Dateline Rice for Sept. 13, 2017


Looking for answers, Times reporters tested the water in Houston
Tests of Houston floodwaters conducted by Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University show some neighborhoods are contaminated with lead and arsenic, as well as bacteria like E. coli, which was found in one area at levels 135 times what’s considered safe. Lauren Stadler, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, is quoted in the Newsweek article. Stadler and Qilin Li, professor of civil and environmental engineering and of materials science and nanoengineering, are mentioned in the New York Times article.
New York Times (Similar articles appeared in Salon, Mother Jones,, and Becker’s Hospital Review.)
Weeks after Harvey, floodwaters still pose threats to Houston residents
CBS Evening News (This story aired more than 800 times on numerous CBS affiliates, including KHOU-TV.)
Hurricane Irma and Harvey $15 billion disaster fund won’t last 30 days, says ex-FEMA chief
KUT-FM (Austin)
Oil sanctions against Venezuela less likely after Harvey and Irma, sources say
The White House has delayed talk of oil sanctions against Venezuela, in part because of concerns that cutting supplies would hurt Americans affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Francisco J. Monaldi, the fellow in Latin American Energy Policy at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted.
McClatchy (This article also appeared in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Miami Herald, Charlotte Observer and The Telegraph)
Decade of data shows FEMA flood maps missed 3 in 4 claims
Houston flood plain maps failed to predict roughly 75 percent of flood damage from five floods between 1999 and 2009, according to a recent study by Rice and Texas A&M University at Galveston.
Eurasia Review
Study finds flaws in FEMA floodplain maps

Case of missing Argentine protester boosts Fernandez’s Senate bid
Mark Jones, the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies, professor of political science, fellow in political science at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and fellow at Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, is quoted about the disappearance of an Argentinian protester supporting former President Cristina Fernandez’s bid for a congressional seat. Jones is also quoted about the appointment of Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp to head Gov. Greg Abbott’s Commission to Rebuild Texas.
The Washington Post (Similar articles appeared in Bol Noticias, El Financiero and Mexico Informa.)

Hopes fade as Gulf crisis hits 100-day landmark
Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, a fellow for the Middle East at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted about a diplomatic crisis involving Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
The Nation
No hope in sight in Gulf crisis as 100-day landmark arrives
The Japan News

Consortium links experts in engineering, medicine to improve health in underserved communities
Rice engineers are part of PATHS-UP, a new center established by the National Science Foundation to develop technologies that help alleviate suffering from diabetes and heart disease in underserved communities in the United States and around the world.
UCLA Newsroom
A&M gets $20 million grant to develop implanted health sensors
Austin American-Statesman
Texas A&M gets $35M grant to boost diabetes, heart disease monitoring with implants
Dallas Morning News
National Science Foundation selects Texas A&M to lead new health initiative
The Eagle

A Texas fast-food king, slowed by a hurricane, but still on the way to $1 billion
An article about Sun Holdings CEO Guillermo Perales mentions that his son attends Rice.


Houston-area universities, colleges adjust for students affected by Hurricane Harvey
Rice’s Emergency Management website enabled members of the Rice community who were affected by Tropical Storm Harvey to submit requests for temporary housing. The website also accepted curriculum suggestions related to the storm. More than 1,700 Rice students have volunteered for recovery projects.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required.)
What low-income Texans need to access health care
Ken Janda, an adjunct professor at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business, argues in favor of cost-sharing reductions to give low- to minimum-wage Texans access to affordable health care in an op-ed. President Donald Trump has threatened to withhold reimbursements to insurers.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required. This article appeared in the Chronicle’s “Gray Matters” online magazine.)
Rice study: Houston needs better land-use rules
In the wake of Tropical Storm Harvey, it is crucial to understand Houston’s land-development regulations and their limitations. To effectively respond to the storm and plan for a more resilient future, Houston may need to alter its existing land-development system, according to experts from Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research. Kyle Shelton, director of strategic partnerships at the institute, is quoted.
KTRH-AM (Houston)
KTRH-AM (Houston)

US News, other new best colleges lists rank Rice top in Texas
Rice is ranked No. 14 among the best national universities in the 2018 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” guidebook, which was published Sept. 12.
Houston Business Journal
Texas A&M University fares well in the 2018 US News & World Report best college rankings
The Eagle
Cornell rises to 14th best university in US News rankings
The Cornell Daily Sun
A&M and TCU climb, Baylor and SMU slip in 2018 US News college rankings
East Texas universities make best colleges list
Longview News-Journal
Baylor slips to 75th in US News rankings, reports most diverse freshman class yet
Waco Tribune-Herald
KTVT-TV (Dallas)
KTRH-AM (Houston)
KUT-FM (Austin)

Ezra Charles will boogie-woogie your hurricane blues away
Alumnus Ezra Charles ’66 will perform “The Story of Boogie Woogie” at the Heights Theater Sept. 15.
Houston Press

Antone’s Original Po’ Boy, a taste of my Houston history
Antone’s is celebrating its 55th anniversary by offering its Original Po’ Boy for 55 cents. The story’s author is alumnus Alison Cook ’69.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required. This article appeared on the front of the Star Flavor section in the Sept. 13 print edition with a different headline, “An ode to Antone’s po’boy.”)


Mayor Turner proposes one-year property tax increase
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner proposed increasing property taxes by 9 percent for one year to fix city resources destroyed by Harvey. John Diamond, the Edward A. and Hermena Hancock Kelly Fellow in Public Finance at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and an adjunct professor of economics, is quoted.
Houston Public Media

Experts: New way of thinking needed to reduce flooding
Houston is weighing its options as it hopes to avoid future flooding on the scale delivered by Tropical Storm Harvey. Quoted are Jim Blackburn, a professor in the practice of environmental law and the co-founder of Rice’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters (SSPEED) Center; Albert Pope, the Gus Sessions Wortham Professor of Architecture; Jesus Vassallo, assistant professor of architecture; and Phil Bedient, the Herman Brown Professor of Engineering and director of the SSPEED Center.

KTRK-TV (Houston)
President John F. Kennedy’s famous “Moon Speech” at Rice on Sept. 12, 1962, is remembered on its 55-year anniversary.
KTRH-AM (Houston)
KEX-AM (Portland, Ore.)

WCBS-AM (New York)
Rapper Sean Combs asked for donations during a benefit for victims of Tropical Storm Harvey organized by Bernard “Bun B” Freeman, former distinguished lecturer at Rice.


OpenStax takes open-textbook model international
Rice University-based nonprofit OpenStax, which already provides free, high-quality, openly licensed textbooks to nearly 1.5 million college students per year, is partnering with Open University’s UK Open Textbooks initiative to bring OpenStax’s textbooks to the United Kingdom. Managing director Daniel Williamson is quoted.
Campus Technology

Here are 3 ways nanomaterials could help combat climate change
Rice materials scientists have created a light foam from two-dimensional sheets of hexagonal-boron nitride that absorbs carbon dioxide. Pulickel Ajayan, the Benjamin M. and Mary Greenwood Anderson Professor in Engineering and founding chair of the Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering, is mentioned.
Climate Central

Donald Trump’s DHS waives environmental regulations for his dumb, racist border wall
Scott Egan, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, is quoted about the potential effects of a Mexican border wall on endangered species.

Texas GOP leaders push for expensive, long-delayed flood infrastructure projects
Phil Bedient, the Herman Brown Professor of Engineering and director of the Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters Center, is quoted about the need for additional flood control in Houston.
Insurance Journal

Op-ed | America, we have a problem: Helping Houston and the space economy
Rice is mentioned.
Space News


John Thomas Shepherd sworn in as new prosecutor
Alumnus John Thomas Shepherd ’09 has been appointed by Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson to serve as the prosecuting attorney for the 13th Judicial District.
El Dorado News-Times

St. Albert Chamber Music Society launches season with a combo of classical and popular contemporary melodies
The Rolston String Quartet, which is currently enrolled as graduate quartet-in-residence at Rice’s Shepherd School of Music, is featured.
St. Albert Gazette

Prestigious Marconi Society to honor three Indian origin scientists
Alumnus Arun Netravali ’69 won the $100,000 Marconi Prize.
Money Control (This article also appeared in


Rice excited for return of Bayou Bucket against UH
Rice football coach David Bailiff discusses the challenge the Owls face against the University of Houston in their Sept. 16 game at TDECU Stadium for the Bayou Bucket.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required.)
KHOU-TV (Houston)
KTRK-TV (Houston)
KPRC-TV (Houston)
Defense carries team to victory in season opener
The Cougar

Bayou Bucket trophy has an interesting history
The trophy that goes to the winner of the Rice-UH football game began as a brass bucket found by former Owls player Fred Curry while antique shopping. Curry is quoted.

Rice loses running back Aston Walter for season
Rice football player Aston Walter will miss the rest of the season after suffering a shoulder injury that required surgery.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required.)

KRIV-TV (Houston)
Former Rice football star James Casey will not be conflicted in his role as an assistant coach at the University of Houston. Rice coach David Bailiff discusses his familiarity with Cougars coach Major Applewhite.

KTRK-TV (Houston)
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez handed out tickets to Rice’s football game against the University of Houston to county employees.

VMI Athletics Department sends supplies for Harvey victims
The Virginia Military Institute Sports Department sent supplies to assistant men’s basketball coach Chris Kreider.
WDBJ-TV (Roanoke, Va.)


Rice engineers join NSF global health initiative
Rice University engineers are part of PATHS-UP, a new center established by the National Science Foundation to develop technologies that help alleviate suffering from diabetes and heart disease in underserved communities in the United States and around the world.

Rice’s Shepherd School Chamber, Symphony orchestra to present 2017-2018 season debut concerts
Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music will offer the first concerts of the academic year by its chamber and symphony orchestras. The chamber concert will be at 3 p.m. Sept. 24 and the symphony orchestra will perform at 8 p.m. Oct. 5 and 6. All concerts will take place in Alice Pratt Brown Hall’s Stude Concert Hall. Larry Rachleff, director of orchestras and the Walter Kris Hubert Professor of Orchestra Conducting, will conduct all three performances.

About Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is a senior editor in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.