7 selected for Rice alumni board, president and president-elect announced

Seven alumni have been selected to serve on the Association of Rice Alumni (ARA) Board of Directors: Ryan Aipperspach ’04, Toya Cirica Bell ’87, Shefa Gordon ’98, Anudeep Jain ’85, Vivaswath Kumar ’14, Tania Min ’90 and ’92, and Claudia Vassar ’99. They will begin their three-year terms July 1, when Michol L. Ecklund ’97 becomes president of the ARA and Frank Jones ’63 becomes president-elect.

Michol L. Ecklund

Michol L. Ecklund

Ecklund, who has served as ARA president-elect this year, chaired the committee that selected the new members who will become part of the 28-member board that represents the alumni body to the university and liaisons between the university and the alumni population.

“I am excited to welcome our new ARA board members who individually and collectively represent the passion, diversity and commitment of our talented alumni population,” Ecklund said. “Together with our ongoing board members, we will continue the efforts of the ARA board to engage our global alumni network to support fellow Owls, including current students, and with university leadership to provide insights from the alumni perspective. We all look forward to helping carry forward the mission of the university including the strategic vision set forth in V2C2.”

The board provides input regarding the programs of the Alumni Relations office headed by Assistant Vice President Marthe Druska Golden, who also serves as executive director of the ARA. The board also represents Rice alumni in meetings with university administrators, including Rice President David Leebron, and other senior officials.

Frank Jones

Frank Jones

Jones, of Houston, has been named president-elect. He is a retired partner of counsel at Norton Rose Fulbright. Jones’ involvement with Rice includes serving on the Class of 1963 reunion committee (including his 50th reunion), membership on the ARA Board of Directors and on various committees and serving as president of the Rice Historical Society. He is also a member of the Owl Club, the Friends of Fondren Library, the Shepherd Society and the Rice University Fund Council. Jones has a B.A. in history from Rice and a J.D. from the University of Texas.

Ryan Aipperspach

Ryan Aipperspach

Aipperspach, of San Francisco, is the chief technology officer at MDsave. He had served as alumni leader of the Bay Area Alumni Regional Group and on the Rice Alumni Volunteers for Admission, Rice Annual Fund Next-Generation Task Force and Rice Young Alumni Advisory Council. Aipperspach was honored with the Young Alumni Builders Award in 2015. He has a B.S. in computer science from Rice and an M.S. in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Toya Cirica BellBell, of Austin, is the deputy chief ethics officer for Texas Health and Human Services System. She volunteered for the Rice University Lawyer Alumni and served as president of the Austin Alumni Regional Group. Bell has a B.A. in English from Rice and a J.D. from the College of William and Mary.

Shefa Gordon

Shefa Gordon

Gordon, of Silver Spring, Md., is associate director for science policy and legislation at the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute. He has served as alumni leader for the D.C. Alumni Regional Group and captain of the Rice Alumni Volunteers for Admission. Gordon has a B.A. in biochemistry from Rice and a doctorate in molecular and cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Anudeep Jain

Anudeep Jain

Jain, of Houston, is a physician. He has served as a volunteer at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business, Rice Alumni Volunteers for Admission, Rice University Parents Leadership Council and a Homecoming & Reunion ambassador. Jain has a B.A. in biochemistry from Rice and an M.D. from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston.

Vivaswath Kumar

Vivaswath Kumar

Kumar, of San Francisco, is a battery supply chain manager for Tesla Inc. He has been a board member for the Rice Engineering Alumni, volunteered for the Rice Engineering Alumni Grants and Awards Committee, judged the annual GRBSOE Engineering Design Showcase and worked for the Class Giving Committee. Kumar has a B.S. in electrical engineering from Rice.

Tania Min

Tania Min

Min, of the Bronx, N.Y., is an architect. Min has served on the Class Giving Committee, the Reunion Class Committee, the Rice Alumni Volunteers for Admission and the NYC Regional Alumni Group. Min has a B.A. in architecture from Rice and an M.A. in architecture from Yale.

Claudia Vassar

Claudia Vassar

Vassar, of Houston, is president and general counsel at the Houston Botanic Gardens. She has been an OwlEdge internship provider, Reunion Giving Committee chair, centennial class chair, member of the ARA Board Nominations Committee, the Rice University Lawyers Alumni, the Initiative for Students Commission and associate at Duncan College. Vassar has a B.A. in sociology from Rice and a J.D. from the University of Virginia.

 

 

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About Arie Passwaters

Arie Wilson Passwaters is a Web editor in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.