Fernau named director of executive and international programs at Glasscock School

Mary Lynn Fernau has been named director of executive and international programs at Rice University’s Glasscock School for Continuing Studies.


Fernau, an external relations and communications leader who has been a key figure in the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship’s growth for more than a decade, joined the school July 8.

“As director of executive and international programs, Mary Lynn will build on emergent programming to develop a new resource for Houston, one that will help the business and nonprofit communities prepare ambitious and emerging leaders to have a dynamic impact on Houston’s evolving knowledge economy,” said Glasscock School Dean Robert Bruce.

“Mary Lynn will build on the Glasscock School’s deep relationships in the community to provide professional training and education across the breadth of the school’s offerings, including leadership development, human resource management, financial services, computer and data science, as well as entrepreneurship,” said David Vassar, assistant dean for professional and executive programs. “She will also manage a growing portfolio of tailored professional and technical training offerings to business and government leaders from around the world.”

For more than a decade, Fernau has served as the Rice Alliance’s chief external relations and communications director. She has positioned the alliance’s unique programming among the world’s best and built a stable of sponsors that includes the region’s most important companies and foundations, including many Fortune 400 companies based in Houston.

Fernau began her career as a reporter, having studied journalism as an undergraduate at the University of Nebraska. Since then, she has served in marketing and communications roles at a variety of organizations, including the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and The Houstonian Hotel, Club and Spa. Fernau is also an entrepreneur who developed and commercialized a child safety product line and ran her own marketing and communications firm for many years.

Fernau is very familiar with the Glasscock School, having completed a Master of Liberal Studies degree there in 2016.

“I am excited to be joining Rice’s Glasscock School and to be able to continue being a part of the university’s commitment to Houston’s growth and success,” Fernau said. “I especially look forward to building on my networks in the community and in industry to support our efforts to provide transformative opportunities for Houstonians working to better themselves and their careers.”

The Glasscock School offers personal and professional development classes, online and hybrid courses and certificate programs, as well as offerings from the Center for College Readiness, the Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, the Foreign Language program, the English as a Second Language program, the Master of Liberal Studies program, the Diploma in Liberal Studies program, the Master of Arts in Teaching program and School Literacy and Culture program. For more information, go to http://glasscock.rice.edu.

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.