Dateline Rice for April 27, 2012


A sponge that cleans up oil spills?
A Houston Chronicle editorial discusses work at Rice to create spongy, reusable blocks that absorb oil spilled in water. Daniel Hashim, a graduate student in mechanical engineering and materials science, is mentioned.
Houston Chronicle (This editorial also appeared on

Brave new world
Articles discuss the results of the Kinder Houston Area Survey, conducted yearly by Stephen Klineberg, professor of sociology and co-director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research. Klineberg will discuss his findings at a screening of "Interesting Times: Tracking Houston’s Transformations Through 30 Years of Surveys" tonight at Discovery Green. The New York Times and Texas Monthly picked this Discovery Green event as one of "the most interesting things to do around the state this weekend."
New York Times
City in transition: Sociologist Stephen Klineberg examines Houston’s rich/poor divide and what it means
Houston life worse despite improving economy, says Kinder survey
Newport Beach Daily Pilot (Calif.)


Chevron begins drilling oil Friday
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf visited the headquarters of Chevron’s Africa and Latin America Exploration and Production Company, where officials announced that the company will commence drilling its first well off the Liberian coast April 27. The article mentions that Sirleaf spoke recently at Rice’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy.
Monrovia Informer (Liberia) (This article also appeared on and


Commercial benefits of college research touted
Provost George McLendon appeared before a U.S. House of Representatives committee to discuss the importance of research universities to Texas’ economy.
San Marcos Mercury (This article also appeared on

Texas reluctantly aligns behind Romney, who now leads Obama by seven
Mark Jones, the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies, professor and chair of political science and fellow in political science at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, is quoted in news items about the GOP presidential primary, the Texas U.S. Senate primary, litigation over the Texas Voter ID law and the U.S. Supreme Court hearing on the Arizona immigration law. Jones’ research was cited in an article on the Texas District 25 GOP state senate primary.
Houston Chronicle
Voter ID trial delay deadline here (Dallas)
Hurt by Arizona immigration law, Hispanics organize
Saskatoon Star-Phoenix (Canada) (This article also appeared in the Victoria Times-Colonist.)
Wentworth, Jones turn up the heat in senate race
Texas Tribune

Who you gonna call to make breathing safe on public transit? Rice CityBusters are germ killers
A team of graduating seniors has created a system for public transit that would continually clear the air of pathogens that can lead to tuberculosis, flu and pneumonia. Brown College seniors Joseph Spinella and Jerry Lue are quoted. Brown College seniors Sundeep Mandava and Shidong Chen; Duncan College senior Grace Ching; Maria Oden, professor in the practice of engineering education and director of the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen; and Matthew Wettergreen, lecturer in bioengineering, are mentioned.
West University Examiner (This article also appeared in the River Oaks Examiner, the Bellaire Examiner and the Cypress Creek Mirror.)

Cyber Pearl Harbor coming to the US?
Joan Neuhaus Schaan, a fellow in homeland security and terrorism at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, is quoted in an article about a congressional vote on a cybersecurity law. (This article also appeared on and [New York].)

Musiqa receives prestigious National Endowment for the Arts grant for fifth consecutive year
Musiqa Houston earned its fifth consecutive National Endowment for the Arts Art Works Grant. The article notes that Karim Al-Zand and Anthony Brandt, associate professors of composition and theory, and Pierre Jalbert, professor of composition and theory, serve on Musiqa’s Artistic Board. Brandt is quoted.

Create a green haven for baby
A Q-and-A with Sheneq Aranda, consultant and owner of Premier Baby Planning, includes a photo of an infant at the Rice Children’s Center and mentions Jeff Frey, manager of Web services, and his wife, Stephanie. Both are resident associates at Martel College.
Houston Chronicle

Rice to offer professional master’s in space studies
The Wiess School of Natural Sciences now offers a master’s degree track for space studies. Dagmar Beck, director of the professional master’s degree program at the Wiess School, is mentioned.

Houston, we have innovation: New pop-up GE Garage inspires DIY-ers
An op-ed discusses the GE Garage, a manufacturing co-lab currently on exhibit at Rice.
Houston Business Journal

Houston Youth Symphony to present its spring concert
Houston Youth Symphony will present its spring concert at Rice’s Stude Concert Hall May 9.
West University Examiner (This article also appeared in the River Oaks Examiner, Memorial Examiner and the Bellaire Examiner.)
Houston Youth Symphony presents spring concert


A story discusses the Puentes Consortium Symposium on the Mexico-U.S. Border held at Rice University April 26. An English translation of this broadcast is not available.

KAVU-TV (Victoria, Texas)
A story about Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s visit to Houston mentions that he had a private meeting at Rice’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy.


Genesis of creativity
James Tour, the T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry and professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and of computer science, authored this piece about advances in nanoscience and nanotechnology and the sources of inspiration to open the doors for new developments.
ACS Nano (subscription required)

Merchants are finding social coupons to be an incredible marketing tool
Utpal Dholakia, professor of marketing at the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, is quoted in an article about daily deal websites such as Groupon.


Pittsburgh region’s profile on the rise among Chinese
The Chinese population in the Pittsburgh metro area is growing, getting younger and is increasingly female, according to 2010 statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Alumnus Jing Li ’93 is quoted.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (This article also appeared in the Beaumont Enterprise, the Columbus Republic, the Easton Express-Times,,, [Johnstown, Penn.], [Steubenville, Ohio] and [Jackson, Miss.].)


Texas A&M, Rice to meet in 2013 football season opener
Rick Greenspan, director of athletics, announced that Rice has reached an agreement with Texas A&M University to bring the two former longtime Southwest Conference rivals back together on the football field when they kick off the season August 31. (Austin, Texas) (This article also appeared on [San Antonio].)
Owls and Texas A&M to open 2013 football season
Cypress Times (Texas)

Strykers add two from College Park
Duncan College sophomore Michael Aquino will play for the Woodlands Strykers baseball team this summer.


Beyond Traditional Borders wins Science magazine’s IBI Prize
Science magazine has awarded a Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction to Rice University’s hands-on engineering education program Beyond Traditional Borders as a model for other schools.

Four Rice University students/alumni win Fulbrights
Four current or former Rice University students have received Fulbright Scholarships to study and work abroad in the coming year. The Fulbright Scholarship program is sponsored by the U.S. State Department and allows seniors, recent graduates and graduate students to study, teach and conduct research in a foreign country.

CityBusters battle illness on public transit
The best place to enjoy a breath of fresh air may be a city bus, if Rice University students have their way. A team of graduating seniors has created a system for public transit that would continually clear the air of pathogens that can lead to tuberculosis, flu and pneumonia.

Centennial Video Series: Commencement processions at Rice University
Working with Centennial Historian Melissa Kean, video producer Brandon Martin takes a look back at procession at Rice.

About Patrick McLaughlin

Patrick McLaughlin is a news assistant in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs. Patrick is responsible for production of the daily newsletter Dateline Rice and maintaining databases of metrics of mentions of Rice in the news media.