Dateline Rice for Sept. 22, 2017


Energy alliance propels Russia-Saudi cooperation
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman is expected to give his support for cease-fires in Syria and discuss oil production when he visits with Russian President Vladimir Putin next month. Jim Krane, the Wallace S. Wilson Fellow for Energy Studies at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted.
The Wall Street Journal (Subscription is required. This article also appeared in

Colleges that claim to meet full financial need
Rice is on a list of colleges and universities that are cited as meeting 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for full-time, degree-seeking undergraduates who received need-based aid in fall 2016.
U.S. News & World Report

NBA Hackathon: Basketball’s math movement fosters all-night marathon
A method to measure defensive versatility co-created by Rice alumnus Senthil Natarajan ’17 is mentioned in an article about an upcoming hackathon in New York aimed at improving statistical analysis of the NBA and its players.
Sports Illustrated

Shots fired
ShotSpotter, gunshot-detection technology founded in 1996 by alumnus Robert Showen ’69, is being used by police departments across the U.S. to respond to shootings.

Alabama’s Senate runoff election mirrors the national struggle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party
Alumnus Andrée E. Reeves ’84 wrote about the race between former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore and former state Attorney General Luther Strange to replace Jeff Sessions, whose U.S. Senate seat was vacated when he became U.S. attorney general under President Donald Trump.
USAPP – American Politics and Policy (This article also appeared in Cars News.)


Army Corps to examine Harris County flood control regulations
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 Center, is quoted in a story about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ plans to assess whether Harris County’s flood control regulations are sufficient amid increased development.
Houston Chronicle (This article also appeared on the front page of the Sept. 22 print edition with a different headline, “Flood control effort draws help from Army Corps.”)
Large-scale buyouts easier said than done

‘Ike Dike’ plan to be focus of ‘60 Minutes’ report
Plans for hurricane storm surge protection by Rice’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters Center (SSPEED) are mentioned in a story about CBS’ upcoming “60 Minutes” feature on the Ike Dike.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)

New report: Unlocking private capital to finance sustainable infrastructure
Phil Bedient, the Herman Brown Professor of Engineering and director of Rice’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters Center, is quoted in an article on Houston’s possible solutions for mitigating future flood damage.
Houston News (This article also appears in EnvironmentGuru.)

Climate change experts weigh in on why Houston flooded during Hurricane Harvey
Daniel Cohan, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, is quoted.
Texas Monthly

Floodwaters leave behind hidden dangers
Qilin Li, professor of civil and environmental engineering and of materials science and nanoengineering, is quoted in a story about contamination in some Houston neighborhoods. (This article also appears in MyInforms.)

Health and safety remain a concern long after hurricanes pass
A column mentions tests of floodwaters conducted by Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University.
Creators Syndicate

Harvey keeps MD Anderson operating margins in red for fiscal year
Vivian Ho, the James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and professor of economics, is quoted in an article on MD Anderson Cancer Center’s just-concluded fiscal year and the impact of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)

I missed Harvey. And I’m missing Houston.
Alumnus Pamela Walker ’91 wrote on the emotions she felt as she watched Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey flood her former city from her new home, Santa Fe, N.M.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article also appeared in the San Antonio Express-News.)

Even as they regroup after Harvey, many Houstonians worry about relatives in Mexico City and Puerto Rico
Tony Payan, the Baker Institute for Public Policy’s Françoise and Edward Djerejian Fellow for Mexico Studies and director of the institute’s Mexico Center, is quoted in an article about concerns following a major earthquake in Mexico and Hurricane Maria’s devastating impact on Puerto Rico.
Houston Chronicle (This article also appears in the San Antonio Express-News and MyInforms.)

Harlan Coben talks about his new thriller, ‘Don’t Let Go’
Author Harlan Coben, whose sons Ben Coben and Will Armstrong Coben are Rice students, talks about his latest book, “Don’t Let Go,” and his two Netflix series, “The Five” and “Safe.”
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)

Hard grader
U.S. Department of Education data analyzed by Niche, a school rankings website, slots Rice at No. 22 on the list of toughest universities to be admitted to.
Paper City

Leander ISD $454.4 million bond aims to prepare for future growth in the school district
Robert Stein, the Lena Gohlman Fox Professor of Political Science, was a consultant to Leander Independent School District’s administration as it gauged public opinion about a bond proposal voters will consider in November.
Community Impact Newspapers

10 best spots to snap a selfie in Houston
James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace on the Suzanne Deal Booth Centennial Pavilion on the Rice campus is No. 5 on a list of best locations in Houston to snap a selfie.


Rice Professor of History Douglas Brinkley talks about the presidency of Donald Trump on “Washington Journal.”

WGN-AM (Chicago)
Rice’s NEST360°, a visionary 10-year effort to save the lives of 500,000 African babies per year, was named a finalist for the MacArthur Foundation’s first $100 million 100&Change grant. (Click on the audio button to listen to the broadcast.)

WGBH-FM (Boston)
President John F. Kennedy’s “Moon Speech,” given at Rice Sept. 12, 1962, is mentioned. (Click on the audio button to listen to the broadcast.)

KTBC-TV (Austin, Texas)
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. (Click on the video button to watch the broadcast.)
KAUZ-TV (Wichita Falls, Texas) (Click on the video button to watch the broadcast.)
Spectrum News Austin (Click on the video button to watch the broadcast.)


Tiny spongelike machines sop up blood sugar
Omid Veiseh, assistant professor of bioengineering, is quoted in an article about a possible new treatment for diabetes. Veiseh also explains his efforts to help diabetics avoid needing insulin injections.
Science News for Students

OER materials drive student engagement and savings, study finds
Rice-based nonprofit OpenStax is mentioned in article about open educational resources.
EdTech (This article also appeared in MyInforms.)


Biloxi mayor pitches plan to keep sand off Highway 90
Biloxi, Miss., Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich has reached out to Rice scientists and challenged them to design an effective system to keep beach sand from blowing onto a highway. (This story also appeared in,,, and
WVUE-TV (New Orleans) (Click on the video button to watch the broadcast.)
WLOX-TV (Biloxi, Miss.) (Click on the video button to watch the broadcast.)

Nabeel Qureshi’s mentor shares first and last lessons he taught him after cancer diagnosis
Rice chemist James Tour spoke at the Sept. 21 funeral for Nabeel Qureshi, who died Sept. 16 at 34 after battling stomach cancer. Qureshi was raised Muslim before converting to Christianity and becoming a popular speaker and author.
The Christian Post
What Ravi Zacharias said at Nabeel Qureshi’s funeral
Christianity Today
Nabeel Qureshi mentor reflects on unfaltering faith of late apologist, shares powerful ‘final words’
The Gospel Herald

Water scientist: Jude Benavides
Alumnus Jude Benavides ’01, an associate professor of hydrology and environmental sciences at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, is profiled.
Coastal Current

Saving money with electronic books
Tulsa Community College partnered with Rice-based nonprofit OpenStax, which provides free, high-quality, openly licensed textbooks to nearly 1.5 million college students per year.
Tulsa Beacon

‘Bi Any Means’ podcast: ‘When Colorblindness Isn’t the Answer’ with Anthony Pinn

Anthony Pinn, the Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities, professor of religion and fellow at Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, discusses his new book, “When Colorblindness Isn’t the Answer: Humanism and the Challenge of Race.”

Solving England’s murders — from McKinney, Texas
Novelist Deborah Crombie mentions attending the Rice University Publishing Program, a summer workshop that focused on the commercial publishing process.
Art and Seek (This article also appeared in Dallas Art Dealers Association.)

KTRU South Asian concert brings healing in the wake of Hurricane Harvey
A Sept. 10 concert titled “Swar Yatra — A Musical Journey” and hosted by Rice’s KTRU radio station is reviewed.
Indo American News

‘Music at Twilight’
Rice’s Mariachi Luna Llena will perform Oct. 4 at Mandell Park.

Five Boroughs Music Festival presents Rolston String Quartet
The Rolston String Quartet, which is currently enrolled as graduate quartet-in-residence at Rice’s Shepherd School of Music, will perform Oct. 13 in New York.
Broadway World

Maestro Alastair Willis makes debut as SBSO’s music director with Mahler’s Symphony No. 1
Alumnus Alastair Willis ’99 conducts his first concert as music director of the South Bend (Ind.) Symphony Orchestra Sept. 23.
South Bend Tribune

Mendocino College presents Del Sol Quartet
Alumnus Kathryn Bates ’05 is a cellist in the San Francisco-based quartet that will perform Sept. 24 in Ukiah, Calif.
Ukiah Daily Journal

The Deciduous Trio — Deeply rooted
The Deciduous Trio — Amulet Strange ’14, Stephanie Mientka ’13 and Hope Cowan ’15 — will play Nov. 14 at the State Theatre in McComb, Miss.

Reps from more than 30 of the world’s top business schools will be at this event
Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business will be represented at the QS World MBA Tour Sept. 28 in Calgary, Alberta.
Daily Hive Calgary


Andrew Sendejo: Watching like a hawk
Alumnus Andrew Sendejo ’10, who plays safety for the Minnesota Vikings, has a large hawk statue guarding his locker, to the amusement of his teammates.

5 questions on Rice versus FIU
The Rice football team plays host to Florida International University Sept. 23.
NBC 6 weekend football preview

Top 100 program rankings
Rice’s baseball team is No. 23 on’s list of the top 100 collegiate programs in the country. (Subscription is required.)

La. Tech announces 2018 baseball schedule
Rice baseball will face Louisiana Tech University March 16-18 in Ruston, La.
Shreveport Times

UTEP volleyball hosts Rice Friday in first C-USA game
Rice plays a road match against the University of Texas at El Paso Sept. 22.
El Paso Times (This article also appeared in Invest Money UK.)

High schools: Outside the Box
Rice volleyball recruit Hannah Lopez of San Antonio made Prep Volleyball’s “Senior Aces” list, which rankes the top 250 players in the high school Class of 2018.
San Antonio Express-News

Northwestern State to face challenging hoops schedule
The Rice men’s basketball team will visit Northwestern State University Nov. 17 in Natchitoches, La.
Shreveport Times

Roadrunners set to travel to Houston for Rice Invite this weekend
The University of Texas at San Antonio’s women’s tennis team will compete in the Rice Invitational Sept. 22-24.

My turning point
Alumnus Becky Wade ’12 wrote on how a push from Rice cross-country coach Jim Bevan changed her modest goals.

U.Va. retains Korn Ferry, names committee for AD search
Joe Karlgaard, director of Rice Athletics, is mentioned in a story about the University of Virginia’s search for a new athletic director. Virginia has hired the firm Korn Ferry, which coordinated Rice’s search that led to Karlgaard.
Daily Press

About Matt Wilson

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