Texas have shown how political plans for new schools or campuses can be. The University of Texas System enraged many supporters of the University of Houston in recent weeks when it announced plans to open some kind of campus in the state’s biggest city. Some university leaders and lawmakers in Houston have called that an encroachment and have begun lobbying for the UT System’s plans to be blocked.

Correction: This story originally misstated the location of Tarleton State University. It’s in Stephenville. 

Disclosure: Texas Tech University and Texas A&M University are corporate sponsors of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

Author:  – The Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, pol itics, government and statewide issues.

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