Experts available to discuss Houston heading into Super Bowl LI


David Ruth

Rice University experts available to discuss Houston heading into Super Bowl LI

HOUSTON – (Jan. 23, 2017) – The following Rice University experts are available to talk about Super Bowl LI host city Houston; they are available for phone, remote TV (via Rice’s studio) or in-person interviews on Rice’s campus, which is less than 10 miles from NRG Stadium and in 1974 was the site of Super Bowl VIII, where the Miami Dolphins beat the Minnesota Vikings 24-7.

Stephen Klineberg
Professor of sociology
Can speak about: Houston demographics, economic outlooks, experiences and beliefs of Harris County residents.

Klineberg’s Houston Area Survey is the longest-running report of its kind for a major city. For 35 years he has tracked changes in the city’s demographic patterns, economic outlooks, experiences and beliefs of Harris County residents.

Klineberg is the founding director of Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, the recipient of 12 major teaching awards and a much-sought-after speaker in the Houston community and beyond. In addition to being a graduate of Haverford College, he has a master’s from the University of Paris and a Ph.D. from Harvard.

Robert Stein
Professor of political science
Can speak about: The Astrodome and Houston politics.

Stein has polled Houstonians on what should be done with the Houston Astrodome, the world’s first domed sports stadium — dubbed the “Eighth Wonder of the World” — that has sat unused since 2008. Stein has also directed Houston election polls for a number of years for KHOU-TV and KUHF-AM.

Stein is an expert on urban politics and public policy and is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and has a master’s degree and a Ph. D. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

David Leebron
Can speak about: Houston’s national image and “10 reasons Houston attracts new residents.”

Houston’s population has exploded over the years. It is now the fourth-largest city in the nation and is expected to surpass Chicago by 2030.

Prior to coming to Rice in 2004, Leebron was dean of Columbia Law School and a New Yorker. He often talks about how Houston is misconceived nationally. Leebron is a graduate of Harvard, where he also earned his law degree.

John Boles
Professor of history
Can speak about: The history of Rice University and how Houston and the university have grown over the past 100 years.

Boles is considered Rice’s historian. His books “University Builder: Edgar Odell Lovett and the Founding of the Rice Institute” and “A University So Conceived: A Brief History of Rice” are main reference resources when discussing Rice and Houston. Boles is a graduate of Rice University and earned his Ph.D. at the University of Virginia.

Bill Fulton
Director, Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research
Can speak about: Houston’s “urban moment” and its economic resiliency.

Fulton said, “In the past, Houston has been viewed as a great city — but kind of a great suburban city: a domed stadium surrounded by parking, endless loops of freeways, a space center and planned suburbs like Sugar Land and The Woodlands.

“Now it’s being viewed for the first time as a truly great urban place. The bayou greenways, the food scene, the warehouse art scene — all these things are getting publicity as national models. Even the National Trust for Historic Preservation held its recent convention here. By some measures Houston has more transit-oriented development than any other city in the nation.”

Fulton graduated in mass communications from St. Bonaventure University, and earned masters degrees in journalism from American University and in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Rice University has a VideoLink ReadyCam TV interview studio. ReadyCam is capable of transmitting broadcast-quality standard-definition and high-definition video directly to all news media organizations around the world 24/7.

This news release can be found online at

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Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,910 undergraduates and 2,809 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for happiest students and for lots of race/class interaction by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to

About David Ruth

David Ruth is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.