The Magazine of Rice University
Pilgrims and Scholars After a semester studying medieval pilgrimage in a Houston classroom, Rice students traveled to France to live the experience along the Way of St. James. Page 22 Also: Student scrapbooks from Riceâ€™s early days (34), five ideas for the future (28), nanofiber strong as steel and light as a feather (11), and the presidentâ€™s walkabout (9).
The Magazine of Rice University
Path of Knowledge To study medieval pilgrimage, Rice students and their professors became pilgrims along the Way of St. James.
By Nicole Zaza
Wise Ideas Rice scholars tell us how their research is engineering the future. Scraps of Time Student scrapbooks in the Woodson Research Center serve up a slice of early campus life. By Lynn Gosnell
Campus news, building plans, student events, President Leebron’s walkabout and more.
Carbon nanotube thread that conducts electricity, tiny creatures’ genomes, gender and career choice, icy steam and more in research briefs.
Entertainment attorney and mixtape enthusiast Annie Lin ’02 and paper airplane champion Drew Berger ’11; also, campus visitors, noted and quoted.
Rice swimmer Casey Clark ’15
Arts & LEtters
Photographer Matthew Jensen ’02 talks about his exhibition, “The 49 States”; the Rice Gallery, branded; Noctua Quintet scores.
On the cover A signpost keeps pilgrims on the right path along the Way of St. James (Chemin de St. Jacques) in France. A stylized scallop shell, the traditional emblem of St. James, decorates the sign. Left Rice professor Linda Neagley forges ahead despite wind and rain on the trail.
The inspiration of O.J. Brigance ’92; swimming champs; the voice of the Rice Owls, revealed.
Parting Words Lecturer and science writer Scott Solomon pays attention to nature’s small dramas all across campus.
D OW N LOAD
FEATU RED CON TR IBU TO RS
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R ICE MAGAZINE ON ISSUU
Unconventional Education: Ann Saterbak When you hear a college student say, “You have to take this class,” the teacher must be doing something right. One of Ann Saterbak’s goals as a professor in the practice of bioengineering at Rice is to make engineering fun while still challenging. All you have to do is spend a few minutes in her freshman ENG 120 class at the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen at Rice University and you will notice she has done that and more. The class takes students from all walks of engineering, then blends them together and creates an environment of team building, deadlines and results. Watch the video online at ricemagazine.info/139.
#BeerBike On your marks. Beer Bike team members are set, as they await the start of the 2013 collegiate men’s race outside the university football stadium. This year’s overcast weather did not dampen attendance. Eager fans rallied behind the track fence, showing their college loyalties with face paint, college-themed T-shirts and a few choruses of the (always appropriate) college cheers. See the results of this year’s races on Page 7.
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Eric Harrison (“A Parliament of Five”) is the former Houston Chronicle chief film critic and a founding member of the Houston Film Critics Society. He has worked as a national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and Philadelphia Inquirer.
Scott Solomon (“Sex Changes, Beheadings and Resurrection”) is a lecturer and lab coordinator in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a resident associate at Baker College. His popular writing — on topics ranging from how fossils are used in the study of human evolution, to invasive ants, to agricultural slime molds — has appeared in Slate and Wired.com.
Nicole Zaza (“Path of Knowledge”) is a Houston-based freelance writer and writing teacher who recently completed her first collection of essays and graduated with an MFA from the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program.
The Magazine of Rice University Spring 2013 Rice Magazine is published four times a year and is sent to university alumni, faculty, staff, parents of undergraduates and friends of the university. Published by the Office of Public Affairs Linda Thrane, vice president Editor Lynn Gosnell Art Director Erick Delgado Creative Services Jeff Cox senior director Tracey Rhoades editorial director Jenny W. Rozelle ’00 assistant editor Tommy LaVergne senior university photographer Jeff Fitlow university photographer Contributing Staff B.J. Almond, Jade Boyd, Jeff Falk, Amy Hodges, Mike Williams news and media relations Students Johanna Ohm ’13 Ryan Glassman ’13
What’s Next It’s crunch time on campus as we hurtle toward the end of the spring semester and another academic year.
verywhere, projects and papers are under construction. Anderson Hall’s studios blaze brightly, the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen is in overdrive, and the Coffeehouse is brewing a new blend called High Octane. Study rooms in Fondren are booked up and the printing lines at Mudd Lab and the Digital Media Commons are endless. Master’s and doctoral candidates are queued up for recitals or defenses. What our intern Johanna Ohm ’13 calls “the attire continuum” has become more extreme, as students mill about in suits for presentations or pajamas for all-nighters. The milestone of commencement — our 100th — lies just ahead. It’s this endless cycle from matriculation to graduation that makes working on a college campus so gratifying. In a similar spirit of renewal, we unveil a fresh new look and feel for Rice Magazine, courtesy of Art Director Erick Delgado, who joined us last November after stints at a San Francisco architecture firm and the University of Chicago. About our updated architecture, Erick has this to say: “The goal was to give more structure to our pages, with a clean, simple but flexible design that allows the content — great stories and imagery — to really shine. We wanted the design to reflect Rice from cover to cover: bold, smart and unconventional.” For example, we’ve refined some departments and created new ones. On the previous page, “Download” showcases our social media feeds. We hope you’ll check us out online via Twitter or Instagram and more. “Sallyport” now features short takes on campus news and events, longer news stories, and President Leebron’s column. We’ve moved research briefs to their own department, titled “Abstract.” This section features reporting and writing by our talented News and Media Relations staff. We round up profiles and quotes from campus visitors in “Voices,” and one picture is worth 1,000 words on the two-page spread called “Scene.” In the back of the magazine, we’ve combined our books section with performing and visual arts stories via “Arts and Letters.” Rounding out each issue is sports news and personal essays. What do you think? Tell us at email@example.com. We welcome your feedback as we strive to tell the stories that keep you connected to Rice University. —Lynn Gosnell firstname.lastname@example.org S p r i ng 2 0 1 3 · R i c e M a g a z i n e
Picture Perfect What a wonderful surprise to flip through the recent Rice Magazine (Issue No. 15) and find a picture of my daughter (Elena Fe Montenegro, 5) sitting on my husband’s shoulders, listening to President Leebron’s centennial address! Rice is such a special place for us. We try to make it to Houston to visit friends and the campus twice a year and enjoy sharing our love of the school with our girls. (Big sister not shown is Eva Belen Montenegro, 9.) We definitely will not be throwing this issue away! —Michelle Reyna ’94 and Enrique Montenegro ’94
And One More Thing ...
Although the list (“100 Things”) was fantastic, one thing missing was the annual “Campanile” Picture Yourself event where anyone could come and take whatever photo they wanted, inspiring a lot of creative poses and a good time. So much that I remember fondly about Rice involved the creative spirit. —Traci Ext ’95
Well-written and very moving article by Ms. Whiting regarding the passing of Ben Horne ’02. I will say a prayer for the Horne family today. The article immediately reminded me of the passing of my close friend and former roommate, Brett Minden. Over the Christmas/ semester break in 1985, he fell to his death in a hiking accident in Arkansas. The edge of the cliff where he sat just fell away. A high school champion wrestler, he could slam you flat on the ground in two seconds even if you were 40 pounds bigger. (I was, and I got slammed.) And he was an awesome kid. We miss you still, Brett. —Dave Offer ’88
Loved this article (“100 Things”). One thing I didn’t see was something we encountered before we even got to Rice — the box. Do the applications still have that? I put in a picture I had taken at Big Bend National Park. What do other people put in? —Lynn Cherry Jacquet ’78 We asked Nikki Chun, associate director of the Office of Admission, to answer: “Rice’s application supplement does still feature ‘the box.’ Even though the application is now completely digital, we provide a space on our supplement through which the applicant can express something extra about himself or herself. Students are encouraged to fill in the box with an image that appeals to them. We receive a variety of images, ranging from photo collages to handdrawn art. The box continues to be a great source for the committee to learn about the applicant.”
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Exit Stage Right I am delighted that “Hello, Hamlet!” was recognized by Barry Moore ’62 in a letter you published on Pg. 3 of the most recent issue. However, the picture below his letter is not from “Hello, Hamlet!” It is a scene from Ionesco’s “Exit the King,” directed by Donald Bayne ’73. The students shown in that picture are Greg Stock ’72 and me. —Lucy Ferguson Galbraith ’71
Rice University Board of Trustees James W. Crownover, chairman; Edward B. “Teddy” Adams Jr.; J.D. Bucky Allshouse; D. Kent Anderson; Keith T. Anderson; Laura Arnold; Subha Viswanathan Barry; Suzanne Deal Booth; Robert T. Brockman; Albert Chao; T. Jay Collins; Lynn Laverty Elsenhans; Lawrence Guffey; James T. Hackett; John Jaggers; Larry Kellner; R. Ralph Parks; Lee H. Rosenthal; Charles Szalkowski; Robert M. Taylor Jr.; Robert B. Tudor III; James S. Turley; Lewis “Rusty” Williams; Randa Duncan Williams. Administrative Officers David W. Leebron, president; George McLendon, provost; Kathy Collins, vice president for Finance; Kevin Kirby, vice president for Administration; Chris Muñoz, vice president for Enrollment; Allison Kendrick Thacker, vice president for Investments and treasurer; Linda Thrane, vice president for Public Affairs; Richard A. Zansitis, vice president and general counsel; Darrow Zeidenstein, vice president for Resource Development. Editorial Offices Rice University Creative Services–MS 95 P.O. Box 1892 Houston, TX 77251-1892 email@example.com Postmaster Send address changes to: Rice University Development Services–MS 80 P.O. Box 1892 Houston, TX 77251-1892 © April 2013 Rice University
We want to hear from you. Please send us your note, letter or email, which we will edit for clarity and space considerations. If your letter or note elicits further responses from our readership, we may print those, too. After that, dear readers, you’ll have to take it outside.
News and Updates from Campus
T Photo: Jeff Fitlow
here were many stirring moments at January’s vigil in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., which included a candlelight procession, thoughtful speeches by university and community representatives, and beautiful violin music, to name a few. But we were especially moved by the lovely harmonies of the Melodious Voices of Praise, Rice’s student gospel choir, and their rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Led by a confident Yakira Alford ’14, the choir includes 15–20 students; they frequently collaborate with Rice’s alumni gospel choir. In addition to the MLK service, the choir has sung for numerous cultural events throughout the year, including the Black Student Association’s annual Soul Night.
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Rice’s generous financial aid and comparatively lower tuition: “With tuition set at thousands of dollars lower than Ivy League and other peer institutions, Rice walks the walk of keeping the highest caliber of education affordable for all.” The rankings were based on institutional and student surveys conducted from fall 2011 through fall 2012. The percentage of graduating seniors who borrowed from any loan program and their average debt at graduation were also factored into the analysis. Since 2009, Rice has eliminated loans to students whose family income is below $80,000. Rice admits students regardless of their ability to pay and provides financial-aid packages that meet 100 percent of students’ demonstrated need.
In December, Rice broke ground (or asphalt) on its new Continuing Studies building, scheduled for completion in spring 2014. Rice recently announced a $20 million donation from the Moody Foundation for a new Center for the Arts on campus. Currently in predesign phase, the center will include three types of spaces: lecture and studio classrooms for arts making and collaboration; a theater venue for experimental and smaller-scale productions; and galleries both for exhibition of faculty and student work and curated exhibits by Rice and jointly with Houston’s nearby, world-class art museums. “The Moody Center will foster creativity in arts much like Rice’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen enables creativity in engineering,” said Caroline Levander, vice provost for interdisciplinary initiatives. The new building has a tentative opening planned for 2015. It will be located near the current Rice Media Center at Entrance 8. Learn more at ricemagazine.info/140.
Don’t drive to the Texas Hill Country for your bluebonnet fix. Instead, look around campus. Here’s a tip: For most of the year, the natural area that surrounds the banks of the
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now-buried Harris Gully appears barren and bland. (What remains of the gully flows underground through two large, concrete culverts.) No majestic live oaks shade the area’s trails, which are popular with cyclists and pedestrians alike as they meander from Main Street toward Wiess College or Tudor Fieldhouse. But come spring, the trapezoidal wildscape known as the Harris Gully Natural Area blooms with colorful wildflowers, including coreopsis, coneflower, Indian blanket, sage and, of course, bluebonnets. This spring’s bounty comes courtesy of the Lynn R. Lowrey Arboretum and Facilities Engineering and Planning, who, assisted by Rice students enrolled in an environmental studies class, scattered 50 pounds of wildflower seed mix last fall.
Rice University is one of the country’s top 10 best values among private schools for 2013. That’s according to rankings published in the Princeton Review’s 2013 edition of “The Best Value Colleges.” Rice is No. 7 and the only private university in Texas in the rankings, which assess the quality of academics, cost of attendance and financial aid. In a section called “Bang for Your Buck,” the guide cites
The three-story facility will bear the names of Rice trustee D. Kent Anderson ’62 and his wife, Linda C. Anderson, along with trustee emeritus Robert L. Clarke ’63 and his late wife, Jean T. Clarke. The Anderson-Clarke Center will house 24 classrooms, conference rooms, a language center, an auditorium, and a commons area and terrace for events. The building’s footprint was formerly a parking lot located between Rice Stadium and campus Entrance 8. Mary McIntire ’75, dean of the Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies, said the new building will “take us to a whole new level of service to the community” as both a symbolic and real portal that connects Rice to the city of Houston and beyond. Like all new buildings on Rice’s campus, the $24 million facility will be built to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards.
People can’t seem to get enough of “Downton Abbey.” Rice scholar Robert Patten is helping fans deepen their knowledge and appreciation of the show’s historical detail and artistry. Patten, an expert in Victorian-era fiction, art and print culture, is the Lynette S. Autry Professor Emeritus in Humanities and professor emeritus of English. He’s opened up two fronts as a scholarly commentator on the wildly popular PBS series. (According to PBS, 7.9 million people watched the premiere of the show’s third season.) First, he appeared as a regular guest on the HoustonPBS talk show “Manor of Speaking,” a 30-minute program that aired live immediately after each episode. Patten and other guests discussed story lines, history lessons, societal mores and class relations, among other topics. Closer to campus, Patten is teaching a class for the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies called Life in Downton Abbey: The Fiction and the Reality. The class explores how the show dramatizes the struggles and changes of the time period, adapting the realities of British aristocratic life to the convention of the television soap opera. With an enrollment of 125, it’s the most popular class among those offered by the Glasscock School for the spring session.
Rice’s mental health policies and procedures are the focus of a dialogue with students. In the spring issue of the Rice Parents and Families Newsletter, Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson wrote, “At Rice, we regard mental health care as a public health matter in which we are committed to providing timely and effective psychiatric and psychological support to our students, to reducing barriers to mental health care on and off campus, and to destigmatizing mental illness at Rice.” The conversation began in the wake of a Rice Thresher op-ed published in late November in which a student criticized her experience with mental health services. The article prompted a response from Hutchinson that shed more light on those services. Photos: Nikki Metzgar; Jeff Fitlow
A student rally called for more attention to mental health and sexual assault issues, and the Thresher in January reported about the resources and policies in more depth. Hutchinson, Associate Dean of Undergraduates Don Ostdiek, Rice Counseling Center staff and other campus health representatives have since met with student groups to discuss the issues. At the meeting, Hutchinson outlined the history of the ongoing Wellbeing Project, a series of workshops, programs and conversations to raise students’ awareness of, and access to, a wide range of campus wellness resources. A student-led Wellness Working Group, led by Philomena Bradford ’13, was formed in January to work with the dean’s office to improve student awareness of health and wellness resources and policies. “I’m pleased to share with students information about our resources and processes, because we need our students to reach out to us when they need assistance,” Hutchinson said.
our time at Rice or as a way to identify others who share a piece of our life story, we all have a shared pride in Rice University. Here’s to our new rings, and to our new traditions. —Johanna Ohm ’13
If you love Rice, put a ring on it. At the first annual Ring Celebration, which took place Feb. 21 at Huff House, I embraced another “senior moment” as the spring semester edges closer to commencement. The ring is one of the oldest symbols of our university, and its design has remained unchanged since 1918. But this year was different, as students could have college crests engraved on the interior. We now wear our new Rice bling on our right hands as symbols of pride in our university and our connection to the Rice community. “I was glad that we had a ring ceremony,” said Hannah Bosley ’13. “I want my ring to symbolize the happy times and good memories Rice has given me, so it was nice to commemorate the actual ring in a special way, surrounded by friends.” Other students envision the ring as being a conversation starter or a means to identify other Rice alums. “I’m working in Houston next year, and I see it as a way to make connections, meet people and share the Rice story,” said Estevan Delgado ’13. “We’re expecting more than 400 Rice rings to go out into the world this year,” said Christine Helmick, assistant director, Association of Rice Alumni. Whether we wear our rings as a personal reminder of
Will Rice sweeps Beer Bike. The annual event took place March 23 in Rice Stadium. New this year was an electronic timekeeping system that was created just for the race by a team of Rice engineering students. To view all the college results and times, go to ricemagazine.info/141.
BEER BI KE 2013 R E S U LTS Alumni Race 1st: Will Rice 2nd: Graduate Student Association (GSA) 3rd: Lovett Women’s Race 1st: Will Rice 2nd: McMurtry 3rd: GSA Men’s Race 1st: Will Rice 2nd: McMurtry 3rd: Duncan S p r i ng 2 0 1 3 · R i c e M a g a z i n e
Bobby Tudor’s Next Move Recruited to play basketball at Rice out of Pineville High School in tiny Pineville, La., Bobby Tudor ’82 went on to become one of Rice’s top student–athletes. A double major in English and legal studies, he lettered in basketball for four straight years, served as team captain and was recognized with the Bob Quin Award for outstanding accomplishments as a leader, athlete and student. When Tudor becomes chairman of the Rice Board of Trustees July 1, he will be only the fourth new chair of Rice’s highest governing authority in the last 30 years. He follows in the footsteps of Jim Crownover ’65, Bill Barnett ’55 and Charles Duncan ’47. Tudor attended Rice on an athletic scholarship. “I didn’t pay a penny in four years at Rice, and in reward I came away with a very, very fine elite education, one that’s really hard to replicate not just in our country but in the world,” Tudor said in a Feb. 10 profile story on Houston’s KRIV-TV. “And for that I feel a great sense of obligation and responsibility to make sure that that remains open to others and that we continue to make Rice a better and better place to be over time.” “Bobby is ‘intensely local,’ like Rice,” Crownover said. “He is very committed to Rice, to his community and to his family. But, also like Rice, he has had extensive global experience and accomplishments. That local commitment and global connection will serve Rice well.” Since beginning his first term as board chair in 2005, Crownover has provided leadership during the period in which Rice launched its Centennial Campaign, implemented the 10-point Vision for the Second Century that included a 37 percent increase in the undergraduate and graduate student population and $800 million in campus construction and renovation, and recently celebrated its centennial. The university honored Crownover’s many contributions to Rice this spring. “It’s been a real pleasure to serve on the board with an outstanding leader like Jim,” said Tudor, who was elected Crownover’s successor in December. “And Rice has never been better positioned to handle the challenges before us and to have an even greater impact on the lives of our students and on the vitality of our community.” “I’ve worked with Bobby in his capacity as co-chair of the capital campaign,” Rice President David Leebron said, “and I know he will bring that dedication and demonstrated leadership to his new role.”
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BI OGRA PH Y Education and Early Career Tudor earned a B.A. in English and legal studies and was a resident of Hanszen College. After graduation, Tudor spent two years as a professional basketball player with Turnerschaft Raiffeisen in Innsbruck, Austria, where he also had a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship. He next attended law school at Tulane, graduating in 1987. Career For nearly 20 years, Tudor was employed by Goldman Sachs, where he was a partner and worked in the New York, London and Houston offices. In 2007, he founded Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co., an energy investment and merchant bank. Family Tudor and his wife, Phoebe, have three children: Caroline, Margaret and Harry. Rice’s basketball and volleyball arena, Tudor Fieldhouse, is named in honor of the couple for their major gift in 2007 to renovate Autry Court.
“Rice has never been better positioned to handle the challenges before us and to have an even greater impact on the lives of our students and on the vitality of our community.” Bobby Tudor ’82, Rice Board of Trustees chairman-elect
Serving Rice Tudor was originally elected to the board in 2006 and re-elected to a four-year term in 2010. He is co-chair of Rice’s $1 billion Centennial Campaign — the largest fundraising campaign in the university’s history — with alumna and trustee emeritus Susanne Morris Glasscock ’62.
Perhaps to state the obvious, universities are complex enterprises. Even a comparatively small research university like Rice has the attributes of a small town. We have lodging, restaurants, health care, a transportation system, a police department and power plants. In other respects, we resemble a large corporate enterprise, with significant endeavors in information technology, purchasing, “sales” (which we call enrollment), government and media relations, finance, and so forth. Our relationship to our students falls somewhere between the political model of the citizen and the corporate model of the customer. And our graduates are not former customers; they are alumni and a vital element of the community who will play a critical role in our future. Following our Centennial Celebration and at the beginning of my 10th year at Rice, I began to think about ways in which I might reinvest in learning about our community. I wanted to understand at a more fine-grained Photo: Jeff Fitlow
DAVI D W. LEEBRON
Around the Campus in 100 Visits The coldest spot in the universe, a ballroom dancing class and behind the counter at the studentrun coffeehouse: President Leebron’s walkabout around campus led to many unexpected places.
level what the members of our community — students, faculty and staff — experience and contribute each day. I came upon the notion of a “walkabout,” a term loosely adapted by others from the Australian Aboriginal custom of adolescents going out into the bush for an extended period of time. This was not because Rice was at all unfamiliar or wild territory to me, but rather that taking the time to experience Rice through the eyes of the people who make up the community is not something I have the time to do every week. When I sent a letter announcing my intentions for a walkabout to the Rice community, suggestions poured in. I set aside five days that would primarily be devoted to the walkabout (on Twitter #RiceWalkabout) but also made it clear that I would schedule additional visits that didn’t fit within those times. Thus far, I have done about 80 such visits toward the centennial-related goal of 100. For my very first walkabout, I observed the S p r i ng 2 0 1 3 · R i c e M a g a z i n e
master’s thesis presentations at the School of Architecture, where students brought their creativity to urban planning challenges across the world. My first dedicated walkabout day, Jan. 15, began with a visit to Professor Janet Braam’s laboratory. Her group works on understanding how plants (they use a small flowering plant, Arabidopsis, for their research) respond to environmental stresses and stimuli, such as touching and light cycles. Those responses in turn seem to affect plant resistance to certain threats. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should pet your plants
“What did I learn? Most importantly, how incredibly dedicated people are. Students are passionate about their opportunities, faculty are passionate about their teaching and research, and staff are passionate about supporting both.” David W. Leebron, President
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as well as your dog or cat, but rather that this research could provide important insights that would increase agricultural productivity. I can’t list here everything I did in the following days, but it ranged from attending an opera rehearsal to spending time in a college coordinator’s office to watching graphene being made to enjoying a beer at Valhalla. I was especially impressed by visits to our student-run businesses, including not only Valhalla, but also the Pub (where I could not serve beer since I didn’t have the required training), the Rice Coffeehouse (where I was trained to make a latte) and the Hoot, a new late-night food venue. Some of the visits, such as to the Thresher offices, student workspaces in Anderson Hall where the archies often work through the night or the Lovett College Central Committee, were, shall we say, beyond the normal business hours. What is truly striking is the full range of activities occurring on any given day or indeed at any moment across the campus: a ballroom dancing class, a late-night discussion
in McMurtry College (“BurtTALKS”) about the ideal university, a thoughtful conversation over lunch about the meaning of selected passages from the Bible, track practice, a BakerShake rehearsal of “The Merchant of Venice” and a drill by our Navy ROTC unit. I sat in on a private violin lesson and a lecture on why we have rainbows and blue skies. I rode with the police on a campus patrol and explored our utility tunnels. I saw the coldest spot in the universe in a physics lab and looked through a microscope that allows us to see almost down to the molecular level. I visited an archaeological dig by students in Houston’s Fourth Ward on the site of Freedmen’s Town, where freed slaves resided after the Civil War. These diverse activities and resources are all part of the fabric of both holistic education and community. What did I learn? Most importantly, how incredibly dedicated people are. Students are passionate about their opportunities, faculty are passionate about their teaching and research, and staff are passionate about supporting both. This enthusiasm runs deep, not only about Rice generally, but about the full range of activities and opportunities that exist on our campus. I found the whole experience inspiring. It left me more confident than ever of the value of the Rice experience, and that we will be able not merely to sustain that value, but to increase it as we take advantage of new technologies and new opportunities. We are a community and a common endeavor, and yet at the same time engaged daily in thousands of different pursuits. It is the commitment to learning, discovery and personal growth that both sets us apart and brings us together. When I sit in my fourth-floor office and gaze through the window across what appears to be a quiet campus, I now know even better than before that it is anything but.
Photos: Jeff Fitlow
Shockingly Strong, Light and Conductive A super-strong threadlike material that conducts electricity is one of Rice’s latest nanotechnology breakthroughs.
Photo: Jeff Fitlow
A new carbon nanotube fiber (CNT) that looks and acts like textile thread and conducts electricity and heat like a metal wire has been developed by scientists from Rice, the Dutch firm Teijin Aramid, the U.S. Air Force and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. In a recent issue of Science magazine, researchers described an industrially scalable process for making the threadlike fibers, which outperform commercially available high-performance materials in a number of ways. The fibers are produced by a wet-spinning technique. “We finally have a nanotube fiber with properties that don’t exist in any other material,” said lead researcher Matteo Pasquali, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and of chemistry at Rice. “It looks like black cotton thread but behaves like both metal wires and strong carbon fibers.” The fibers reported in Science have about 10 times the tensile strength and electrical and thermal
Findings, Research and more
conductivity of the best previously reported wet-spun CNT fibers, Pasquali said. The specific electrical conductivity of the new fibers is on par with copper, gold and aluminum wires, but the new material has advantages over metal wires. For example, one application where high strength and electrical conductivity could prove useful would be in data and low-power applications, he said. —Jade Boyd Read more about the 10-year process that lead to the creation of these high- performance carbon nanotubes at ricemagazine.info/142. FACULTY
Rice University professors Daniel Carson, Katherine Ensor, Lydia Kavraki, Douglas Natelson, George Phillips and Marina Vannucci have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s S p r i ng 2 0 1 3 · R i c e M a g a z i n e
largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science. Fellows are selected for their efforts to advance science or scientific applications that are deemed distinguished. Carson, dean of Rice’s Wiess School of Natural Sciences, was elected for “distinguished contributions to the field of reproductive biology and medicine, particularly for studies of the embryo implantation process, and for the advocacy of basic science in the community.” Carson is the Schlumberger Chair of Advanced Studies and Research and a professor of biochemistry and cell biology. Ensor, professor of statistics and chair of the Department of Statistics, was chosen “for research in environmental and financial statistics, leadership in the statistics profession and for advancing statistical practice and outreach through the mentoring and education of future scientists.” Kavraki, the Noah Harding Professor of Computer Science and professor of bioengineering, was selected “for fundamental contributions to robotic motion planning and its application to computational biology.” Natelson, professor of physics and astronomy and professor of electrical and computer engineering, was chosen “for distinguished contributions to the physics of nanostructures and of molecular electronic systems.” Phillips, the Ralph and Dorothy Looney Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology and professor of chemistry, was recognized “for outstanding contributions to the development of crystallography and its applications in structural biology, particularly in the study of protein dynamics and structural genomics.” Vannucci, professor of statistics at Rice and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, was elected “for fundamental contributions to wavelet-based statistical modeling and to the theory and practice of Bayesian variable selection methods and for mentorship of young researchers.” We congratulate these distinguished faculty members. —J.B. NATURAL SCIENCES
Tiny Creature Genomes
A new report in the journal Nature unveils three of the first genomes from a vast, understudied swath of the animal kingdom that includes as many as one-quarter of Earth’s marine species. By publishing the genomes
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The genomes of the freshwater leech Helobdella robusta (pictured), the owl limpet and an ocean-dwelling worm are among the first sequenced genomes from a vast, understudied swath of the animal kingdom known as lophotrochozoans, which includes as many as one-quarter of Earth’s marine species. of a leech, an ocean-dwelling worm and a sea snail creature called a limpet, scientists from Rice University, the University of California at Berkeley and the Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute (JGI) have more than doubled the number of genomes from a diverse group of animals called lophotrochozoans. (Hint: It’s pronounced just like it’s spelled.) This diverse group of animals includes mollusks, such as snails, clams and octopuses, and annelids, such as leeches and earthworms. “At Rice, we work on comparative genomics,” said co-author Nicholas Putnam, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Rice. “We look for recognizable similarities across genomes, and we are interested in similarities among the genes themselves and also among the patterns of genetic organization. These structural similarities can tell us a lot about the evolution of individual genes and functional gene groups, like chromosomes.” —J.B. Read more about Nicholas Putnam’s lab and the ongoing work in genomic studies at ricemagazine.info/143. PUBLIC POLICY
Rice sociologist William Martin traces the origins and growth of Mexican drug cartels and
the corruption, failed government policies and gruesome violence that accompanied their rise in a new paper from Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. Martin is the Baker Institute’s Harry and Hazel Chavanne Senior Fellow in Religion and Public Policy as well as a Rice professor emeritus of religion and public policy and of sociology. Martin’s analysis places a special focus on efforts and developments during former Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s term from December 2006 to November 2012. Despite Calderón’s drawing on the force of the Mexican military, his war on the cartels appeared to have exacerbated the violence, Martin said. To reverse course, Martin recommends that the Mexican government work to shift from a mindset of war to one of crime fighting and to reduce the role of the military while strengthening that of the police. In addition, Martin said both countries must work to improve educational and employment opportunities so that young people in particular do not turn to drugs and crime because they have abandoned hope of achieving a meaningful life by legal means. “Finally, both countries, in dialogue with other nations in the hemisphere, in Europe and elsewhere, should examine the drug policies and programs of other countries to consider viable alternatives to a policy of strict Photo: Ajna S. Rivera/UC-Berkeley
prohibition,” he said. “A growing number of countries have adopted such policies, either officially or de facto. Usage rates have generally remained stable, without an increase in problems popularly associated with the drugs in question. Equally notable, the quite high usage rates in the United States persist despite some of the harshest penalties in the world. Looking with an open mind at alternative systems should help dispel the fear that any change to current policies will lead to catastrophe.” —Jeff Falk Read the policy paper at ricemagazine. info/144. SOCIAL SCIENCES
Men Are From Physics. Women Are From Biology. Both male and female scientists view gender discrimination as a major reason women choose to pursue careers in biology rather than physics, according to research by Elaine Howard Ecklund, an associate professor of sociology. But why? A key finding in Ecklund’s study, which recently appeared in the journal Gender and Society, is that both male and female scientists view gender discrimination as a factor in women’s decision not to choose a science career at all or to choose biology over physics. However, the two sexes have differences in opinion about when discrimination occurs. The authors surveyed 2,500 biologists and physicists at elite institutions of higher education in the United States, along with a smaller scientific sample of 150 scientists, about the reasons they believe there are gender differences in scientific disciplines. “During interviews, men almost never mentioned present-day discrimination, believing that any discrimination in physical science classes likely took place early in the educational history (primary school), which they believe explains women’s predisposition to biological sciences,” Ecklund said. “However, female scientists believe that discrimination is still occurring in present-day universities and departments.” Regardless of gender or discipline, approximately half of all the scientists interviewed thought that at some point in women’s educational lives, they are discouraged from pursuing a career in physics. Other reasons scientists gave to explain the different numbers of women who pursue biology when compared Photo: Jeff Fitlow
with physics include mentorship of students in the fields of biology and physics and “inherent differences between men and women.” One female scientist said, “I think women … want to have more of a sense that what they are doing is helping somebody. Maybe there are more women in … biology (because) you can be like, ‘Oh, I am going to go cure cancer.’” Whereas women often explained sex differences between the disciplines using reasons of emotional affinity, men stressed neurological differences as being responsible for personal choices. One male scientist suggested that there are “some brain differences between men and women that explain (the gender differences between the disciplines).” —Amy Hodges Read the full article at ricemagazine.info/145. ENGINEERING
From Ice to Steam, Efficiently
Rice University scientists have unveiled a new technology that uses nanoparticles to convert solar energy directly into steam. The new “solar steam” method from Rice’s Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP) is so effective it
can even produce steam from icy cold water. The technology has an overall energy efficiency of 24 percent. Photovoltaic solar panels, by comparison, typically have an overall energy efficiency around 15 percent. However, the inventors of solar steam said they expect the first uses of the new technology will not be for electricity generation but rather for sanitation and water purification in developing countries. “This is about a lot more than electricity,” said LANP Director Naomi Halas, the lead scientist on the project. “With this technology, we are beginning to think about solar thermal power in a completely different way.” The efficiency of solar steam is due to the light-capturing nanoparticles that convert sunlight into heat. When submerged in water and exposed to sunlight, the particles heat up so quickly they instantly vaporize water and create steam. Halas said the solar steam’s overall energy efficiency can probably be increased as the technology is refined. “We’re going from heating water on the macro scale to heating it at the nanoscale,” Halas said. “Our particles are very small — even smaller than a wavelength of light —
The solar steam device developed at Rice University has an overall energy efficiency of 24 percent, far surpassing that of photovoltaic solar panels. It may first be used in sanitation and water-purification applications in the developing world. S p r i ng 2 0 1 3 · R i c e M a g a z i n e
which means they have an extremely small surface area to dissipate heat. This intense heating allows us to generate steam locally, right at the surface of the particle, and the idea of generating steam locally is really counterintuitive.” Steam is one of the world’s most-used industrial fluids. About 90 percent of electricity is produced from steam, and steam is also used to sterilize medical waste and surgical instruments, to prepare food, and to purify water. Most industrial steam is produced in large boilers, and Halas said solar steam’s efficiency could allow steam to become economical on a much smaller scale. Halas, the Stanley C. Moore Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and professor of physics and astronomy, of chemistry and of biomedical engineering, is one of the world’s most-cited chemists. —J.B. Watch a video of Rice graduate student Oara Neumann creating steam from nearly frozen water at ricemagazine.info/146.
lithium cobalt oxide, which are very expensive. You have to mine the cobalt metal and manufacture the cathodes in a high-temperature environment. There are a lot of costs. “And then, recycling is a big issue,” he said. “In 2010, almost 10 billion lithium-ion batteries had to be recycled, which uses a lot of energy. Extracting cobalt from the batteries is an expensive process.” How did the scientists find this unlikely material? Reddy and his colleagues came across purpurin while testing a number of organic molecules for their ability to electrochemically interact with lithium and found purpurin most amenable to binding lithium ions. “It’s a new mechanism we are proposing with this paper, and the chemistry is really simple,” Reddy said. He suggested agricultural waste may be a source of purpurin, as may other suitable molecules, which makes the process even more economical. —Mike Williams
Plants as Battery Components
Scientists at Rice University and the City College of New York have discovered that the madder plant, aka Rubia tinctorum, is a good source of purpurin, an organic dye that can be turned into a highly effective, natural cathode for lithium-ion batteries. The plant has been used since ancient times to create dye for fabrics. The discovery was detailed in the open-access journal Scientific Reports. The goal, according to lead author Arava Leela Mohana Reddy, a research scientist in the Rice lab of materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan, is to create environmentally friendly batteries that solve many of the problems with lithium-ion batteries in use today. “Green batteries are the need of the hour, yet this topic hasn’t really been addressed properly,” Reddy said. “The current focus of the research community is still on conventional batteries, meeting challenges like improving capacity. While those issues are important, so are issues like sustainability and recyclability.” While lithium-ion batteries have become standard in conventional electronics since their commercial introduction in 1991, the rechargeable units remain costly to manufacture, Reddy said. “They’re not environmentally friendly. They use cathodes of
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Jacques Callot, “Les Gueux: l’aveugle et son chien (The Beggars: Blind Man and His Dog),” etching, Albert A. Feldmann Collection HUMANITIES
A 17th-century Printmaker’s World Printmaker Jacques Callot (1592–1635) created more than 1,400 prints and 2,000 drawings in
his short lifetime. Along the way, he left a legacy that inspires printmakers to this day. Rice’s Department of Art History and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) are teaming up this spring for a special focus on Callot, which includes an exhibition, a seminar for advanced art history undergraduate and graduate students at Rice, and a one-day symposium. The exhibition, “Princes and Paupers: The Art of Jacques Callot,” runs through May 5 and was curated by Diane Wolfthal, the David and Caroline Minter Professor of Humanities and chair and professor of art history at Rice, and Dena Woodall, MFAH assistant curator of prints and drawings. Wolfthal and Woodall are team teaching the seminar, and classes will take place at the museum. “He revolutionized the technique of etching by developing a new type of needle and perfecting the use of a hard ground and multiple acid bitings,” Wolfthal said. “Moreover, he deeply influenced not only artists of the past, such as Rembrandt and Goya, but also today’s printmakers.” Callot lived and worked in both Florence, Italy, and Lorraine, in present-day France. “Callot’s etchings are imaginative, inventive and witty, and he was intrigued by a broad range of themes, from theatrical performances and military sieges to Gypsies and beggars,” Wolfthal said. The exhibition reflects this wit and imagination through more than 150 objects, including prints, books and tools. They are part of a private collection. Rice art history doctoral students Carolyn Van Wingerden and Julie Knutson helped to organize the exhibition and its catalog. Studying his work up close, Van Wingerden was struck by Callot’s progressive perspective. “He was an unusual artist for the time given his interest in marginalized figures, who didn’t regularly make it into artwork in this period.” “One of things that is so impressive is the level of detail with the individual prints,” Knutson said. “If you really look and engage with them up close, there’s so much nuance in the drawings.” Knutson noted Callot’s portrayal of Gypsies. “He provided an alternative perspective on marginalized social groups. It’s far less sensationalized than most depictions of Gypsies that you see in the early modern period.” —J.F. Read more about the exhibition at ricemagazine.info/147.
Houston Area Asian Survey Findings: Portrait of Houston’s Varied Asian Community Takes Shape
Rice’s Kinder Institute surveyed Houston’s four largest Asian communities (Vietnamese, Indian/Pakistan, Chinese/Taiwanese and Filipino) three times over a 16-year period. The findings detail trends and bust a few myths on the topics of education, work, religion and concerns of Houston’s varied and vibrant Asian communities. Read more at ricemagazine.info/148.
A DEMOGRAPHIC REVOLUTION
U.S. Census Figures for Harris County Asians/Others Hispanics Blacks Anglos
Beginning in 1960 with the oil boom years, the region’s population surged, dominated by Anglos, followed by blacks, Hispanics and Asians. Fifty years later, 4.1 million people live in a more diverse Houston, as seen in the graph on the right. (Cumulative percent does not equal 100 percent because of rounding.) 0.3% 6.0 19.8 73.9
7.7% 40.8 18.4 33.0
Answers from the survey questionnaire reveal the Asian-American community’s concerns, including “What would you say is the biggest problem facing people in the Houston area today?” Intergroup relations, at left in tiny type, came last at 2 percent.
RISE OF THE SECOND GENERATION
In the first survey (conducted in 1995), 28 percent of all the Asian respondents had lived in this country for less than 10 years; just 22 percent had been here for more than 20 years, and only 10 percent were U.S.-born. Sixteen years later, by the time of the 2011 survey, those figures were dramatically different.
U.S.-born Asians among all of Harris County’s Asian adults
10% 15% 31% IN 1995
38.7 23.3 18.7 10.7 2.0%
A remarkable 59 percent of all the Houston-area Asian immigrants have college or postgraduate degrees. Only 37 percent of the U.S.-born Anglos in Harris County are college educated.
College degree 22
Some college 14
High school diploma Less than high school
“Houston has become the single most ethnically diverse large metropolitan region in the United States, and the three Houston Area Asian Surveys provide a rare look at this rapidly growing population over time. Houston’s Asian communities will play increasingly important roles in all aspects of our city’s life as the 21st century unfolds.” Stephen L. Klineberg, co-director, Kinder Institute for Urban Research
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Voices N OT ED AN D Q U OT E D
No ocean, no life. No blue, no green. We have to take care of the ocean. Oceanographer Sylvia Earle, at the Civic Scientist Lecture Series at Rice, sponsored by Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, Feb. 12, 2013
Stories from the rice community
The way we think about ourselves, the language that we use, the way we interact with each other in a university, in a community, in a society, will determine and reflect the values that are most important, and we, in many ways, will become like that which we love. Freeman Hrabowski III, president, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, speaking at the President’s Lecture Series, Jan. 31, 2013
I didn’t really ever expect it to actually take off the way it did. I sent one email and this whole campaign began. Zack Kopplin ’15, appearing on “Moyers and Company” to discuss his ongoing work to repeal the 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act, which allows creationism to be taught in science classes. In 2010, Kopplin sent an email to a philosophy professor that eventually led to 78 Nobel laureates signing a letter supporting the repeal.
The spirit of problem-solving, the spirit of doing the work of the American people, has got to be reborn. Jon Huntsman, former U.S. ambassador to China and former governor of Utah, speaking Jan. 31, 2013, to a packed crowd at the Baker Institute Student Forum
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I’ve had a number of students work with me in the Legislature as interns over the years, and what they’re amazed by is that it doesn’t resemble what they learned in school about how policy is made. What I’m trying to convey to them is more of the practical aspects about how policy is actually made. Former Texas State Rep. Scott Hochberg ’75, who is teaching a course on education public policy this semester at Rice
In this precarious time for the arts in the United States, we have managed to constantly redefine what an arts company could look like in a young and growing American city. Patrick Summers, artistic and music director of Houston Grand Opera, discussing the conductor’s role as a cultural leader and teacher in the community as part of Rice’s Campbell Lecture Series, March 18–20, 2013
Drew Berger ’11
is a man of many talents — baker, nanny, Valhalla bartender, paper airplane expert. And as the sustainability and special projects coordinator for Rice’s Housing and Dining, Facilities Engineering and Planning, and the Administrative Center for Sustainability and Energy Management, he spends most of his working hours as a sustainability problem solver on campus. Last year, he took his problem-solving and paperplane-making skills to the world stage as he competed in the Red Bull Paper Wings World Finals as the USA Mountain South representative in the “longest airtime” portion of the competition. —Jenny Rozelle ’00
SKY’S TH E LI MI T Paper airplane world record airtime: 27.9 seconds Drew’s Rice qualifying airtime: 8.26 seconds Drew’s best airtime at world finals: 12.9 seconds (Watch online at ricemagazine.info/149) Rank: Eighth place worldwide Mom’s college: Baker Dad’s college: Will Rice Drew’s college: Lovett Favorite Book: “Joy of Cooking” What is your motto? Suck at nothing!
How did you get involved in the Red Bull Paper Wings World Finals 2012? I am a live-in nanny for a family with two boys. The youngest was really into paper airplanes. We would spend afternoons folding planes and throwing them out of the top window of the house. Or I’d make a plane and throw it up to see how long I could keep it in the air. My girlfriend told me there was a Red Bull competition for exactly that. They had the qualifier on the Rice campus and other universities around the world. I went, I threw, and I won at Rice. Then I got an email that said I was going to Salzburg, Austria, for the world finals. I heard it was the second-most international event, next to the Olympics. Coming from such honest and humble beginnings in my paper airplane career made my story that much more fun. Did you have any competition accessories? The whole time I was there I wore a big Texas belt buckle and a Rice cowboy hat. I sold myself not as an American, but as a Texan. Everyone loves a Texan. What’s the secret to a successful paper airplane? It comes down to practice and really getting to know one style of plane. Who on the Rice campus do you most admire? Dean Hutchinson. He came in as dean of undergraduates when I was [Lovett College] president. They asked us as presidents to sit in on this decision. He was so perfect for the job that it seemed to be a foregone conclusion. Favorite Houston restaurant? Fu Fu Cafe in Chinatown. It’s not only an excellent restaurant, but also where I had my first date with my girlfriend. Favorite place on campus? Valhalla
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MU SI CA L MI X
Annie Lin ’02
combines a love for mixed tapes with a law practice that advocates for musicians.
n a sunny afternoon in July, the Make-Out “East Coast Songs” [Ariadne Records, 2002] and “Truck Was Struck” Room, a colorful bar in the hipster Mission District of San Francisco, [Ariadne Records, 2005]. All can be found on iTunes.) brimmed with 20- and 30-somethings milling about, drinks in hand. She credits her experiences as a young guitarist and fledgling busiThe crowd’s attention was on the bar’s walls, which were covered with nesswoman for being the knowledge base that she draws upon today as sheets of paper, each one listing the contents of a personal mixtape. an attorney who works in the music industry. Lin ran what she refers The occasion was the quarterly meeting of the San Francisco Mix- to as a “rudimentary e-commerce business” from her room at Baker tape Society, a free event where guests make and exchange themed College, taking business calls, fulfilling CD orders for her albums and mixtapes or mix CDs. This meeting’s theme was, not surprisingly, mailing them at the Rice post office. “The funny thing is back then we “American Summer.” didn’t have cell phones, so we had a shared phone line in the dorms The San Francisco Mixtape Society, co-founded in 2009 by Rice and my poor roommates had to put up with all these booking calls alumna Annie Lin ’02 and music industry friends, is a group dedicated from club owners.” to “the friendly art of making and exchanging music mixes,” as stated on Today, Lin runs Brave Noise Legal, a law practice that focuses on their website. At these gatherings of music aficionados, each guest brings entertainment, media and technology. a burned CD of his or her selection of songs to trade and compete with “At Rice I represented on-campus bands as a booking agent, got others for awards. Prizewinners for July’s event featured songs about them into venues around campus, and discovered I really enjoyed the vacations, baseball, the ocean, pools and ice cream. The Beach Boys, negotiation and the deal-making aspect of it. It’s not one of those things Paul Simon, Toots and the Maytals, Patti Smith, Arcade Fire, T-Bone where you necessarily intentionally pursue a path, but it’s one of those Walker, Yo La Tengo and the Go-Go’s are just a few of the musicians things where you look back and flagstones do form a path.” that made appearances on more than two dozen summer song lists. After earning her B.A., Lin continued her education at the UniverLin ran the meeting from the strobe-lit stage, giving away sity of Houston Law Center, juggling performances with busy T-shirts and encouraging the exchange of the song mixes. law school hours. One particular day in law school exemplifies At Rice, Lin, an English major, was interested in per- ricemagazine.info/ Lin’s ready-to-take-it-all-on attitude. “Before this tour I was 150 forming music. When she asked her boyfriend, a metal band scheduled to take the MPRE, an ethics exam you take in law Listen to the SF guitarist, to teach her to play the guitar, he replied, “Girls school. My dad dropped me off to take the exam, and I took Mixtape Society’s “No. 6 — Lady can’t play in a metal band.” So over winter break during her it. When I left the exam there was a tour van waiting for me, Lemonade” freshman year, Lin taught herself to play on her mother’s and I immediately drove to San Diego and played a show. It mix by Annie Lin old guitar, and she and the boyfriend parted ways. She soon was crazy! And I passed with flying colors. That was pretty decided to take her new-found talent to the stage. “I played rockin’ rollin’, I thought.” in an on-campus talent show, Baker Pub Night, and won first place, a In 2008, Lin served as an industry judge for the seventh annual $50 Cheesecake Factory gift certificate.” Independent Music Awards. She continues to blend her personal Lin’s guitar playing career took off from there. The excitement of experience as a guitar-toting musician with her professional expertise performing was, she remembers, absolutely addictive. While still a as a lawyer. “As someone who has been an independent musician, I student, Lin recorded as well as marketed and distributed her record- believe really strongly in trying to advocate for artists’ rights and trying ings on campus, created in part through evening recording sessions in to help them.” —Tracy Wu ’11 the elaborately rigged studio of Wiess College resident associate Bill Wilson. (Lin’s student-recorded album is titled “Math Pope” . Tracy Wu ’11 is a freelance writer, musician and farmer based in San FranHer other albums include “Kicking Stars” [Ariadne Records, 2001], cisco. She is a graduate of the Shepherd School of Music.
Photo: Will Bailey
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Making a Splash
Two-time Conference USA individual champion Casey Clark ’15 represented Rice in three events at the NCAA Women’s Swimming Championships held in Indianapolis, Ind., in March. Clark competed in the 100-yard butterfly, 200-freestyle and 200-yard butterfly events. In the latter event, she finished 38th among a field of more than 50 swimmers but did not qualify for the finals. Though Clark is the first Owl swimmer to qualify for the NCAA championships since 2008, the native of Spring, Texas, is no stranger to competing at a national championshipcaliber level. In summer 2012, Clark qualified to participate in the U.S. Olympic Trials. In March, she won two C-USA individual championships in the 100- and 200-butterfly and set three new school records to help the Owl swimmers win the 2013 Conference USA Championship in women’s swimming title. See Page 45 for a story on the team’s winning season. Photo by James Hilton
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After a semester spent studying medieval pilgrimage, a classroom of Rice students had just one assignment remaining â€” to live the pilgrimage experience by walking a section of the Way of St. James, one of the most important Christian pilgrimage trails during medieval times.
One hundred and twenty-five miles later, class was dismissed.
K N OW L E D G E Words
nicole Zaza Photos
The Students from HART/FREN 437
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The class set out on their journey from the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Le Puyen-Velay. S p r i ng 2 0 1 3 Âˇ R i c e M a g a z i n e â€ƒ
n a misty Friday morning last May, 12 Rice students and two professors awoke in a dark monastery in Le Puy-en-Velay, a tiny village in France.
Above Built in the 10th century on a volcanic formation that looks like a needle (aiguilhe), the Chapel of Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe is reached by climbing 268 steps carved into rock.
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The rain pelted the rocky terrain. A few had risen early to attend a special Mass for pilgrims. Afterward, everyone congregated around a cold wooden table for baguettes and a sip of strong coffee. A nervous excitement began to take hold, and, pulling 30-pound backpacks onto their shoulders, they headed out into the mist. Fog rose around them, but half an hour into their hike the sun began to warm the trail. The whole terrain took on a magical glow. Following the signs, they began a steeper climb. Once they ascended up and out of Le Puy-en-Velay, the sun was shining, the path was straight, and they could see for miles. Following a centuries-old pilgrimage path, the travelers were setting out to hike nearly 125 miles across France. The trip was the capstone of their spring semester course titled the Visual Culture of Medieval Pilgrimage. Cross-listed in two departments, the course was co-taught by Linda Neagley, associate professor of art history, and Deborah Nelson-Campbell, professor of French studies. In planning the venture, both teachers sensed that they were blazing a trail in experiential learning. Neither they, nor the students, had walked this route before. But by walking in the steps of the medieval pilgrim, Neagley hoped that her students’ experience of the “temporal, spatial and aesthetic world of pilgrimage” would bring home their lessons in a way they would not soon forget. “We are in class talking about these places in theory,” said Nelson-Campbell. “It’s too abstract. We wanted students to experi-
Left, from top Ellen Berger ’14 and Nicole Scott ’13 along the road between Le Puy and Montbonnet. Middle Art History Professor Linda Neagley catches her footing while descending the rugged terrain. Bottom On a cold day, the students built a fire for warming feet and drying clothes at a gîte (pilgrim’s hostel) in Domaine du Sauvage.
Below The trek began in Le Puy-en-Velay and ended in Conques, 125 miles away. This route, the Via Podiensis, is the most popular pilgrimage route to the destination of Santiago de Compostela.
France Santiago de Compostela
Sp a i n
ence the day-to-day feeling of the pilgrimage. We wanted them to see volcanic mountainside to reach the chapel’s entrance on the summit. for themselves.” “Obtaining that kind of knowledge is very different than just flipping Le Puy-en-Velay is the historical rendezvous for the French portion open a book in the library,” Sweeney said. “With each successive step of the Way of St. James. Popularly known in Spanish as El Camino de of our ascent, we were being conditioned for a holy encounter that was Santiago or, in French, Le Chemin de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle, made all the more powerful due to our physical exertions.” the journey historically could provide the penitent with plenary indulSweeney, who was clad in high-tech hiking gear, said lesser-equipped gences. In modern times, the route remains popmedieval pilgrims had much more endurance and ular with pilgrims. In 2012, nearly 135,000 people conviction than he did. They often climbed the “We are in class talking walked portions of the timeworn path. same steps on their knees in an act of penitential On their first day, the route took them to about these places in theory,” devotion. “My pilgrimage would have ended after Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe, a medieval chapel they said Nelson-Campbell. “It’s about two minutes,” he said. had studied in class. The sight proved that no phoOn from Le Puy, the students and professors too abstract. We wanted tograph, slide or lecture could provide the depth slowly began to shed the familiar bustle of the city, students to experience the of perception of what the class was to experience unfolding their library bodies and stretching into day-to-day feeling of the on their walk. the expanse of the French countryside. For many, “Imagine a skyscraper of rock poking up out pilgrimage. We wanted them their most frequent “access to nature” had been of a tiny French town,” said doctoral student Kyle to see for themselves.” Hermann Park. Now each day brought two or Sweeney, who had written a paper on the chapel three mountains and medieval villages. Between and was looking forward to seeing it for the first time. To do so, he religious sites, they encountered marshes and swamps and marched and the other Rice pilgrims had to climb 268 steps carved out of the through fields and rocky scapes. S p r i ng 2 0 1 3 · R i c e M a g a z i n e
For two weeks, the group hiked nearly 10 miles a day. The strain were often people tired of their old life or people wanting the chance of the daily hike, their dependence on the kindness of strangers and to travel and see the world. Aryn Neurock ’15 was struck by the beauty their observance of this “collection of reliquary objects invested with of the image of Conques she first saw on a slide in the art history class. holy power,” as Lanzhen Wang ’13 called them, were raw lessons in “When I saw this cathedral peeking out from the treetops on a hillside, pilgrimage. I knew I had to go there before I died,” she said. Over the days, the travelers slept in a variety of dwellings: a monEach church along the way had its own character — some were astery, a yurt, mobile homes, a convent, a ranch, serious and austere and others warm. Even the even a Knights Templar building. One night, while time of day colored the visual perceptions of the At each important stop on staying in a 13th-century watch tower, one student churches. As the travelers hiked, they began to woke to a vision of a woman in a white dress. This the route, the travelers see how their experiences were interwoven with was not the only time one of the travelers had a the pilgrims who traveled this same route, known received stamps in their vision on the pilgrimage. Though the students as the Via Podiensis, for the past millennia. Here créanciales, or pilgrim’s chalked their own visions up to exhaustion, what the students could contemplate exactly how many passports. The design stayed with them was the knowledge that people generations of footsteps they set their feet in. Wang of each stamp is as ornate in the Middle Ages would likely have had similar saw herself as “this small person on this vast trail.” and unique as the town experiences. For Perez, the discomforts encountered along “The experience was so intense, so emotionally it represents. the way gave her a more physical grasp of religious charged,” said Raquel Perez ’13, they felt a readisacrifice. “The blisters on your feet were so painful. ness for the extraordinary. Despite the obvious religious implications, I felt like I understood Catholicism better than I ever had before, in a the students had learned that, like themselves, medieval pilgrims less abstract and more experiential sense,” she said.
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THE FIRST STEP by Kyle Sweeney
Opposite page and top left The tympanum of the abbey-church of Sainte-Foy in Conques and a distant view of the exterior from the east. Bottom left A pilgrim’s passport, or créanciale, filled with stamps from all the stops along the way.
At each important stop on the route, the travelers received stamps in their créanciales, or pilgrim’s passports. The design of each stamp is as ornate and unique as the town it represents. Getting the stamps proves that the individuals were there and captures a piece of the experience in a tangible way. As Arcadian as they all felt, the wilderness of rural France did not exclude Internet access. Ruby Yeh ’13 admitted she was both comforted and terrified by the quality of her phone signal along the ancient pathway. “It felt good to be somewhat disconnected from the rest of the world.” Their deepest connections were formed through their challenges. “One day, we had to climb through tree branches to cross a flooded part of the trail,” Neurock said. Another day, after winding up the side of a mountain in the rain for five hours, they sought shelter in a old barn, standing together shivering, looking out into the wilderness, waiting for the weather to pass. Even Professor Nelson-Campbell was moved by the strength of their connection to one another. “You can’t spend time with people day in and day out, sleep under the same roof, and not feel bonded.” The journey brought other unexpected gifts as well. No one will forget the 10-course “repas” served while staying in a sprinkle of mobile homes perched atop a hilly plateau, a meal that included potato and mushroom salad, nettle soup and greens. The 16 different kinds of cheese served up by Madame and Monsieur Vioulac, proprietors and cooks, made for one memorable stop. Sweeney confessed that they were approaching the trip’s end when it hit him. What they accomplished during the semester was academic, but the trip filled out the physical, emotional and spiritual dimension of their learning. The whole of the journey was ultimately greater than its parts. “The walking makes the journey feel earned,” he said. “The natural and religious worlds were linked through the act of walking.”
he Mass began promptly at 7 a.m. in the medieval cathedral of Le Puy-en-Velay. About 75 pilgrims, dressed in their gear for the day, cast their packs aside to fit into the pews. The bishop delivered a solemn sermon in French and Latin and offered a benediction since the cathedral marks the beginning of the long trail to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Following the benediction, the bishop warmly invited everyone to gather around the statue of St. Jacques, where he inquired about our places of origin. In various languages, the other pilgrims named where they were from. The bishop then passed around a basket full of brightly colored slips of paper. On each slip was a brief handwritten note left by an anonymous pilgrim explaining why they were undertaking the pilgrimage. I tucked mine in my pocket and carried it with me all the way to Conques and back to the U.S. The bishop offered a final blessing, gave each of us a rosary and concluded the medieval ritual. The nearby sacristy stamped our créanciale [pilgrim’s passport], and some pilgrims bought shells to outfit their packs or cloaks in the spirit of keeping with the medieval tradition. The bells rang at 8 a.m., and we descended the cathedral’s massive flight of steps to set off on our journey. The message on my slip of paper reads: “Thank you for doing this pilgrimage. I fear a lot for you, father, and will watch over mother. I would like to bury my earthly worries. I undertake this pilgrimage for my children and grandchildren. Thank you.”
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Wise Ideas Ideas are the sparks that ignite learning and imagination.
We’d like to think that they begin in the classroom, the lab or the studio. But we know that ideas start in what-if questions or flights of fancy, in sweat and scholarship, in personal experience, shared history or the wild accident of discovery. We invest time, talent and dollars in ideas worth pursuing, until we discard them or they are ready for the next step. We theorize, experiment, fail, tweak and, finally, reach success. Then we share these discoveries with the world, a world as small and fragile as an infant’s heart or as expansive as the Internet. Here are five ideas — a small
sampling from the genius that is being nurtured and developed on our campus — that say something about our future during the next century and beyond.
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Idea No. 1 of 5
The Nursery of the Future
(From left) Rebecca RichardsKortum Stanley C. Moore Professor of Bioengineering; Chair, Department of Bioengineering; Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
ach year, nearly 4 million babies die within the first
month of life — 450 newborns every hour. Yet, 99 percent of these deaths happen in low-income and middle-income countries and most are preventable. While the technologies to save newborn lives have long existed in wealthy countries, these tools have failed to turn the tide on infant mortality in the developing world, where hospitals and clinics lack infrastructure, medical and maintenance personnel, consumables, and often the basic necessities of reliable power and water. Working with doctors and nurses in Malawi, Rice 360°: Institute for Global Health Technologies has begun to develop a nursery of the future for hospitals in the developing world. The nursery of the future is an integrated set of technologies to keep newborns alive by combating the most common causes of death. The goal of these technologies is to keep babies warm; deliver oxygen and IV fluids safely; monitor vital signs, oxygen saturation and blood glucose; assist babies in respiratory distress; identify and manage infections; and treat jaundice.
Lauren Vestewig Gray Executive Director, Rice 360°: Institute for Global Health Technologies Maria Oden Professor in the Practice of Engineering Education; Director, Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen
These robust technologies do not require complex maintenance, numerous consumables or constant monitoring. They are affordable — costing 10 to 100 times less than commercial alternatives — and do not compromise performance. Our vision is to create a sustainable, high-performance nursery that a district hospital serving 250,000 people could implement for $5,000.
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hen infants are born with congenital heart defects, they
face both an immediate and long-term battle for survival. Multiple heart surgeries are often needed to repair defects, and many of the infants who initially survive end up with complications as they grow. They often face a higher incidence of developing heart diseases like arrhythmias, and sudden cardiac death is not uncommon. In our labs at Rice and Texas Children’s Hospital, we think that many of these complications are due to the materials that are used to repair congenital defects. Current surgical fabrics neither contract nor conduct the electrical signals that the heart usually conducts. The patient can end up with scar tissue or with tissue that does not grow along with the young patient’s heart. In our labs, we’ve been researching ways to use cells from amniotic fluid to grow heart tissue that can be used for repair of congenital heart defects in a newborn. Since many of these congenital heart
Idea No. 2 of 5
From Cell to Heart Tissue to Cure Jeff Jacot Assistant Professor, Department of Bioengineering, Rice University; Director, Pediatric Cardiac Bioengineering Laboratory, Texas Children’s Hospital
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defects are detected during routine ultrasounds, which prompts removal of amniotic fluid in order to check for some specific genetic abnormalities, the idea is to find stem cells that we can use to grow matching heart tissue over the months that the baby is growing. This lab-grown tissue would be genetically identical to newborn’s heart tissue — and therefore less likely to be rejected due to issues of immunity. Not only would long-term outcomes improve, but there would be new possibilities for repairing congenital defects that we cannot currently repair. We are working closely with surgeons to discover the properties that are needed for specific cases they are encountering and to figure out what solutions are going to improve results for all. In our labs right now, we have little beating patches of tissue that we grow in incubators. We’re a long way from clinical trials on humans, but the technology is promising.
Idea No. 3 of 5
My Brain, My Computer
martphones and tablets free us from being tethered to
desks; search engines free us from being tied to libraries. The next decade will see computing continue to free us so that we can spend
“Today, not everyone wears glasses, but cavemen didn’t wear underwear, either.”
more time doing what homo sapiens are best at — being creative. First, we will likely have our hands and eyes freed when using computers, allowing truly ubiquitous and personal access to computing. Wearable computers like Google’s Project Glass may be a humble start. Today, not everyone wears glasses, but cavemen didn’t wear underwear, either. Second, rather than taking a break from what we are doing to search for information, information may come to us just when
Lin Zhong Rice Efficient Computing Group; Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Department of Computer Science
we need it with a latency that is barely noticeable. As a result, the unlimited computing power in the cloud will appear to be more like part of our working brain than an expert sitting across the Internet. To achieve this, the computer we carry needs not only to be continuously conscious about what is going on in our lives, but also to have access to the cloud with much shorter latency than today’s Internet allows. All these issues raise tremendous research challenges to students and researchers working in electrical and computer engineering, computer science, and neuroengineering. This is where the brightest young minds and entrepreneurs are also desperately needed to outdo the legends of folks like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.
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Idea No. 4 of 5
ow can we design robots that interact with humans to
Our Bionic Future
improve, advance or enhance their performance? That’s the question that drives me and my colleagues. Imagine disabled individuals regaining their abilities with full dexterity and sensation through robotics. We could see amputees using advanced prosthetic limbs that enable them to perform tasks as they did before their injury; people who now may only have the option of using a powered wheelchair becoming more independent and mobile, maybe even standing with the aid of an exoskeleton and looking people in the eye; more rapid and complete recovery from sports injuries, brain injuries and strokes. As we have seen with robots in the operating room, rehabilitation robots will soon be available to a wide array of the populace, not just patients in clinical trials. We’ll see billboards advertising the use of these robots in outpatient clinics, and people will start seeking these services. The fundamental technologies are available now, although immediate work remains to ensure that such therapies are beneficial and cost-effective. Two main factors are making these advances possible. First, technological improvements are enabling effective devices to be built (because of advances in batteries, motors and sensors) and controlled (because of improvements in the software controlling the interactions between the robot and the patient). Second, culturally we are more accepting of technology in all aspects of life. Think smart phones, Roombas that clean our floors, and thermostats that learn our habits and react accordingly. We’re even willing to buy cars that will parallel park themselves. There is a growing realization of the quality and repeatability of
Marcia O’Malley Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Department of Computer Science
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service that technology can provide that is critical for the acceptance of physical interactions between humans and robots.
extbooks and classroom lectures, both longtime staples of
higher education, are alike in two key respects: Each was innovative
Richard Baraniuk Victor E. Cameron Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
more than a century ago, and each will be phased out this century as educators scramble to address the daunting challenges of lowering costs, increasing access and improving quality. The launch of large-scale, e-book platforms has foreshadowed the demise of the static, paper textbook. While today’s e-books provide
Idea No. 5 of 5
a glimpse of the textbook of the future, the biggest change will occur
Textbooks That Learn
when textbooks begin learning from pupils, while pupils learn from them. The fully interactive, learning textbook — which is in development at Rice and other universities today — will effectively give each student a personalized tutor to help them learn more and more effectively. Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, will further democratize access to high-quality learning experiences. MOOCs cannot yet, and may never, replicate the residential university experience, but they can serve as a creative upgrade for books that enable adults
“The biggest change will occur when textbooks begin learning from pupils, while pupils learn from them.”
to remain active learners all their lives. This will answer societal demands for job training and continuing professional certification, and it will have added benefits for aging populations. Imagine putting your grandmother in a facility that promotes online education rather than one that promotes bingo and sedation. What’s next for education? Sweeping disruptive changes, but also the most striking innovations in learning in centuries, coupled with a real opportunity to deliver universal access to all of the world’s knowledge.
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��raps of Time
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Elaborate student scrapbooks from Rice’s early days capture memories of campus life from a bygone era. But their unpredictable contents (chewing gum, cigarette butts and plant material, for example) present vexing challenges to the Woodson Research Center’s archivists. Words Lynn
Gosnell Photos Tommy Lavergne
ondren Library’s Woodson Research Center is the home of Rice’s institutional memory, the place where official records, personal papers, rare books, manuscripts, photographs, and audio and video collections are housed for preservation and study. Occupying 8,000 square feet over two floors in Fondren, the archive also houses such delicate ephemera as costumes from the annual Archi-Arts balls, trophies, jewelry and china. Another 5,000 rare books and records are stored at an off-campus facility. In the past year, librarians and archivists welcomed hundreds of visitors to Woodson. Included among this archival treasure trove are 31 scrapbooks created by Rice students from 1912 to 1970, with most of the albums dating from the first half of the century. Frequently overstuffed with Rice memorabilia and in various states of disorder and decay, the scrapbooks deliver tantalizing glimpses into their owners’ lives. The carefree students who assembled the journals left a delightful, and at times intriguing, record of time and place. At the Woodson, Lee Pecht, university archivist and director of special collections, oversees these records, which rest in acid-free archival boxes. Inside their tidy boxes, the books themselves bulge and overflow with an astonishing array of keepsakes that have been glued, stuffed, pinned, taped or otherwise attached to now-fragile pages. “They’ve never been displayed because there are some inherent problems,” Pecht said, referring to what archivists call different formats within the books. On any given scrapbook spread, there can be, for exam-
ple, photographs, sealed letters, invitations, organic material (plants), greeting cards and small booklets. Most examples find their way to the Woodson through the descendants of alumni, whose families may have discovered the books among the effects of loved ones. Each one is an improbable survivor of time and erratic storage conditions. Neither Pecht, nor any of his staff, have ever discovered one in an antique shop or flea market. Pecht fears that most scrapbooks have, for lack of appreciation of their historical significance, ended up in the trash. Occasionally, a scrapbook will arrive at the Woodson via a surprising route, as happened last fall when a current Rice student contacted Melissa Kean, centennial historian, to inquire about a photo she saw on a Centennial Celebration event schedule. “She pointed out one of the pictures on it, a nice shot of Rice students dancing in the ballroom of the Rice Hotel at the 1948 Rondelet, and suggested that the couple right in the front might be her grandparents,” Kean wrote in an entry on her popular blog. It turned out the photo was indeed of the student’s grandparents — and she also had their scrapbooks, which she brought to the archivists for appreciative viewing. Student scrapbook donations are very welcome, Pecht said, despite the preservation issues they present. The paper is of varying quality, depending upon its age and storage history — older paper being generally less crumbly than newer stock. Plants, leaves and flowers, no doubt souvenirs of special occasions, attract insects to the pages. “We can’t do a lot of preservation work on them,” said Pecht. The acid-free storage boxes impede acid migration, but don’t stop it. Some libraries simply photograph the pages and discard the original notebooks, a practice Pecht does not condone. Each scrapbook invites viewers to get to know college student life from a bygone era. For example, when we say that someone’s “dance card is full,” we’re generally not referring to actual dancing. Instead, we mean that someone is busy or preoccupied with a task. But who has seen an actual dance card? Dance cards of all shapes and sizes, with tiny lead pencils still attached, fill Rice scrapbooks. Carefully glued and arranged on the page, they attest to a student’s popularity and social standing, and perhaps to the popularity of the formal dance itself. Historians and archivists learn much from original scrapbooks. “We’ve seen photos of professors and buildings and interiors of buildings that we’ve never seen before,” Pecht said. By looking through these scrapbooks, the archivists know what early dorm rooms looked like; they’ve peered into the past to see the interiors of labs in the Physics Building (now Herzstein Hall). Such visible records of Rice’s past exist today, said Pecht, “only in the scrapbooks.”
William Max Nathan ’16 (1894–1979) A Houston native, Nathan was a member of Rice’s first graduating class and the first student to graduate with distinction. He was very active in student organizations, including the Debate Club and Honor Council. After graduation, he served in World War I and then got a law degree at the University of Texas. In Houston, where he married and raised a family, Nathan was very active in the Jewish community and participated regularly in Rice alumni events. He was a faithful attendee of reunions, said Kean, and a regular speaker at meetings of the Menorah Society and later, Hillel.
Allie May “Sally” Autry ’25 (1903–1998) Allie May Autry was a member of a prominent Houston family with strong ties to Rice. Both she and her brother, James ’21, attended the Rice Institute. As a student, she was a class officer and May Fete queen. She married Edward Watson Kelley in 1935 and had two children, Edward Watson Kelley Jr. ’54 and Allie Autry Kelley Dittmar. As an alumna, she helped establish Autry Court, the Allie Kelley Dittmar lounge in the student center and the Friends of Fondren Library.
The following pages display excerpts from scrapbooks that by accident and luck have made their way home to Rice. �D
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Scraps of Time
1 This is a small leather-bound commencement program from Houston High School. The paper contains a lot of cotton content and, as a result, is in near-perfect condition.
William Max Nathan ’16
The blue leather cover of William Max Nathan’s scrapbook bears Rice Institute’s academic seal. Although the paper is crumbling at the edges, it is in remarkably good condition.
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5 A handwritten note quoting the Lewis Carroll poem “You are old, Father William” was probably a birthday joke for Nathan.
2 Invitations to balls such as the Annual Chanukah Ball (Dec. 5, 1915) and the Annual Purim Masquerade Ball (Feb. 28, 1915) hint at a busy social life within Houston’s Jewish community.
3 A couple of Valentine’s Day cards — one homemade — are glued to the pages.
4 The origin of owl cards dated May 29, 1915, remains unknown. They are glued firmly to the page. “Once something was glued on, it wasn’t coming off,” Pecht said.
6 Dance cards, with tiny pencils still attached, abound in Rice students’ scrapbooks. Though they are fading, we can see that William Nathan’s dance cards were frequently full.
7 A card bearing the words “VOTES FOR MEN” is a mystery. We do know that the women’s suffrage movement was at its height, with women gaining the right to vote in 1919.
8 The rooster-shaped invitation to the High Cockolorum III (Nov. 13, 1915, in the barnyard) is an elaborate invitation to a high-society event described as carnival week, run by a membership society called the Red Roosters, the “inner circle of the No-Tsu-Oh society,” according to a 1915 newspaper article. S p r i ng 2 0 1 3 · R i c e M a g a z i n e
Scraps of Time
Allie May “Sally” Autry ’25
1 A barely legible newsprint article lists upcoming social events such as teas and dances. The staining is caused by the decay of the piece of gum glued to the opposite page.
Allie Mae “Sally” Autry’s scrapbook is cardboard covered in suede that features a hand-drawn seal of the Rice Institute.
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5 A report card that dates from Autry’s early college years lists 4s in many courses. Rice’s point grading system ranged from 1 to 5, with 1 being the highest grade possible and 5 signifying failure. Autry’s best grades were in history and math.
2 An invitation attached with sealing wax and bearing the address 8 Courtlandt Place (the Autry family’s home) suggests a special keepsake. Perhaps this was a reply to an invitation to join “The Tattler’s Club of Rice Institute,” as the newspaper clips imply.
3 Red hearts with numbers suggest a Valentine’s Day dance. But what is the half heart below?
4 An article about kid dances reveals an odd fad — parties where students dressed as children from the “socks-rompers-stick candy childhood era.” Autry won the costume prize. “The evening passed in a riot of music.”
6 A formal invitation to the First Annual Dance of the Cranmer Club of Rice Institute still has the pencil attached. The pencil made it easy to write in dance partners.
7 “I am a loyal fresmhan. Are you?” reads the card, typo and all. What does it mean to be a loyal freshman? Below left is a ticket stub to an SMU and Rice basketball game.
8 Who is this jaunty young man sporting a bowler hat? He’s wearing a letter sweater, but his name is lost in the annals of time.
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Arts & Letters
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Creative Ideas and Endeavors
‘The 49 States’
he first color work I ever made was as a Rice student — a project walking the Third Ward and a large-format series in the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center. Surprisingly, the work is not far off from the work I am making today. In 2010, the Metropolitan Museum of Art acquired my series “The 49 States” for their permanent collection, and it is currently on exhibit in a show titled “After Photoshop: Manipulated Photography in the Digital Age,” which runs through May 27. This series is by far my most conceptually layered and technically complex. I began working on the project not long after Google introduced its street view program. The series started with the simple notion that once upon a time only the sun touched everything, but now technology does as well. Traditionally, my work is about the splendor of walking and the magic of landscapes, and I wanted to maintain that sense of wonder. I spent months on virtual walks, focused on small towns with industrial pasts, those connected to either a rail line or waterway. While “walking,” I searched for places where the sun was hitting the camera directly and where something simple and beautiful was happening in the landscape, the kinds of things that no one ever imagined would be part of the public realm. There are 49 states instead of 50, because there was no imagery for Hawaii available on Google Street View at the time I was working. I stopped my series there to mark the brief moment in time where Hawaii was not a member of the e-Union. The final images are formatted like early travel photographs made by tourists on road trips — square with thin white borders. Each image had to be pieced together from multiple views of the same scene, cleaned and corrected. —Matthew Jensen ’02 If you are in New York City, see more of Jensen’s work at these upcoming solo exhibitions: “East Coast, West Coast, The Bronx, The Bronx” at Wave Hill, April 2–May 5; and “Local Expeditions” at Third Streaming gallery, May 2–Aug. 12. More information is available at jensen-projects.com.
Photo: Austin Kennedy
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A Parliament of Five
Noctua Wind Quintet members, from left: Tommy Morrison, bassoon; Kayla Burggraf, flute; Nicolas Chona, clarinet; Michelle Pan, oboe; and John Turman, horn
ou could tell right away that something was different, a certain poise or comfort level, as the members of the Noctua Wind Quintet took the stage at the Shepherd School of Music’s Duncan Recital Hall one night in February. The name was part of the difference. Of the three chamber ensembles performing in this student concert, only Noctua had one. Then there was the way the quintet played. They seemed to be having fun, especially the bassoonist. Twenty-year-old Tommy Morrison scrunched his face and leaned into his instrument as if he were jamming with a rock band instead of soloing on a particularly difficult piece of 20th-century classical music by Samuel Barber. Then again, Morrison is known for his exuberance, just as Noctua quickly is becoming known in the classical music world for the quality of its playing. Last year, in the members’ sophomore year, the group shared the prize for best woodwinds and brass ensemble in the respected Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition at Caltech, going up against older, more experienced musicians. Then Noctua placed third in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition at the University of Notre Dame, one of the world’s most prestigious classical music contests. Noctua’s final piece at the Fischoff ended with a particularly flashy bassoon solo. Students and faculty at the Shepherd School watched the performance live on streaming video. Richie Hawley, clarinet professor and the
group’s coach, was particularly riveted. He knew how difficult the piece was. He hung on every note, especially that big, crucial, closing solo. “Wow,” Hawley thought. “Tommy really smoked it.” Morrison knew it too. Other players laughingly recall that, the instant he finished, Morrison stomped the floor and leapt to his feet, beaming. “He literally jumped out of his seat with excitement,” Hawley said. In addition to Morrison, members of Noctua include Kayla Burggraf (flute), Michelle Pan (oboe), Nicolas Chona (clarinet) and John Turman (horn). They all are juniors who began playing together as freshmen. That is one reason for the poise and comfort level that they show on stage. Noctua plays frequently on campus and around the city, which is why, unlike most student groups, they have a name. Asked for a name to put on the program before one performance, members wracked their brains and the Internet and came up with several (“awful names,” according to Hawley) before deciding on Noctua, which means “owl” in Latin. In addition to their normal performance obligations, the students are preparing to enter another round of competitions this year. They hope to play the Barber piece that they first performed in February — “Summer Music,” Op. 31 — at this year’s Fischoff competition in May. The members of Noctua come from varied backgrounds. The daughter of a ballet dancer, Burggraf is from Iowa and grew up with classical music always playing in the house. Turman is from a musical family
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Photo: Richie Hawley
Arts & Letters
in Austin and started playing classical guitar at 7. Chona started learning clarinet at the age of 10 in Kuwait, where his father was stationed for work with an oil company. Pan, from Los Angeles, started playing piano at the age of 4. Morrison, from New Jersey, started playing flute when he was 7. Several of the players first considered Rice because of the urgings of music teachers or friends. Most also applied to and visited other top schools, but they speak of the special “vibe” that they felt at the Shepherd School — a welcoming atmosphere and a sense of community. For Pan and Burggraf, it also was important that the Shepherd School is part of the varied, academically challenging environment of Rice. “Many conservatories have a very narrow, intense focus,” said Hawley, a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music who was principal clarinetist of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra before coming to Rice in 2011. “It’s just as focused here, but there also is a lot more that they’re learning because of Rice University itself.” Students also say that they get more individual attention at Rice than they would get at other schools. That is partly because faculty members are full-time teachers. They don’t teach on the side while holding down full-time symphony jobs as professors do elsewhere. “If I’d gone anywhere else, I think I would be on a very different path than I’m on now,” Burggraf said. —Eric Harrison
Rice Gallery, Branded
n a recent, widely covered study published in the journal Psychology and Marketing, nearly 93 percent of the preschool-aged children shown the golden arches logo correctly associated the logo with McDonald’s restaurants. By the time we become adults, we can read a vast, often international, language of company logos as easily as we recognize the letters of the alphabet. Swedish artist Gunilla Klingberg mines these logos to produce her art. But in Klingberg’s hands, logos for everything from the “Today” show to 7-Eleven to Shell Oil to Whataburger acquire a mystical significance. For her installation at Rice Gallery, “Wheel of Everyday Life” (Jan. 31–March 17, 2013), Klingberg, a former graphic designer, took Photo: Nash Baker
these icons of our daily lives and manipulated them into decorative concentric patterns — mandalas of a cosmos both commercial and mundane. Her temporary installation covered the floor of Rice Gallery and extended out into the lobby of Sewall Hall and up the building’s windows. At first, the installation appeared to be a highly decorative black design comprising patterns of circles within circles. Slowly, visitors began to recognize the language of the logos. A circle of dots became the Texaco logo repeated over and over again. The stylized shell of another ring was more than just a shell; it was the symbol of the multinational giant Shell Oil, headquartered here in Houston. The same goes for the bull’s-eye brand representing Target. A gestural bit of line that looked like Arabic calligraphy turned out to be the Fiesta grocery store logo mirrored into itself. The 7-Eleven logo would be as easily identified in Japan or Klingberg’s native Sweden as it is in the U.S. Texans, however, handily recognized the dynamic zig-zagging lines as the W in Whataburger. These collections of logos may have spurred discussions of franchising and the loss of small business, of globalization and cultural homogenization. But Klingberg’s installation did not rail against these ubiquitous icons; she accepts them as a fact of daily life. In a recent interview for the online arts magazine Glasstire, she explained, “The logos, as well as the shops,
“The logos ... are a link between our public and private spheres, maybe even to the collective unconscious.” Gunilla Klingberg
are big chains that look more or less the same all over the world, and often even have the same owners everywhere. The logos link us all together. And they are a link between our public and private spheres, maybe even to the collective unconscious.” By translating all these colorful logos into black and linking them together into a large mandala-like pattern, Klingberg equalized and unified them all. It’s strange to think of something as quotidian as product and company logos somehow transcending their origins of crass commerce. The imagery seems ripe for satire, an indictment of the failings of our modern world. But Klingberg looks beyond this reading to find an oddly compelling interconnectedness. —Kelly Klaasmeyer Kelly Klaasmeyer is a Houston-based artist and writer. The former editor of Glasstire, she was a 2009 USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program fellow and the recipient of a 2009 Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant. S p r i ng 2 0 1 3 · R i c e M a g a z i n e
Arts & Letters
On the Bookshelf Q&A Rich Radke ’96, author of “Computer Vision for Visual Effects” What is computer vision and how is it used in various industries? “Computer vision” is the research and development of algorithms for automatically understanding images. Computer vision problems include detecting and recognizing faces, tracking cars and pedestrians in traffic cameras, and outlining organs in CT and MRI scans.
“Born on the Island: The Galveston We Remember” by Stephen Fox ’73, with art by Eugene Aubry (Texas A&M University Press, 2012) This compendium of exquisite watercolors and line drawings of Galveston’s 19th-century buildings and streetscapes explores nostalgia and notions of home. Fox is a lecturer in Rice’s School of Architecture. “Computer Vision for Visual Effects” by Richard J. Radke ’96 (Cambridge University Press, 2013) This textbook explores the technical side of visual effects. Interviews with industry experts from top visual effects companies add valuable perspective. Radke is an associate professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. “In Freedom We Trust: An Atheist Guide to Religious Liberty” by Edward M. Buckner ’67 and Michael E. Buckner (Prometheus Books, 2012) A book by a father (Edward) and son duo that explores what religious liberty and secularism mean from an atheistic perspective. The elder Buckner is the retired president of American Atheists. “The Thing With Willie: Stories of Two Families” by Karen Sagstetter ’69 (Bergamot Books, 2012) This is a debut collection of linked stories about two Galveston families, one white and one African-American. Sagstetter’s award-winning work has appeared in “New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best.” She lives in Bethesda, Md.
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How did your studies at Rice prepare you for this expertise? In a circuitous way. I never had any question that I wanted to be a math major in college. In my junior year, I switched over to computational and applied mathematics and then to electrical engineering, where I could study signal processing and control theory. In graduate school, I learned about image processing. I give a lot of credit to my great professors at Rice, such as Frank Jones, Steve Cox, Dan Sorensen and Sid Burrus, for encouraging me to follow the topics that interested me. How did you get interested in applying your technical craft to the creative world of film? Professionally, I’ve worked on vision problems in applications like medical imaging and surveillance videos. At some point I realized that studying visual effects would be a great motivator for getting students excited about computer vision. Do you have a particular interest or fondness for certain eras of visual effects in movie-making? As a child of the ’70s, I have a fondness for the old-school effects of movies like “The Empire Strikes Back,” using exacting model-building, camera motion control and optical matting. It’s hard to explain to the younger generation how much kids like me were blown away by the early days of computer-generated visual effects in “Jurassic Park” and “Terminator 2.” The craftsmanship of those movies is really impressive and they still hold up amazingly well. Why did you write this book? I saw lots of professors teaching computer vision courses using a website full of links to academic papers. Students would have to sift through the links and there was no coherent viewpoint or a sense of how all those papers fit together into a bigger picture. I hope that artists in the visual effects industry and designers of visual effects software packages will find the book useful as a reference for understanding what’s under the hood (mathematically speaking) of their tools. —L.G.
Sports News and Profiles
Swim. Win. Repeat. In February, the Rice Owls swam their way to another Conference USA victory, marking the second time the Owls’ women’s swim team has claimed the conference title since 2011. The victory was a result of five individual first-place finishes and a successful relay win.
mpressive performances by sophomore Casey Clark in the 100-freestyle and 200-butterfly and sophomore Erin Flanigan in the 200-butterfly and mile-freestyle helped Rice gain the edge they needed over their closest competitors from Southern Methodist University and the University of Houston. The 400-freestyle relay team, consisting of Clark, Flanigan, sophomore Marissa Konicke and junior Karina Wlostowska, swam their way to one of many new school records set at the conference championships. Flanigan earned an all-conference record in the 200–butterfly. “The conference meet was the meet we were peaking for,” head Photo: Patric Schneider
coach Seth Huston said. “The whole year we talked about winning. I can’t say we expected to win, but I was confident we could.” The team’s winning performance was a result of consistent training and dedication to the sport but also to a secret coach Huston said he sees in this group that he hasn’t always seen in some of his past teams. “They have a great team atmosphere,” Huston said. “It’s inevitable that something good will happen when you come into the conference meet with a group that stays relaxed, has fun and is confident.” Having fun is something the team has definitely mastered. The highlight of the meet, according to Flanigan, was the entire team’s S p r i ng 2 0 1 3 · R i c e M a g a z i n e
reaction to finding out they were the 2013 team champions. “We all jumped in the pool, including the coaches, with our clothes on,” Flanigan said. “We did a team cheer in the water.” That’s not to say that the conference win came easy. Flanigan was in the hospital two days before she set the conference record in the 200–butterfly. She knew her performance would be affected but decided to compete despite her condition. “It was a huge internal emotional battle trying not to let my sickness and rib injury mess with my mental toughness,” Flanigan said. “I knew that if I had my family, team and coaches all believing in me, that I could do anything I put my mind to.” The championship was held at the University of Houston, and several Rice women’s swim team alumni were in attendance to cheer on their former teammates. Former Rice record-holder in the 200–butterfly Erin Mattson ’10 observed that Rice “had more depth than the competition. Each class really contributed, seniors all the way down to freshmen.” With many young members on the conference-winning team, 2014 is likely to be another great year for Rice swimming. Specific goals for next season include clocking faster times and having more representation at the NCAA meet. “We all want to improve on our times and continue to grow as swimmers and athletes,” Clark said. Coach Huston is also anticipating future successes at the C-USA meet. “The goal is to repeat, for sure,” he said. —Johanna Ohm ’13
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The Strongest Man For Rice alumnus O.J. (Orenthial) Brigance ’92, the spotlight of the brightest stage in American sports is nothing new. In Super Bowl XXXV, Brigance, then the special teams captain for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, streaked down the field on the opening kickoff to make the game’s very first tackle.
rigance and the Ravens went on to win by a score of 34–7, the pinnacle of a decorated collegiate and professional career for the former Owl. More than a decade later, as the Ravens celebrate yet another Super Bowl title, Brigance continues to lead and inspire an entire organization without stepping foot on the field. In 2007, Brigance was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), a disease that has taken away Brigance’s use of his extremities but has not affected his mental capacity in any way. A member of the Ravens’ front office since 2004, Brigance now serves as the senior adviser to player engagement, a role in which he provides advice and guidance for players on their lives outside of football. But to understand the magnitude of Brigance’s contributions to the Ravens, one must look beyond his official title. “O.J. Brigance is the strongest man in the building, and it’s a building of a lot of strong men,” said Ravens head coach John Harbaugh in a segment for ESPN that aired during the NFL playoffs. Brigance, who routinely delivers inspirational messages to players in the locker room before and after games, was named the Ravens’ honorary captain in their AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots Jan. 20. His presence within the organization continues to provide motivation, even for some of the most celebrated leaders in the NFL. “He’s my greatest motivation because he is the example of the way a man should live regardless of where you find yourself,” said Ravens linebacker and future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis, in an interview with CBS that
aired during Super Bowl week. “He’s my hero.” Prior to his time with the Ravens, Brigance played four seasons at Rice, where he was twice named to the All-Southwest Conference Team and graduated as the Owls’ all-time leader in tackles. Now a member of the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame, Brigance went on to play five seasons in the Canadian Football League, where he won a league championship and in 1995 was named the CFL Players’ Association Man of the Year. Brigance then spent seven seasons in the NFL, winning his Super Bowl ring with the Ravens in 2001. Brigance and his wife, Chanda, have founded the Brigance Brigade Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for people living with ALS while funding research initiatives fighting the disease. Brigance earned the Association of Rice Alumni’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2012 for his inspirational efforts in the fight against ALS. —Ryan Glassman ’13 Photos: John Sullivan; Jim Young/Reuters/Newscom
Keeping His Eye on the Ball If you have been to a baseball, football or men’s basketball game recently, you may be familiar with “the voice of the Rice Owls,” JP Heath.
eath, who is in his fifth season calling baseball games for the university, began doing play-by-play for football and men’s basketball this academic year after being hired full time last July as the broadcast manager for Rice IMG Sports Marketing, a position that also includes Athletics marketing and sales initiatives. —Jenny W. Rozelle ’00
Photo: Tommy Lavergne
How did you get started in sports announcing? I started calling games in college at Texas A&M University at Commerce — doing high school games and miscellaneous college games back in 1999. That was my first foray into broadcasting. I then did a radio internship and got into sports talk radio and sports broadcasting. Are sports a lifelong love of yours? Hopefully people don’t hold it against me, but I grew up around Dallas and always liked the Cowboys, the Rangers and the Mavericks announcers. I was the dorky kid in school with the sports page, and I always consumed it. Even when I was 11 or 12, I wrote letters to the sports editor or called in to talk shows. Now you host the weekly Rice coaches show on Yahoo! Sports Radio 1560. What’s involved with hosting that program? During football season, we had 13 shows where head coach David Bailiff would come in and talk about the previous week’s game or bring in some players, a Rice legend or assistant coaches. We’d ham it up for an hour at Danton’s Gulf Coast Seafood. In basketball, we have the Ben Braun show. Same deal — we talk about the previous games and upcoming games. We interview players and coaches and talk about college basketball in general. Head baseball coach Wayne Graham’s radio show is at Genghis Grill. We get a pretty good crowd. A lot of loyal fans show up.
Who has been the biggest influence on your career? My dad. We went to baseball games starting when I was 5 or 6 years old. He also used to read the sports page to me when I was a kid. That’s how my interest in sports got started. My dad listens to all my games. I talk to him before and after. My dad has always supported me. My mom has, too, but there’s something about the relationship between a boy and his dad. Do you have a favorite sport that you announce? Whatever the season is, I’m very consumed in that sport. But if I had to pick one, basketball would probably be my favorite, only because it’s the sport I was better at growing up. It’s not that I dislike doing the other ones, though. Like they say about baseball, a bad day at the ballpark is better than a good day at work. And in football, Rice had so many close games this year — you can’t beat that feeling. You get different highs from different sports. Do you get to know the players very well? Yes, and I think telling the story in any broadcast is the most important thing. Some announcers sell themselves short because they can’t tell the stories about whatever team they’re covering. Specifically at Rice, we have so many great student–athletes. It’s amazing that not only are they athletic, but more importantly they’re at the top of their classes. They’re going to be future leaders. It’s amazing that they can do what they can do at this age. S p r i ng 2 0 1 3 · R i c e M a g a z i n e
Sex Changes, Beheadings and Resurrection If you look carefully, you can see just about anything while walking across campus. t only takes me a few minutes to walk to my office in Anderson Biological Labs from Baker College, where I live as a resident associate. Although I make this walk every day, on occasion I like to take my time and appreciate the natural side of campus. Take this morning, for instance. It’s early February, and yesterday’s steady rain has left the morning air feeling refreshingly warm and moist. Around the new wing of Baker College, I notice that the azaleas were starting to bloom. The unusually mild temperatures we’ve been experiencing have tricked these plants into thinking spring is here. Although a pretty sight, it’s hard for me to fully enjoy. Early blooming can be devastating to a plant if the insects that pollinate them don’t appear until later. Beneath the shrubs is a colorful mosaic of fallen flowers. A jet-black roly-poly emerges from the moist soil and walks across a pink petal. I gently pick it up and flip it onto its back, exposing seven pairs of tiny legs that wiggle in protest. It’s large enough to see the white scales that form a straight line down the middle of its belly, identifying it as a female. Or, is it? This species is host to bacteria called Wolbachia that cause males to develop into females. This is not a coincidence — the bacteria can only be passed from females to their offspring, so from the bacteria’s perspective, males are useless. A male that turns into a female, on the other hand, is an opportunity for the bacteria to spread. Crossing the Inner Loop, I notice that fire ant mounds are popping up in the grass, another result of yesterday’s rain. I cut across the grass to take a closer look at one of the mounds, where someone recently stepped. The worker ants are running about, releasing an invisible alarm pheromone to warn their nestmates of the intrusion. This pheromone has attracted an unexpected visitor — a tiny fly, hovering menacingly above the ants. This particular fly, a phorid, lays its eggs inside the bodies of worker ants, where they develop and grow until eventually emerging and decapitating the ant. These flies were brought from Argentina to control the spread of fire ants, an invasive species also from Argentina. The tiny fly darts between two ants, then suddenly descends and taps one of them. That ant’s days are now numbered. Continuing north, I pass the hedges that surround the Brochstein
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Pavilion. The thin, erect stalks have been neatly trimmed, but they are still recognizable as horsetails, one of the few living species from an ancient group of plants that dominated the planet 300 million years ago. The extinct cousins of these modest plants were massive trees that died, decomposed, and became coal and oil — the “fossil” part of fossil fuels. To my right, I see the Chinese elm trees in front of Fondren Library have lost their leaves for winter, but one tree has a few clumps of bright green in its crown. I wonder if the couple sitting at the table beneath it realize that it’s mistletoe. More than just a holiday decoration, mistletoe is actually a parasite. It grows on trees, penetrating their branches and taking up nutrients — not very romantic when you think about it. Crossing the Inner Loop once again, I notice that the canopy formed by the beautiful live oak trees literally turned green overnight. Their branches are covered with resurrection ferns, whose fronds were brown and withered just yesterday. When the rains come, this remarkable plant quickly absorbs the moisture and springs back to life. Unlike the mistletoe, resurrection ferns don’t damage the trees they grow on. Neither do the clumps of ball moss that are everywhere on these trees. They make good hiding places for insects, which is probably why, as I approach my office door, I notice a blue jay picking so intently through one that has fallen to the ground. Blue jays are yearround campus residents, but many new birds will soon be arriving on campus, stopping briefly along their long spring migration north from the tropics. It will be fun to keep an eye out in the next few months for unusual sightings. The blue jay is quickly chased away by a gray squirrel, probably defending its food cache. Given the blanket of acorns covering the ground, it’s hard to imagine that the squirrels are short on food this year. They are what remain of a massive pulse of acorn production last year, known as a mast. The exact cause is somewhat of a mystery, though some suggest it is the oak trees’ response to a negative change in local conditions — in this case, severe drought. The drought is predicted to continue, but this morning the campus trees and wildlife seem to be enjoying the rain. I don’t mind having to wipe a little mud off my shoes before stepping into my office. It’s a small price to pay for having a nature walk along my morning commute. —Scott Solomon
“Through planned giving, donors are assured that they’re building something that will last.” Morris Rapoport (pictured with his daughter, Nancy Rapoport ’82)
the hydrocyanation of butadiene? Folk dances from around the world? Classical guitar? Ways to turn your passions into a lasting legacy for Rice? Morris Rapoport is a great resource for all of these topics. Okay — maybe butadiene isn’t your thing, but we’re guessing that, at minimum, you and Morris share an interest in supporting Rice’s educational and research mission. AVE YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT
For Morris, a key first step was discussing his interests with Rice staff. He then established a permanent endowed fund, the Morris and Shirley Rapoport Jewish Studies Fund, to support the Program in Jewish Studies. The fund will fuel cutting-edge scholarship, community engagement and educational initiatives for students of all faiths. Having the fund in place now allows Morris; his daughter, Nancy Rapoport ’82; and Nancy’s husband, Jeff Van Niel, to make current gifts, while Morris’ two planned gifts — a charitable gift annuity and a bequest in his estate — will ensure lasting support for this cause close to his heart.
Discover what experiences sparked Morris’ gift to Rice. Visit www.rice.planyourlegacy.org.
Want to turn your passion into a powerful investment in Rice? Call the Office of Gift Planning at 713-348-4624 to discuss immediate and deferred gift planning options. Gifts made before June 30, 2013, may also count toward Rice’s Centennial Campaign.
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Rafael Moras, tenor, is a graduate student in voice at the Shepherd School.
Last fall, the Shepherd School Opera and Chamber Orchestra presented the Texas premiere of “Volpone.” In the comic opera, the wealthy Volpone, having no heirs, feigns mortal illness to con a greedy collection of individuals who wish to inherit his fortune. And this spring, love, deceit and redemption were on full display during the production of Händel’s “Ariodante,” a captivating tale of false accusations, princesses, jousting knights and rescue. “The students are truly amazing,”
Edward Berkeley, guest stage director, said. “‘Ariodante’ is a challenging opera to stage as the characters have an intricacy that emerges bit by bit throughout the course of the story. As music and text return, the music changes subtly and the meaning of the text must change emotionally; the performers are challenged to explore the subtleties of these changes in their performances.” Both productions were conducted by Richard Bado, director of the Opera Studies Program. P h o t o B y T e d Wa s h i ng t o n
Published on Apr 24, 2013