This week’s Centennial Stars

Two staffers are recognized for their above-and-beyond approaches

Rice News staff

To celebrate the Rice Centennial, this year the university will honor 100 staff members who represent the best of Rice culture. Each week, two Centennial Stars will be recognized for their contributions to excellence, and we’ll introduce them in Rice News.

This week’s Centennial Star honorees are Marisela Maldonado in Financial Aid and Carlos Garcia in the Office of the General Counsel.



Maldonado is the associate director of student financial services. She came to Rice in 2009 and has distinguished herself as a good colleague who also works well with students and the public.

Maldonado, her nomination said, has excelled at “training counselors on new processes and providing top-notch customer service to our students and families.”

She has also tackled a major project with great success.

“Mari has worked tirelessly,” a nominating letter said, on implementing Rice’s new net price calculator. The online program, which launched last year, helps potential students calculate how much they’d likely pay to attend Rice.

Maldonado, her nomination said, “brings a spirit of collaboration to our office from which we all benefit.”

Garcia, senior associate general counsel, came to Rice in 1995 after seven years at a Houston law firm. Just a year later, when the Rice Board of Trustees began to honor employees for excellent contributions to the university, Garcia was one of the first to be recognized.

Garcia received a Distinguished Employee Award in 2001, which he was given for his willingness to get involved with groups all over campus. And today, it’s that above-and-beyond attitude that has made Garcia a Centennial Star. Garcia’s nomination focused on his ability to listen and offer personal counsel to his colleagues.

“Carlos not only gives outstanding guidance,” a letter said, “he also listens and asks for some too, because he too believes in continual learning.”

Garcia is, his nomination said, “a caring and consistent Rice employee whose dedication throughout his many years at Rice is admirable.”

Do you know a staff member who routinely excels at work, supports the goals and aspirations of the university and serves as a positive influence on the Rice culture? Nominate him or her for a Centennial Star award. Human Resources will accept nominations from peers, colleagues, co-workers and supervisors. Nominees must be in a benefits-eligible position for at least two years as of Jan. 1 and be in good standing.

To nominate someone as a Centennial Star, go to For more information, contact Rebecca Millet at

About Rice News Staff

The Rice News is produced weekly by the Office of Public Affairs at Rice University.