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History professor Caleb McDaniel became the first Rice professor to win a Pulitzer Prize for his book “Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America” on May 4. The book is about Henrietta Wood, a woman who in 1870 successfully sued the man who abducted her and sold her into slavery.
Editor’s Note: This is a letter to the editor 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 letters to the editor are fact-checked and edited for clarity and conciseness by Thresher editors.
President David Leebron announced plans to reopen campus for the fall semester in an email to all faculty and staff on Monday evening. Rice plans to reopen for the fall semester in mid-August with its full population on campus, but there will be significant modifications to class and campus operations.
Rice University will accept the $3.4 million allocated to them through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, according to Kathy Collins, vice president for finance. The purpose of the fund is to provide emergency financial aid grants to students. The U.S Department of Education prohibited Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival recipients and undocumented students from receiving the federal aid provided by the CARES Act.
The Faculty Senate unanimously approved the second round of academic relief accommodations presented by the Executive Committee during their April 22 meeting.
Jaylen Carr grew up playing Nintendo video games — “If it had the Nintendo seal, I probably played it at some point,” he said — and loving everything about the multinational Japanese electronics and video game company. So when he received an internship offer from the Nintendo human resources department in the spring of his sophomore year, Carr said it felt like his stars had aligned.
Rice men’s basketball ended their season early with a first-round Conference USA tournament exit, falling 76-85 to the No. 5 Florida International University Panthers on March 11. Three starters from that game have entered the transfer portal since that loss: sophomore Trey Murphy III, who was officially announced as a University of Virginia addition on April 16, as well as sophomore Drew Peterson and redshirt junior Josh Parish, both of whom are still in the portal.
U.S. Attorney Ryan Patrick announced last Wednesday that Rice has paid the United States more than $3.7 million to settle allegations of fraud relating to the use of National Science Foundation research and development grants. Rice officials said that they do not admit any liability or violation of the law, according to the Office of Public Affairs.
In light of financial and academic challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Student Association recently passed a resolution asking the Office of Admissions to suspend standardized testing requirements for applicants for Fall 2021 matriculation. However, Rice officials have said that they will not be making this decision without significant deliberation.
Track and cross country athlete Adolfo Carvalho began his path to receiving one of the most prestigious research grants in the country by studying dust.
Being on the screen isn’t new to Gabe Baker, a Rice alumnus (Brown College ’14) and cast member of The Bachelor franchise’s new music dating show: “The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart” on ABC, where contestants sing to and with each other. Baker has been on athletic competition reality shows before –– “American Ninja Warrior” and Netflix’s “Ultimate Beastmaster.” While the constant eye of the cameras did put him under pressure to perform on those shows, Baker said that being on “The Bachelor” brought a new kind of pressure.
When Rice announced that Schedule Planner, an online scheduling platform for students, would be shut down and replaced with Banner, a platform that combines schedule planning with registration, students were devastated. One went so far as to write a eulogy for the site, criticizing the university’s choice to spend millions of dollars on what was, in his opinion, a worse platform.
The construction of the inflatable dome has been delayed by at least one month after the company that manufactures and installs the air structure paused all construction operations, according to Rick Mello, the deputy athletics director. The company’s operations, which have been halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, are currently set to resume in mid-May.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, announced a stay-at-home order for the county on March 24 which, originally scheduled to end on April 3, has been extended to April 30. Working alongside Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Hidalgo has been responsible for instituting these and other precautions for the city of Houston during the current pandemic. The Thresher recently sat down with Hidalgo to discuss next steps for the city.
The Rice Multicultural Center is temporarily relocating from the Rice Memorial Center basement to the former Housing and Dining office. The move is scheduled to occur at the beginning of the fall semester, according to Kevin Kirby, vice president for administration.
On a cool Saturday in March, Lesa Tran held her daughter Ophelia for the very first time. Throughout Ophelia’s life, her March 21 birthday will coincide with the vernal equinox — the beginning of spring — and signal the start of the season of renewal, hope and promise. This year, though, things were different: Spring came on March 20, and Ophelia was delivered amid a global pandemic.
On Monday, California State University, Fullerton became one of the first colleges in the country to announce that it will start the fall semester virtually. Rice is not CSUF — a 40,000-student campus in a state significantly more affected by COVID-19 than Texas — so we do not expect the Rice administration to announce contingency plans at this time. The status of the fall semester at Rice has not yet been announced, and the administration has not communicated their plans or decision to the Thresher or the student body at this time. But when they make plans about future semesters, which they will have to do eventually, we urge them to consider the following factors.
Intricate plankton, jellyfish and corals fill the drawings of Ernst Haeckel, a 19th-century German biologist, philosopher and naturalist. The prints caught the eye of Rice’s latest Guggenheim Fellow Lacy Johnson, who took a deeper look into Haeckel’s life. In her research, she unearthed the biologist’s prominent work in scientific racism, work which has led some historians to conclude that Haeckel informed the eventual rise of Nazi ideology in Germany and fascism in Italy.
As more and more social distancing guidelines were put in place over the past months, high school seniors across the country watched as prom slowly slipped out of their grasp. Instead of donning prom dresses and tuxes, they realized they would be donning face masks. Rather than spending the night dancing with their classmates, they would be staying home, only stepping out for groceries and medication.
Just as Rice students have found new ways to cope amid the general chaos, our professors have found themselves in the same unprecedented moment in history finding ways to muscle through their daily tasks: conducting research, teaching courses and attending to any children in need of attention.