People, papers and presentations

“Blacks and Whites in Christian America,” co-authored by Michael Emerson, the Allyn and Gladys Cline Professor of Sociology and co-director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, is the winner of the 2012 C. Calvin Smith Book Award. The prize recognizes the best book published by members of the Southern Conference of African-American Studies and is named for C. Calvin Smith, the first African-American faculty member at Arkansas State University and a founding-member of the conference. Emerson’s book explores the differences among races in numerous ways — from how frequently people pray or attend church to whether they believe in heaven or hell.

Hanszen College sophomore Zack Kopplin won the $10,000 2012 TroubleMaker Award for his leadership and advocacy efforts to prevent the spread of creationism in publicly funded education. A history major, Kopplin has been working to repeal the 2008 Louisiana Science Education Act. He has gathered the support of 78 Nobel laureate scientists, the New Orleans City Council and major science organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has spoken before the Louisiana legislature and the state board of education, debated creationist politicians, held rallies and appeared in national and international media interviews. The TroubleMaker Award is a global contest for individuals and groups of people under 20 whose unconventional activist efforts make a positive and lasting impact.

Rice University’s Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering (IBB) has awarded IBB Travel Grants to 24 outstanding graduate students of IBB faculty members. Travel grant recipients are nominated by their faculty adviser and receive funds for costs associated with attending a scientific conference. The 2012 IBB Travel Grant recipients and the scientific conferences they will be attending are:

  • Timothy Abram, bioengineering, Lab-On-A-Chip World Congress.
  • Kathryn Beabout, biochemistry and cell biology, Gordon Research Conference on Microbial Population Biology.
  • Omar Benavides, bioengineering, Gordon Research Conference.
  • Patrick Connell, Bioengineering, Biomedical Engineering Society.
  • Michelle Downey, ecology and evolutionary biology, Society for the Study of Evolution.
  • Brian Engle, biochemistry and cell biology, American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting.
  • Li Sahn Eliza Fong, bioengineering, 2013 Annual Meeting and Expo.
  • Eric Frey, physics and astronomy, American Physical Society.
  • Eric Gomez, bioengineering, Biomedical Engineering Society.
  • Yusong Guo, biochemistry and cell biology, American Society of Virology.
  • Marci Kang, chemistry, National American Chemical Society Meeting.
  • Sam Kwiatkowski, biochemistry and cell biology, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
  • Matt Kyrish, bioengineering, Photonics West.
  • Erica Levorson, bioengineering, Society of Biomaterials Annual Meeting.
  • Evan Olson, applied physics, BioBricks Foundation SB6.0.
  • Stacy Prukop, chemical and biomolecular engineering, American Chemical Society.
  • Mauro Rinaldi, biochemistry and cell biology, Annual Meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists.
  • David Ryan, bioengineering, ASME 2013 Second Global Congress on NanoEngineering for Medicine and Biology.
  • Ramya Sambasivan, chemistry, Gordon Research Conference and Gordon Research Seminar on High Throughput Chemistry and Chemical Biology.
  • Abhinav Tiwari, bioengineering, Gordon Research Conference.
  • Lifeng Yang, chemical engineering, American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting.
  • Yun Yu, computer science, International Conference on Research in Computational Molecular Biology.
  • Jiaxing Yue, ecology and evolutionary biology, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology.
  • Zhun Zhao, chemical and biomolecular engineering, 2013 North American Catalysis Society.

The IBB Travel Grant Program is funded by the Edgar O’Rear and Mary Morse Family Funds.



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