Dateline Rice for July 30, 2018 (Weekend Edition)


Squishy hydra’s simple circuits ready for their close-up
Rice researchers conducted the first comprehensive characterization of relationships between neural activity and muscle movements that drive the freshwater hydra vulgaris. The research was featured by the National Science Foundation, and an article in The Scientist features a Rice video of a hydra as the “Image of the Day” and quotes Jacob Robinson, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and of bioengineering, and mentions graduate student Krishna Badhiwala.
National Science Foundation (This research was featured as the “Top Story” on the National Science Foundation’s homepage and in the July 30 issue of the NSF’s Science360 newsletter. Similar articles appeared in ScienceBlog, eScienceNews, the Great Lakes Ledger and Infosurhoy.)
Image of the Day: Squeeze in
The Scientist

Feeling left out at an extremely chummy workplace
Informal social rituals at a workplace may become a “coded way of excluding people” to those who cannot or do not participate, according to Eden King, associate professor of psychological sciences.
The New York Times (Subscription is required. This article also appeared in The Globe and Mail.)


Mystified friends recall slain Houston doctor as warm, hard-working and unpretentious
Randy Hulet, the Fayez Sarofim Professor of Physics and Astronomy, is quoted in an article about the loss of his close friend Mark Hausknecht, who was shot and killed recently in what police suspect was a targeted attack in Houston.
CNN (This article appeared in 15 other media outlets.)
Slain Houston doctor remembered at memorial service
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article appeared in the July 29 print edition with a different headline, “Slain doctor is recalled by friends, family at service as ‘one of a kind.'”)

NSF awards $6.4 million grant to Sevilleta Long-Term Ecological Research drylands site
An article mentions that ecologists from Rice, in collaboration with several other universities and support from a five-year, $6.4 million National Science Foundation grant, will study the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in central New Mexico to better understand what drives environmental changes in arid ecosystems.
National Science Foundation (This article also appeared in UNM Newsroom.)


On Harris County’s flood bond, support Prop. A — because there’s no plan B [opinion]
Environmentalists and developers agree that “big and bold solutions” are needed for flood mitigation, Houston’s most pressing issue, according to op-ed co-author 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 (SSPEED). Blackburn and Phil Bedient, the Herman Brown Professor of Engineering and director of SSPEED, are interviewed on an episode of “Houston Matters” about how Hurricane Harvey proved to be a “wake-up call” for the city on climate change. Blackburn and Bedient are featured in Part 10 of “Stories from the Storm,” a video and podcast series of Houstonians reflecting on their experiences to mark the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article appeared in the July 29 print edition with a different headline, “Sink or swim.”)
Phil Bedient + Jim Blackburn
Houston Public Media
Full Show: Problems with the flood insurance program, and preserving memories of the storm (July 30, 2018)
Houston Public Media

Survey: Majority of battleground voters oppose current immigration policies
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 two articles from the Houston Chronicle: one about a national poll that determined the majority of likely voters from congressional districts that are considered battlegrounds oppose the Trump administration’s immigration policies, and the other about how Hurricane Harvey is unlikely to have a political impact on the November midterm elections. Jones is quoted on KUT about how negative campaigning from Democrats in Texas Senate District 19 may impact the special election taking place this week.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article appeared in the July 30 print edition with a different headline, “Immigration policies are opposed by most battleground voters.” This article also appeared in the Laredo Morning Times, San Antonio Express-News, Beaumont Enterprise, Midland Reporter-Telegram and Plainview Daily Herald.)
Political anger eases after Harvey, but remember the sharks of 1916
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article also appeared in the San Antonio Express-News.)
KUT-AM (Austin) (Click the audio button to listen to the broadcast.)

San Marcos fire raises caution for Houston parents
An article about a fire in an apartment complex near Texas State University in San Marcos mentions the fire safety provisions for Rice’s two off-campus apartment complexes for graduate students. Kathryn Cavender, director of environmental health and safety, is quoted.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article appeared in the July 30 print edition with a different headline, “San Marcos blaze raises caution at Rice, UH.”)

Space-station architect Constance Adams a formidable force
Scott Sonenshein, the Henry Gardiner Symonds Professor of Management at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business, is quoted.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article originally appeared in Rice Business Wisdom magazine, and it appeared in a previous edition of Dateline when the Chronicle first posted it online.)

Dialogue Project explores Houston’s rich faith communities
An article mentions that the Dinner Dialogue program (formerly the Amazing Faiths Dinners) was first presented by Rice’s Boniuk Institute for the Study and Advancement of Religious Tolerance.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article appeared in the July 29 print edition with a different headline, “Dialogue project explores faiths.”)

Monday letters: Houston versus Chicago, Bush versus Trump and Republicans versus conservatives
Stephen Klineberg, professor of sociology and founding director of Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, is mentioned in a letter to the editor.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article appeared in the July 30 print edition with a different headline, “Letters.”)

The hope of New Hope Housing’s newest building

Alumna Marie Rodriguez ’01 authored an article about New Hope Housing, an affordable housing program in Houston that fosters a comprehensive support system for people who are at risk of homelessness.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is requiredThis article originally appeared in OffCite, a publication of the Rice Design Alliance, and was republished in the Chronicle’s “Gray Matters” online magazine.)

Texas’ top colleges, according to both experts and students
A Houston Chronicle slideshow mentions that Rice is No. 2 on College Consensus’ list of the top universities in Texas. A CultureMap recap of last week’s news also mentions this ranking. A radio broadcast from KTXX mentions that Rice’s campus was ranked No. 4 on College Magazine’s list of the most beautiful campuses in the U.S.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)
Surprise school tops Rice and big restaurant news lead the week’s top stories
CultureMap Houston (Similar articles appeared in CultureMap Fort Worth and CultureMap Dallas.)
KTXX-AM (Austin) (Click the audio button to listen to the broadcast.)

Realtor of the Week: Taylor T. Jackson of Greenwood King Properties
Alumna Taylor Jackson ’17 is featured and pictured.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article appeared in the July 29 print edition with a different headline, “Jackson makes sure clients love their homes,” and it also appeared in The Hour, Darien News, the Fairfield Citizen and the Greater New Milford Spectrum.)

Rare photos show Texas’ historical moments
A photo of the Rice campus from 1946 is featured in a slideshow.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)

North Texas finally has a top research university, so ‘bang the drum loudly’ about UTD
An article mentions that Rice is one of Texas’ elite Tier One universities, a designation for schools with the best reputations and highest research levels.
The Dallas Morning News (Subscription is required.)

QFest, Spectrum South Present ‘1985’
An article mentions that the awards ceremony for QFest (formerly the Houston Gay and Lesbian Film Festival) was held at Rice Cinema.

Houston’s Italian Center showcases rich arts and culture year-round
An article mentions that Houston’s Italian Cultural and Community Center was once home to Rice’s Shepherd School of Music.
Houston Press

Gov. Abbott taps local for regional water board
An article mentions that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed alumnus Mark Sandefur ’82 to the Red River Authority Board of Directors.
Texarkana Gazette

16 AISD students receive St. David’s Neal Kocurek Scholarship
Johnny Dang, who plans to attend Rice, is one of 16 students to receive the St. David’s Foundation Neal Kocurek Scholarship.


As midterms near, is Texas confident in its election security?
Dan Wallach, professor of computer science and of electrical and computer engineering and a Rice Faculty Scholar at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is interviewed on an episode of “Houston Matters” and quoted by KUT about the security vulnerabilities of electronic voting machines ahead of the November midterm elections.
Houston Public Media
KUT-AM (Austin) (Click the audio button to listen to the broadcast.)

Harvey Memories Project will collect and preserve digital artifacts from the storm
Associate Professor of History Caleb McDaniel is interviewed on “Houston Matters” about Rice’s Harvey Memories Project, a digital archive that aims to prevent the loss of valuable Harvey-related memories by preserving them within the university’s digital collections.
Houston Public Media

C-SPAN3 / KY Gen Assembly
History Professor Douglas Brinkley moderated a discussion on President Woodrow Wilson at the New York Historical Society.
C-SPAN3 (Click the video button to watch the broadcast.)

‘KHOU 11 News Saturday Morning’
Alumna Karen Yen ’18, winner of the 48th annual Miss Chinatown Houston Pageant and the city’s representative in the Miss Chinatown USA pageant, is featured and pictured.
KHOU-TV (Houston) (Click the video button to watch the broadcast.)


Nearly pure nanotubes from unusual catalyst
Rice researchers may have taken a step toward catalysts that produce homogenous batches of nanotubes that could lead to wires that transmit energy without loss. Boris Yakobson, the Karl F. Hasselmann Professor of Materials Science and NanoEngineering and a professor of chemistry, research scientist Evgeni Penev and research administrator Ksenia Bets are quoted. Graduate student Nitant Gupta is mentioned, and graphics by Penev are included.
ChemEurope (This article also appeared in R&D Magazine, Space Daily and AZoNano.)

New way to target flu viruses found
A hitch in the swing of a protein that delivers the flu virus may be a useful target to stop the virus from infecting cells, according to Rice and Baylor College of Medicine researchers. José Onuchic, the Harry C. and Olga K. Wiess Professor of Physics and Astronomy and co-director of Rice’s Center for Theoretical Biological Physics, and postdoctoral researcher Xingcheng Lin are quoted.
Zee News

What happens if Trump taps the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?
With new sanctions against Iran slated to begin in November, there is speculation that President Donald Trump is planning to use the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve to try to keep oil prices low. Kenneth Medlock, senior director of the Center for Energy Studies at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted.
Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide (This article also appeared in Bunker Ports News.)

Observing master violin teachers Paul Kantor and Robert Lipsett at Aspen Music School
Paul Kantor, the Sallie Shepherd Perkins Professor of Violin at Rice’s Shepherd School of Music, is quoted and pictured.
The Violinist

A new road map for repairing the damage of multiple sclerosis
An article mentions that Rice was a research collaborator in a study that suggests new drug targets and potent early stage drug candidates could lead to regenerative medicines for multiple sclerosis and other debilitating neurological diseases.
Laboratory Equipment

10 most influential people in blockchain — popular crypto names 2018
Alumnus Brian Armstrong ’05 is featured.
CryptoComes (Scroll down to “6. Brian Armstrong.”)


Mars-water discovery intrigues UA scientist; pond could give rise to life, he says
Kirsten Siebach, assistant professor of Earth, environmental and planetary sciences at Rice, is quoted in a television broadcast and an editorial about the recent discovery of what appears to be a huge lake of salty water buried deep in Mars.
Arkansas Online (An Associated Press story about this discovery that appeared in a previous edition of Dateline has been published in more than 60 additional media outlets.)

The Wyoming Symphony Orchestra’s new season will double as a job search
An article that features and pictures Jerry Hou, associate conductor at Rice’s Shepherd School of Music, mentions that he will conduct the first concert of the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra season Aug. 19.
Casper Star-Tribune Online (This article also appeared in the Billings Gazette.)

Alberto Gonzales fast facts
Alumnus Alberto Gonzalez ’79, former U.S. attorney general, is featured. (This article also appeared in 10 other media outlets.)

LSU team helped find evidence of biosphere 1.5 billion years ago
An article mentions that Rice postdoctoral fellow Justin Hayles is part of a new Nature paper that gives credence to theories about Earth’s atmosphere 1.4 billion years ago.
The Ouachita Citizen (This article also appeared in The Franklin Sun.)

A-State to increase use of free textbooks
An article mentions OpenStax, a Rice-based publisher of open educational resources.
Harrison Daily Times

Aspen Music Festival and Disney to stage ‘A Decade in Concert’
An article mentions that Julia Vcic plans to attend graduate school at Rice.
The Aspen Times

Vocalists Geoffrey Hahn, Dorothy Gal accompanied by John Churchwell to perform ‘Summer Nights’
Alumnus Dorothy Gal ’18 and alumnus Geoffrey Hahn are featured and pictured.
Santa Ynez Valley News (This article also appeared in the Santa Maria Times.)

Take time out now for school sports physicals
An article quotes John Higgins, a sports cardiologist for Rice. (This article also appeared in 10 other media outlets.)

Stats + Stories: RRRRR … not just for pirates anymore
Hadley Wickham, adjunct professor of statistics at Rice, is featured in an interview about the R programming language. (This article also appeared in WOSU.)

SHORE to SHORE: Homecoming concert for Waterloo opera singer
An article featuring Lindsay Brown mentions that she attended Rice.
Finger Lakes Times


Rice‘s QB competition set to be friendly affair
Several articles and television broadcasts feature the Rice football team as it begins training camp. Player Jackson Tyner is pictured and quoted, and head coach Mike Bloomgren and players Sam Glaesmann and Shawn Stankavage are quoted. Rice quarterbacks coach Robbie Picazo and players Wiley Green, Parker Towns and Evan Marshman and former players Miklo Smalls and J.T. Granato are mentioned. Bloomgren is quoted in a Houston Chronicle article on sports gambling and is interviewed on a broadcast by KPRC, which also mentions that Rice will play Prairie View A&M University Aug. 25 at Rice Stadium. KTRK also quotes Bloomgren.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article appeared in the July 29 print edition with a different headline, “Quarterback competition set to be friendly affair.”)
Sports gambling decision may mean a national injury report for college football
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article appeared in the July 29 print edition with a different headline, “Conference considering injury reports.”)
‘KPRC Channel 2 News at 10 p.m.’
KPRC-TV (Houston) (Click the video button to watch the broadcast.)
’13 Eyewitness News at 6 p.m.’
KTRK-TV (Houston) (Click the video button to watch the broadcast.)

Cape League capsule: Cotuit keeps Patriot Cup
An article mentions Rice baseball player Braden Comeaux.
Barnstable Patriot

Duke aims to build on momentum, Blue Devils are No. 32 in 2018 preseason college football rankings
A countdown of the Orlando Sentinel’s preseason college football rankings mentions Rice.
Orlando Sentinel

Auburn opponent early scouting report: Southern Miss
An article mentions that the University of Southern Mississippi’s football team will play Rice.

BSD roundtable: Predict Wake Forest’s record this season
An article about Wake Forest’s football opponents mentions Rice.
SB Nation

Bouquets and brickbats
Former Rice baseball player Kelby Weyler is mentioned.
Beaumont Enterprise

Ranking the top 100 college football teams for 2018: No. 29 Texas
Former Rice football player Calvin Anderson is mentioned.
HERO Sports

Soccer announces full 2018 schedule
An article about Louisiana State University’s women’s soccer team’s schedule mentions that the Tigers will play Rice Aug. 10 in an exhibition match.

Arkansas tight end commits to Jaguars
Rice is mentioned.

The Varsitys: Awarding the year’s best in Plano-area athletics (Part III)
Rice is mentioned.
Plano Star Courier


Rice Space Institute director available to discuss NASA’s mission to the sun
After four decades of planning, NASA is expected to launch its Parker Solar Probe to go where humanity has not gone before — inside the sun’s 1 million-degree atmosphere, with an approach of only 3.8 million miles from the surface. How is it even possible to explore so close to the sun, and what does NASA hope to gain from the mission? David Alexander, director of the Rice Space Institute, is available to comment on those questions and others about the mission.

Rice U. experts available to discuss Hurricane Harvey as anniversary approaches 
Hurricane Harvey, which hit Texas in August 2017, was one of the costliest tropical cyclones on record. As Harvey’s one-year anniversary approaches, Rice experts are available to discuss many topics related to the storm.

Rachel Meidl joins Rice University’s Baker Institute
Rachel Meidl, former deputy associate administrator at the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, has been named a fellow in energy and environment at Rice’ Baker Institute for Public Policy, the institute announced today.

Rice U. researchers’ documentary on melting glacier to premiere Aug. 17 in Iceland
A new documentary film produced by Rice anthropologists about what was one of the smallest glaciers in Iceland will premiere Aug. 17 in Reykjavik, Iceland. The film’s title, “Not Ok,” refers to the nickname for Okjökull, which in 2014 became the first of Iceland’s glaciers to lose its “glacier” title. Scientists fear all of the island nation’s 400-plus glaciers will be gone by 2200.

About Stefan De La Garza

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