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speros ESTABLISHED 2011

FALL 2012

A Night in Arabia

DATE: November 13, 2012 LOCATION: Martel Commons HOST: Associates Committee

Martel welcomes the Class of 2016!

DATE: August 12-17, 2012 LOCATION: Martel College HOST: O-Week Coordinators In mid-August of this year, Orientation Week rolled around once again welcoming Rice and Martel’s Class of 2016. Martel selected a theme that incorporated many of our college’s family values and fun times. Coordinators Ginny Johnson, Denis Leahy, and Alex Suarez selected the theme of gaming company Hasbro. Martel’s HasbrO-Week broke the new students into twelve O-Week groups with names ranging from “Pop, Lock and Bop It” to “Nerf Squad: Kings of the Martel Quad.” It was difficult to improve upon Martel’s past O-weeks because it has a long-standing tradition of great weeks, yet the coordinators made one small tweak, adding a closing ceremony to the end.

The closing ceremony involved a time capsule where each new student placed a note capturing their thoughts, each O-week group selected one item that symbolized their experience, and finally the coordinators dropped in a letter containing special sentiments. The time capsule will be presented at their Senior Dinner as they turn to reflect back on their Rice experience. Overall, it was a great week and way to welcome the newest Martellians. Many thanks to all the hard work of the advisors, coordinators, and adult teams! - Alex Suarez (‘14), Denis Leahy (‘14), Ginny Johnson (‘13) 2012 O-week Coordinators

SPEROS STAFF Editors-in-Chief: Charlotte Brown (‘14) & Meredith McGrath (‘15) Contributing Photographers: Matt Johnson (‘13), Julia Hossu (‘15), Olivia Williams (‘15), Laura Lopez (‘14), Nneoma Elendu (‘14).

Associates Night this year was bigger and better than ever before. Associates Night is our biannual event to thank associates for their service to Martel and to give students an opportunity to meet and mingle with associates they do not normally have the opportunity to see. Students and associates were transported into an Arabian Night complete with candles, drapes, and jewels galore. Sophomore Lauren Thompson created an amazing light display to set the mood with warm purples and reds all around the Commons. Chef Johnny and his team pulled out all the stops for the menu which included baba ghanoush, kebabs, saffron couscous with figs and pomegranates, chocolate dipped fruit, and baklava. The high point of the evening was a surprise performance by a belly dancer—she performed a variety of dances and with several costume changes. Close to 120 students and forty associates were in attendance for the night’s festivities. The Martel Associates committee, chaired by Rachel Turkington, Shireen Usman, Isabella Spanswick, and their Shadow, Christina Rokholt, put in countless hours preparing for the magical evening in order to make it a great success. - Isabella Spanswick (‘14) Rachel Turkington (‘15), Shireen Usman (‘15) Associates Committe Co-Chairs


Rice University’s Centennial: The Celebration

October 10, 2012 - O

It’s not everyday that a student has the opportunity to celebrate his or her university’s centennial. Fortunately for the current students of Rice University, the school engaged its students in fascinating lectures, special open houses, civic opportunities in the Houston community, the Centennial edition of Esperanza, and a spectacle that can only be described just as that. Because, the Centennial purposefully overlapped with the 2012 Homecoming Celebration from October 12th to the 14th, there were plenty of events and exciting opportunities for alumni, staff, and parents. A team of college representatives and student leaders worked to ensure that students would have the same, if not better, opportunities. Ginny Johnson (‘13) Martel Centennial Respresentative

WEDNESDAY: October 10 Centennial House Dedication

Although the official celebration was not until mid-October, the Rice Chapter of Habitat for Humanity dedicated the Rice Centennial House, a labor of love, on September 15, 2012. The project was led by undergraduates in collaboration with a couple of graduate architecture students as well as the Houston office for Habitat for Humanity and several other key organizations. After having fundraised around $85, 000 the Rice community came together to make this almost two year old dream a reality. The purpose of the project is three-fold: 1) Build a new low-cost home that demonstrates the compatibility of sustainability and affordability; 2) Honor and renew Rice’s commitment to volunteerism as it enters its second century; and 3) Give back to the community by offering the benefit of homeownership to a local family in need. Thanks to this endeavor, a single mother and her two kids now have a place to call home.

THURSDAY: October 11 Centennial Lecture Series

Students had the privilege of attending a fantastic lecture series during the celebration. Featured speakers included J. Craig Venter, Rem Koolhaas, Esther Dyson, Shirley Ann Jackson, and Supreme Court Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. Additionally, a special panel of three decades of Executive Leadership at Rice featured President David W. Leebron, former Rice presidents S. Malcolm Gillis and George Rupp, Rice Board of Trustees Chairman James W. Crownover and former Rice Board chairs E. William Barnett and Charles Duncan. Students were able to claim VIP tickets to select talks and had the opportunity to snag floor seats with some of the most distinguished people in the world in their respective fields.


of a Lifetime

October 13, 2012

FRIDAY: October 12 Centennial Picnic

There was certainly a theme to the free food provided for students during the Centennial festivities: food trucks. The campus-wide picnic on Friday of the weeklong celebrations was no different. Students, faculty, staff, and alumnus were all invited to gorge on the feast in the Central quad that awaited their arrivals. Featured food trucks included Oh My Gogi, Monster PB&J, Pamily Bites, & Good Dog Hot Dog. Additionally, vendors from James Coney Island, Prince’s, Papa Johns, Chick-Fil-A, & Sushic catered to lines of guests wrapping around food tents. Just over 8,000 attendees were recorded for the event.

Esperanza Rice Program Council threw one spectacular party on Friday night of the Centennial. It was the night of a century. The party featured DJ Samantha Ronson. Guests could dance the night away while watching themselves on big screens lining the walls of the Centennial Tent. Additionally, partygoers could tweet the event planners their thoughts on the party, song requests to the DJ, or special shout-outs to friends in the crowd. As with the picnic, the party featured food from Houston food trucks Bernie’s Burger Bus and Gigi’s Dumplings, to name a few. Those of age were able to enjoy a cash bar and mixologists made three signature non-alcoholic drinks. An ice craver created a special temporary Owl art piece for guests to witness in person.

SATURDAY: October 13 Light Spectacle

The Spectacle was exactly that. There’s not a single word or phrase that can adequately describe the experience of the special Centennial surprise. Designed by URBANSCREEN, an award-winning group of German artists, spectators witnessed a treat by way of light projection, video mapping, and motion graphics. Many decided not only to watch the show once but twice or more, captivated in the complete majesty of the work of art. While it was incredible to experience in person, the spectacle can be witnessed online via YouTube.


Martel welcomes new RAs! DATE: November 16, 2012 LOCATION: Martel Rotunda HOST: RA Search Committee

This year Martel was faced with a unique situation as the college needed to find two new sets of Resident Associates. The committee was chaired by Denis Leahy and Isabella Spanswick and included two seniors, Justin Montes and Navi Dhaliwal; three juniors, Mike Vatcher, Alex Suarez, and Laura Lopez; two sophomores, Ravi Sheth and Samantha Hea; and one freshman, Cassie Peretore. Starting with nineteen applications, the committee chose ten applicants to interview. After the initial interview process the applicant pool was decrease to six, and the remaining six were invited to an informal meal at Martel to give students not on the committee a chance to meet the prospective RAs. The committee’s last cut was down to four couples. The final four had an interview with the adult team— our Masters, Ted and Beata; our departing RAs, Jeff and Steph; and our coordinator, Maria—followed by one last interview by the

committee. After these final interviews, Denis and Izzy presented the final candidates to Dean John Hutchinson to get any final input from him. Once Adrienne and Thiago Correa and Lauren Neatherlin and Grant Alford were confirmed as Martel’s new RAs, the committee surprised them both with the news. On November 16th they were officially welcomed to the family with their “matriculation” through the Martel sally port followed by a reception in the rotunda. Adrienne, Thiago, Lauren, and Grant are expected to move into their new homes during winter break, and we cannot say how excited we are to start of the new year with them!! - Isabella Spanswick (‘14), Denis Leahy (‘14), RA Search Committee Co-Chairs

the masters

Dear Martel Family, It is hard to believe that two and a half years have passed already, which means that we are right in the middle of our term as

Martel Masters. While reflecting on that fact during the Thanksgiving holiday, when this note was written, we were also reminiscing on some of our memories from the last couple of years. The very first students we got to know as masters, have now graduated and have already begun building successful careers. Our very first freshmen are now juniors! And even our RA team has completely changed. Indeed, Jeff and Stephanie Frey have just left after five plus years at Martel. They have been wonderful, and our college will forever be grateful for their service. This year also marked Rice’s 100th anniversary and, of course, Martel’s tenth! We celebrated both landmarks starting in spring and ending with a fantastic light show on the Rice campus this fall. Last, some extremely exciting news. Our Martel RA search committee led by Izzy

Spanswick and Denis Leahy worked extremely hard this semester conducting interviews and evaluating several talented couples who aspired to be our new Martel RAs. We are happy to report that our new RAs have been selected, and we are looking forward to a new semester with a full and dedicated Martel team. In fact, they have already been matriculated at the Martel Sallyport! They are introducing themselves to you in this volume of Speros. We are extremely excited about our new Martelians, and we can’t wait to begin working with them soon. Here’s to an exciting Spring 2013!

-Ted and Beata


the resident associates

Grant Alford & Lauren Netherlain Native Texans, originally from the deserts of West Texas, we came to Rice to join the School of Architecture three years ago. Before arriving in Houston, we bounced from Lubbock to New Jersey to New York and back to Lubbock. Lauren is the School Administrator and Grant is a Senior Lecturer teaching design studios, as well as a non-major seminar (Architecture for Non-Architects offered in the spring) and a summer program in architectural design (LAUNCH). We come bearing a friendly housecat named Sugar and a decidedly unfriendly old grouch of a chihuahua named Chloe (don’t pet until she knows you well). We like to read about anything, from fashion and art to philosophy and poetry, and going to museums, the ballet or movies downtown. We like to bake and look forward to getting to know Martelians over impromptu sweets and coffee, film series movie nights, and artistic excursions around the city. You can find us in room 327 or in Anderson Hall during the day. See you soon!

- Grant and Lauren

Thiago and Adrienne Correa & Caio

THE CAT IS ON THE ROOF. That’s right, Martel. The cat is on the roof. But wait, Friends of Felines! Let me put your concern for Little Kitty to rest: it’s just a figure of speech. O gato subiu no telhado (i.e., the cat went up on the roof) is a Brasilian way of saying that something is about to happen. And it’s true! The Holidays, New Year 2013, and Spring Semester are right around the corner. Please take a moment to imagine a ‘Holiday Cat’ wearing a super tacky sweater up on the roof of Martel. Thank you. Now forget about that, because your RAs and RB (Resident Baby) are also no telhado! We are very excited to move in to Martel and start Associating with you (Resident-style) in 2013! Thanks to all of you for the warm reception and sallyport ceremony. We look forward to getting to know you better and to many good times together. A special thanks

to the RA Search Committee, Ted and Beata (Masters), and Maria (College Coordinator) for providing us with initial insights into Martel. We are also grateful to David Brown (Housing & Dining) for helping us make our home here with you. The RB would additionally like to thank you in advance for your understanding when he stares at you while smearing foods all over your table in the Commons. Next, we’d like to discuss names, specifically your names. We want to learn them. Therefore, we offer two concepts. First, we would like to promote an atmosphere of Name Non-Embarrassment. We will ask you your names repeatedly; please feel free to ask us our names or how to pronounce them ad nauseum. Even if you already know our

names, ask us anyway. Fun for you, fun for us. Second, we are offering a treat to anyone who crafts us a customized tool (e.g., Figure 1) to help us learn his or her name. Interesting information about you is also appreciated such as your major, hometown, and favorites: salty versus sweet, sports (?), color, excuse, etc. We hope you have had a wonderful break and we cannot wait to see what’s coming up this semester! Happy New Year to all, Your RAs and RB no telhado,

- C.A.T. Caio, Adrienne, Thiago

Figure 1. Visual guide to the names of some Martel Resident Associates (RAs) and the Resident Baby (RB), as well as their pronunciations. From Left: RA Thiago (said like “Chicago”); RB Caio (born said like “on the Bayou”); and RA “Yo, Adrienne”. Figure not to scale.

provided authentic German food, which was accompanied by root beers, ciders, and German beers – including Spaten Oktoberfest, Paulaner Hefeweizen, Spaten Fransizkaner, and Kostritzer Schwarzbier. The night continued with many events, such as the Strongman and Strongwoman contests, of which Danny Connolly and Mattie Pena (both ’13) were the victors, respectively. The night was marked with cool temperatures, a relaxed atmosphere, and a great appreciation of one of Martel’s most cherished traditions. “It was just great to see such a great representation of the Martel community together in one place” asserted sophomore Ethan Widawsky. -Denis Leahy (‘14) Oktoberfest Committee Chair

Martel celebrates Oktoberfest! DATE: October 26, 2012 LOCATION: Martel Quad HOST: Oktoberfest Committee Students, alumni, associates, and even the final four candidates for Martel’s new RA positions all gathered in Martel’s quad on October 26, 2012 to celebrate Martel’s annual Oktoberfest. Beginning with the ceremonial toast, this year performed by former RA’s and the initial creators of the event, Brian and Alana Gibson, the night was filled with great music, food, drinks, and company. A student jazz band, featuring Martel’s own Dino Georgeton (’13) and Jonathan Hua (’12), entertained the crowd during the early evening. The North Servery

We hope every time an issue of Speros is published that you look through it remembering the fun of that semester. Or if you are far away from Martel that you look back fondly on your time at Martel. We try our best to recap the semester! Unfortunately, none of us can remain at Martel forever. So we see Speros as a way of connecting as all through our shared love of Martel. We hope that everyone enjoys reading it, seeing the photos, and reminiscing. That being said we are always looking for new ideas! We plan on expanding Speros in the future and if you have any suggestions, comments, or concerns, please email us at If you have done something cool or amazing (won an award, traveled, gotten a scholarship, etc), please let us know that as well! We always want to know when the Martel Family is doing well! MBYM, Speros Editor-in-Chiefs Charlotte Brown and Meredith McGrath

Martel associate wins award Martel Associate Karen Ostrum George received an award at the biennial black-tie “Evening for Rice’s Honour” at River Oaks Country Club last September. The event has raised more than $5 million over 28 years. Martel Associate Ralph S. O’Connor is a past recepient of this prestigious award.

Two long-time Associates will be missed Last spring Martel lost two valued members of our community, Louise Blake Rutherford and Sharon Bush. Ms. Rutherford, known as Blake, was distantly related to the Martel family and represented an important part of Martel’s living tradition. She died in her home on April 19, 2012. Ms. Rutherford had done many things in her life including acting at the Alley Theater, helping to start several Episcopal Churches, and recieved her Masters degree in education at the age of 50. She also loved to travel and visited many places including China, Africa The North and South Pole, Europe and Australia.

Letter from the Editors

Ms. Bush passed in May. She was a vital part of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and plated a pivotal role in the formation of the Diversity Council. Both were key at Martel as active associates, hosting O-Week dinners and attending events.

Louise Blake Rutherford

Sharon Bush

HEYMARTEL! (yes, that’s you!)


Published in a journal? Awarded a scholarship? Started your own company? Went skydiving, climbed a volcano and video-blogged it all?

tell us!


Speros, Volume 3, Issue 1  
Speros, Volume 3, Issue 1  

The Fall 2012 issue of Martel's Newsletter, Speros, which recaps the fall semester!