Michelle “Mikki” Hebl was awarded the Advancing Women in Leadership award by the diversity, equity and inclusion division of the Academy of Management, acknowledging her contributions to education to help the development of women in leadership. Hebl is the Martha and Henry Malcolm Lovett Chair of Psychology and a professor of management at the Jones Graduate School of Business.
Housing and Dining launched new dining plan options for graduate students this year, accommodating 300 graduate students during the 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 pm lunch period and 600 graduate students during the 2 pm to 4 p.m. “munch” period.
Rice Coffeehouse is closed Aug. 31 through Sept. 4 due to an increase in COVID-19 cases on campus. This is two days earlier than planned for the Labor Day holiday, according to General Manager Caroline Leung.
The first public of the year, Martel College’s “Don’t Mess With Texas” party, took place Aug. 26. The capacity for the public was 1,200 people, with 350 allowed on the sundeck. The sundeck line closed at 10:15 p.m. — 15 minutes after the public started — due to capacity restrictions, Martel socials committee head Audrey Pizzolato said.
The Office of Student Success Initiatives implemented the Owl Access pre-orientation program for first-generation and/or low-income new students for the first time this year. New students moved in on Thursday, Aug. 10 and participated in three days of workshops prior to Orientation Week.
The Supreme Court rejected affirmative action at colleges and universities across the nation in a watershed decision on June 29. Following the decision, President Reggie DesRoches and Provost Amy Dittmar wrote in an email to the student body that they were “disappointed” by the ruling and that their commitment to diversity does not shift, echoing a statement from March.
This August has been the hottest in Houston since at least 1969, according to a Thresher analysis of weather data captured at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Through Aug. 26, daily highs have averaged 102.9 degrees, surpassing the previous mark of 101.4 degrees set in 2011.
The new student center project has been delayed again, dean of undergraduates Bridget Gorman announced in an Aug. 21 email obtained by the Thresher. Rice has chosen to ‘reset’ the project, firing the architecture firm, Adjaye Associates.
Rice is currently renovating the bike track used for Beer Bike, which involves repaving the asphalt and repainting track markers, according to an Aug. 9 email from the Facilities and Capital Planning department. The project began on Aug. 8 and is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 6.
Critical Thinking in Sexuality, a course designed for new students to discuss interpersonal relationships and violence prevention, now includes an additional sixth session about pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease prevention. These changes follow a pilot session tested last year.
Rice University physicist Frank Geurts has been named co-spokesperson for the Solenoidal Tracker at Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider collaboration, the world’s first heavy-ion collider located at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Alongside Brookhaven Lab physicist Lijuan Ruan, Geurts will lead STAR for the next three years to collect data on nuclear collisions and study the matter that was present at the origin of the universe.
David Adjaye, the founder and principal of the firm designing Rice’s new student center, has been accused of sexual misconduct by three former employees. The Financial Times reported on July 3 that the allegations “range from sexual assault to harassment.” Rice chose Adjaye Associates to design the new student center in November 2020. The Moody Foundation has donated $100 million to support the project.
John Dobelman, a professor in the statistics department, passed away May 9 at the age of 65 after battling cancer intermittently for 25 years. In addition to being a professor, Dobelman was the founding director of the professional masters program in the statistics department and the associate director of the Center for Computational Finance and Economic Systems.
Rice intends to build two new residential colleges with an accompanying servery, President Reggie DesRoches and Vice President for Finance and Administration Kelly Fox announced in an email sent May 19. The old Sid Richardson College building will be demolished as part of this project. One of the new colleges will take its place, and the other will be positioned closer to Wiess College.
Dave Farina of the YouTube channel ProfessorDaveExplains came to Rice to debate organic chemistry professor James Tour on the topic of abiogenesis, the scientific theory that life on Earth originated from non-living compounds. The debate occurred May 19 in a full Keck Hall, with up to 2,800 viewers watching the event livestreamed on YouTube.
María Trinidad “Triny” Carranza, cook III at the Cohen House, passed away May 7 at the age of 50. Carranza’s daughter said Triny’s cause of death was complications from blood clots. Hailing from the city of Chihuahua, Mexico, Triny visited Houston in her early twenties and chose to stay after meeting her future husband, Salvador Carranza, in the same apartment complex. Once settled, she began working in the cooking industry that, according to her husband, she was in love with.
Rice held its 110th Convocation ceremony on Saturday, May 6 at Rice Stadium. The graduating class of 2023 walked under the Sallyport prior to convening in the stadium. This year’s commencement ceremony marked the first year that all graduation proceedings, including the commencement speech, were condensed into one day. It also marked the conferral of Rice’s first-ever posthumous degree, awarded to Kamryn Sanamo, a Martel College senior who died in January from brain cancer.