Dateline Rice for Jan. 3, 2018


Low salinity, poor water quality from Hurricane Harvey could impact coral reef Flower Garden Banks
Rice marine biologist Adrienne Correa, assistant professor of biosciences, is quoted in a story on Rice research on the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Baker College senior Anna Knochel and graduate student Lauren Howe-Kerr are pictured.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article appeared on the front page of the Jan. 3 print edition with a different headline, “Runoff from Harvey poses threat to coral reef in Gulf,” and was included in a previous Dateline when the article was posted online.)


Sensory overload
Alumnus David Eagleman ’93, a neuroscientist at Stanford University, is featured.
San Francisco Magazine


Thumbs up, thumbs down
An editorial about hiring a chancellor of the University of Texas (UT) System recommends Rice President David Leebron as someone who could make UT-Austin a top 10 university.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)

Cruz taps Texas mistrust of ethanol
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 an article on efforts by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to lower the cost for oil refineries to comply with a federal mandate requiring biofuels to be blended into the fuel supply. Jones also is quoted in an article on former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro’s efforts to boost Democrats ahead of 2018 elections.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article appeared on the front page of the Jan. 3 print edition and was included in a previous Dateline when the article was posted online.)
Julian Castro officially launches PAC to support Democrats
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article also appeared in the San Antonio Express-News, and it appeared in the Jan. 3 print edition of the Chronicle with a different headline, “Castro launches PAC to help Democrats.”)

12 steps Houston can take to address our flooding problem
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, authored an op-ed about Houston’s major flooding problem.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article was included in a roundup of the top stories of 2017 in the Chronicle’s “Gray Matters” online magazine.)

Mid-century modernist Stella Sullivan, a bridge to Houston’s art history, has died
Artist and teacher Stella Sullivan ’45, who earned an architecture degree at Rice, died Dec. 24 at 93.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article also appeared in, the San Antonio Express-News, Beaumont Enterprise and Midland Daily News.)
Q&A with Stella Sullivan
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)

Why people are driving so fast on Houston’s streets and freeways
Kyle Shelton, director of strategic partnerships for Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, is quoted.
Houston Public Media

Conference geared toward STEM learning for girls
An article on the Expanding Your Horizons conference mentions the inaugural event was held at Rice in 1993.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article also appeared in Ultimate West U, and it appeared in the Jan. 3 print edition of the Memorial Examiner and was included in a previous Dateline when the article was posted online.)

‘Thelma’ benefit screening at Rice Jan. 10
“Thelma,” Norway’s foreign-language Academy Awards entry for 2018, will be shown at Rice Media Center.
Houston Chronicle

Art gallery and museum listings: Jan. 4-10
“Mickalene Thomas: Waiting on a Prime-Time Star” at Rice’s Moody Center for the Arts is mentioned.
Houston Chronicle (This article also appeared at


Rep. Pete Olson ’85, R-Texas, questions Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers President and CEO Mitch Bainwol ’83 at a hearing on fuel economy and emission standards for vehicles. (Click the video button to watch the broadcast.)


Higher education grants or gifts of interest to African-Americans
Fay Yarbrough, associate professor of history, won a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to study why the Choctaw Indian Nation sided with the Confederacy during the Civil War.
The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education

Flurry of board level changes at JKH; Krishan appointed dept. chairman
An article mentions Gihan Cooray, who attended Rice, was named group finance director at John Keells Holdings PLC.
Mirror Business

Lowering the temperature on nitrogen splitting
Research on hydrogen splitting by Naomi Halas, the Stanley C. Moore Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and professor of chemistry, bioengineering, physics and astronomy, and materials science and nanoengineering and the director of Rice’s Smalley-Curl Institute, and Peter Nordlander, professor of physics and astronomy, of electrical and computer engineering and of materials science and nanoengineering, is mentioned.
Chemical and Engineering News
Heat-emitting nanoparticles enable organ reheating

Other materials stories that may be of interest
Rice research that explores why plasticity at small scales lets concrete adjust to stress long after hardening is part of a materials news roundup.
American Ceramic Society

Carbon nanotubes devices may have a limit to how ‘nano’ they can be
Carbon nanotubes bound for electronics not only need to be as clean as possible to maximize their utility in next-generation nanoscale devices, but contact effects may limit how small a nano device can be, according to researchers at the Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) at Swansea University in collaboration with researchers at Rice. Andrew Barron, the Charles W. Duncan Jr.-Welch Professor of Chemistry and professor of materials science and nanoengineering and director of the ESRI, is quoted. (This article also appeared in Electronic Component News, SciTechDaily and Nanowerk.)

3-D printing news Sliced UL, Kwambio, CyBe, University of Tokyo
A roundup of 3-D printing news mentions schwarzite shapes were printed for the first time at Rice. Postdoctoral researcher Chandra Sekhar Tiwary is quoted, and a Rice photo of a schwarzite brick is featured.
3D Printing Industry

Helix appoints new EVP, former Atwood exec
Alumnus Geoffrey Wagner ’05 was named executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Helix Energy Solutions.
E&P (This article also appeared in Digital Journal, Business Wire, Offshore Engineer, Offshore Shipping Online and Enhanced Online News.)


Climate change the hot topic at Norton Museum conference Saturday
Timothy Morton, the Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English, will be the keynote speaker at an event titled “Community Conversation: Climate Change” Jan. 6 in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Palm Beach Post

Agenus announces key leadership to advance combination trials for planned BLA filings
Alumnus John Castle ’92 was named head of translational medicine and bioinformatics at Agenus Inc.
GuruFocus (This article also appeared in PharmiWeb.)

Jorge Silvetti wins the 2018 AIA Topaz Medallion for Architectural Education
An article on American Institute of Architects award winner Jorge Silvetti mentions his firm was involved with projects at Rice.
Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Alumni Impact Award
Former Rice professor John Bennett received an Alumni Impact Award from the University of Washington’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering.
University of Washington

Perché la maggior parte degli scienziati crede in Dio? Solo in Francia è il contrario
Research on the religious beliefs of scientists by Elaine Howard Ecklund, founding director of the Religion and Public Life Program and the Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences, is featured.
Informare x Resistere (An English translation is not available.)

Menn får vise seg fram oftere enn kvinner på universitetene
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, according to research from Rice. Christine Nittrouer, a graduate student in the Department of Psychology at Rice and the study’s lead author, is mentioned.
Forskning (An English translation is not available.)


ODU basketball heads to Texas looking to avoid a Lone Star State letdown
The Rice men’s basketball team faces Old Dominion University Jan. 4 at Tudor Fieldhouse.

Shorthanded Aggies fall to Gators, leaving them winless in conference play
Former Rice basketball player Egor Koulechov ’17 scored 19 points in the University of Florida’s victory over Texas A&M University Jan. 2.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article also appeared in the San Antonio Express-News, and it appeared in the Jan. 3 print edition of the Chronicle with a different headline, “Ags in rankings, SEC free fall.”)
Fast start leads Florida to 83-66 rout of No. 11 Texas A&M
Gators shoot lights out for upset
Gainesville Sun (This article also appeared in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, The Ledger and the Daily Commercial.)
Florida blows past No. 11 Texas A&M on the road

Islanders men’s basketball head coach Willis Wilson leads young team into 2018
Former Rice basketball player and coach Willis Wilson, now coaching at Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi, is featured.
Corpus Christi Caller-Times

Texans move on from assistants Larry Izzo, John Butler, Charles London
The Houston Texans parted with former Rice football player Larry Izzo ’96, who had been the team’s special teams coordinator.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article also appeared in the Jan. 3 print edition with a different headline, “Coordinator Izzo joins 3 assistants looking for work.”)

Chiefs place Phillip Gaines on IR
The Kansas City Chiefs placed former Rice football player Phillip Gaines ’13 on injured reserve.
Fanrag Sports
Chiefs place CB Phillip Gaines on IR, sign DT Stefan Charles

About Matt Wilson

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