Dateline Rice for Sept. 3, 2020


New $100 million grant could help Rice University discover the next ‘buckyballs’
The Robert A. Welch Foundation has donated $100 million to Rice for a research institute to engineer new technologies and innovative materials. The largest single gift in the university’s history will empower Rice researchers from across campus, as well as colleagues from around the world, to accelerate the discovery, design and manufacturer of new materials for the benefit of all. President David Leebron and Yousif Shamoo, Rice’s vice provost for research and a professor of biochemistry and cell biology, are quoted. Shamoo and Provost Reginald DesRoches are interviewed in Yahoo! News. Pulickel Ajayan, chair of the Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering, the Benjamin M. and Mary Greenwood Anderson Professor in Engineering and a professor of chemistry, is quoted in InnovationMap.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article appeared on the front page of the Sept. 3 print edition and yesterday’s Dateline.)

Rice University gets largest gift in its history: $100M

Yahoo! News (This item originally appeared in ABC 13 Online, and aired four times on KTRK-TV in Houston.) 
Rice University gets a record $100 million gift from Welch Foundation for groundbreaking new institute
Houston-based foundation commits $100M to Rice University to create new institute
‘Morning dose’
CW 39 Online
KTRH-AM (Houston)
‘KHOU 11 News’
KHOU-TV (Houston)
‘KPRC Channel 2 News’
KPRC-TV (Houston)
Telemundo (Houston)
http://dateline.rice/sept-3-welch-grant (An English translation is not available.)


New antibody survey to determine COVID’s true prevalence in Houston
Several articles and broadcasts mentions that Rice researchers have designed an antibody survey that will be used in Houston to determine the extent COVID-19 has spread in communities.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article also appeared in the Sept. 3 print edition.)
The Houston Health Department may show up at your house for a new COVID antibody survey
Houston Chronicle (This article also appeared in more than 25 other media outlets.)
Houston coronavirus updates: What you need to know for Sept. 3
Houston Chronicle (This article also appeared in more than 25 other media outlets.)
Houston rolling out antibody survey to see how many people contracted COVID-19
KHOU Online (This segment also aired twice on KHOU-TV in Houston.)

Houston Health Department introduces COVID-19 antibody testing survey
MSN (This article originally appeared in KHOU Online.) 

Houston Health Department launches COVID-19 antibody testing survey
Houston Public Media
Houston is launching a citywide antibody testing study
Houston Health Department to conduct randomized coronavirus antibody testing
Community Impact Newspaper
Mayor Turner announces survey aimed at understanding COVID-19 infection rate in Houston
’13 Eyewitness News’
KTRK-TV (Houston)

‘KPRC Channel 2 News’
KPRC-TV (Houston)
Mayor and experts warn if Abbott reopens too much too soon, it could lead to disaster
Houston Press
Houston to conduct COVID-19 antibody testing survey

Xinhua Net (This article also appeared in more than 10 other media outlets.)

Oil field services speed adoption of clean energy tech
Vikas Mittal, the J. Hugh Liedtke Professor of Marketing at the Jones Graduate School of Business, is quoted.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)

How Baylor’s TAILOR team of bacteria hunters finds COVID-19 in wastewater
An article mentions that experts from Rice have partnered with officials from Houston to test wastewater to track the spread of the coronavirus.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article also appeared in the Sept. 3 print edition.)

Live gallery experience resumes with dynamic installations and sculpture that engage and question the viewer
An article mentions “Realist Magic: Objects, Ontology, Causality,” authored by Timothy Morton, the Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English.

500K+ Houstonians live in ‘food deserts’ with little to no access to healthy food and the problem has worsened due to COVID-19
An article and broadcast mentions a recent study by Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research found that over 720,000 people in the Greater Houston area are food insecure and do not have enough money for regular, nutritious meals.
Click2Houston (This segment also aired on KPRC-TV in Houston.)

Today on ‘Texas Standard’
An article and broadcast mentions that Rice has a coronavirus dashboard tracking tests and positivity rates.
Texas Standard (This segment aired on more than 20 stations across Texas.)

Best virtual bets: Broadway, dragons and Audre Lorde
A roundup mentions that Rice’s Moody Center for the Arts is showcasing work from Texas artists in its windows. “Light Shift” will be on view through Sept. 12, and an Open Dance Project responding to the work will be broadcast on the Moody Center’s YouTube channel Sept. 4.
Houston Press

Dayton student attends Virtual Tapia Camps at Rice University courtesy of ExxonMobil
An article features the virtual summer STEM experience offered by Rice’s Tapia Center for Excellence and Equity in Education. Tapia Center Executive Director Marisela Rodriguez is quoted.
Bluebonnet News

PICK SIX: SEC, ACC schedule changes impact several programs
A pair of articles mention that Rice’s football game against Louisiana State University, which was slated for Sept. 19, was canceled after the Southeastern Conference’s decision to limit its teams to 10 conference games because of the pandemic. The Denton Record-Chronicle mentions that the Owls are slated to play the University of North Texas Nov. 21.
The Associated Press (This article also appeared in more than 30 other media outlets.)
LSU Tigers face new challenges in conference-only, 10-game season
LSU’s Reveille
Game-by-game predictions for North Texas in 2020: Can Mean Green return to the postseason after a one-year absence?
Denton Record-Chronicle


Why protests and violence have become difficult issues for Joe Biden and the Democratic party
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.
Sputnik News
¿Qué es el ‘gerrymandering’ y cómo afecta a las elecciones?
VOA Noticias (An English translation is not available.)


Houston university gets high marks as best in Texas, No. 7 in nation
An article mentions that Rice is ranked No. 1 in Texas and No. 7 in the nation according to Niche. The article also mentions that Rice has No. 1-ranked programs in kinesiology and physical therapy, sport management and architecture and received an overall Niche grade of A+ for academics, diversity, athletics, professors, dorms, student life, value, campus, party scene, location and campus food.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)
Houston university declared No. 7 in the nation and best in Texas by new study
CultureMap Houston

Planned Parenthood group endorses Sarah Davis, rebuffing activists’ push to support her Dem opponent
An article mentions that Rice’s campus is located in Texas House District 134.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article also appeared in the Sept. 3 print edition.)


Experts say Houston Ship Channel has ‘zero protection against storm surge’
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, is interviewed about the Galveston Bay Park Plan, a proposal he co-created to protect the region from hurricanes.
ABC 13 Online (This segment also aired on KTRK-TV and KIAH-TV in Houston.)

After a close call from Hurricane Laura, Houston renews calls for a storm barrier
Ed Emmett ’71, fellow in energy and transportation policy at the Center for Energy Studies at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted.
Houston Public Media (This segment also aired on KUHF-FM in Houston.)

Abilene universities take new steps on diversity: ACU
Rice is mentioned.
Texas Standard (The audio segment aired on more than 20 stations across Texas.)


Ambient light alters refraction in 2D material
An article features Rice research that shows microscopic crystals in tantalum disulfide may be used in 3D displays, virtual reality and even self-driving vehicles. Co-authors Gururaj Naik, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, and graduate student Weijian Li are quoted.
Science Daily

Carol Burns receives ACS Francis P. Garvan‒John M. Olin Medal
Alumna Carol Burns is featured and pictured.


Incarceration of family members negatively impacts mental health outcomes for African American women
An article features collaborative research involving Rice that shows about half of African American women in the United States report having at least one family member who is incarcerated, causing higher levels of depressive symptoms and psychological distress than previously understood. Co-author Tony Brown, professor of sociology, is mentioned.
Vanderbilt News (This article also appeared in

Wellesley student selected for internship
An article mentions Michael Thorpe, academic visitor in Earth, environment and planetary sciences, and Valerie Payre, the Wiess Postdoctoral Research Associate in planetary sciences.
Wicked Local Wellesley

Rochester leads novel research project on how the brain interprets motion
An article mentions that experts from Rice are on a team that won a five-year award, as part of the National Institutes of Health’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies initiative, to develop treatments and therapies for neural disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, as well as inspire advances in artificial intelligence.
University of Rochester News


ET Football: Watch list revealed for annual Earl Campbell award
An article mentions that Rice football player Austin Trammell is on the watch list for the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, which recognizes the top offensive player in Division I football who also exhibits integrity, performance, teamwork, sportsmanship and drive. (This article also appeared in the Tyler Morning Telegraph.)

TODAY IN SPORTS HISTORY: 50th anniversary of Lombardi’s death, Beaver Dam football team explodes for Week 2 win over Nicolet in 1993, etc.
A sports roundup features a 1966 American Football League game between the Houston Oilers and Denver Broncos held at Rice Stadium.
Daily Citizen

College basketball transfer waivers: Kentucky’s Olivier Sarr, Texas Tech’s Mac McClung among those waiting
Former Rice basketball player Trey Murphy III is featured.

Week 1 preview  
An article mentions that Rice’s football team was defeated by Army last season.
Conference USA (This article also appeared in The Best College Sports News Network and College Sports Journal.)

TRANSCRIPT: Jai Lucas discusses his move from Texas to Kentucky
Rice is mentioned.
Kentucky Sports Radio


Rice Business expert available to discuss Postal Service financials
The U.S. Postal Service was not created to be a traditional profit-making business, according to K. Ramesh, the Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Accounting at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business. Ramesh is available to discuss with the media the Postal Service’s financial past and future, which has become a political issue ahead of the presidential election in November.

Ambient light alters refraction in 2D material
A two-dimensional array of tantalum disulfide has unique optical characteristics that can be controlled in ambient conditions and under general illumination, according to engineer Gururaj Naik and graduate student Weijian Li of Rice’s Brown School of Engineering.

Having a family member locked up takes worse mental toll on African American women
About 44% of African American women in the United States have at least one family member incarcerated, a disproportionate burden that a new study concludes leads to poor mental health. The research also examines whether social roles alter the psychological burden of having an immediate family member behind bars.

Quantum leap for speed limit bounds
Kaden Hazzard, a theoretical quantum physicist at Rice, and graduate student Zhiyuan Wang have invented a new method for calculating the upper bound of speed limits in quantum matter. The Wang-Hazzard method is a new graphical tool that accounts for the microscopic interactions in the material to understand how fast anything — information, mass, energy — can move in nature.

About Stefan De La Garza

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