James Salazar, PhD, Associate Professor and Director, Galveston College Biotechnology Program.

Beacon Square dedication set for Wednesday, November 8

The dedication of Galveston College’s new “front door” – Beacon Square – is set for this Wednesday.  Open to the public, the ceremony will begin at 3:30p.m. Dr. William R. Auvenshine, Interim President, and Carl Kelly, Chairman of the Board of Regents, will introduce the special guests. The dedication will commence with the Coast Guard Flag Corps. In addition to comments by Auvenshine and Kelly, speakers will include Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas, Coast Guard Commander David Hawes, and John Lee and Cindy Sullivan.

Inspired by Galveston College’s vision “A Beacon of Light Guiding Lifelong Learning”,   this new “front door” at 39th and Avenue Q, has been built around a piece of Galveston’s history – the restored cupola from the old South Jetty Lighthouse.   For over eight decades, this lighthouse was located two miles off shore from the Island before being toppled by a storm in 2000.  The College then negotiated a lease with the Coast Guard for use of the cupola.

The dedication ceremony, to be held at 39th and Avenue Q, will close with the Galveston Chamber of Commerce Honor Guard ribbon cutting.  A reception will follow in the Eudine Meadows Cheney Student Center, adjacent to Beacon Square.  For more information, contact Joe Huff, Director of the Galveston College Foundation and Special Events, 409-944-1302.  

Galveston College’s Biotechnology Program… On the Path to Success!

Students eager for a challenging, ever-changing, and expanding career opportunity need to look no further than Galveston College and its well-respected Biotechnology program.  Established in 2004 by Dr. James Salazar, a highly-respected research scientist, the program is designed to initially prepare the graduate to function as an entry-level technician in either a research and/or biotechnology lab. 

Several factors make this program even more valuable to the student.  First of all, a cooperative agreement is in place between Galveston College and the University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston where students can transition from Galveston College to UTMB to continue their education in biotechnology.  Next, GC students have the opportunity to utilize UTMB exceptional laboratories and facilities at UTMB’s 1700 Strand location for on-site training.

“Right now, students in our biotech program are in the absolute best place at the best time as the Houston-Galveston Biotech Corridor continues to grow in reputation and prominence. A graduate of our two-year program can immediately move into the work force  or choose to continue their education to receive a bachelor’s or advanced degree at UTMB, or nearby at the University of Houston. We presently have an articulation agreement in effect with UTMB-Clinical Laboratory Science and expect to have a similar agreement in place with UH by the end of this year that will ensure a seamless transition for the biotech graduate at Galveston College transferring to UH.”

There are several career paths a student can choose.  One option is to become a laboratory technician. This job description can include conducting research and/or manufacturing supplies. Another option is to train in investigating criminal evidence. Another career path is to become an environmental technician who may assist scientists at state/federal agencies, industry, and with academic research by investigating infectious disease organisms, analyzing environmental pollutants, and recommending methods of sample and data collection/analysis.  Health technicians may assist in studies that predict the availability and safety of food sources in the environment and food industry.

“Additionally,” Salazar continued, “Galveston College graduates may choose a career path that ultimately leads to a doctorate degree, as a lab administrator in a biotechnology business, or as a scientist. It is so important that our students know that all of these educational and career opportunities in this exciting field are right here in their own backyard and essentially within a 30-mile radius. Our students are right in the middle of this dynamic, expanding Houston-Galveston Biotech corridor.” 

For more information about the Galveston College Biotechnology Program (presented exclusively as evening classes), contact Dr. James Salazar at 409-944-1278, email to, or visit online at