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Postdoctoral fellow Alex Jong-Seok Lee navigates race, racism and identity in Asia

(04/07/21 2:17am)

When postdoctoral fellow Alex Jong-Seok Lee conceptualized his course in Asian Studies last fall, he went back and thought about previous conversations with students about the kinds of courses they would be interested in. Although there are several courses in Asian American Studies at Rice that focus on ethnicity, health, class and gender, students had brought up one issue that wasn't covered in-depth: race in Asia.


Doc Talks: Task Force on Racial Injustice talks documents and research in webinar series

(04/07/21 2:14am)

Fifty-six years ago, just as Rice University began to desegregate, student Raymond L. Johnson wrote a remarkable letter to the university’s president. Johnson was the first Black student to enroll at Rice, and his presence sparked a lawsuit by alumni demanding that Rice only educate white students. School officials requested that Johnson and other Black students keep a low profile and stay out of the media during the lawsuit, but Johnson’s letter to the president brought the painfully slow progress of integration under light — and questioned the dubious timing of introducing tuition the same year Rice began accepting Black students. This letter is just one of many documents discussed in The Task Force on Slavery, Segregation and Racial Injustice’s new podcast and webinar series. 


Texas on his mind: Remembering the literary legacy of Larry McMurtry

(04/07/21 2:11am)

Prolific novelist, screenwriter and Rice University alumnus Larry McMurtry died at his home in Archer City, Texas on March 25, 2021. McMurtry’s novels are known for their striking realism and ability to present the complexities of life in Texas. As an author, McMurtry gained international acclaim and a particularly devoted Texan following. Many of the novels he penned could be considered Texan and Western classics, all written on a typewriter — a method he held onto despite the rising popularity of computers during the digital age. In memory of McMurtry — who proclaimed himself a “minor regional novelist” despite his widespread and enduring acclaim — here are a few of his most influential works that capture his lasting impact on the literary world.



Rice fight never dies: Owls take home the NIT title in dominant fashion

(03/31/21 5:02am)

Following an 18-4 regular season, the Rice women’s basketball team made history in the postseason by becoming the first-ever Conference USA team to win the Women’s National Invitational Tournament. The Owls qualified for the WNIT, which consists of 32 teams who narrowly missed out on the NCAA tournament, after their last-second loss in the C-USA title game cost them a spot in March Madness.. The Owls fought past their opponents in bracket play, winning every game by double-digits, before defeating the University of Mississippi in Sunday’s final by a score of 71-58.


Rice receives 4,000 doses of vaccine to distribute, Fall semester expected to be ‘largely normal’

(03/31/21 4:59am)

Rice University announced yesterday that the state of Texas will give the university 4,000 first doses of Pfizer vaccine for distribution on campus. The first clinic will be Thursday, April 1 in Tudor Fieldhouse, according to Vice President of Administration Kevin Kirby.


Colleges change Willy Week name due to event restrictions, conversations about Willy’s Statue

(03/31/21 4:50am)

Several colleges have changed the name of Willy Week this year due to the different structure of the week compared to past years, including the restrictions on the types and frequency of events that can be held due to the pandemic, and because of the ongoing conversation regarding Willy’s statue. 





Snubbed: Women’s basketball deserved a tourney bid

(03/31/21 3:23am)

The Rice women’s basketball team, in an impressive showing, cruised to their program’s first WNIT Championship this past weekend. Despite their imminent victory, the question on my mind as the final seconds of the championship game against the University of Mississippi ticked off the clock was less than celebratory: Should the Owls have even been in the tournament in the first place?



Baseball drops three of four to UTSA

(03/31/21 3:17am)

In their first conference series of the season, Rice baseball dropped three of their four games against the University of Texas, San Antonio this weekend. Over the four games, the Owls were outscored 39-18, and their season record now sits at 12-12. Head coach Matt Bragga said he was disappointed with the team’s uncharacteristic mistakes on the mound and in the field over the weekend.


Rice Design reflects on its inaugural year and lays out its legacy

(03/31/21 3:15am)

Launching a new club during a virtual semester requires creativity, dedication and attention to detail. Luckily for Rice Design, their founders, board and members embody these very traits. Rice Design has a mission to connect, educate and celebrate digital designers on campus. In its inaugural year, the club has managed to recruit new members, host design contests, facilitate panels and launch its own merch. 


Chemtrails and Controversy: Lana Del Rey’s newest album fails to impress

(03/31/21 3:14am)

One would imagine that it would be hard to release a record that could top the monumental critical success of Lana Del Rey’s last album “Norman Fucking Rockwell!” They would be right. Her latest project, while a valiant effort to return to Del Rey’s roots and explore storytelling à la Taylor Swift’s “folklore” or “evermore,” fails to live up to its predecessor and doesn’t quite have that same social context to hit the cultural impact that Swift’s work had. And that isn’t even considering the mess of controversies Del Rey has entangled herself in since “NFR!” While Del Rey’s seventh studio album “Chemtrails Over the Country Club” satisfies fans of the singer’s more stripped down sound, the project doesn’t hold a candle to its Grammy - nominated predecessor and unfortunately can’t escape the shadow of Del Rey’s recent controversies.



From farming to designing vaccines, alum Barney Graham solves problems

(03/31/21 3:07am)

Last week, hundreds of Rice community members received the second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine following the spontaneous vaccine clinic during the February winter storm. Few may have known that a Rice alumnus, Barney Graham (Will Rice College ’75), was the mastermind behind the vaccine’s messenger RNA sequence entering their cells.


Volleyball rides hot streak into conference tournament

(03/31/21 3:04am)

After having their season delayed five months, the Owls set off on a journey that ended with an undefeated conference season, an overall record of 14-4 and a momentous win against No. 2 University of Texas, Austin. Ranked No. 24 in the latest national poll, the Owls will look to build off of their success in the Conference USA tournament, which starts this Thursday.


A year into the pandemic, research goes on — but not without changes

(03/31/21 3:03am)

After doing a computational chemistry project remotely while campus access was limited last summer, Will Rice College junior Hallie Trial returned to campus lab work in August. At the Ball Lab, where she investigates the synthesis of boronic acids and water, Trial is masked, physically distanced from fellow researchers and, sometimes, reusing gloves — a practice not normally recommended, she said, but necessitated by pandemic shortages of personal protective equipment.


Student Association committees deserve more from students

(03/31/21 2:56am)

Editor’s Note: This is a guest opinion that has been submitted by a member of the Rice community. The views expressed in this opinion are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of the Thresher or its editorial board. All guest opinions are fact-checked and edited for clarity and conciseness by Thresher editors.