Alumni recognized for distinguished achievements

Alumni recognized for distinguished achievements

Special to the Rice News

Three Rice University graduates have been selected to receive the Association of Rice Alumni’s annual Distinguished Alumni Award, presented to alumni whose professional or volunteer activities reflect and forward the high standards and ideals of the university.

T. Jay Collins ’68, Rachelle Smith Doody ’78 and ’92, and Robert S. Martin ’71 were honored at the Association of Rice Alumni 2009 Laureates Dinner at the Omni Houston Hotel May 9.

T. Jay Collins ’68

”T. Jay Collins is the model for impeccable business ethics and integrity, superb leadership skills and exceptional vision,” said Steve Bradshaw ’70, vice president of Oceaneering International Inc.


Collins serves as president, CEO and director on the board of Oceaneering, a global oilfield provider of engineered services and products primarily for the offshore oil and gas industry, with a focus on deepwater applications. Oceaneering also serves the defense and aerospace industries. The company, which has more than 7,900 employees working out of 66 locations in 18 countries, earned a net income of almost $200 million on revenues of nearly $2 billion in 2008.

In 1993, Collins joined Oceaneering as senior vice president and chief financial officer. He became president and chief operating officer in 1998 and was promoted to CEO in 2006.

”Jay is a strong example of a public company CEO,” said Osmar Abib ’81, managing director of Credit Suisse in the Global Energy group. “He works to further Oceaneering’s standing in the Houston business community and among its employees, customers and other constituencies.”

Collins received his bachelor’s and master’s in chemical engineering from Rice in 1969 and was captain of the varsity football team. He earned his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1972. He currently serves as chairman of the National Ocean Industries Association and is on the board of the American Productivity & Quality Center, Petroleum Equipment Suppliers Association and CanCare of Houston. He is also a member of the National Petroleum Council and was on the Rice Class of 1968 reunion committee.

Collins became an early member and active supporter of the Jones Partners, a group of business professionals who work to open doors and increase collaboration between Rice’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management and the Houston business community. He was president of the Jones Partners board for two years beginning in 2004.

”In 2005, I asked Jay to become a member of the Dean’s Council of Overseers, an advisory group that helps guide the school and assists with the priorities identified by the dean and faculty,” said Bill Glick, dean of the Jones School. ”As co-chairman of the Energy Committee of the council, Jay provided invaluable help in defining the mission and case for an energy focus at the school. He has recently begun serving as chairman of the council.

”Jay exemplifies the best of Rice and the type of person we hope all Rice grads will become.”

Rachelle Smith Doody ’78, ’92

Dr. Rachelle Smith Doody is the Effie Marie Cain Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease Research, professor of neurology and director of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center at Baylor College of Medicine. A dedicated leader, she built the center from the ground up since its establishment in 1989. Today it has more than 3,000 patient visits yearly and is recognized as one of the premier centers in the country.


”Rachelle’s impact on the field of Alzheimer’s and dementia has been dramatic and widespread,” said Richard Elbein, CEO of the Houston and Southeast Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. ”Through Rachelle’s persistence, the quality of care for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease has vastly improved.”

Doody has been a prolific writer and speaker about her chosen subject — she has published more than 130 original articles and chapters, most of which deal with the diagnosis, progression or treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. She has even assisted government groups in China, Thailand and South Korea in establishing health policies.

A Zenith Award from the National Alzheimer’s Association is only one example of the multiple research grants Doody has received, and she has conducted numerous clinical trials of Alzheimer’s disease therapies. Doody has served on the Texas Council on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders and the board of directors for the Houston and Southeast Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and is listed in ”Best Doctors in America: Central Region.” 

”We are fortunate to have Rachelle’s leadership in the Texas Alzheimer’s Research Consortium, which was formally established and funded by legislative action due in large part to her efforts and her reputation among state lawmakers as a highly respected leader in Alzheimer’s disease research,” said Stephen Waring, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Texas School of Public Health and scientific coordinator of the Texas Alzheimer’s Research Consortium.

Doody received a B.A. and Ph.D. from Rice in 1978 and 1992, respectively, and an M.D. from Baylor College of Medicine in 1983. 

”Rachelle was an active member of Jones College,” said Lynn Laverty Elsenhans ’78, chief executive officer of Sunoco and an alumna of Jones College. ”Her strong intellect and sharp wit complemented a calm leadership that inspired.”

Robert S. Martin ’71

Robert Martin has 21 years of experience as an archivist and librarian in academic and research libraries and government agencies. In 2001, Martin was appointed by then-President George W. Bush to serve as director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). During his tenure, the agency’s budget increased by nearly $50 million, and the IMLS awarded 4,704 grants to museums and libraries for a total of more than $899 million.


”It is no exaggeration to state that he transformed the IMLS from an important funding agency to an exemplary and indispensable one,” said Charles Henry, president of the Council on Library and Information Resources. ”He is unquestionably a national leader and embodies the excellence, innovation and advancement of his field that a Rice education is designed to foster.”

Martin has a B.A. in history from Rice, a Master of Library Science
from the University of North Texas and a Doctor of Philosophy in
library science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In 2008, Bush singled out Martin, a member of the National Council on the Humanities, as a recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal — one of the highest honors the U.S. confers upon a civilian, second only to the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

”Robert is to be commended not only for reaching the highest federal position of leadership in the library and museum worlds, but also for his ability to lead during a time of massive technological change,” said Gary Wihl, dean of Rice’s School of Humanities.

Active in international cultural affairs, Martin served as a member of the U.S. National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization from 2003 to 2008 and was a member of its Executive Committee and its Communication and Information Sector Committee.

Before serving as director of the IMLS, Martin was a professor and interim director of the School of Library and Information Studies at Texas Woman’s University (TWU) from 1999 to 2001. After completing his term at IMLS in 2005, he returned to TWU as a professor of library science and the Lillian Bradshaw Endowed Chair in Library Science. He retired from TWU in 2008. Prior to 1999, Martin was director and librarian of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Martin also held positions at Louisiana State University, the University of Texas-Arlington, the University of Texas-Austin and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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