Last spring, when many of us were learning to bake bread or dedicating our time to TikTok dances, Adriana Amaris sat with a tattoo gun buzzing against the peel of an orange. With sunlight coming in through her windows as she works, she says that tattooing herself and listening to music has become a form of self-care. Moving from oranges to her own skin to tattooing others, Amaris has steadily grown her confidence, skills and the number of people with her work etched onto their bodies.
During the school year, throughout the summer, and whenever there’s a big event on campus –– athletic events, and during a normal year, public parties –– student EMTs with Rice University Emergency Medical Services are around at the scene, looking out for the community. This past year, the stakes have been higher: EMTs have been serving their community during a pandemic.
Although Rice campus emerged mostly unscathed from the Feb. 15 winter storm, some students living off campus are among the tens of thousands of Houston residents who dealt with the effects of home damage after the week of extreme weather.
As we continue to battle the pandemic, Rice has made the decision to eliminate spring break to reduce the risk of students going out of state and transmitting the virus to loved ones or bringing it back to campus. Instead, we get sprinkle days — randomly selected days off that are intended to offer students time to relax in lieu of a traditional spring break. Used correctly, these days can offer students an opportunity to destress and unwind by spending time in nature, visiting cultural sites, or trying new activities.
For students who are the first in their family to attend college and come from low-income backgrounds, the transition to Rice can be especially tough — they might not have the benefit of advice from parents and family who have gone through college before, or the assurance of financial support from their families. However, many first-generation low-income students have found support and community at Rice, often among other FGLI students.
The Zoom call finally ends, and after waving goodbye to the rows of faces on your screen, you close your laptop and just sit there. And even if it’s just for a brief moment, you stare off into space, sometimes with burning eyes and a heavy head, and other times with a strong desire to just run off into a field away from all technology. We’ve all been there.
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.