Meet this week’s Centennial Stars

Two staffers dip into their half-century of experience to improve Rice

To celebrate the Rice Centennial, this year the university will honor 100 staff members who represent the best of Rice culture. Each week, Centennial Stars will be recognized for their contributions to excellence, and we’ll introduce them in Rice News.

This week’s Centennial Stars do their jobs extraordinarily well. Together they have spent 50 years of their careers at Rice. They are Jet Prendeville, art and architecture librarian at Fondren Library, and Julia Amborski, faculty development program administrator in the Office of Faculty Development.

Jet Prendeville

Prendeville’s career at Rice has spanned more than three decades. She has served as art and architecture librarian since 1979. In that role, she is responsible for the collection development of art, architecture, urban design, classical archaeology, film, photography and landscape architecture. Her foreign-language skills in Spanish, Italian, German and French are invaluable in her collection-development efforts, colleagues said in their letters nominating Prendeville for the award.

Colleagues praised not only her talents and knowledge but also her dedication and professionalism.

“Jet is such a wonderful librarian and is so passionate about art and architecture and library sciences,” a colleague wrote. “I very much admire her dedication to her profession, her commitment to Fondren Library, the students of Rice and the university itself.”

Amborski has enjoyed a varied career at Rice, beginning in 1995 as the assistant manager of Sammy’s. In 1999 she transferred to the Cohen House as assistant manager and was promoted to Faculty Club manager in 2002. After a two-month departure from Rice in 2002, Amborski returned as an administrative coordinator for the Cain Project. She remained with the Cain Project until she moved to the ADVANCE program as program coordinator in 2008. Since 2011 she has served as faculty development program administration in the Office of Faculty Development.

Julia Amborski

Julia Amborski

No matter which department she’s been a member of, she’s consistently known for her organizational skills and ability to ensure the continuity of the program.

“Julia is the glue that keeps organizations together,” a colleague wrote in a nomination letter. “She is always bright and cheerful, always dependable and with high standards.”

She is also praised for taking on her current position after a longtime, beloved colleague left.

“Julia stepped up to the additional responsibilities and has done a marvelous job keeping the activities going — always with a positive and an accommodating attitude,” a colleague wrote.

To nominate someone as a Centennial Star, go to For more information, contact Rebecca Millet at

To view previous Centennial Stars, visit


About Arie Passwaters

Arie Wilson Passwaters is editor of Rice New.