Dateline Rice for Dec. 16, 2013 (Weekend Edition)


Rice President David Leebron on ‘Houston Matters’
President David Leebron was interviewed on the Dec. 13 edition of “Houston Matters” on KUHF-FM.
KUHF’s “Houston Matters

Mark Jones, the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies, professor and chair of political science and fellow in political science at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted in articles on local elections.
Rough night for incumbents in council, HCC runoffs
Houston Chronicle (This was the top story on the front of the City & State section in Sunday’s Houston Chronicle.)
District I runoff mirrors larger political rivalry
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required.)
Only two women will hold seats on Houston City Council next year
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required.)


New study reveals engineering schools fail to teach empathy
College engineering students are becoming more cynical and less concerned with public policy and social welfare issues, according to a new Rice study. Erin Cech, assistant professor of sociology, is quoted.

The wrong kind of ethanol boom
A Rice study finds spills of fuel with more ethanol could endanger people and buildings. Pedro Alvarez, the George R. Brown Professor and chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is quoted.
The Atlantic
Toxicity and explosive gases: The little-discussed risk of higher ethanol blends
Science 2.0
Higher ethanol blends carry hidden risks for nearby people, buildings
Red Orbit (This article also appeared on Cambodian Times.)
Ethanol blends carry hidden risk
Science Daily (Similar articles appeared in Science Codex, Bio-Medicine,, Science Newsline and the Cutting Edge News.)
Rice study: Higher ethanol blends require different approach to deal with vapor intrusion in buildings; extreme event, low probability
Green Car Congress
The weekly oil and gas follies

Mexico, late to game, must hustle to attract foreign oil companies
The ultimate success of Mexico’s push to open up its stagnant oil industry 75 years after a nationalization will depend on whether it can guarantee enough autonomy to foreign firms that have a cornucopia of options worldwide, energy experts said on Friday. Kenneth Medlock III, the James A. Baker III and Susan Baker Fellow in Energy and Resource Economics at the Baker Institute, senior director of the Center for Energy Studies at the Baker Institute and lecturer on economics, is quoted.
CNBC Business News (A similar article appeared in
Mexico attracts foreign oil firms
Gulf Today
México deberá esforzarse para atraer inversión de petroleras tras reforma
Terra Peru (An English translation of this article is not available. This article also appeared on, Yahoo!Noticias, Yahoo!Mexico, Terra Argentina, Economica, Invertia Chile and Group Formula.)
Éxito en apertura energética, atado a incentivos a empresas: analistas
LaJornada (An English translation of this article is not available.)

Kerry’s go-big-or-go-home foreign policy
Douglas Brinkley, professor of history and fellow in history at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, authored this article on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s approach to foreign policy.
Orlando Sentinel
Risk-taker Kerry revives diplomacy
Register-Guard (Oregon)

Spray-on batteries turn anything into a power source
Researchers at Rice University have developed a lithium-ion battery that can be painted on virtually any surface. A video produced by Rice features graduate students Charudatta Galande and Neelam Singh.

Abraham Briloff, accounting professor, dies at 96
Stephen Zeff, the Keith Anderson Professor in Business at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business, is quoted in a New York Times obit on Abraham Briloff, an accounting expert who died Thursday.
New York Times (Subscription required.)

Nigeria marks 100 years of amalgamation
Jan. 1 marks the centenary of the amalgamation of southern and northern Nigeria, but the anniversary looks set to be muted amid lingering questions about whether the union can hold. David Cook, associate professor of religious studies, is quoted. (This article also appeared on Nile International, Global Post, and

Charitable giving: How emotion, peer pressure influence donations
The way people choose to spend their charity money is influenced by a wide range of factors, from emotion to social pressure to convenience. A Rice study is cited.
CBCNews (Canada)

Executive compensation
Rice President David Leebron is mentioned in an article on the compensation of university administrators.
Chronicle of Higher Education


Campaigns target Latinos to sign up for health care insurance
A major push is underway to persuade hundreds of thousands of Houston-area Hispanics to sign up for the government health insurance program, but the effort has been hampered by some of the same flaws that delayed the English-language site rollout. Vivian Ho, the James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and professor of economics, is quoted.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required.)

‘A sinner who keeps on trying’: Ambassador relives moment that led to Mandela’s famous quote in Houston
Edward Djerejian, founding director of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, recalls Nelson Mandela’s historic visit to Rice and the Baker Institute in 1999.

Fashion insiders to teach stylish course at Rice University
Two Houston fashion insiders are teaming up to offer a new “Fashion in Film” course at the Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice next year.
Houston Chronicle

Pet therapy dogs visit Rice University for finals week
The pet therapy organization Faithful Paws took some furry pals to Rice’s Fondren Library to help de-stress students after their “ruff” week.

Rice establishes Materials Science and Nanoengineering Department
Rice University has established a new academic department to capitalize on the university’s research in materials science and nanotechnology.
Texas Medical Center News

In the garden with Urban Harvest: Tangerine, mandarin, Satsuma are sweet, juicy and abundant
Houston Chronicle
Newsradio 740 KTRH-AM
The Urban Harvest fruit tree sale Jan. 18 at Rice Stadium is discussed.


Newsradio 740 KTRH-AM
Bob Stein, the Lena Gohlman Fox Professor of Political Science, comments on the expected turnout for Saturday’s runoff election for Houston City Council.

KTRK-TV’s ‘Viva Houston’
Alumna Norma Torres ’13 is featured in a story about immigration reform that was rebroadcast Dec. 15.

ABC News Radio
David Alexander, director of the Rice Space Institute and professor of physics and astronomy, comments on a malfunctioning cooling pump on the International Space Station.
KLIF-AM (Dallas)
(This item also aired on All News 106.7 [Atlanta], WGDJ-AM [Albany, N.Y.] and KTSA-AM [San Antonio].)

KTSA-AM (San Antonio)
Mark Jones, the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies, professor and chair of political science and fellow in political science at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, comments on the tea party movement.


Panelists at Houston forum say shale enthusiasm must be kept in perspective
The idea that the U.S. can achieve energy independence through the exploitation of shale resources may make a good talking point for politicians, but industry experts cautioned against buying into the notion at a recent forum in Houston. The “TM Talks: Boom” forum hosted by Texas Monthly Magazine and Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy is mentioned.
Oil & Gas Journal

Texas Instruments’ Anand Dabak named a 2014 Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers Fellow
Alumnus Anand Dabak ’90 has been named a 2014 Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers Fellow. (This article also appeared on 4-Traders.)

Consumer culture: Who complains more — men or women?
According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, men and women engage in negative word-of-mouth advertising in very different ways. Vikas Mittal, the J. Hugh Liedtke Professor of Marketing at the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, is mentioned
Business Daily News

Pregnant and looking for work? Attack stereotypes head-on
Pregnant women are more likely to experience discrimination in the job search process than nonpregnant women, but they can minimize bias by addressing negative pregnancy stereotypes in the application process, according to a new study from researchers at Rice University, the University of Houston-Downtown and George Mason University. Michelle Hebl, professor of psychology and management, is quoted.
Business Daily News

Liquid to gel to bone
Rice bioengineers have developed a hydrogel scaffold for craniofacial bone tissue regeneration that starts as a liquid, solidifies into a gel in the body and liquefies again for removal. Antonios Mikos, the Louis Calder Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, is mentioned.
Rice University develops temperature-sensitive gelling scaffolds to regenerate craniofacial bone
Wounds Research

Twins study confirms genetic role in political belief
A research paper appearing in the academic journal Political Psychology re-affirms the genetic underpinnings of political beliefs, refuting critics who challenged previous research that linked politics with genetics. A paper by by John Alford, associate professor of political science, is cited.
Health Canal

Scientists scale terahertz peaks in nanotubes
New research by Junichiro Kono, professor of electrical and computer engineering and of physics and astronomy, has disproved previous theories that dominant terahertz response comes from narrow-gap semiconducting nanotubes.
Space Daily

Could ‘hairy roots’ become biofactories?
Rice University bioengineers have reported an advance in tapping the immense potential of “hairy roots” as natural factories to produce medicines, food flavorings and other commercial products. Ka-Yiu San, the E.D. Butcher Professor of Bioengineering and professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, is quoted.
Science Codex

Morphing material has mighty potential
Rafael Verduzco, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, is quoted in an article about the development of a new plastic morphing material that changes shape in a predetermined pattern when heated. Walter Chapman, the William W. Akers Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; graduate students Aditya Agrawal and Stacy Pesek; and undergraduate student Tae Hyun Yun are mentioned.
Photonics Online

Graphene nanoribbons an ice-melting coat for radar
Ribbons of ultrathin graphene combined with polyurethane paint meant for cars is just right for deicing sensitive military radar domes, according to scientists at Rice University. James Tour, the T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry and professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and of computer science, is quoted.
Researchers develop deicing solution using graphene nanoribbons to protect radars


Top universities to work for named
Rice is listed as one of the best universities to work for by Glassdoor.
Record-Courier (Ohio)

Attitudes are changing on gas drilling
A column on natural gas in upstate New York mentions Rice’s Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology’s efforts to develop nanotech applications for the oil and gas industry.
Daily Star (Oneonta, N.Y.)


Rice University will face Mississippi State University in the Liberty Bowl Dec. 31. Head football coach David Bailiff comments in some of the reports.
WAPT-TV (Jackson, Miss.)
WMC-TV (Memphis, Tenn.)
KUSI-TV (San Diego)
(This also aired on WJXT-TV [Jacksonville, Fla.] and KSMO-TV [Kansas City, Mo.].)
WTVA-TV (Columbus, Miss.)
Rice football coach eager to add ‘duckmaster’ to his resume
Liberty Bowl work begins, MSU newcomers benefit
Starkville Daily News (Subscription required.)
Bulldogs participate in chilly evening practice
Starkville Daily News (Subscription required.)
WLOX-TV (Biloxi, Miss.)
WTOK-TV (Meridian, Miss.)
WJTV-TV (Jackson, Miss.)
WLBT-TV (Jackson, Miss.)
WDAM-TV (Hattiesburg, Miss.)
WREG-TV (Memphis, Tenn.)
WLOX-TV (Biloxi, Miss.)
WHLT-TV (Hattiesburg, Miss.)
KOMU-TV (Columbia, Mo.)
WCBI-TV (Columbus, Miss.)

Rice’s David Baliff named C-USA Coach of the Year
David Bailiff, who led Rice to its first outright conference title in football since 1957, has been named the 2013 Conference USA Coach of the year in voting by the league’s 14 head coaches.
Memorial and Bellaire Examiners

Chicken soup for the coach
An op-ed mentions Rice football’s clinching of the Conference USA championship. Coach David Bailiff is featured.
Huntsville Item

Classroom champion
A feature on a high school student-athlete mentions she would like to attend Rice.

Houston selected for several future NCAA championship events
Rice is scheduled to host the Men’s Soccer College Cup in 2014.

The Heisman ‘bad boys’: Jameis Winston, Johnny Manziel and who should really win
The Rice-Texas A&M Aug. 31 football game is mentioned.
Daily Beast


‘Superbugs’ found breeding in sewage plants
Tests at two wastewater treatment plants in northern China revealed antibiotic-resistant bacteria were not only escaping purification but also breeding and spreading their dangerous cargo.

Graphene nanoribbons an ice-melting coat for radar
Ribbons of ultrathin graphene combined with polyurethane paint meant for cars is just right for deicing sensitive military radar domes, according to scientists at Rice University.

About Arie Passwaters

Arie Wilson Passwaters is a Web editor in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.