Dateline Rice for April 25, 2018


Can Democrat Beto O’Rourke beat Ted Cruz in Texas?
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 that identifies the five major hurdles facing U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso, as he runs for Senate against incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Houston. Jones is also quoted in an article about the possibility of partisan get-out-the-vote efforts.
CBS News
KTRH-AM (Houston) (Click the audio button to listen to the broadcast.)

How the Trump show gets old
An article explores President Donald Trump’s ‘‘decay curve,’’ the decline in public approval of a president’s performance that normally begins about halfway through the first year and lasts well into the third year. Paul Brace, the Clarence L. Carter Professor of Political Science, is quoted.

Volunteering 2 hours a week can help ease loneliness, study finds
A 2017 study by Rice psychologists titled “Loneliness Predicts Self-Reported Cold Symptoms After a Viral Challenge,” which showed that lonely people fared worse than others when faced with an illness, divorce or other traumatic event, is mentioned. Co-author Christopher Fagundes, assistant professor of psychology, is mentioned.
Loneliness can make you sick. Here’s 1 solution to feel better

Wireless pacemaker would jolt hearts with tiny chips 
A Rice student team’s demonstration of a next-generation, wireless pacemaker array could point to the future of medical sensors. Wiess College’s Yoseph Maguire and McMurtry College’s Cody Tapscott are quoted. Lovett College’s Chris Chivetta and June Chen, Brown College’s Yixin Chen and McMurtry College’s Ricky Chen are mentioned. Joseph Cavallaro, professor of electrical and computer engineering and computer science; Gary Woods, professor in the practice of computer technology and electrical and computer engineering; Behnaam Aazhang, the J.S. Abercrombie Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Yingyan Lin, the Texas Instruments visiting research assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, are mentioned. A Rice video is included.
Futurity (This article also appeared in Medgadget, Electronics360 and Medical Product Outsourcing Online.)


Listen: Sears building to go from intimates to innovation
“Looped In,” the Houston Chronicle podcast devoted to real estate, discusses Rice’s plans for a Midtown innovation district. President David Leebron is mentioned and pictured (image 6) in the slideshow.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)

In #MeToo moment, Houston universities say they have lessons to teach
Rice, which has a new required course for students called “Critical Thinking in Sexuality,” is among a number of universities leading cultural changes aimed not just at preventing sexual assault on campus, but also in the community. John Hutchinson, Rice’s dean of undergraduates, and former Rice Student Association President Justin Onwenu ’18, who spoke at a sexual assault forum hosted at Rice April 23 by congressional representatives, are quoted.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)

News roundup: More than half of Hurricane Harvey-related deaths occurred outside flood plain areas
Antonia Sebastian, a postdoctoral research associate at Rice’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters (SSPEED) Center, is interviewed about her recent paper titled “Brief Communication: Loss of life Due to Hurricane Harvey,” which found that the majority of fatalities from Hurricane Harvey occurred outside of 100- and 500-year flood plains. Sebastian is also interviewed about her study on KUT.
Texas Standard
KUT-AM (Houston) (Click on the audio button to listen to the broadcast.)

Most Houston-area residents call climate change a ‘very serious problem’
Houston-area residents increasingly agree with the vast majority of climate scientists that “human activities” are its primary cause, according to the 2018 Kinder Houston Area Survey recently issued by Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research. Jim Bridentstine ’97, NASA administrator, is mentioned.

New redevelopment tax incentive program starting to take shape
The Opportunity Zones program, which offers investors a capital gains tax reduction in exchange for investing capital gains income into designated census tracts known as opportunity zones, cites a report from Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research.
Next City (This article also appeared in TechDeezer.)

My top 5: Tacos A Go Go founder Sharon Haynes

James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace on the Suzanne Deal Booth Centennial Pavilion is featured.
365 Things To Do in Houston

Graduation photo spots around Houston
Baker College senior Haley Kurisky authored an article on the most scenic backdrops in Houston.
The Buzz Magazine

UTPB to host guest speakers for energy lecture
Amy Myers Jaffe, a former energy fellow at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, will speak at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin April 26.


Reflections on a career in small-town politics
Bill Fulton, director of Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, is interviewed on an episode of “Houston Matters” about his book titled “Talk City: A Chronicle of Political Life in an All-American Town.”
Houston Public Media

KTRK-TV (Houston)
A broadcast about a fatal bicycle accident near Rice mentions Marjorie Corcoran, a professor of physics and astronomy at Rice who was killed Feb. 3, 2017 in a train-cyclist accident. (Click the video button to watch the broadcast.)

Alumna Monika Bickert ’97, Facebook’s global policy management head, is interviewed. (Click the video button to watch the broadcast.)


Silk-based devices with antisense-miRNA therapeutics may enhance bone regeneration
Antonios Mikos, the Louis Calder Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and co-editor-in-chief of Tissue Engineering, is quoted. (This article also appeared in Brinkwire, Science Codex and Science Magazine.)

Life beyond Earth — no plate tectonics, no problem
Adrian Lenardic, professor of Earth, environmental and planetary sciences, is quoted. 
Knowridge Science Report

Coaching tomorrow’s leaders, today
Rice’s Doerr Institute for New Leaders is featured.
Association for Talent Development


Metrorail Safety Commission names David L. Mayer CEO
Alumnus David Mayer ’90 is featured and pictured.

What ancient salt can tell us about life on Earth
Graduate student Laura Carter authored an article on advances in understanding how Earth’s oxygenated atmosphere may have developed.

McCormick Robotics Speaker Series: Joshua Mehling (NASA)
Alumnus Joshua Mehling ’15 will give a talk titled “NASA Robotics – Working with People and in Far-off Places” April 25 at Northwestern University.

A conversation with acclaimed mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano
Alumna Jennifer Johnson Cano ’08 is featured and pictured. A video of an interview and performance is included.
Alive Magazine


UH center fielder Grayson Padgett keeps cousin’s memory alive
The late Blain Padgett, a former Rice football player, is mentioned.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)

Several articles mention the J. Fred Duckett Twilight Meet held at Rice. Seguin Today mentions Rice track and field athletes Uche Ugwunze and Hannah Jackson.
Bahamians excel in the NCAA
The Nassau Guardian
Outdoor Track and Field Athletes of the Week: April 24
Southwest Athletic Conference
TLU athletics: Track and field, softball, tennis updates
Seguin Today
Athletics: Forbes 3rd at Grenada Invitational, collegiate stars busy abroad
Cayman 27

Edna senior makes right calls in classroom
Rice football player Trevor Long is mentioned.
Victoria Advocate

UTEP volleyball announces 2018 schedule
The Rice volleyball team is mentioned.

Breaking down pro days as CFL draft approaches
Former Rice football player Peter Godber is featured and pictured.

Herd finishes C-USA Championship
Rice golfer Mitchell Meissner won the Conference USA individual championship in Texarkana, Ark.


Baker Institute expert: Estate tax exclusion changes the dynamics of planning and compliance  
The substantial increase in the estate tax exclusion, a provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, changes the dynamics of estate tax planning and compliance and will impact taxpayers and federal and state governments, according to an expert at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. Joyce Beebe, fellow in public finance, outlined her insights in a new issue brief, “The Estate Tax After the 2017 Tax Act,” which examines the implications of this change.

Engineers get a grip on slippery surfactants
A Rice group’s innovative surfactant theory removes limitations of a 100-year-old model for interfacial behavior in enhanced oil recovery. The lab of Rice chemical engineer Walter Chapman customized a well-worn model to analyze surfactant-containing fluids that are pumped into wells to coax as much oil as possible out of rocks deep underground.

Rice U. turns deep-learning AI loose on software development
Computer scientists at Rice have created a deep-learning, software-coding application that can help human programmers navigate the growing multitude of often-undocumented application programming interfaces, or APIs. Known as Bayou, the Rice application was created through an initiative funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency aimed at extracting knowledge from online source code repositories like GitHub.

Houston partners announce launch of post-Harvey health registry

Rice, the Houston Health Department and Environmental Defense Fund announced the launch of a new project to understand Hurricane Harvey’s toll on people’s physical and mental health. The project, called the Hurricane Harvey Registry, will collect information about health, housing and exposures from Houston-area residents and those who came to the city during the storm.

Students pursue ‘innard’ peace for infants
It should go without saying it takes guts to develop a low-cost procedure to treat gastroschisis. A team of Rice students working on the problem had them in every way. The three members of Team Si-Low built a sophisticated system that would be simple for doctors in developing countries to execute as they help infants born with the condition, in which the abdominal wall is not fully closed and some of the child’s intestines remain outside the body at birth.

About Stefan De La Garza

Stefan De La Garza is a news analyst in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.