Though his journey as a bioengineering major has since become central to his experience at Rice, Cory Pan’s first experience in bioengineering almost pushed him out of the major. While working on a problem-based learning project, Pan was part of a team that was charged with coming up with a design concept for a device that would measure renal function and notify a patient if they needed emergency dialysis.
From spotty Wi-Fi connections in the middle of class discussions to talking to students over six feet of distance, Rice’s professors have faced countless difficulties adapting to yet another semester of online instruction this year. But for professors who were hired in the past year, this virtual and distanced mode of teaching has been all they’ve known at Rice. The Thresher caught up with four new professors to see how their first year at Rice has been going from behind the screen.
After the GameStop short squeeze a few weeks ago, interest in the stock market and investing has surged. But Komal Virani’s interest in the stock market started years ago.
Applications for medical schools are rising locally and nationwide, and Rice students are part of the trend. Medical school applications from Rice undergraduates have increased in the past two years, according to Director of Academic Advising Aliya Bhimani.
Rice was always a goal for Tamara Siler (Brown College ’82). The native Houstonian recalls how when her aunt wanted to apply to college, Rice wasn’t an option for her. Siler and her aunt are Black, and the university didn’t admit Black students until 1965.
Amid the chaos, Rice professor Daniel Cohan has been called on by dozens of reporters for his climate and energy expertise. Between weighing in on the Texas freeze for pieces in the New York Times, NPR and WBUR’s Here and Now and Vox, Cohan sat down with the Thresher to answer some of our questions about what went wrong this week.
Although many Rice seniors are eyeing their May 15 graduation date, Emily Duffus (McMurtry College '20) transitioned from student to alumnus sooner than she had expected. Instead of settling into a new semester’s schedule these past few weeks, she has been working full time at a mobile urgent care in Houston as a medical technician and part-time as a contact trader with Rice Crisis Management. She spends her time driving around in an SUV with a nurse practitioner to address patients’ medical concerns in the comfort of their own homes. Duffus is one of various Rice alumni who decided to graduate early last fall after the pandemic turned their senior year plans upside down. The Thresher checked in with three graduates to see how their transition out of Rice has gone.
Gabriella Feuillet’s most memorable Rice experience involved two days without sleep, a gash on her finger and a 4 a.m. trip to the emergency room. Feuillet, who is an architecture major, said that this traumatic memory galvanized her towards self-care.
The confirmation of Donald J. Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election set the stage for a political rollercoaster that lasted four years. It drove countless Americans to take a stand and voice their support for and opposition to the former president, whose controversial policies and actions sparked heated debates. On campus, those conversations served as fuel for movements and organizations that sought to politically engage and inform students. Rice saw a surge in voting rates in recent years and high engagement in the past election as a result of the efforts of various on-campus clubs and groups.
Evan Choate has always been interested in contextualizing literature and narratives — and the past year gave him quite the backdrop to do so. For Choate, a postdoctoral fellow in public humanities with the Humanities Research Center at Rice, a central element to the narrative of being out or being proud is about “living your truth” and “embodying this identity” — a large part of which is done by accessing community. Although Choate lives with his husband and dog, being at home and isolated because of the pandemic has made this identity feel “muted,” he said.
Last August, as students were bracing for their first full semester in the pandemic, the Thresher brought you a roundup of nine outdoor destinations perfect for a life defined by social distancing. Five months later, with the spring semester unfolding and social distancing measures very much still in place, we’re back with more. Close your laptop, grab your mask and check out these five outdoor spaces in Houston — your brain will thank you.
The first time Oria Wilson-Iguade stepped foot onto Rice’s campus for a tour, she felt a bit out of place. That feeling of unease, however, was temporary, as Wilson-Iguade quickly found her place among the Black community at Rice SOAR, an event for prospective students.