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Martel celebrates Brian and Alana

bo shi/for speros

—Jaclyn Youngblood (‘12) Farewell Co-Chair 2011

The Martel seniors come together for a farewell photo at Associates Night on April 12, 2011. For more information about the event and additional photos, see story, p. 4.


Brian and Alana Gibson’s Going Away Party From the Masters Associates & Awards Night Greek Week Celebrations

Martel Theatre’s

somewhere never travelled

Photos An announcement

Resident Associates: Goodbye Brian & Alana Welcome Ed & Maria O-Week

Executive COMING IN EARLY 2012Committee DECEMBER 2011! President’s Corner

1 2 3 4 5

In this issue

To celebrate Brian and Alana’s seven wonderful years of service to the Martel family, current students, alumni, associates, and other members of the Rice community came together the night before Beer Bike for a classy evening in the quad. It was a terrific event, featuring delicious food catered by the servery, some of Brian and Alana’s favorite beers, and a memory slideshow in which Martel students said goodbye to Brian and Alana. To help ease Brian and Alana into nonRA life, the committee presented them with a weekend get-away trip to Becker Vineyards in the Texas Hill Country, where they will stay in a bed and breakfast, have a tour of the vineyards, and enjoy two wine-tastings. They were also presented with a scrapbook version of the memory slideshow. Brian and Alana will be missed tremendously by the entire Martel family and Rice community. They were both tireless advocates of Martel and were supportive of and enthusiastic about students’ interests, whether weighttraining, beer-drinking, powderpuffplaying or Superbowl-watching.

kevin tran/f0r speros


Date: March 11, 2011 Location: Martel Quad Host: RA Farewell Committee


Spirit(s) away Date: January 24–28, 2011 Location: Martel Commons Host: Spirit Committee Martel Greek Week is a celebration of both our Greek heritage and the founding of our college almost a decade ago. On Jan. 26, the college hosted Mr. Martel, Martel’s annual man pageant, affectionately known as our “man-geant.” A large crowd showed up to watch Martel’s most outgoing (and slightly coerced) guys

katie ortbahn/for speros

Bo Shi and Aryan Sameri check out their gifts of Patron from outgoing president, Kevin Tran (top). Maria Byrne, beloved college coordinator, dazzles in a lovely red dress (bottom). Aryan pays homage to Jessi Litman, winner of the spirit award, after the ceremony (right).

photos: kevin tran/for speros

Nautical night makes splash Date: April 12, 2011 Location: Martel Commons Host: Associates Committee

This year’s nautical themed Spring Associates and Awards Night was a great success! The commons looked beautiful, thanks to all the Martelians who offered a hand in the decorating process. The event was emceed by Bo Shi (’11), who did a great job entertaining all who were present with his stand-up comedy, in addition to announcing award winners. Congratulations to everyone who won an

award! We even had live entertainment by a new Rice acapella group, Nocturnal, created this year by Mika Tabata (’14) who sang a cover of Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek.” The co-chairs for next year’s committee were announced at the pre-event reception at the Masters’ house. We congratulate Claire Mauvais (’12), LaWanda Turner (’13), and Izzy Spanswick (’14) on their new positions. We are confident that they are going to do a great job with the committee next year. —Veronica Torres (‘11) Associates Co-Chair 2010-2011

Former Mr. Martel, Jake Keller (‘12), hands over the crown to this year’s winner, Alex Suarez (‘14).

get up to perform and strut their stuff down the catwalk in the Martel Commons. This year’s winner was Alex Suarez (’14), who was crowned Mr. Martel by last year’s winner, Jake Keller (’12). On Jan. 28, the entire college came to celebrate for Martel’s Birthday Party. The night was a success, thanks to Greek food from Niko Niko’s, music, and many hours of karaoke. —Katie Doody (‘13) Spirit Co-Chair 2010-2011

the masters

Dear Martel Family, As the end of the summer draws near, we are reflecting back on our first year as part of the Martel family. And what a year it has been! From getting to know our freshman class during O-week, to preparing to celebrate with our seniors during graduation, it has been an incredibly exciting and fun journey. Our first graduation was emotional. We already miss our graduating seniors and wish them all the best in their future careers. At the same time, we’re so excited to welcome the new members

of our Martel family during O-Week. Looking back, it is hard to identify our favorite events in such an exciting year. When asked, Pierre, our nine-year old, treasures building and launching Martelcolored rockets with fellow Martelians. Beata and our daughter, Yvette, loved having tea and scones together with Martel students and distinguished guests from the Houston community during our Masters tea events. Ted loved listening to talented Martelians performing on recital night. Perhaps the highlight of the year at Martel is Awards

Student-written play premieres Date: April 7–9, 14–16, 2011 Location: Martel Commons Host: Theater Committee This spring the Martel Theater Committee, co-chaired by Claire Morice (‘13) and Anna Meriano (‘13), continued its tradition of producing student-written plays, coordinating the production of Maggie Sulc’s (‘13) somewhere never travelled. Directed by Courtney Svatek (Hanszen ‘13), this e. e. cummings-inspired love story follows the romance between a geeky computer scientist and a free-spirited artist, exploring the challenges inherent in a relationship between polar opposites. Chase Sandman (‘14) and Megan Troxell (Duncan ‘14) played the leading pair, with Ariel Heiblum (‘13), Melody Yee (‘13), Ryan Leigon, and Devon Morera (‘13) playing hilarious supporting roles along with Michael Cheng (Hanszen ‘13). Our all-Martellian backstage crew included Matt Johnson (‘13), Isabel Lopez (‘14), Julie McKinney (‘13), Ginny Johnson (‘13), Andrea Romero (‘13), and Mary Waelder (‘13), and we had even more amazing Martellians show up to play extras in the show, and build and strike the set. On Thursday, April 14 we had our Associates’ Night show, and Masters Ted and Beata were kind enough to host a reception for the cast, crew, and associates afterward. Thanks to everyone whose hard work made this play a success! —Anna Meriano (‘13) Theater Co-Chair, 2010-2011

Night. This is the time when we celebrate the achievements of the most distinguished members of the Martel family. This year was special as several of these awards were funded thanks to the generosity of one of our most dedicated associates, Ralph O’Connor. We cannot cease to be amazed by all the things that our students accomplish on a regular basis. In academics, in athletics, in service and volunteering, our students proudly represent Martel at Rice, Houston, and beyond. We cannot help being proud of Martel, and we wanted the members of the extended

Photo courtesy ipek martinez

Megan Troxell and Chase Sandman sit down for tea served by Devon Morera in Martel College Theatre’s production of somewhere never travelled.

bo shi/for speros

Martel alumni return to their home away from home to wish Brian and Alana a happy farewell.

Martel family, our alumni, associates, and parents to be regularly informed of these accomplishments. Fahad and Jaclyn stepped up to the task and generously devoted their time to creating the first Martel newsletter. We hope that you will like it and that it will not only help you keep informed, but it will also encourage you to get involved at Martel. We welcome your feedback and participation and would love to hear from you! Welcome back home to Martel!

Ted and Beata


(yes, that’s you!)


Received a research fellowship? Got accepted to graduate school? Found a newww job? Got married, had triplets and bought a pet ostrich?

tell us! martelnewsletterinfo

Send in pictures!


O-Week coordinators Amy Altchuler

Katie Doody

Justin Montes

We are the 2011 Orientation Week (O-Week) Coordinators! We’ve spent our spring and summer here in Houston planning and preparing (excitedly, of course) for the news students’ (class of 2015) arrival. The awesome week that they will experience is greatly due to our super(hero) team that we have behind us.

The three of us (Amy, Justin, and Katie) are so stoked for the new students to join the awesomeness that is the Martel family. Throughout their time here at Rice, Martel will be where they will be living their day to day lives whether that involves sleeping most of the time (as in Justin’s case), laughing (as in Katie’s case), or studying (as

in Amy’s case). Whatever they decide to do with their time, whatever paths they tread, wherever life in college may take them, we Martelians will be there to support them through it all. MBYM.




— ­ Amy, Katie, Justin

the resident associates Brian and Alana Gibson Thank you so much for allowing us to contribute to the first issue of Speros, especially given the timing of the end of our term as Resident Associates at Martel. We’ve only been off campus for a few short months and still can’t believe that 7 years has passed since our RA search committee asked us to join the Martel family in spring 2004. Given that the committee was looking for stability and asked for at least a 3-4 year commitment, we’re happy that we were able to stay a bit longer. Although we were ready to try life beyond the hedges when we moved off-campus in December, almost exactly 14 years to the day we moved on to campus, we already miss seeing all of you and sharing our daily lives with you. While both of us are still trying to adjust to the dramatic change in environment (sleep without noise can actually be tough), Sid is struggling the most. Our four hands simply can’t compete with petting from dozens of students on a daily basis.

In all seriousness, our experience at Martel changed our lives indefinitely by allowing us to be part of an amazing family. Without a doubt, the experience has changed our lives dramatically, both personally and professionally. During the past 7 years, we have watched Martel develop a full set of rich traditions and intense pride while continuously reaching new goals, and it has been wonderful to be part of the experience. The students, Masters, fellow Resident Associates and Maria always made us feel extremely welcome. We feel blessed to have lived with all of you and intend to continue to be part of the Martel family from a short distance away. As you can imagine, our farewell message comes with mixed emotions; it is very difficult to convey to you how much we appreciate you letting us be part of your lives for such a long time. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Ed Caplan and Maria Tsakalis Hello everyone! We are Martel’s new resident associates, Maria Tsakalis and Edward Caplan. Maria is a Registered Dietitian and works in the Wellness Center, where she gives free nutrition consultations to all students and implements body image programs on campus. She attended Ohio State University for her BS in nutrition and attended Kent State University for her MS in nutrition. Before coming to Rice in 2010, she worked at a “Biggest Loseresque” diet resort in New York. Edward is also working to become a Registered Dietitian and just completed his residency with the University of Houston. He currently works with HIV side-effect management at Houston Buyers Club and is busy studying for his board exam. Edward attended the University of Oregon and Kent State University for his BA in chemistry and completed his MS in nutrition at Kent State University. Edward is originally from Columbus, Ohio and spent 2 years after high school living in South Korea and Japan working for the military.

Just completing grad school, we both know how hard college can be. We think the college system offers students unparalleled support and we wanted to be part of that. We not only enjoy serving as friends for students to talk to, but also to help them relax, and stay balanced mentally and physically. We are both pretty laid back, love to hang out, and always have an open door. We plan to help students live healthier lifestyles and build new skills outside of the classroom. We have already hosted cooking classes and bike rides and can’t wait to do more! The other member of our family is Hamilton, our rescue Dane mix. Students have been fans of Hamilton’s antics so far: being painted in Martel colors during Beer Bike, being a good cuddler and playmate, and being there for students who miss their own pets☺ Hamilton was lucky to celebrate his first birthday at Martel, complete with his own cake! We look forward to the rest of our time here at Martel. Please stop by, say hello and stay for a meal with us in the servery!

Amy Buxbaum / 2012 President

Amy Altchuler /2012 Treasurer

Dylan McNally / 2012 Vice-President

Navtej Dhaliwal /2013 Treasurer

Michele Bolanos /2013 Prime Minister

Jordan Schermerhorn /2012 Secretary

Jordan Rueter /2013 Prime Minister

Douglas Chen /2013 Secretary

Council 2012

The Executive


from the president Hi everyone! My name is Amy Buxbaum and I am extremely excited to be the new President of Martel! After serving as secretary, third floor lord, chair of the Technology Committee, and O-week advisor as well as a member of both the Masters’ Search Committee and the RA Search Committee, I have enjoyed every minute of my involvement in Martel over the past few years and I am looking forward to another amazing year at Martel. My primary goals as President are to foster communication, increase transparency, and streamline Parliament.

To increase communication, I have instituted a forum component at the end of Parliament where members of the college can have a direct venue to discuss relevant issues and voice their opinions. As for promoting transparency, I have created a presidential twitter that you can follow at (you don’t need a twitter account to see it!) and on a daily basis, I try to engage in open dialogue with Martelians. Parliament is now organized into a four part agenda and our amazing Prime Ministers are setting up a more effective system to increase involvement

and efficiency in committees. Other changes to Martel for next year include the creation of a college court and a caregiver system. I feel so lucky to have been given the opportunity to represent and serve Martel in the upcoming year. I encourage you to get involved at Martel and I warmly welcome any feedback that you might have. Hope to see you next year!

Amy Buxbaum

Speros Vol. 1, Issue 1 (Spring 2011)  

This is the inaugural issue of Speros, the Martel College newsletter sent to alumni, associates, current students, family and friends of the...

Speros Vol. 1, Issue 1 (Spring 2011)  

This is the inaugural issue of Speros, the Martel College newsletter sent to alumni, associates, current students, family and friends of the...