Dateline Rice for Aug. 31, 2018


Texas university launches lab to aid state agencies
Several radio broadcasts and articles mention that Rice’s School of Social Sciences has launched the Texas Policy Lab, an initiative supported by a $6.6 million grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. The Texas Policy Lab will offer cutting-edge research and analysis and provide Texas’ officeholders and state agencies measurable solutions for real-world issues policymakers have already prioritized. Antonio Merlo, dean of the School of Social Sciences and the George A. Peterkin Professor of Economics, is interviewed and quoted. The Houston Business Journal article mentions that the Arnold Foundation also provided the seed funding for Rice’s Houston Education Research Consortium, and that the School of Social Sciences is currently designing the curriculum for a new social policy evaluation master’s degree, likely to begin in the fall 2020 semester.
Texas Public Radio (This segment aired on 10 other affiliate stations.)
Rice University receives $6 million grant to launch the Texas Policy Lab
Houston Business Journal (Subscription is required.)
KTRH-AM (Houston)
‘KVUE News at 6’
KVUE-TV (Austin, Texas)
Rice University to research Texas’ policies, trash company pays millions to settle allegations, and post-Harvey exploitation
Houston Public Media (The Texas Policy Lab was featured as one of the “top stories” of the day.)
Rice University will research policy making in Texas
Houston Public Media


And the waters will prevail
An article from Slate about Hurricane Harvey and flood mitigation strategies quotes three experts from Rice. Research from Phil Bedient, the Herman Brown Professor of Engineering and director of Rice’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters Center, that determined rainfall runoff in Brays Bayou is up 204 percent over the last 40 years, is cited. Jim Blackburn, a professor in the practice of environmental law and the co-director of SSPEED, urges Houston to revise flood plains and “turn land over to water.” Albert Pope, the Gus Sessions Wortham Professor of Architecture, who is working on a blueprint for a phased retreat of the 100,000 Houston structures that lie within the city’s 100-year flood plain, is quoted. Blackburn is also interviewed by WBUR about flood mitigation measures, and he is quoted in Climate Liability News about the use of public bonds to fund the protection of private businesses along Texas’ Gulf Coast.
Houston mayor on Harvey recovery: ‘We all need to move with the greatest degree of urgency’
WBUR (This “On Point” segment aired on 308 other affiliate stations.)
Will taxpayers foot the bill to protect oil industry from climate change?
Climate Liability News

Houston eyes designer bonds to pay for $15 billion Ike Dike
To help pay for a $15 billion system of seawalls and floodgates, officials in Texas are studying a possible partnership with private industry to create “catastrophe bonds,” in which investors assume the risk for calamities such as hurricanes in exchange for above-market returns and portfolio diversification. Economics Professor Flavio Cunha is quoted.
Bloomberg (This article also appeared in BloombergQuint and the Insurance Journal.)

You’ve heard of hurricane strikes, but what about these hurricane close calls?
An article cites a study from Rice that examined potential storm surges from Hurricane Ike.
The Weather Channel

Where Trump’s — and Obama’s — energy plans fall short
Daniel Cohan, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, authored an op-ed about how ongoing trends in the coal industry to limit emissions will likely have greater effects than federal policies.
The Hill

Pizza, beer help foreign students orient to new schools
An article and video feature new Rice international graduate students Arina Zaytseva, Victoria Graja, Konstantin Georgiev, Takudzwa Tapfuma and Santiago Lopez Alvarez. The article cites 2016 census data from Rice’s Kinder Institute for Public Policy that determined that Houston is the most diverse metropolitan area in the U.S., and it mentions that almost a quarter of Rice students are from abroad.
Voice of America (This article appeared in more than 20 other media outlets.)

How Ortega’s rise to power sparked a human rights crisis in Nicaragua
Christopher Sabatini, non-resident fellow at the Mexico Center and the Latin America Initiative at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, authored an op-ed about the humanitarian crisis developing in Nicaragua.

CERN scientists have witnessed the decay of the Higgs boson particle
Six years after discovering the Higgs boson particle, scientists have witnessed it decaying into bottom quarks for the first time, demonstrating what is thought to be the most common way for the particle to decay. Paul Padley, professor of physics and astronomy and leader of one of the scientific teams at the Large Hadron Collider, is quoted.
Yahoo! News (This article also appeared in Digital Trends.)

The story of the American inventor denied a patent because he was a slave
An article mentions that Rice possesses a letter that may help historians understand why former slave Benjamin Montgomery was denied a patent for a new steamboat propeller in 1864.

Kennedy family’s space legacy continues
President John F. Kennedy’s “Moon Speech” given at Rice Sept. 12, 1962, is mentioned.


Houston Flood Museum seeks healing in shared Harvey experiences
An article and two television broadcasts feature the Houston Flood Museum, a digital archive that seeks to process and memorialize the experience of flooding through stories and art, and the Houston Memories Project, which is administered by Rice’s Fondren Library, the University of Houston Library and the Houston Public Library to preserve user-submitted content for use by future historians and researchers. Lacy Johnson, assistant professor of creative writing, is pictured and quoted in the Houston Chronicle. Caleb McDaniel, associate professor of history, and Lisa Spiro, the executive director of digital scholarship services at Fondren, are interviewed in the television segments.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)
‘KHOU 11 News’
KHOU-TV (Houston)
’12 News Daybreak’
KJAC-TV (Beaumont)

To bag or not to bag: Retailers at a crossroads after Texas Supreme Court strikes bag ban
An article about how some retailers are voluntarily observing the recently nullified plastic bag ban quotes Scott Sonenshein, the Henry Gardiner Symonds Professor of Management at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business.
The Texas Observer

Opening reception for 6 projects on Accessory Dwelling
An article mentions that Rice Architecture’s Construct Program held an opening reception Aug. 30 for Six Projects on Accessory Dwelling, a pop-up exhibition of current research and building. The Construct Program is led by Andrew Colopy, assistant professor of architecture, and Danny Samuels, professor in the practice and program director of Rice’s Building Workshop. This pop-up exhibition is on view in the Creative Open Studio at Rice’s Moody Center for the Arts through Sept. 1.
Houston Press

Happy birthday, Houston!
An article about Houston’s “firsts” mentions that Rice was the city’s first institute of higher learning when it opened in 1912.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article appeared in the Aug. 30 print edition and a previous edition of Dateline when it was first posted online.)

Todd Litton wants to take back Montrose
Alumnus Todd Litton ’01, who is running for U.S. Representative in Texas’ 2nd Congressional District, is featured and pictured.
OutSmart Magazine

This UT-developed platform is helping speed up natural hazards research
An article mentions that Rice is a collaborator in the University of Texas at Austin-led DesignSafe program, which provides the capability to store and analyze large masses of data as well as run simulations related to natural hazards.
The Alcalde

20 things to do in Dallas this week
Rapper Bernard “Bun B” Freeman, former distinguished lecturer at Rice, is featured in an article and television broadcast. He will perform Aug. 31 in Dallas.
Dallas Observer (This article also appeared in Nuvo.)
‘Fox 26 News at 8 a.m.’
KRIV-TV (Houston)

What’s around this hot Houston high-rise? Absolutely everything.
Rice is mentioned.
CultureMap Houston


Mercury starts season with a ‘Rock Show,’ takes on new projects 
An article mentions that Mercury performed at Stude Hall at Rice’s Shepherd School of Music after Hurricane Harvey flooded downtown Houston’s Wortham Center.
Houston Public Media


Hurricane season not only brings destruction and death, but rising inequality too
Junia Howell, a scholar at Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research and an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh, wrote an op-ed on a study she co-authored that found natural disasters and recovery efforts launched in their aftermath have increased wealth inequality between races in the U.S. Study co-author Jim Elliott, a professor of sociology at Rice and fellow at the Kinder Institute, is mentioned.
Nation of Change (This article also appeared in the International Business Times and the TC Palm.)

Trump’s power-plant plan can’t save coal from market forces
Kenneth Medlock, senior director of the Center for Energy Studies at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted in an article about how the U.S. is on course for more coal plant closings as utilities shift to cheaper renewables and natural gas, despite policy changes meant to bolster the coal industry.
InsideClimate News

Reinforcing graphene using carbon nanotubes makes it twice as resistant to fractures
An article features Rice research that developed fracture-resistant “rebar graphene,” which is more than twice as tough as pristine graphene. Jun Lou, professor of materials science and nanoengineering, is quoted. James Tour, the T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry and a professor of computer science and of materials science and nanoengineering, is mentioned.

Accountants to watch: Danielle Supkis Cheek
Alumna Danielle Supkis Cheek ’06, lecturer in management at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business, is featured and pictured.
Accounting Today

Kim Gordon, Laraaji and more to close out 2018 Summer Happenings at the Broad
An article mentions that Swishahouse was the first label of any music genre to have its material archived at Rice’s Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning, which is part of Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research.
Broadway World

At Texas construction site, grim discovery of prison/plantation slavery
An article about the research efforts of activist Reginald Moore mentions that his speaking engagements, photographs and reports of meetings with state agencies are documented and housed at Rice’s Fondren Library as the “Reginald Moore Sugar Land Convict-Leasing System Research Collection.”
Workers World

Houzz announces scholarship winners, calls for 2019 applications
An article mentions that Rice architecture student Janet Ni received the Sustainable Residential Design scholarship from Houzz.
Furniture Today (This article also appeared in Home Accents Today.)

MBA apps take a shocking plunge
An article exploring the fall in applications to MBA programs around the country mentions Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business.
Poets & Quants

JKH’s Gihan Cooray to chair Nations Trust Bank
An article mentions that Gihan Cooray attended Rice.
Lanka Business Online

Rising stars: An interview with Daniela Mack
An article mentions that Kristina Driskill formerly taught at Rice.
Opera War Horses


Sociologist addresses research on educational equity
An article mentions that Ruth Lopez Turley, professor of sociology, will present “Advancing Equity through Research-Practice Partnerships” Sept. 7 at the University of Arkansas’ Department of Education Reform lecture series.
University of Arkansas News

Parasitic vines that feed on parasitic wasps that feed on trees
An article features Rice’s research into the twisted relationship between the love vine and the gall wasp, “the first time that a parasitic plant feeding on a parasitic insect feeding on a host plant has been reported,” according to Scott Egan, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology.
ZlotoNews (This article also appeared on

First joint director of opera theater named
Alumnus Alan Hicks ’96 is featured and pictured.
San Diego State University News

State health officer Dr. Mary Currier to retire
An article featuring and picturing alumna Mary Currier ’78 mentions she will retire from the Mississippi State Department of Health.
WJTV Online

Pairing knowledge with charity
McMurtry College freshman Akshaya Venkatesh is mentioned.
Simi Valley Acorn

Using sensors to spot infrastructure damage
An article mentions the Rice Business Plan Competition at the Jones Graduate School of Business.
University of Delaware News


Rice line ready for its test against Ed Oliver
Several articles and television broadcast feature or mention the Rice football team ahead of its game against crosstown rival the University of Houston Sept. 1. Rice football players Jack Greene and Joseph Dill are quoted, and player Shea Baker and head coach Mike Bloomgren are mentioned. Dill and teammates Jack Fox and Jackson Tyner are pictured in a Houston Chronicle slideshow with an article that mentions Rice’s season-opening victory over Prairie View A&M University. Athletics Director Joe Karlgaard is quoted in the second Houston Chronicle article.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)
UH, Rice talking about adding 2 more years to football series
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article also appeared the San Antonio Express-News, and it appeared in the Aug. 31 print edition of the Chronicle with a different headline, “Owls’ fledgling O-line doesn’t seem star-struck.”)
Bayou Bucket: Houston Cougars at Rice Owls 2018 kickoff preview
Best College Sports News Network
NC Central, Prairie View A&M are both playing for new coaches in MEAC/SWAC Challenge
The Undefeated
#HTownTakeover: University of Houston kicks off football season with ‘winning’ game attractions
‘Morning Dose’
CW39 (Houston)
‘Houston Football Central’
AT&T SportsNet Southwest
’13 Eyewitness News at 6 a.m.’
KTRK-TV (Houston)
ESPN’s Mel Kiper reveals his No. 1 player in college football
The Spun
10 predictions as football season opens
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)
‘Underdog Pawdcast’ — 2018 AAC Week 1 preview
SB Nation
Where does your team rank among Texas schools heading into the 2018 college football season?
SportsMap Houston (Scroll down to “No. 10: Rice.”)

3 takeaways from Texas coordinators’ availability: Tim Beck unconcerned about offense; defense fully installed
Former Rice football player Calvin Anderson is mentioned.
Dallas Morning News
After dropping 2017 opener, Texas shouldn’t overlook underdog Maryland
Burnt Orange Nation

Ranking Hawaii’s most winnable games remaining
Rice’s football team is mentioned.

Rabbs look to challenge for title in unfamiliar 3A
An article mentions that Jawan King plans to play football at Rice.
Texarkana Gazette

Women’s soccer begins 6-match road swing with UAB
An article about the University of Memphis women’s soccer team mentions that the Tigers will play Rice Sept. 7.
Memphis Official Athletics Site

Baseball: A&M announces 5 marquee midweek matchups
An article about Texas A&M University’s baseball schedule mentions that the Longhorns will play Rice March 19. Head coach Matt Bragga is mentioned.

New-look UND volleyball team hoping to make strides in this weekend’s UND Classic
An article mentions that the University of North Dakota’s volleyball team lost to Rice.
Grand Forks Herald

HS football preview: Seton Hall Prep displays excellent work ethic and spirit
An article mentions that Zach Hoban plans to play football at Rice.
Essex News Daily

Waco ISD to enshrine new Hall of Fame class
An article mentions that the late Mike Tyler Sr. ’72, who was one of the first black players to receive a football scholarship to Rice, will be inducted into the Waco Independent School District Athletic Hall of Fame.
Waco Tribune-Herald
High school notebook: Axtell, Dawson ready to play under lights at Waco ISD Stadium
Waco Tribune-Herald


Rice invites Houston to head back to school Sept. 5
Rice’s Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies invites the Houston community to head back to school for its fall preview Sept. 5. A showcase of lifelong learning opportunities, the event will feature a range of free, brief preview lectures highlighting upcoming courses and also allow everyone to experience the school’s home, the state-of-the-art Anderson-Clarke Center. Registration is not required.

About Stefan De La Garza

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