Dateline Rice for Sept. 20, 2017


MacArthur announces finalists for $100 million grant competition
Rice’s NEST360°, a visionary 10-year effort to save the lives of 500,000 African babies per year, is a finalist for the MacArthur Foundation’s first $100 million 100&Change grant.
CBS News (A similar article also appeared in Philanthropy News Digest, The Chronicle of Philanthropy and Current.)
Fintech startup Zebra raises $40 million, Seremedi, Alice & more Texas news

Study finds FEMA flood maps missed 75 percent of Houston flood damage claims between 1999 and 2009
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.
Houston Chronicle (This article also appeared in the San Antonio Express-News.)

Analysis: Trump insists on ‘America First.’ Who will follow?
Rice Professor of History Douglas Brinkley is quoted in an analysis of President Donald Trump’s address to the United Nations Sept. 19.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer (This Associated Press article also appeared in more than 50 other media outlets.)

Amazing spider silk continues to surprise scientists
Edwin “Ned” Thomas, the Ernest Dell Butcher Professor of Engineering and professor of materials science and nanoengineering, of chemical and biomolecular engineering and of chemistry, co-authored a paper on spider silk’s ability to block certain quasiparticles of sound the same way semiconductors can block certain electrons. The discovery could help create new synthetic materials.

‘Lapses’ in Aung San Suu Kyi’s speech draw ire of many
Rice lecturer in sociology Craig Considine called Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s Sept. 19 speech on the Rohingya crisis in her country “shameful.” More than 400,000 have fled to Bangladesh during a military crackdown.
The Times of India


7.1 magnitude quake kills hundreds as buildings crumble in Mexico
A major earthquake struck central Mexico Sept. 19. Alumnus Trena Schjetnan ’79 is quoted.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This Associated Press article appeared on the front page of the Sept. 20 print editions with a different headline: “Powerful quake kills scores in Mexico.” It also appeared in more than 50 other media outlets.)

With no Democratic governor candidate, questions trail Joaquín Castro
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 in a story about U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro, D-San Antonio, and his plans for 2018.
Austin American-Statesman

Houston arts groups scramble as Wortham Theater Center to be closed until May
A story on flood damage at the Wortham Theater Center mentions that the Houston Symphony has moved performances from Jones Hall to the Shepherd School of Music’s Stude Concert Hall.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This story also appeared on the front page of the Sept. 20 print edition with a different headline: “Wortham’s closure leaves arts groups scrambling.”)

Former Pearland resident’s anti-bullying film to be screened in Katy
Alumnus Aaron Alon ’09 wrote and directed a movie musical, “Bully,” inspired by a 13-year-old Cypress boy who committed suicide. Allison Vogt, director of sexual violence prevention and Title IX support at Rice, will lead a discussion after the premiere screenings Sept. 24-25.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)

Let’s get back to work post-Harvey — safely
Recent tests of Houston floodwaters conducted by Rice and Baylor College of Medicine, which showed some neighborhoods are heavily contaminated, are cited in an op-ed.
Corpus Christi Caller-Times

Jeff D. Chalk III, ex-SMU professor who taught physics with flair, dies at 87
Alumnus Jeff D. Chalk III ’51 died Sept. 10 in Dallas.
Dallas Morning News (Subscription is required.)

Tees for Texas
Judy Le, an instructor at Rice’s Glasscock School of Continuing Studies, is a co-creater of Unitee, which sells T-shirts for children that feature positive messages. The proceeds from the “House Rises” line of shirts go toward Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey relief efforts.
Houston CityBook


E. coli, lead and mercury found In Houston floodwaters
New York Times reporter Sheila Kaplan discusses tests of Houston floodwater conducted by Rice and Baylor universities that showed high levels of contaminants in some locations.
National Public Radio’s “Here & Now” (Click on the audio button to listen to the broadcast.) 

KTRH-AM (Houston)
Vivian Ho, the James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and professor of economics, discusses the sticker shock often encountered by patients who visit free-standing emergency rooms or urgent care facilities. The issue was researched by experts at Rice, Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. (Click on the audio button to listen to the broadcast.) 
WOIA-AM (San Antonio) (Click on the audio button to listen to the broadcast.) 


Energy startups look for ‘love connections’
More than 55 companies pitched their products at the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship’s Energy and Clean Technology Venture Forum, each getting four minutes to make their presentations. Rice Alliance managing director Brad Burke is quoted.

Effects of thymic selection on T-cell recognition of foreign and tumor antigenic peptides
Jason George, a graduate student in bioengineering, and Herbert Levine, the Karl F. Hasselmann Professor of Bioengineering and professor of physics and astronomy and of biochemistry and cell biology, developed a model of T-cell binding that predicts donor tissue recognition rates.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States

Bridenstine wins Shelby’s endorsement, identifies key NASA challenges
U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R.-Ala., endorsed Rep. James Bridenstine ’97, R.-Okla., who was nominated by President Donald Trump to head NASA. Shelby chairs the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds the space agency.
Space Policy Online


An early look at the latest GMAT scores at top schools
Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business is reporting a nation-best 21-point jump to an average Graduate Management Admission Test score of 711, up from 690 a year earlier.
Poets & Quants

Expert on lead poisoning in children to speak, answer questions in Lititz Sept. 25
Provost Marie Lynn Miranda will present a lecture titled “Lead in Children — Leaching the Promise of our Future” in Lititz, Pa.
Lancaster Online

Boles praises Jefferson’s ‘way with words’ during Constitution Day lecture at MSU
John Boles ’65, the William Pettus Hobby Professor of History, spoke at Mississippi State University’s Constitution Day program Sept. 18.
Mississippi State University

We built the Saturn V
President John F. Kennedy’s “Moon Speech,” given at Rice Sept. 12, 1962, is mentioned.
Air & Space

BSU helping hurricane relief efforts with school supply drive
Bemidji State University and the United Way partnered with Rice to gather supplies and cash donations for school districts affected by recent hurricanes.
Lakeland Public Television

The tale of a screenwriter, ‘Rewrite Man’ is an ode to professionalism, not virtuosity
A book about alumnus Warren Skaaren ’69 by Alison Macor examining the life and career of the screenwriter is reviewed.
Pop Matters


Rice puts last week behind it, focused on FIU
The Owls football team, coming off a loss to the University of Houston, faces Florida International University Sept. 23 at Rice Stadium. Head coach David Bailiff is quoted, and a diaper drive organized by wives of the Owls coaches is mentioned. First responders and those affected by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey are offered free tickets.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article also appeared in the San Antonio Express-News.)
On the road again: After being away for 6 days due to Hurricane Irma, FIU doesn’t mind a normal road trip
Florida International University

Injuries mounting for Rice, including QB Sam Glaesman
Owls quarterback Sam Glaesman will miss the game against Florida International University with a shoulder injury. Jackson Tyner will move into the starting role.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article also appeared in the San Antonio Express-News.)

LSU announces 2018 football schedule
Louisiana State University’s football team’s schedule for next season includes a home game against Rice Nov. 17. (This article also appeared in more than 10 other media outlets.)

Mormon helping hands after Harvey in Houston
A story about volunteer efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey mentions that members of the Rice football team assisted.

Outside of Alabama, dissatisfaction among SEC fans is rampant, and growing
A slideshow features photos from Rice’s football game against the University of Houston Sept. 16.
Des Moines Register (This article also appeared in more than 50 other media outlets.)
Utah bar owners love Wisconsin fans after big football weekend
San Angelo Standard-Times

Aggies unveil 2018 schedule
The Texas A&M baseball team’s schedule includes a game at Rice March 20.

D-backs prospect Duplantier sees stock rise after superb 2017
Former Rice baseball star Jon Duplantier ’17 is ranked as the top pitching prospect in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ minor league system.

‘Battle of the Sexes’: The true story of how Billy Jean King struck a blow for women’s sports
The 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs at Houston’s Astrodome is remembered as a movie about the event is set to open Sept. 22. The story mentions that four shirtless members of the Rice track and field team carried King to the court on a throne.
Cheer along to the true story behind ‘Battle of the Sexes’

Texas Tennis Hall of Fame announces Class of 2017
Alumnus John Zimmerman ’56 will be inducted into the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame Nov. 11 in Waco.
Texas Tennis Museum & Hall of Fame

Coleman’s carpool: Rice seniors discuss the ‘last firsts’ (video)
Seniors on the Rice women’s swimming team talk about their “last firsts,” such as their last first day of classes, last practice and last meet.

Women’s volleyball: Hoyas drop three, prepare for Big East play
The Rice volleyball team’s victory over Georgetown University Sept. 16 at the Rice Adidas Invitational II is mentioned.
The Hoya (This article also appeared in MyInforms.)
Ladyjacks suffer two losses at Rice Invitational
The Pine Log


4 elements make 2-D optical platform
Rice scientists have discovered a two-dimensional, four-component alloy with an optical bandgap that can be tuned by the temperature used to grow it via chemical vapor deposition.

OpenStax partners with Katalyst to deliver free textbooks to Poland
Rice-based nonprofit OpenStax is partnering with Katalyst Education to bring free, peer-reviewed, openly licensed textbooks to Poland as part of a new effort to internationalize OpenStax’s free open textbook model.

About Matt Wilson

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