Dateline Rice for July 28, 2014 (Weekend Edition)


In his decade at Rice, Leebron has pushed university to grow
President David Leebron is profiled for his leadership and achievements over the past decade at Rice. He is quoted and pictured. Also quoted are Deborah Harter, associate professor of French; John Boles, the William P. Hobby Professor of History; Donald Morrison, professor of philosophy and classical studies; Lovett College senior Daniel Imas; and alumnus Joey Yang ’12. The story tops the list of articles worth reading in Houston in the Houston Chronicle’s “Gray Matters” online magazine.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required. This appeared on the front page.)
What’s worth reading in Houston
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required.)


Cyber warfare: The next front in the Israel-Gaza conflict?
Christopher Bronk, fellow in information technology policy at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted about Iran’s inability to defend itself from Israel’s cyberattacks.
CBS News

The beginning of the end of America’s death-penalty experiment
David Dow, the Rorschach Visiting Professor of History, authored an op-ed about the modern era of executions in Texas.
Politico Magazine

The morning download: Hilton upgrades to mobile-first
Rice’s silicon oxide technology can now be used to fabricate devices with conventional production methods, which brings it a step closer to mass production. 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.
Wall Street Journal
Weekend tech reading: Oculus Rift DK2 and OS X Yosemite previewed, Destiny compared on PS4/XO
New, super dense memory chips may arrive soon
Myce (This article also appeared in TweakTown.)
Soon we’ll be able to store terabytes worth of data on our smartphones

Book review: ‘The Nixon Tapes’ by Douglas Brinkley and Luke A. Nichter
Wall Street Journal writer John Lewis Gaddis reviews “The Nixon Tapes” by Douglas Brinkley, professor of history and fellow in history at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, and Texas A&M University historian Luke Nichter. Brinkley is also interviewed about Richard Nixon on CBS News’ “Sunday Morning.”
Wall Street Journal
More secrets told by the Nixon tapes
CBS News (This broadcast appeared in 122 other media outlets.)

Mount St. Helens eruption: Researchers plant devices to monitor Washington State volcano
Scientists are using a series of underground explosions across southwest Washington to map the plumbing system beneath Mount St. Helens. Alan Levander, the Carey Croneis Professor of Earth Science, is quoted. He is the lead scientist for the experiment.
Epoch Times
Interior of Mount St. Helens volcano to be mapped
Times of Malta

Fungus-spreading beetle and other invasive species
Rice researchers found that the Tallow Trees that spread along the U.S. coastal prairie from Florida to East Texas descended from China. Evan Siemann, the Harry C. and Olga K. Wiess Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary biology, is quoted.
ABC News

The special challenges of retiring from a business you own
Alumna Natalie Pine ’02 is featured in an article about the history and future of her family’s business.
New York Times

2 new discoveries with atoms pave way for invention
Rice nanophotonics experts created a unique sensor that amplifies the optical signature of molecules by about 100 billion times.

Houston’s 1980s implosion tells the tale of our slow-growth rush into fracking
An article recalls Houston’s history in oil production. Rice is pictured.

Russia finds friend in China as world focuses on blame for Ukraine crash
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have developed a bond, which has resulted in a $400 billion deal to ship natural gas from Russia to China. Steven Lewis, the C.V. Starr Transnational China Fellow at the Baker Institute and professor in the practice and interim director of the Chao Center for Asian Studies, is quoted.
Miami Herald (This article also appeared in The State and 30 other media outlets.)

The opening of Saudi Arabia accelerated with reform push, market launching
As part of its economic reform, Saudi Arabia opened its stock market to foreign investors that may lead to higher domestic energy prices. Jim Krane, the Wallace S. Wilson Fellow for Energy Studies at the Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted.
Buenos Aires Herald

Parker’s project: Putting ‘The Rite of Spring’ on the piano
Jon Kimura Parker, professor of piano, is featured. (This article also appeared in Windsor Star, Regina Leader-Post and Province.)

Learning curve: Student surveys can help in assessing a teacher’s skills
Reports and student surveys reveal the issue of students receiving poor test scores and how it reflects on their teachers. Rice’s faculty handbook is referenced.
South China Morning Post

US eyes asteroid capture as others aim for manned moon landing
John F. Kennedy’s speech given at Rice in 1962 is referenced.
Mashable (This article also appeared in

The architect building a new look for the South
Alumnus Randall Stout ’89 died after battling renal cancer.
Sydney Morning Herald (This article also appeared in the Age, WAToday and Brisbane Times.)


Confident Toth faces uphill battle in SD4 runoff
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 about the state Senate election candidates, the governor’s race and Texas’ voter identification law. He is also interviewed about the Texas border crisis.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required. This appeared on the front page of the City/State section.)
Tarrant County donations flow to governor’s race
Arrington fundraising lead over Perry could carry political message
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Gov. Perry’s Sept. 9 runoff election pick throws twist in West Texas politics
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Lawmakers’ new roles could increase influence
Tyler Morning Telegraph
Dems prep for voter ID
Off the Kuff
KXYL-AM (Brownwood, Texas)
KTSA-AM (San Antonio)

Some truths about living from a centenarian
Elinor Evans, the Albert K. and Harry K. Smith Professor Emerita of Architecture, is featured. She is quoted, along with alumnus Carvel Glenn ’71.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required.)

Rice and Cornell study shows African-American homeownership is on rocky ground
Sociologists at Rice and Cornell University found that African-Americans are 45 percent more likely than whites to switch from owning their home to renting it. Gregory Sharp, a postdoctoral fellow in Rice’s Department of Sociology, is quoted.
North Dallas Gazette
Lending practices jeopardize black homeownership
Post News Group
Subprime market major hurdle for hopeful African-American homeowners
Houston Agent (This article also appeared in Atlanta Agent Magazine, Chicago Agent Magazine and Miami Agent Magazine.)

South African beaders to assemble Selven O’Keep Jarmon’s big tapestry project at Rice University
Houston artist Selven O’Keef Jarmon’s piece “360 Degrees Vanishing” will be assembled at Rice’s BioScience Research Collaborative and will wrap the Art League’s building on Montrose Boulevard.

Ups and downs
An editorial gives a thumbs-up to the football stadium under construction at the University of Houston and suggests that Rice architects take note of the design.
Houston Chronicle

UHV announces fall American Book Review series author lineup
Amber Dermont, the Gladys Louise Fox Associate Professor of English, will participate in University of Houston-Victoria’s American Book Review Reading Series.
Victoria Advocate


Tony Payan, the Françoise and Edward Djerejian Fellow for Mexico Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and director of the Baker Institute’s Mexico Center, is interviewed about Gov. Rick Perry’s decision to send 1,000 National Guard troops to Texas’ southern border.

A case for studying religion
Jeffrey Kripal, the J. Newton Rayzor Professor of Religious Studies, discusses the current struggles in religious education and is featured for his textbook, “Comparing Religions: Coming to Terms” on the National Public Radio show “Interfaith Voices.”
Interfaith Radio
A new kind of religion textbook
Interfaith Radio

Petitions go on the Internet for November referendum
Bob Stein, the Lena Gohlman Fox Professor of Political Science, is quoted about Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance and Houston’s potential garbage fee.
Facing budget gap, city may consider garbage fee
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required.)

KDFW-TV (Dallas)
A group of Rice engineering students created a device that alerts parents if they forget their child in the car. Baker College senior Margaret Dieudonne and Will Rice College senior Mengwei Ni are quoted.


Rice University chemist to testify about nanotechnology
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; he will testify before the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on commerce, manufacturing and trade.

Rice’s Chuck McConnell to speak on science, space and technology at American Security Project Conference
Charles McConnell, executive director of Rice University’s Energy and Environment Initiative, will discuss regulatory policies and associated technologies that can be applied to power plants at the congressional hearing titled “EPA’s Carbon Plan: Failure by Design.”

Seeing is bead-lieving: Scientists create model ‘bead-spring’ chains with tunable properties
Rice researchers are using magnetic “bead-spring” polymers as proof that it can be made as stiff or flexible as required. Sibani Lisa Biswal, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and graduate student Julie Byrom are quoted.

National School of Tropical Medicine redirects NTD angle to pediatric early prevention
The Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development is the first center in the world dedicated to the development of vaccines against neglected tropical diseases. Peter Hotez, a fellow in disease and poverty at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted.

Distractions seem more troublesome with age
Older adults are nearly twice as likely as younger people to have their memory and cognitive processes impaired by environmental distractions, according to a study funded by Rice’s Social Sciences Research Institute and the Gertrude Maurin Fund. Randi Martin, the Elma Schneider Professor of Psychology, is quoted.
WebMD (This article also appeared in and 10 other publications.)

Google to search for the meaning of health
Kirstin Matthews, an adjunct lecturer of sociology and a fellow in science and technology policy at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted about Google’s study on volunteers to understand what constitutes human health.
TechNewsWorld (This article also appeared in E-Commerce Times.)


Humans caused 322 animal extinctions in past 500 years
Haldre Rogers, the Huxley Research Instructor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, is mentioned for her study on the necessity of animals in our ecosystem.
All Pets

Straight business students crashing gay job fairs
Some heterosexual business school students have reportedly attended career fairs for lesbian, gay and bisexual students. Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations in Rice’s Office of Public Affairs, notes that the Jones Graduate School of Business advises students to learn about the organizations hosting the conference before making a decision to attend. Rice MBA students attend such conferences at their own expense.

Why elite athletes turn into couch potatoes
A recent study revealed that alumni student-athletes are less likely to exercise regularly than nonformer student-athletes. Alumna Jennifer Lushao ’02 is quoted.
The Press Democrat (This article also appeared in

Concert pianist is all smiles in his new career
Alumnus Peter Van Beck ’99 is featured.
Times Union (This article also appeared in News & Observer and 32 other media outlets.)


Football and beer
An editorial discusses University of Texas System’s Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa’s decision to not approve the sale of alcohol at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. The editorial notes that Rice Stadium has a small section where the sale of alcohol is permitted.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required.)

Economou, Michelson named Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America scholars
The Golf Coaches Association of America named Rice golfers Tommy Economou and Landon Michelson Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholars.
Bellaire Examiner

2015 NFL draft prospect you need to know: C-USA
Rice junior defensive tackle Christian Covington is featured. Alumni Phillip Gaines ’13 and Vance McDonald ’13 are mentioned.

Fox Sports 1
Anthony Rendon ’12 is profiled.


Seeing is bead-lieving
Rice University researchers are using magnetic beads and DNA “springs” to create chains of varying flexibility that can be used as microscale models for polymer macromolecules. The experiment is visual proof that “bead-spring” polymers, introduced as theory in the 1950s, can be made as stiff or as flexible as required and should be of interest to materials scientists who study the basic physics of polymers.

Rice’s Diamond to testify before congressional committee July 30
Rice University tax policy expert John Diamond will testify before the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures of the Committee on Ways and Means at 10 a.m. EDT July 30.

Rice’s McConnell to testify before congressional committee, speak at energy security conference July 30
Chuck McConnell, executive director of Rice University’s Energy and Environment Initiative, will testify before the House of Representatives committee on Science, Space and Technology at 10 a.m. EDT July 30.

Rice’s Tour to testify about nanotechnology July 29
Rice University chemist James Tour will testify before the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade at 10:15 a.m. EDT July 29.

About Rice News Staff

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