Dateline Rice for Dec. 20, 2017

Correction: Justin Esarey’s faculty title was incorrect in yesterday’s Dateline. He is an associate professor of political science. We apologize for the error.

Chicago foundation awards $100M to Syrian children’s program
NEST360°, an international team of engineers, doctors and global health experts, won $15 million through the MacArthur Foundation’s inaugural 100&Change competition and will continue to raise money for its visionary effort to end preventable newborn deaths in Africa. NEST360° is a collaboration of Rice, the University of Malawi, Northwestern University, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and 3rd Stone Design of San Rafael, Calif.
Washington Post (This Associated Press article appeared in more than 70 media outlets.)

The New Reddit Journal of Science’
U.S. and European physicists searching for an explanation for high-temperature superconductivity were surprised when their theoretical model pointed to the existence of a never-before-seen material in a different realm of physics: topological quantum materials. Qimiao Si, the Harry C. and Olga K. Wiess Professor of Physics and Astronomy; postdoctoral fellow Hsin-Hua Lai; and graduate student Sarah Grefe are quoted.


Could aiming for ‘MiNT’ in mitochondria fight disease?
A two-faced protein in a chain that regulates iron and other elements in cells could provide a new target to treat cancer, diabetes and other diseases. A team of researchers at Rice, the University of California at San Diego, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of North Texas detailed the structure of a protein called mitochondrial inner NEET (MiNT), part of a pathway that stabilizes mitochondria, the organelles that produce energy for cells. José Onuchic, the Harry C. and Olga K. Wiess Chair of Physics, a professor of physics and astronomy, of chemistry and of biosciences, is quoted.

‘The bayou’s alive’: Ignoring it could kill Houston
Jim Blackburn, a professor in the practice of environmental law and the co-director of Rice’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters Center, is quoted in an article on Houston’s rebuilding and planning efforts after Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey. Blackburn also is mentioned in an editorial.
The Guardian (This article also appeared in CetUSNews.)
Harvey victims deserve more than what Congress offers
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article also appeared in the San Antonio Express-News, and it appeared in the Dec. 20 print edition of the Chronicle with a different headline, “$81 billion: Newest hurricane recovery bill fails to fund must-build flood prevention projects.”)

House GOP unveils education hurricane aid
A roundup of education policy news mentions research from Rice, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the City University of New York that found male professors gave more than twice as many talks as female professors in departments at the country’s 50 most prestigious universities during the 2013-2014 academic year.
On college campuses, male speakers vastly outnumber female speakers, report finds
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)
Men more likely to speak at colloquiums than women
Becker’s Hospital Review (A similar article appeared in MarketWatch.)

Graphene-based armor could stop bullets by becoming harder than diamonds
Rice research on graphene that can absorb the impact of “microbullets” is mentioned.
New Atlas

Probing air pollution with laser sensors
Alumnus Mark Zondlo ’94 is featured.
Princeton University


Rice Business Plan Competition accepting applications for 2018 event
Applications are now open for the 18th annual Rice Business Plan Competition, which will be April 5-7 at the Jones Graduate School of Business. Brad Burke, managing director of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, is quoted.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article also appeared in the San Antonio Express-News, and a similar article appeared in Prime Property.)

Mark Mulligan: Houston Chronicle best photos of 2017
A slideshow includes a photo of Rice’s Reckling Park.
Houston Chronicle

Walkable Houston: Rice Village
The Rice Farmers Market is mentioned.
365 Things To Do in Houston


‘The Lead with Jake Tapper’
Professor of History Douglas Brinkley discusses President Donald Trump and tax reform.
CNN (Click the video button to watch the broadcast.)

Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, honored alumnus Haskell Monroe Jr. ’61, who died Nov. 13 at 86. (Click the video button to watch the broadcast.)


Ground breaks on architect Allan Greenberg’s much-anticipated opera house
Rice’s Shepherd School of Music held a ceremonial groundbreaking Dec. 7 for a new music building that together with Alice Pratt Brown Hall and the adjoining plaza will form the Rice University Music and Performing Arts Center.
Architectural Digest

OER adoptions on the rise
Rice-based publisher OpenStax, which develops open educational resources, is mentioned. A Rice photo is featured.
Inside Higher Ed (Similar articles appeared in more than 10 other media outlets.)


Small brewers become big business in craft beer industry
Baileson Brewing Company, founded by alumnus Adam Cryer ’01 and Sarah Pope, is mentioned.


Furstinger double-double lifts New Mexico over Rice 79-69
The Rice men’s basketball team lost to the University of New Mexico Dec. 19 in Albuquerque.
Washington Post (This Associated Press article appeared in more than 50 media outlets, and a portion appeared in the Dec. 20 print edition of the Houston Chronicle.)
KOAT-TV (Albuquerque, N.M.) (Click the video button to watch the broadcast.)
Lobo men’s basketball losing skid stopped at 4 games

Rice coach’s goal: Keep commitments
New Rice head football coach Mike Bloomgren is featured.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article appeared in the Dec. 20 print edition with a different headline, “Coach’s goal: Keep commitments.”)


Baker Institute expert: Mexico ‘is at a crossroads’ on organized crime
Rising crime and violence in Mexico threaten to derail the economic reforms that are President Enrique Peña Nieto’s legacy — in particular, the historic energy reforms that opened the sector to foreign investment, according to an issue brief from Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. “Mexico’s Security Challenges Are Jeopardizing Its Future” was authored by Tony Payan, the Françoise and Edward Djerejian Fellow for Mexico Studies at the Baker Institute and director of the institute’s Mexico Center.

Hearing is believing in gene therapy’s promise
Gene editing could someday help people at risk of hearing loss from genetic mutations, according to research by a new Rice faculty member. Xue (Sherry) Gao, who joined Rice in the fall as the Ted N. Law Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, is co-lead author of a new Nature paper that reports on the promise of gene editing to treat autosomal dominant hearing diseases.

OpenStax director comments on new Babson OER survey results
The director of Rice-based OpenStax is available to comment on new findings released Dec. 19 by Babson Survey Research Group about faculty awareness and satisfaction with open educational resources (OER), such as textbooks. Among the key findings, Babson found that awareness and use of OER materials continues to grow and that faculty satisfaction with OpenStax is high. As a nonprofit educational technology initiative, OpenStax provides free college and Advanced Placement textbooks that are developed and peer-reviewed by educators. It also offers low-cost, personalized courseware.

About Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is a news analyst in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.