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Texas A&M At SXSW: ‘Future Proofing’ Texas In The Wake Of Hurricane Harvey

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COLLEGE STATION, March 12, 2018 — Commission to Rebuild Texas Chair and A&M System Chancellor John Sharp and a pair of bipartisan Texas lawmakers will provide valuable insight into how the state is already preparing for the next superstorm during a day of panel talks presented by Texas A&M at SXSW Tuesday, March 13 at 5 p.m. at the Courtyard Marriott in Austin.

Texas A&M’s participation in SXSW in 2018 will showcase faculty expertise and generate brand impressions with a global audience of 280,000 attendees in a way that solidifies the institution’s commitment to a modern, progressive future while celebrating its prestigious land-, sea-, and space-grant status, academic prominence and storied traditions. This week of panels, exhibitions and brand engagement opportunities will impart Texas A&M’s reputation for creating leaders of character and substance to the future employers of students. Journalist Roland S. Martin will serve as the moderator for “Future Proofing” Disaster Recovery, a panel discussion between Sharp, Texas Senator John Whitmire (D-Houston), and State Representative Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria) that will lay out how Texas is not only rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey, but preparing itself for the next storm by creating a more resilient infrastructure.

On September 7, 2017, Governor Greg Abbott named Chancellor Sharp the commissioner of the Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas, which is dedicated to rebuilding critical public infrastructure along the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. As Chancellor, Sharp leads one of the nation’s largest systems with an annual budget of $4.55 billion.

In February 2017, Martin earned his third NAACP Image Award when he was named “Best Host,” in the first year the category was created, defeating the likes of Steve Harvey, Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, Joy Ann Reid and W. Kamau Bell. Martin is a senior analyst for the Tom Joyner Morning Show, where his twice-a-week segment is heard on nearly 90 stations nationwide. He is also the creator/curator of AllThat.TV, a digital lifestyle and information website he launched in July 2017. He is also the creator, host and executive producer of “Roland Martin Unfiltered,” his daily podcast that launches July 31.

State Representative Morrison (R-Victoria) represents the 30th House District and is currently serving her tenth term in the Texas Legislature. The south Texas district includes Aransas, Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Refugio, and Victoria counties. For the 85th Legislative Session, Morrison was appointed to chair the House Committee on Transportation, and serve as a member of the Higher Education Committee and the Select Committee on Ports, Innovation and Infrastructure.

Senator Whitmire (D-Houston) represents the 15th Senatorial District comprised of north Houston and parts of Harris County. He was elected to the Texas Senate in 1982 after serving 10 years in the Texas House of Representatives. With over 34 years of service in the Texas Senate, Senator Whitmire ranks first in seniority and is the "Dean of the Texas Senate."

In addition to the “Future Proofing” Disaster Recovery panel discussion, Texas A&M’s faculty innovators, creators and influencers will team up with subject matter experts for four additional panels taking place throughout the day at the Courtyard Marriott:

· Future Society: AI & Generative Systems

· Disrupting Traditional Healthcare with Innovation & Technology

· The Community, Culture and Science of Texas BBQ

· Human Rights Policy in a Connected World

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