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Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Tuesday, September 28, 2021 — Houston, TX °

Nicole Lhuillier


FEATURES 4/27/21 10:39pm

Looking back and looking forward: lessons from the pandemic

The Rice community is eagerly anticipating a return to some kind of normal in the fall semester. Still, it’s clear that not everything will be the same as before the pandemic — but maybe for good reason. While the past year has been undeniably difficult, the Rice community can leave it with important takeaways. We asked administrators, faculty and student leaders what they have learned and what they envision for Rice when distancing, masking and virtual interactions are not the default procedures of the campus experience.


FEATURES 4/27/21 10:33pm

The state of energy in Texas: A conversation with Daniel Cohan following ERCOT’s energy conservation appeal

On April 13, a mild spring afternoon, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas announced they may begin emergency operations and called for energy conservation from Texans. Four hours later, ERCOT ended the appeal, but questions about Texas’s energy situation remain. Since extreme weather and an ensuing power crisis struck the state over two months ago, many media outlets, including the Thresher, have gone to Rice civil and environmental engineering professor Daniel Cohan for an expert explanation. The Thresher caught up with Cohan for a follow-up conversation.


NEWS 4/20/21 9:43pm

MECH students and faculty express concerns about undergraduate expansion in town hall

If the mechanical engineering undergraduate population grows alongside the recently announced 20 percent student body expansion, the department will need more faculty, more teaching and grading support, greater classroom capacity and additional funds for equipment, according to the Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Advisory Board. The Undergraduate Advisory Board discussed the state of the MECH department and its future at their town hall on April 14. 


FEATURES 4/13/21 11:44pm

“Untold histories” get told in this year’s Rice Historical Review

Last semester, when McMurtry College senior Joy Wang was researching the bubonic plague in medieval Spain, she started by looking for cross-century comparisons and insight into how people experienced and moved on from a pandemic. According to Wang, she found parallels between the attacks on the Jewish community during the Black Death and xenophobia and hate toward the Asian and Asian-American community during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


FEATURES 3/30/21 10:03pm

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

sAfter 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.



A&E 3/9/21 10:09pm

Pandemic Picks: Professors talk favorite TV and film to watch during quarantine

It’s been about a year since COVID-19 turned our lives upside down. And national reckonings in different spheres have shaped the months following the beginning of quarantine. In these strange times, watching on-screen content has been a quintessential activity for many — not just students. The Rice Thresher asked professors from different disciplines to share the films or series that have been keeping them entertained, encouraged or engaged.



NEWS 11/17/20 11:57pm

Rice alumna blasts off on historic SpaceX flight

Shannon Walker, Baker College ‘87, MS ’92, Ph.D. ‘93 is one of the four astronauts on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission to the International Space Station. The Crew Dragon spacecraft launched on Sunday evening and arrived on Monday night at the ISS, where the crew will spend the next six months, according to NASA. This is Walker’s second space flight to the ISS.


FEATURES 11/17/20 11:36pm

Alone at Sid: Life in the isolation tower

The tower that used to house the Sid Richardson College community is quiet these days: hallways are bare and most floors are vacant. The only people living there are a handful of students from across the residential colleges, and they mostly keep to their rooms.