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Rice Magazine 1



Rice Magazine is published by the Office of Public Affairs of Rice University and is sent to university alumni, faculty, staff, graduate students, parents of undergraduates and friends of the ...

Rice Magazine is published by the Office of Public Affairs of Rice University and is sent to university alumni, faculty, staff, graduate students, parents of undergraduates and friends of the university.



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Rice Magazine 1 Rice Magazine 1 Document Transcript

  • 24 | Talking Oil • 28 | Earthquake Watch • 36 | When They Get Ambitious • 40 | From MOB to High-Tech IKE “MY PRIDE IN THIS UNIVERSITY HAS NEVER BEEN GREATER.” —President David Leebron 14 THE LITTLE NETWORK THAT COULD 17 PAPER, PLASTIC OR NANO? 44 TAKING BOWS AT THE KENNEDY CENTER 50 COURTING THE COLLEGE WORLD SERIES Rice Magazine • No 1 • 2008 1
  • Contents 19 10 How can you possibly 13 Rice makes the Best see grains of sand orbit- Places to Work ranking ing distant stars? Ask for the third year in a astronomer Christopher row. Johns-Krull. 16 Fill ’er up with buckyballs! Introducing new high-pressure storage for hydrogen. 14 A low-cost wireless net- work developed at Rice 20 Buckytubes and bones has become a valuable resource for sociologists, form a fast-growing medical researchers and partnership. anthropologists studying neighborhood dynamics. 15 New Rice trustee Lee Rosenthal is judged to be among the best. 21 Researchers are put- 13 Astronaut Peggy ting the pressure on Whitson ’86 loves cartilage. breaking things in 11 A chemist makes a space. remarkable archaeological discovery. 17 Gobbling spilled oil on demand: Meet the nano- 12 Biomedical research baton sac. gets a boost. On the cover: View of Hurricane Ike from the International Space Station.
  • Students 23 Looking for an alternative to Features the traditional office? Look no further than Caroline Collective. Arts 3 Hurricane Ike 42 From the Summer Window From making sure students were safe to Series to the student art show, organizing community relief efforts, Rice the Rice Gallery showcases the weathered Hurricane Ike with resilience and old and the new. compassion. 46 If there is a way for a composer 24 Lynn Laverty Elsenhans to write music for walking on Lynn Laverty Elsenhans ’78, the new CEO and cloud nine, Kurt Stallmann will president of Sunoco, reflects on global energy probably find it. concerns, the challenges facing women in the corporate world — and her favorite university. 47 Summer music camp fills the 3 air with ... well, the sound of By Christopher Dow music. 28 Cracking Quakes and Other Earthy Matters We might not be able to prevent earthquakes, Bookshelf but decoding the signals that precede them 48 If you think that architecture could minimize loss of life and property students just design buildings, damage. Rice Earth scientists are cracking the you might be surprised by “The code. Things They’ve Done.” By Jade Boyd and Christopher Dow 49 April DeConick was intrigued 32 Historic Building 32 by National Geographic’s With “green” roofs cropping up on new Rice translation of the Gospel of buildings, the Recreation Center rising next to Judas — until she read the the Rice Memorial Center and “The ‘John and original for herself. Anne’ Grove” enticing strollers with its cooling shade, the campus is looking better than ever. By Merin Porter Sports 36 Green as Grassroots 50 No matter what the outcome, A student-led initiative to lessen the you know these outstanding environmental footprint of the campus is student–athletes worked hard to earn Rice’s seventh trip to producing tangible results for Rice. 36 the College World Series. By Merin Porter 52 Class act Cole St. Clair ’08 40 The Entrepreneur Next Door receives the 2008 CLASS High-tech entrepreneur David Zumwalt ’81 Award. brings his touch for success to the University of the Virgin Islands Research and Technology Park, where he helps provide opportunities for the region’s rising business and technology stars. By Merin Porter Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 1
  • Rice Magazine Fall 2008, Vol. 65, No. 1 Published by the Office of Public Affairs WELCOME TO OUR NEW LOOK Linda Thrane, vice president As Rice University takes bold Editor Christopher Dow strides to achieve its Vision Editorial Director Tracey Rhoades for the Second Century plan Creative Director Jeff Cox to grow the institution in size, Art Director Chuck Thurmon impact and reputation, it Editorial Staff Merin Porter, staff writer Jenny West Rozelle, assistant editor deserves a flagship publication Photographers Tommy LaVergne, photographer worthy of its aspirations. Jeff Fitlow, assistant photographer The Rice University Board of Trustees In that spirit, we’ve spent much of the last year looking at what we’ve been doing right with James W. Crownover, chairman; J. D. Bucky Allshouse; D. Kent Anderson; Keith this magazine, what needs improvement and what we can do without. Now, with the dust T. Anderson; Teveia Rose Barnes; Alfredo of renovation finally settling, we’re pleased to unveil the new Rice Magazine. Brener; Vicki Whamond Bretthauer; Robert T. Brockman; Nancy P. Carlson; Robert L. The process of charting a fresh course for the magazine was made possible, in large Clarke; Bruce W. Dunlevie; Lynn Laverty part, by our recent readership survey. Many of our decisions were based on your sugges- Elsenhans; Douglas Lee Foshee; Susanne tions and comments, and we sincerely thank you for your valuable time and input. Morris Glasscock; Robert R. Maxfield; M. Kenneth Oshman; Jeffery O. Rose; Lee H. The first thing you probably noticed — aside from the magazine’s dimensions — was Rosenthal; Hector Ruiz; Marc Shapiro; L. the absence of the name “Sallyport” on the masthead. The overwhelming number of E. Simmons; Robert B. Tudor III; James S. responses to the question concerning the name indicated that it had limited recognition Turley. outside of the university community and did not adequately communicate the magazine’s Administrative Officers affiliation with Rice. This is a critical point since the purpose of the magazine is to help fur- David W. Leebron, president; Eugene Levy, president provost; Kathy Collins, vice president vost ther Rice’s mission and reputation as the university expands its influence beyond Houston for Finance; Kevin Kirby, vice president for and Texas. Administration; Chris Muñoz, vice president We’ve adopted the simple but evocative name, Rice Magazine, to better achieve iden- for Enrollment; Linda Thrane, vice president Enrollment for Public Affairs; Scott W. Wise, vice president tification with the university we represent. At the same time, we felt that “Sallyport” is a for Investments and treasurer; Richard A. time-honored, symbolic name, and it will live on in a major Zansitis, general counsel; Darrow Zeidenstein, department, “Through the Sallyport,” where you can read vice president for Resource Development. campus news and articles on people and research. Rice Magazine is published by the Office of You’ll find a number of changes inside, as well. While Public Affairs of Rice University and is sent we’ve kept many of the basic bones that made Sallyport to university alumni, faculty, staff, graduate such a durable publication, we’ve trimmed the fat, toned the students, parents of undergraduates and friends of the university. muscle and given the magazine a face-lift. We’re making the magazine a lot more fun to read, as well. Shorter, livelier Editorial Offices features will allow us to increase our coverage of the kinds Creative Services–MS 95 P.O. Box 1892 of teaching, research, engagement and international impact that have long characterized Houston, TX 77251-1892 TX Rice. And because there’s just too much going on at Rice to adequately cover in a quarterly Fax: 713-348-6751 magazine, we’ll leave you with lots of Web resources so you can delve more deeply into E-mail: ricemagazine@rice.edu topics that strike your fancy. Postmaster One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is our excitement at presenting all the great Send address changes to: people, discoveries and resources that make Rice one of the best universities anywhere. Nor Rice University Development Services–MS 80 has our commitment to our readers — alumni and many others who share an affinity with P.O. Box 1892 Rice. So, without further ado, I invite you into the pages of the new Rice Magazine. ... Houston, TX 77251-1892 © OCT. 2 0 0 8 RICE UNIVE RSIT Y Christopher Dow cloud@rice.edu 2 www.rice.edu/ricemagazine
  • HURRICANE Ike Stop the Presses! Actually, we didn’t have much choice. Just as our newly designed Rice Magazine was hit- ting the presses, a big fellow named Ike strode across the Houston area and stopped them for us. Now that we’re up and running again, we’ve added a special section to let you know how Rice fared during and after the storm. In short, very well, thanks to thoughtful planning before the storm, quick action throughout and helpful responses — both on campus and in the wider community — in its aftermath. But see for yourself. For more in-depth coverage of Hurricane Ike and Rice, visit: ›› › media.rice.edu/media/20081.asp Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 3
  • O W L S I N T H E S T O R M BY D AV I D W. L E E B R O N People and institutions often are defined by how they respond to crises. For more than four years, I have had the privilege of being part of the extraordinary Rice community, and my pride in this university has never been greater than during the week af- ter Hurricane Ike as I watched my colleagues and associates respond to both the threat and the aftermath of the storm. Baker Institute Director Ed Djerejian’s in the last day or so before it made news media. important new book is titled “Danger landfall, veered northward and largely Once the winds subsided on and Opportunity.” He takes this title spared the Houston area from serious Saturday, we immediately began to from the Chinese word for crisis, which damage. We learned a lot from that assess damage, clean up and make is composed of two characters — one experience and implemented changes to repairs to prepare for a speedy return to derived from the character for danger our procedures. normalcy. This was especially important and the other from the character for op- In the days before Ike and even in light of the large number of students portunity. In short, the word embodies during the storm, the Rice Crisis living on our campus who were eager the idea that in each crisis lurks both Management Team met regularly via to return to classes. danger and opportunity. conference call to review every aspect While recognizing that the campus That has surely been our experi- of preparation, action and response. had been spared major damage, we In the days before Ike and even during the storm, the Rice Crisis Management Team met regularly via conference call to review every aspect of preparation, action and response. ence with Hurricane Ike. Make no We went into high gear on Thursday also understood that much of the city mistake: For Houston and certainly and Friday to batten down the campus, had suffered substantial losses, and for Galveston and nearby shore areas, set up special shelters for our students millions of people were without power. this was a once-in-a-quarter-century and lay in food and water supplies. Water pressure throughout the city had hurricane (we certainly hope!) in terms Ping and I walked the campus to meet dropped, creating sanitary threats. Trees of its strength, its size and directness with students, who were cheerful and were down, gasoline was in short sup- of the hit. The last hurricane that was patient as they faced the prospect of ply and transportation was challenging. similar to Ike, both in force and loca- being crowded into shelters for the The response of our community to tion, was Alicia in 1983. night. Throughout, we communicated all this was nothing less than amaz- Literally years of preparation at with parents and others through e-mail ing — a case study in both resilience Rice paid off. In 2005, we were fully and postings on the Web, in part to and compassion. Everyone pitched prepared for Hurricane Rita, which, counteract the hyperbolic reports in the in. Our students stood side by side 4 www.rice.edu/ricemagazine
  • HURRICANE Ike with our Facilities, Engineering and battered city. Volunteers began lining overflow injuries from hospital emer- Planning crews to clean up tree debris up to help almost before the storm had gency rooms. that blanketed the roads and blocked subsided. Hundreds of students and And, throughout, we never forgot walkways on campus. Our construction staff helped sort and pack food at the that we are a community of learning crews redeployed to open up roadways Houston Food Bank and organized and research. As the storm approached, and repair water and wind damage. Our collections of supplies and money. Jerry Dickens, professor of earth science Housing and Dining staff found and They joined crews cleaning up parks and master of Martel College, gave a prepared fresh food for people sheltered and hard-hit neighborhoods. Several lecture to the students on hurricanes. on campus. members of our basketball team helped Before and after the storm, Rice faculty While we got Rice back on its feet remove debris in Galveston, which was members served as resources for the in just a few days, many in our com- seriously damaged by the storm. media and others on a range of issues The response of our community to all this was nothing less than amazing – a case study in both resilience and compassion. Everyone pitched in. munity — students, faculty and staff When hospitals in the Texas Medical regarding the weather and related — still lived under difficult conditions. Center lost their helicopter landing topics. We did our best to accommodate those pads, we opened up our bicycle track in Most of all, Rice emerged from circumstances, from canceling tests the parking lot of Rice Stadium to allow Ike with a reaffirmation that we are a to setting up day camps for children them to land. Our neighbors clapped community that cares: We care about whose schools remained closed. We cre- and cheered as the helicopters released each other, we care about our neighbors ated emergency loans for staff members their injured passengers and ambulanc- and we care about the world beyond. in need, handed out ice and opened es whisked them away for care. We also That is a big part of what makes Rice so up showers and laundry facilities on delayed the opening of the Oshman special, and what makes the work we campus. If people needed time to deal Engineering Design Kitchen for a week do so important. with repairs, flexibility was the rule. so disaster-assistance medical teams We also turned our attention to our could use it as a triage center to handle Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 5
  • Rice Gets Back to Business After a challenging weekend, Rice’s Vice President for Administration Kevin Kirby felt confident the uni- versity had passed the test posed by Hurricane Ike, the most serious storm the campus has seen in decades. “It’s a judgment call as to what we call ‘normal- cy,’ but I think we’ll be there by Monday,” he said a few days after the hurricane, looking at blue skies through the windows in his Allen Center office. “We don’t have any building we can’t use, though we had damage to almost every build- ing,” he said. “Most of the problems are with windows and roofs — nothing that would keep us from operating or using the buildings.” Several construction projects, including the new Rice Children’s Campus on Chaucer Drive and the Collaborative Research Center at the cor- ner of Main Street and University Boulevard, suf- fered minor damage that was expected to only minimally delay their completion. “The biggest challenge to all the construc- tion is that the labor force was significantly re- duced in the week post-Ike,” said Barbara White Bryson, vice president for Facilities, Engineering and Planning (FE&P). The “R” Room at Rice Stadium sustained some damage, but other athletic facilities came through the storm fine. “Rice Stadium has been standing since 1951, and it’s not going any- where,” said Athletics Director Chris Del Conte, who added that the baseball stadium and Autry Court, which is nearing the completion of its renovation, also are in good shape. Bryson said it will take some time to fix the “R” Room, as six windows facing the football stadium were blown out by Ike, and the inte- rior sustained substantial water damage. It was among the initial buildings to get attention from FE&P cleanup crews. “Our first-response tasks were to maintain infrastructure, address life-safety issues, board up windows where they were broken and clean up the largest water-intrusion areas,” Bryson said. “We had water in a few basements, most seriously over at Brown College. Those kinds of things had to be attended to right away. Happily, we kept power to most of the campus all the way through the event.” On a scale of one to 10, she said, Ike probably was a three for Rice in overall impact. “But it’s the kind of event,” Bryson said, “that we end up dealing with for weeks and months in an effort to get everybody back to normal operations.” —Mike Williams 6 www.rice.edu/ricemagazine
  • HURRICANE Ike Rice Students Ride Out Ike When Will Rice College freshman Hannah Thalenberg decided to attend Rice last year, she never thought her first month on campus would be so exciting. “My mom in Atlanta knew I was safe at Rice during Hurricane Ike, and my dad in Brazil was ecstatic,” Thalenberg said. “My dad said that our Polish ancestors could never have imagined a Thalenberg riding out a hurricane. I’m first-generation!” To pass the time, Thalenberg said, about a half-dozen students made cookies with Paula Krisko, a master at Will Rice, while others played games, watched movies or read. Excitement appeared to be the sentiment of most Rice un- dergraduate students hunkered down in their respective colleges. Most said Rice was well-prepared with water, food and shelter. “Rice is the safest place in Houston to be,” said Annie Kuntz, Sid Richardson College sophomore. She is from Houston and decided to stay on campus rather than return to her parents’ home on the north side. “You know Rice is going to have power, being so close to the Texas Medical Center.” For Jones freshman Brianna Mulrooney of New Jersey, this wasn’t her first brush with a hurricane. In 1999, Hurricane Floyd dumped 15 inches of rain on the upper East Coast, killing 57 people. “This hurricane was very much like Floyd,” said Mulrooney, who, along with Kuntz and many others at Rice, donated blood to a Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center that was set up in Farnsworth Pavilion. Making the best of it was the mantra of the day. An unconfirmed but widely spread report said certain Martel College students were flying kites during the tropical storm-force winds that preceded the hurricane. Also unconfirmed are reports that the Martel kites had special messages written on them for Jones College residents. “Most of us were having a good time and making the best of the situation,” said Brown College senior June Hu of Katy, Texas. “We saw Shepherd School students practicing a quartet in the Rice Memorial Center, so it put us in the mood to watch the movie ‘Titanic.’” Both Hu and Brown senior Kevin Liu commented on the eerie sounds of Hurricane Ike. “We couldn’t see what was going on out- side, but we could hear it,” said Liu, of San Antonio, Texas. Like all other undergraduate Rice students, Hu and Liu left their rooms to take shelter in hallways or other interior areas within build- ings and away from glass when the actual storm hit campus. “We were in the hallways from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.,” Liu said, “and I don’t think most of us slept much.” While undergraduate students stayed at their colleges, graduate students who lived in Rice housing or mandatory evacuation zones were sheltered at Janice and Robert McNair Hall and Rice Memorial Center until Monday. Rice officials had to inspect and secure the apartment buildings, due to downed power lines and 15-pound roof tiles that were a potential threat. “It was frustrating because we really wanted to get back to our apartments Saturday to have access to our clothing, food and other items,” said Andrew Staupe, a Shepherd School of Music graduate student from Minnesota. “At the same time, we knew that they wanted to make sure it was safe for us to go back.” —David Ruth Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 7
  • Alumni Go Long to Keep Rice Water Pumping It’s not often that you see football players turn into water boys, but it may be the most important play these two former Owls ever made for Rice. It started when the city lost its pumping station at Trinity River, which feeds the water treatment plants in Houston. When water pressure started to drop on campus, Rice turned to its backup well, but the pump motor burned out during an electrical surge. “It was never a drinking-water issue — we had plenty of bottled water,” said Kevin Kirby, vice president for admin- istration. “We needed water for sanitary reasons, for toilets and showers. We needed water for the boilers so we could From Design Kitchen to Medical Triage Center produce steam and hot water for cooking and cleaning. And we needed water to run the air-conditioning system — the It may have happened by chance rather than design, but Rice’s newly chillers and the cooling tower. After the safety of our stu- completed Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen, with its quiet, climate- dents and employees, water pressure turned out to be our controlled atmosphere, proved to be the perfect location for an emergency biggest concern during this whole storm.” medical triage center. The center was organized through a collabora- Enter Rice Athletics Director Chris Del Conte. “I was tive effort among Rice and Memorial Hermann, St. Luke’s, Ben Taub and in a conference call with the Crisis Management Team, Methodist hospitals. About 70 physicians, assistant physicians, nurses and and one of the things that came up was the well,” he said. paramedics who came from the Houston area and as far away as New Jersey, “We needed a massive motor. My first thought was that Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida treated about 250 patients a day, trying to get water must be like trying to get oil, and we most suffering from low-acuity ailments such as bruises, bumps and rashes have a lot of former students working in the oil industry. or needing further information about resources. If anybody knows how to get something from 1,600 feet —Jessica Stark underground, it would be those guys.” Learn more about the Rice triage center by visiting: Del Conte put in a phone call to former football play- › › › tinyurl.com/4m69 v y ers John Huff ’69 and Jay Collins ’68 of Oceaneering International Inc., a Houston company that supplies prod- ucts to the offshore oil and gas industries. Collins succeed- ed Huff as president and CEO of the company in 2006. The former Owls had a 2,500-pound motor as- sembly in Tennessee, and they wasted no time in mak- ing arrangements to get it to Rice. Two members of the Rice University Police Department, Jim Baylor and Niraj Rajbhandari, were dispatched to meet the delivery truck halfway, in Morgan City, La., to escort it to campus. It was installed soon after it arrived. —Mike Williams Photos: Matt Dunaway Disaster Day Camp With power out across much of the Houston area in the wake of Hurricane Ike, Rice coaches and student–athletes offered sports day camps for the Instrument shop worker Terry Phillips, left, and supervisor Carl Riedel children of Rice faculty and staff whose schools were closed. stand with the pump motor that was shipped from Tennessee to Rice by former Rice football players John Huff and Jay Collins of Oceaneering International Inc. Images from the camps can be viewed at: › › › tinyurl.com/4 4tely 8 www.rice.edu/ricemagazine
  • HURRICANE Ike Parents Respond to President’s Messages “We continue to be impressed with Rice’s emergency readiness — actually, we are impressed with everything about Rice and its leadership.” —Margaret Swartz Before, during and after Hurricane Ike, Rice President David Leebron made it a priority to post notices on the university’s Web site to describe the conditions on campus and reassure stu- dents’ parents that their sons and daughters were safe. His efforts were rewarded with a number of grateful e-mail responses from parents. Here is a sampling: “My daughter is a freshman and 1,650 miles away “My wife and I have many friends, family members from home. Your reassuring e-mails and the timely and colleagues in the Houston area. Of all of them, Web site updates, as well as the reports from my “ If our children are our daughter — the Rice student — was the one daughter regarding all the precautions taken, were about whom we had the least worries.” extremely comforting. The sense of community remarkable it is, in part, —Steve Altchuler eased the anxieties both on campus and off.” because they have “We want to thank you and the entire Rice commu- received a remark- —Susan Corkett nity for ensuring the safety and well-being of all Rice “Although I wanted my daughter to come home to Austin as Ike approached, she chose to stay able education at Rice students during this past weekend. Even though our son is living off campus this year, it was so comforting on campus. Between the Rice Web site, your University, both inside to know that he and his roommates were welcome reassuring e-mail messages and cryptic text mes- and expected back at Jones during the storm.” sages from my daughter, I knew during the whole and outside the class- —Ann and Louis Gilbert weekend that she was safe and well cared for. In retrospect, I’m glad she stayed on campus as she room. Thank you for “We live thousands of miles from Houston in the had the opportunity to have a positive growing ex- perience during the hurricane and got to see how a keeping them safe and small country of Serbia. You can only imagine our anxiety as this terrible natural disaster stormed community can work together to protect itself and for instilling in them the through your city and state. I had no way of com- do the right thing.” —Denise C. Fischer importance of coming municating with my son, and the only bright lights in that long night were the constant updates on the to the aid of those less Rice University Web site. Your letters calmed me, a “We know that Rice cares about its students’ well- helpless mother so far away from her child. Thank being more than it does about the university’s rank- fortunate.” you and all the other people at Rice who remained ing, performance and achievement. We appreciate with our children and helped them unconditionally all the devotion you put into the campus.” — Marci Waters and C. J. Steuernagel throughout the storm and its aftermath.” —David and Fen Wang —Zorica Nakic and Boban Zivojinovic Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 9
  • Imagine trying to glean useful information from pro- cesses that take millions of years or from objects so far away they can’t be seen. Welcome to the world — or, rather, the universe — of the astronomer. Sometimes, though, ingenuity can help bridge even interstellar dis- The tances and shed light on the unknown. “Precisely how and when planets form is an open Universe question,” said Rice astronomer Christopher Johns- Krull. “One theory is that the disc-shaped clouds in a Grain of dust around newly formed stars condense into microscopic grains of sand that eventually clump into of Sand pebbles, boulders and whole planets.” Johns-Krull is a member of an international team that analyzed a binary star system using data collected during the past 12 years from a dozen observatories around the world. The team’s findings may help explain how Earthlike planets form. The researchers looked at a pair of stars called KH-15D in the Cone Nebula (image at left). The stars are about 2,400 light-years from Earth, and they are only about 3 million years old, compared to the sun’s 4.5 billion years. But the stars’ youth wasn’t their only important feature. “We were attracted to this system because it ap- pears bright and dim at different times, which is odd,” Johns-Krull said. This hinted at a situation that might allow the researchers to directly observe processes taking place near the stars, which normally is dif- ficult because glare from a star obscures its nearby region. Until now, astronomers have used infrared heat signals, instead of direct observation, to identify microscopic dust particles around distant stars, but the method isn’t precise enough to tell astronomers just how big the particles become and how closely they orbit their star. KH-15D offered a solution. The researchers found that the Earth has a nearly edge-on view of KH-15D. From this perspective, the disc of dust surrounding the system blocks one of the stars from view, but its twin has an eccentric orbit that causes it to rise above the disc at regular intervals. When it rises above the disc, its light reflects off the dust, allowing the researchers to take photometric and spectrographic readings to determine the dust’s composition and chemical makeup. “One theory is that the The results were the first measured evidence of disc-shaped clouds small, sandy particles orbiting a newborn solar system of dust around newly at about the same distance as the Earth orbits the sun. formed stars condense The research was funded by NASA and the Keck into microscopic grains Foundation, and the report was published online in of sand that eventually the journal Nature. clump into pebbles, —Jade Boyd boulders and whole planets.” Nature article: › › › tinyurl.com/ 5ojsv f —Christopher Johns-Krull Animation of KH-15D: › › › tinyurl.com/6c5aaf 10 www.rice.edu/ricemagazine
  • THROUGH THE Sallyport Ron Parry’s favorite destination has a name: It’s called “the middle of nowhere.” Nothing makes the full-time Rice chemistry professor and part- time environmental activist happier than wandering through uncharted wilderness areas. “I don’t really think of it as taking a vacation,” he said. “It’s more like ‘revisiting reality.’” Parry has been exploring those places “least overrun with human artifacts” since the 1960s, but his passion for wilderness areas really began in his early teens. “I grew up in Los Angeles, and we had a big yard with lots of plants and foliage,” he said. “I became fasci- nated by the interplay between science and the natural world.” As he grew older, the self-proclaimed desert rat explored England during his postdoctoral fellowship and spent some time in Costa Rica, but he developed a particular affinity for the rugged terrain and arid environment of the American Southwest. He spends plenty of time in Arizona and Nevada, but, like a true adventurer, he also loves the lure of unexplored territory. He takes the bait as often as possible, usually during a semester or midterm break. In choosing where to go, Parry finds a sufficiently intriguing “vacant area on the map” and heads out. These days, he avoids heavy equipment and backpacks and prefers to use his car as a base camp. Parry has become deft at packing his gear, which usually includes a sleeping bag, food and water, a tent, first aid materials, clothing, a hat, sunscreen, wildlife guidebooks, maps and “something interesting to read.” He got lost once in a little-known section of the Grand A Place Canyon and found his way out — dangerously dehydrat- ed — a day and half later, so he carries a global position- ing system now, too. Parry’s trips usually last for nine or in the Sun 10 days, mostly because it takes him “about three days to slow down.” He also travels alone for the most part. “The key is to pay attention,” he said, “and that’s usually easier to do when you’re by yourself.” Parry may walk 10 miles in a day, but he’s not walking to log distance. Rather, he walks to satisfy his curiosity as he watches the unspoiled world unfold in its daily dance around him. Sometimes, the world surprises him, as it did during a recent trip to 120,000 acres of Arizona wilderness. Parry was resting next to a spring when he spotted something astonishing. The hillside next to him was covered in Native American artwork — drawings of horses, birds and other animals, of humans and deities and cultural symbols. The petroglyphs hadn’t been charted in any guidebook, and that was fine with him: Less publicity means fewer opportunities for vandalism and exploitation. While discoveries like these are exciting, they aren’t the only reasons Parry traverses the unknown. “What I get from these trips is mostly intangible,” Parry said. “It provides perspective, and it allows me to disconnect the electronic umbilical cord. That’s satisfy- ing in its own right.” —Merin Porter Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 11
  • Gift Boosts Biomedical Research Pictured from left are Virginia and L. E. Simmons of the Virginia and L.E. Simmons Family Foundation; David Leebron, president of Rice University; Mark Wallace, president and CEO of Texas Children’s Hospital; and Ron Girotto, president and CEO of the Methodist Hospital System. “The health of nations is more important than commitments this city has ever made toward breakthrough research that will the wealth of nations,” wrote philosopher and help people throughout the world.” Simmons is president and founder historian Will Durant. That may be, but mod- of SCF Partners, an investment firm that provides management expertise to en- ern biomedical research often takes substan- ergy service companies. He also is presi- dent of L.E. Simmons and Associates, a tial financial backing — the kind Rice recently private equity fund manager and general received from the Virginia and L.E. Simmons partner of SCF. He serves as chairman of Oil States International Inc., a leading Family Foundation. global provider of specialty products and services to oil and gas drilling and production companies. Virginia Simmons The $3 million, five-year gift will enable programs that can be sustained by is vice president of the Simmons Family Rice University, Texas Children’s Hospital the National Institutes of Health, the Foundation, which supports religion, art and the Methodist Hospital Research National Science Foundation and other and culture organizations, education, Institute to work together on biomedical sources of competitive funding. and youth and medical associations. —B.J. Almond research aimed at discovering new ways to treat disease and benefit the health of both children and adults. “The future of biomedical research will involve skills and knowledge that “The future of biomedical research will in- draw from highly specialized and volve skills and knowledge that draw from premier institutions,” said L. E. Simmons, highly specialized and premier institutions. president of the Simmons Family In the end, it will be the people working Foundation and a trustee of all three of together who will make the discoveries these Texas Medical Center institutions. that change people’s lives. We want to help “In the end, it will be people working together who will make the discoveries make it happen.” —L. E. Simmons that change people’s lives. We want to help make it happen.” The fund is intended to assist researchers who have new ideas, Simmons said he is excited about junior researchers who do not yet have each of the three institutions’ commit- funding and experienced researchers ment to research. “Collectively, they are Learn more: who might not otherwise collaborate spending nearly a billion dollars on facil- › › › www.rice.edu/go?id= 0 01 with the other institutions. Ideally, ities, equipment and resources to begin the projects supported by the fund new biomedical research,” he said. “It will develop into successful research may well be one of the most important 12 www.rice.edu/ricemagazine
  • THROUGH THE Sallyport Dog Days When Colleen Dutton, director of compensation and employee relations for Rice’s Office of Human Resources, went to look for her copy of the latest Rice a great place to learn is also a great place to work? Magazine, she found her 2-year-old terrier/ Chihuahua, Macy, already relaxing with it Rice’s reputation as a first-rate educational institution has again on the sofa. been complemented by its reputation as a great place to work. For the third year in a row, Rice made the Houston Business Journal’s list of “Houston’s Best Places to Work” in the category of businesses with more than 500 employees. The winners were determined by responses of employees who completed an on- line survey measuring a variety of attributes associated with employee satisfaction and involvement with the workplace. High-Flying Records Rice faculty member and NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson ’86 has broken a few things during her two stints aboard the International Space Station, but nobody is complaining. Whitson, who served as the space station’s first-ever science officer her previous time aloft, broke the gender barrier this past spring as the station’s first female commander. She also broke the record for cumulative time in space for a U.S. astronaut, topping Mike Foale’s previous record of 374 days by two days. In addition, Whitson performed five spacewalks during the most recent expedition, for a total of six career spacewalks encompassing 32 hours, 36 minutes. It’s an out-of-this-world accomplishment that puts her 20th on the all-time list — the highest ranking by a female astronaut. Cyber Sleuth The set of letters written by Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, looked innocuous enough on the auction house Web site. But Lynda Crist immediately smelled a rat. Crist, editor of Rice’s Jefferson Davis Papers project, knew the documents, worth $15,000, actually belonged to Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky., because she had microfilmed them for inclusion in one of the project’s volumes. Among the items were letters and notes written by Davis and his wife, Varina, dated from 1847 to 1898. The documents had gone missing in 1994. After Crist notified Transylvania University of her find, the university contacted the auction house and the police. Eugene Zollman, a Jefferson Davis impersonator who researched documents to make his impressions more authentic, was charged with theft of major artwork. Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 13
  • Next-Gen Wireless When Rice computer scientist Edward Knightly and his graduate stu- dent Joseph Camp began to design and build an experimental wire- less network in 2003, they thought they were working on a model of how broadband wireless Internet might one day be provided to whole cities. Little did they know how far their network would reach. The network they built, centered in East Houston’s working-class may be able to manage chronic conditions more effectively. Pecan Park neighborhood, uses a new technology that is more Lin Zhong, a Rice assistant professor in electrical and comput- efficient and less costly to operate than the Wi-Fi gear currently er engineering, is examining another of the network’s unrealized used in homes and businesses. potentials by laying the foundation for long-term field studies in “We are supporting more than 4,000 users in three square the community. kilometers with a fully programmable custom wireless network,” “My group is interested in how mobile devices like cell said Knightly. “This allows us to dem- phones can provide IT access to under- onstrate our research advances at an served communities,” Zhong said, “par- operational scale.” ticularly when they are coupled with The project has drawn the atten- low-cost wireless broadband networks.” tion of the National Science Foundation, TFA President and CEO Will Reed which recently awarded $1.5 million to said that when his organization first a Rice-led research team for the expan- joined the project, he had no idea that sion of the network and the design it would lead medical researchers, and testing of experimental mobile anthropologists and other researchers systems — and something else: health- to take such a keen interest in Pecan monitoring devices. Collaborating on the Park. “The community isn’t the kind of five-year project are researchers from the well-to-do neighborhood where this Methodist Hospital Research Institute, the type of technology typically would be nonprofit Technology For All (TFA) and Edward Knightly and Joseph Camp rolled out,” he said. “As a result, people the University of Houston’s Abramson are knocking down our door to find out Center for the Future of Health. how our residents are using the network, what they think of it The researchers will examine how patients with chronic and how it’s affecting them.” diseases can use next-generation wireless networks, cell phones —Jade Boyd and health sensors to participate in their own medical treatment. Using sensors, patients with congestive heart failure, asthma or metabolic syndrome will be able to painlessly and noninvasively take stock of several key aspects of their health status on a Learn more: daily basis. For example, an early design, called Blue Box, can › › › www.rice.edu/go?id=002 compare current readings with a patient’s history and provide im- › › › www.techforall.org/tfa_wireless.html mediate, user-friendly feedback. By taking medical readings ev- ery day, rather than only during physician visits or crises, doctors 14 www.rice.edu/ricemagazine
  • THROUGH THE Sallyport U.S. District Judge Rosenthal Joins Rice Board of Trustees U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal has been elected to the Rice University Board of Trustees. She has served the Houston division of the Southern District of Texas since 1992. “Lee Rosenthal has outstanding experience in public service, the high- est stature as a jurist and savvy judgment,” said Jim Crownover ’65, chairman of the Rice Board of Trustees. “Her insight and experience will richly benefit the university and everyone we serve.” In addition to presiding over a busy docket, Rosenthal chairs the Judicial Conference Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, “The community isn’t the kind of well-to-do to which she was appointed in 2007 by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. The neighborhood where this type of technology committee supervises the rule-making typically would be rolled out. As a result, process in the federal courts and over- sees and coordinates the work of the people are knocking down our door to find out Advisory Committees on the Federal Rules of Evidence and of Civil, Criminal, how our residents are using the network, what Bankruptcy and Appellate Procedure. they think of it and how it’s affecting them.” Prior to 2007, Rosenthal was a member, then chair, of the Judicial Conference —Will Reed Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Chief Justice Judge Lee H. Rosenthal William Rehnquist appointed Rosenthal to that committee in 1996 and as chair in 2003. Under Rosenthal’s leadership, the discovery rules were amended to address the impact of changes in information technology in 2006. In 2007, the entire set of civil rules was edited to be clearer and simpler without changing substantive meaning. The work clarifying and simplifying the rules used in the trial courts won the committee the 2007 “Reform in Law” Award from the Burton Awards for Legal Achievement, an award issued with the Library of Congress and the Law Library of Congress. “We are truly fortunate to have Judge Rosenthal as the newest member of our board,” said Rice President David Leebron. “She has a reputation of being a thoughtful, dedicated and decisive leader, and she is widely known as one of the most outstanding judges in the country. Her experience and judgment will be invaluable to Rice as we continue to pursue our high ambitions as an international research university.” The Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists se- lected Rosenthal as trial judge of the year in 2000 and 2006. She has received the Houston Bar Association’s highest bar-poll evaluation for judges three times — in 1999, 2005 and 2007. Rosenthal is a member of the board of editors for the Manual for Complex Litigation, published by the Federal Judicial Center. She is a member of the American Law Institute (ALI) and was recently elected to its council. She serves as an adviser for the ALI’s Aggregate Litigation Project and Rules of Transnational Civil Procedure Project. Rosenthal has several connections to Rice. Her mother, Ferne Hyman, was assistant university librarian at Fondren Library until her retirement in 1999. Her father, Harold M. Hyman, is the William P. Hobby Professor Emeritus of History at Rice. Her husband, Gary Rosenthal, is a member of Leebron’s President’s Advisory Board. Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 15
  • NANO NEWS Today, the hunt is on in earnest for viable alternative fuels to power automobiles. One of the most promising is hydrogen, which is so clean- Tiny burning and abundant that the U.S. Department of Energy has devoted Buckyballs more than $1 billion to developing technologies for hydrogen-powered automobiles. But there is a snag. Because hydrogen is the lightest ele- Squeeze ment in the universe, it is very difficult to store in bulk. It is estimated Hydrogen that a hydrogen-powered car with the range of a gasoline-powered car Like Giant would require a storage system that could hold the element at densities greater than those found in pure liquid hydrogen. That’s a pretty strong Jupiter container, but Rice materials scientists may have found it, and it’s a lot smaller than expected. Buckyball small. Materials scientists at “Based on our calculations, it ap- “These bonds are what make diamond Rice University have pears that some buckyballs are the hardest known substance, and our made the surprising dis- capable of holding volumes of hy- research showed that it takes an enor- covery that buckyballs drogen so dense as to be almost mous amount of internal pressure to are so strong they can metallic,” said lead researcher deform and break the carbon-carbon hold volumes of hydro- Boris Yakobson, professor of bonds in a fullerene.” gen nearly as dense as mechanical engineering and ma- If a feasible way to produce hy- those at the center of terials science at Rice. “It drogen-filled buckyballs is Jupiter. appears they can hold developed, Yakobson said, it about 8 percent of might be possible to store their weight in hy- them as a powder. drogen at room “They will likely temperature, assemble into weak mo- which is consid- lecular crystals or form erably better than a thin powder,” he said. th e fe d e ra l ta r- “They might find use in get of 6 percent.” their whole form or be In layman’s terms, punctured under certain that’s nearly as dense conditions to release pure as the pressures at the hydrogen for fuel cells or oth- center of Jupiter. er types of engines.” Yakobson said scientists have The research, which was support- long argued the merits of stor- ed by the Office of Naval Research and ing hydrogen in tiny molecular the U.S. Department of Energy, ap- containers like buckyballs, and peared on the cover of the American experiments have shown that it’s Chemical Society’s journal Nano possible to store small volumes Letters. of hydrogen inside buckyballs. —Jade Boyd The new research by Yakobson LEARN MORE: and former postdoctoral research- ›› › tinyurl.com/55emea ers Olga Pupysheva and Amir Farajian offers the first method of precisely calculating how much hy- drogen a buckyball can hold before breaking. “Bonds between carbon atoms are among the strongest chemical bonds in nature,” Yakobson said. 16 www.rice.edu/ricemagazine
  • THROUGH THE Sallyport Paper, Plastic or Nano? What do you do when you have a mess? You bag it up suspended in water became encapsu- lated because of the structures’ tendency and throw it away. But some messes — such as an oil to align their carbon ends facing the oil. spill — can’t be disposed of so easily. Or maybe they can. By reversing the conditions — suspending water droplets in oil — the team was able to coax the gold ends to face inward and Meet nanobatons: multisegmented nano- step closer to reality.” encase the water. wires that are made by connecting two The tendency of nanobatons to as- “For oil droplets suspended in water, nanomaterials with different properties. semble in water-oil mixtures derives from the spheres give off a light yellow color Mechanical engineering and materials sci- basic chemistry. The gold end of the wire because of the exposed gold ends,” Ou entist Pulickel Ajayan and his colleagues said. “With water droplets, we observe a were working with one combination dark sphere due to the protruding black — carbon nanotubes that they fused to In a development that nanotubes.” short segments of gold — when they no- could lead to new tech- The team is preparing to test whether ticed something peculiar. The nanobatons chemical modifications to the nanobatons spontaneously assembled by the tens of nologies for cleaning up could result in spheres that can not only millions into spherical sacs as large as oil spills and polluted capture but also break down oily chemi- BB pellets around droplets of oil in wa- groundwater, scientists cals. Another option would be to attach ter. Even better, the researchers found that drugs whose release can be controlled ultraviolet light and magnetic fields could at Rice University have with an external stimulus. be used to flip the nanoparticles, causing shown how tiny, stick- The research, which was supported by the bags to instantly turn inside out and shaped particles of metal Rice University, Applied Materials Inc. and release their cargo. the New York State Foundation for Science, Ajayan says that by adding various oth- and carbon can trap Technology and Innovation, was published er segments — like sections of nickel or oil droplets in water by online in the American Chemical Society’s other materials — the researchers can cre- journal Nano Letters. ate truly multifunctional nanostructures. spontaneously assem- —Jade Boyd “The core of the nanotechnology revolu- bling into bag-like sacs. tion lies in designing inorganic nanopar- ticles that can self-assemble into larger structures like a ‘smart dust’ that performs is water-loving, or hydrophilic, while the L E A R N M O R E : different functions in the world — for ex- carbon end is water-averse, or hydropho- › › › tinyurl.com/5b3n9j ample, cleaning up pollution,” Ajayan said. bic. Ajayan, graduate student Fung Suong “Our approach brings the concept of self- Ou and postdoctoral researcher Shaijumon assembling, functional nanomaterials one Manikoth demonstrated that oil droplets Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 17
  • “Dan has the combination of research, teaching and management skills that will help Rice take another giant step forward in the natural sciences arena.” —David Leebron Dan Carson Carson Appointed Dean of Natural Sciences Dan Carson, currently the Trustees Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Delaware, has been appointed dean of Rice University’s Wiess School of Natural Sciences. He will succeed Kathy Matthews when she relinquishes the Since becoming department chair in 1998, Carson has position Dec. 31 after serving as dean for 10 years. Matthews recruited 17 faculty members and developed a robust research will continue to do research as Rice’s Stewart Memorial program, with external research funding increasing from Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology. $1.5 million to $10 million. His comprehensive revision of “I am thrilled to welcome the graduate program has a gifted scientist like Dan resulted in four times as Carson to Rice’s leadership many graduate students as team,” said President David “We have developed a culture of mutual respect the department enrolled 10 Leebron. “Following in Kathy here. The faculty and staff feel that they can years ago. He also has built Matthews’ footsteps is a express their views, that they will be heard and collaborations with other daunting task, but Dan has biomedical research institu- the combination of research, that things will happen.” tions in the region as well as teaching and management —Dan Carson with the university’s College skills that will help Rice take of Engineering. another giant step forward Carson, who also will in the natural sciences arena. We look to Dan to continue to serve as a professor of biochemistry and cell biology at Rice, drive the research that has made Rice a leader across a broad is a reproductive biologist. His research interests focus on range of endeavors and that will make a difference for our the molecular basis by which mammalian embryos implant students, our university, our city and the world.” into the uterine wall. His work earned him a prestigious At the University of Delaware in Newark, Carson manages National Institutes of Health MERIT Award in 2002. a department with 40 faculty members, 1,000 undergraduate Carson’s wife, Mary C. Farach-Carson, is a professor of majors, 80 graduate students and 24 support staff. Scientist biological sciences and materials sciences at the University of magazine recently named the University of Delaware one of Delaware. She has been appointed associate vice provost for the top places to work in life sciences. research at Rice. The Carsons have four children, the youngest “We have developed a culture of mutual respect here,” of whom will finish high school next year. Carson said. “The faculty and staff feel that they can express their views, that they will be heard and that things —B.J. Almond will happen.” F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N : › › › www.rice.edu/go?id=008 18 www.rice.edu/ricemagazine
  • THROUGH THE Sallyport Space Medicine Webcast from Mt. Everest The International Space Medicine Summit II, held at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, featured panels on space medicine, human performance and solar radiation risks for lunar operations. A highlight was a live videoconference from 17,550 feet on Mount Everest with Dr. Christian Otto, expedition medical lead for the Canadian Mount Everest Medical Operations Expedition 2008. The expedition’s mission is to prepare for emergency medical management on long-duration space missions. VIEW THE WEBCAST HERE : › › › www.rice.edu/go?id= 004 Chip Off the Old Block Parochial Bacterial Viruses Rice University computer engineers have created a way to design Biologists examining ecosystems similar to those that integrated circuits that contain many individual selves. The chips existed on Earth more than 3 billion years ago have made can assume different identities, depending on the user’s needs. a surprising discovery: Viruses that infect bacteria are The new method enables programmers to strategically reconfigure sometimes parochial and unrelated to their counterparts application-specific integrated circuits while preserving advantages in other regions of the globe. such as speed and low power. The chips could be used for en- hanced device security, content provisioning, application metering, L E A R N M O R E : device optimization and many other design tasks. › › › www.rice.edu/go?id= 007 L E A R N M O R E : ››› www.rice.edu/go?id= 005 Single-Molecule Sensing Many of us have difficulty finding our car keys in the morning, so trying to sense a single molecule sounds daunting, no matter what time of day. But don’t try telling that to a group of research- ers at Rice’s Quantum Magnetism Laboratory and Laboratory for Nanophotonics. L E A R N M O R E : ››› www.rice.edu/go?id= 00 3 Chipping Away at Chip Pirates Pirated microchips — chips stolen from legitimate factories or made from stolen blueprints — account for billions of dol- lars in annual losses to chipmakers. But a series of techniques developed at Rice could stop pirates by locking chips with a unique ID tag that can be activated only by the patent-holder — making knockoffs and stolen chips worthless. L E A R N M O R E : › › › www.rice.edu/go?id= 006 Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 19
  • TISSUE ENGINEERING SPOTLIGHT ON TISSUE ENGINEERING Replacing or repairing damaged or diseased tissue with healthy tissue is one of bioengineering’s goals. The results are even better if the healthy tissue is grown from the patient’s own body because that minimizes the risk of rejection. Discoveries by Rice bioengineers may help point the way. “Previous research has shown that carbon nanotubes give added strength to polymer scaffolds, but this is the first study to examine the performance of these materials in an animal model.” —Antonios Mikos Secret Ingredient Aids Bone Growth nanotubes. Nanotubes usually are a thou- sand times longer than they are wide, but the researchers used shorter segments that For much of his career, bioengineer Antonios Mikos has worked with porous, bio- have fared well in prior cytocompatibility degradable materials called scaffolds, which act as patterns and support for the re- studies. growth of bone tissue. With the right chemical and physical cues, bone cells adjacent While there was no notable difference to the scaffold can be coaxed into producing new bone. As the bone grows over the in performance of the two materials at four scaffold, the scaffold degrades, leaving nothing but the new bone. weeks, the nanotube composites exhibited up to threefold greater bone ingrowth after 12 weeks. And surprisingly, at 12 weeks, “Ideally, a scaffold should be highly porous, the composites contained about two-thirds nontoxic and biodegradable, yet strong as much bone tissue as nearby native enough to bear the structural load of the bone, while the straight PPF contained bone that will eventually replace it,” said only about one-fifth as much. Mikos, who is director of Rice’s Center for Mikos said the results indicate that the Excellence in Tissue Engineering. He’s also composites may go beyond being passive the lead researcher for a breakthrough study guides and take an active role in promoting that found that the growing bone can be en- bone growth. The researchers don’t know hanced by sprinkling stick-like nanoparticles why this is, though Mikos postulated that throughout the scaffolding material. changes in surface chemistry, strength or “Previous research has shown that other factors might be responsible. The team carbon nanotubes give added strength to is conducting further studies to find out. polymer scaffolds,” Mikos said, “but this is The research was funded by the the first study to examine the performance National Institutes of Health, the National of these materials in an animal model.” Science Foundation, the Welch Foundation The researchers implanted two kinds and Rice’s J. Evans-Attwell Postdoctoral of scaffolds into rabbits. One type was Fellows Program. made of a biodegradable plastic called —B.J. Almond poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF), which has performed well in previous experiments. L E A R N M O R E : The second was made of 99.5 percent › › › tinyurl.com/5fwcly PPF and 0.5 percent single-walled carbon 20 www.rice.edu/ricemagazine
  • THROUGH THE Sallyport The Pressure Is On ” Rice University graduate student Benjamin Elder displays a disk of cartilage that was grown using a new high-pressure technique. Think of the body’s most important structural element. Bones, right? Not so fast. approach of using unnaturally high pres- Cartilage, the stuff between the bones, is pretty important, too, since it acts as both sure stemmed from insights gained dur- a lubricant and a shock absorber during joint movement. Unfortunately, this damage- ing years of previous experiments. prone tissue can’t heal itself, and injured cartilage often serves as the focal point for “By combining high pressure and growth factors,” Elder said, “we were arthritis formation. able to more than triple the biomechani- cal properties of the cartilage. We’re not Cartilage’s stiffness, strength and other Medicine under Rice and Baylor’s Medical sure why they reinforce one another, but mechanical properties derive not from Scientist Training Program. we do not get the same results when we living cartilage cells but from the densely In the study, Elder took samples of apply them independently.” woven matrix of collagen and proteogly- cartilage from calves’ knees, dissolved the The process results in an engineered can that surrounds them. This extracel- ECM and isolated the living cartilage cells, cartilage with properties nearly identical lular matrix (ECM) is produced during or chondrocytes. The chondrocytes were to that of native cartilage. Even better, cartilage development in children, but used to create tissue-engineered cartilage, the new method, which requires no stem this ability lapses in adulthood. Tissue which was then placed in a chemical bath cells, holds promise for growing tissues engineers have long sought a means of growth factors and sealed inside soft to repair bladders, blood vessels, kidneys, of growing new cartilage that can be plastic containers. The containers were heart valves, bones and more. So far, transplanted into adults, but unfortu- placed inside a pressure chamber and the process has yet to be tested in live nately, cartilage is difficult to engineer, squeezed for an hour a day at pressures animals, and Athanasiou cautions that it in part because it has no natural healing equivalent to those at half a mile beneath will be several years before the process is processes to mimic. the ocean’s surface. ready for clinical testing in humans. Rice bioengineer Kyriacos Athanasiou, “Our knees are filled with fluid, and —Jade Boyd whose Musculoskeletal Bioengineering when we walk or run, the hydrostatic Laboratory has focused on cartilage for pressure on the cartilage cells in the knee L E A R N M O R E : more than 10 years, might have found a approaches the pressures we used in our › › › tinyurl.com/4u57pt way around that by applying a little pres- experiments,” Elder said. “But in daily sure. Actually, a lot of pressure. The new activities, these pressures are fleeting, just findings are based on three years of data a second or so at a time.” collected by graduate student Benjamin Most of the prevailing strategies in Elder, who is simultaneously earning a tissue engineering attempt to reproduce doctorate in bioengineering at Rice and the conditions that cells experience in the a medical degree at Baylor College of body. Athanasiou said the unconventional Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 21
  • A New Catalyst for Students Rice undergrads are well known for their brains and work ethic, and at Rice, they have plenty of opportunities to work side by side with researchers and graduate students in laboratories across campus. Can a student-produced science journal be far behind? Meet Catalyst: Rice Undergraduate Science Review, dedicated to highlighting and encouraging the undergraduate research experience at Rice. For a Q&A with Catalyst’s founders, visit: › ›› www.rice.edu/go?id=009 Catalyst on the Web: › ›› catalyst.rice.edu To inquire about receiving copies of Catalyst, e-mail: › ›› catalyst@rice.edu Catalyst editors, from left: Yohan Moon, Patricia Bacalao, Ye Jin Kang, Lisa Sun and David Ouyang. The Class of 2008 Rice’s 95th graduating class included 732 undergraduates, 22 undergraduate professionals and 686 graduate students. The largest number of doctoral degrees — 186 — were conferred, and a number of students graduated with multi- ple degrees, bringing the total number of degrees awarded to 1,490. 22 www.rice.edu/ricemagazine
  • Students CC Caroline Collective Debuts in the Museum District Imagine a cafelike collaborative space for developers, writers and independents looking for an alternative to the traditional working office. Rice University graduate students Ned Dodington and Matthew Wettergreen did and, this summer, they launched Houston’s first creative coworking space. Located at 4820 Caroline St. and dubbed Caroline Collective, technical communities. As the global marketplace continues to the coworking space is Houston’s first, although similar opera- free professionals from a physical location, more and more peo- tions already are successful in San Francisco, Philadelphia, Paris, ple work either as “digital nomads” or from their home offices. Vancouver, Milan and Buenos Aires. However, many professionals still desire the amenities an office “The coworking movement strives to combine the relaxed working environment of the home office with a dynamic social atmosphere.” —Ned Dodington “The coworking movement strives to combine the relaxed can provide, like conference rooms, networking opportunities, working environment of the home office with a dynamic social collegial conversations and free Wi-Fi. atmosphere,” Dodington said. “The model encourages the free With the help and support of business partners and Wulfe flow of projects and ideas and is founded on the belief that work- Urban developers Jeff Kaplan and Adam Brackman, Wettergreen ing together is working smarter.” and Dodington secured a 6,000-square-foot space in Houston’s Dodington and Wettergreen’s idea to create a coworking eclectic Museum District, making Caroline Collective one of the space in Houston met with interest from the city’s creative and largest coworking spaces worldwide to date. —Jessica Stark For more information on Caroline Collective, visit: › › › carolinecollective.cc Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 23
  • LynnElsenhans 24 www.rice.edu/ricemagazine
  • By Christopher Dow • Photographs by Tommy LaVergne You’d think that Lynn Laverty Elsenhans ’78 might be ready to retire after serving at nearly every executive level in Royal Dutch Shell during her 28-year career there. But Elsenhans isn’t the retiring sort. Beginning this summer, she’s taking on fresh challenges as CEO and president of Sunoco — and as the first woman to lead a major oil company. It seems like every one of Elsenhans’ experiences has led her nearby Deer Park refinery, she had assignments in virtually every to this destination. Her father spent his career in a variety of re- aspect of the company’s downstream business. In 1999, she was search and marketing jobs for Exxon USA, and his work kept the made president and CEO of Shell Oil Products East, based in family moving between metropolitan New York and Houston. All Singapore. Since then, she has served co-currently as president of the moving taught Elsenhans to be adaptable, and her exposure Shell Oil Company and president and CEO of Shell Oil Products to various high school curricula helped balance her academic U.S. and, most recently, as executive vice president of global strengths. When it came time to investigate colleges, she was manufacturing for Royal Dutch Shell. immediately attracted to Rice because of its reputation in math, It’s an enviable career trajectory made even more remarkable engineering and the sciences. by the fact that it occurred in an environment that has not always Elsenhans embraced every aspect of life at Rice. She played been encouraging to women. “When I first started, there weren’t on the school’s first women’s intercollegiate basketball team; many women in the industry, and women’s credibility was very she was in the Marching Owl Band; she was elected to student much questioned,” Elsenhans said. Much has changed since the government; she was the sports editor for The Thresher; and she early 1980s, thanks, at least in part, to Elsenhans’ success. As she was a student representative on the Examinations and Standings rose in the corporate hierarchy, she made a concerted effort to Committee. Yet somehow, she still managed to find time to excel pave the way for women who followed by mentoring them and in school and become social in a way she’d never been. “For me, helping establish women’s networking opportunities within Shell. it was the total experience, both inside and outside the class- This year, however, Elsenhans hit a ceiling that was geo- room,” she said. “It was absolutely excellent for me.” graphic rather than glass. The only place left to go within Shell There also were glimmers of the kind of success she would was to the company’s European headquarters, and for family later achieve. “People listened carefully when she spoke,” said reasons, she and her husband, John ’74, wanted to remain in Ronald Stebbings, who was master of Jones College when the United States. Facing retirement, even if she wasn’t ready to Elsenhans was there. “She gathered her thoughts and had some- retire, she was asked to take the helm of Sunoco. thing useful to say.” “It’s a really good fit for me,” Elsenhans said. “I worked for After leaving Rice, Elsenhans went straight to Harvard 28 years in the downstream part of the oil business — oil and Business School. By the time she finished, she was more than chemical products — and that’s what Sunoco does.” It also was ready to make the leap into the work world. “It sounds corny, but good from a personal standpoint because the company’s head- it really mattered to me to work for something that made a differ- quarters are in Philadelphia, which allows the Elsenhanses to ence,” she said. “I couldn’t think of anything that had more of an remain close to John’s mother, who lives in the Northeast. impact on our society than energy.” Elsenhans assumed her new role in August, but she gra- During her tenure at Shell, Elsenhans steadily increased ciously took a little time to talk to Rice Magazine about energy, her authority and responsibility. After starting her career at the women in the corporate world, leadership and, of course, her company’s U.S. headquarters in Houston and then moving to the favorite university. Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 25
  • Lynn Elsenhans QA Rice Magazine: Energy is one of the most & time, as the economy improves, we may, in fact, Rice Magazine: What are the issues that important issues of our day. What is your projec- see a shortfall of product, giving us the double politicians may be unwilling to face? tion for the oil and gas industry in the mid- to long whammy of high crude oil prices plus tightness term? of product creating a tremendous increase in the Lynn Elsenhans: The first one has to do price of the products. There will be a fair amount with energy conservation, which is a combination Lynn Elsenhans: We’re all concerned about of volatility, but that volatility will be around a of better energy efficiency and changes in behav- the price of energy, particularly gasoline, be- generally high price, so I don’t foresee consumer ior in the way people use the products. While ing driven up by high oil prices. A lot of people prices coming down in any dramatic way. some of that happens naturally as the prices go don’t recognize that downstream oil companies The other piece of the industry makes petro- up, there clearly are ways to encourage people like Sunoco do refining but not drilling and don’t chemicals: base chemical feedstocks for plastics to use energy more efficiently. But as a nation, benefit from the high price of oil. They’ve been and other chemical products. I don’t see a very we haven’t invested enough in new technologies put in a bind, too. Energy usage typically follows good picture in this part of the business for that will make energy usage far more efficient economic activity, and because the economy is North American producers unless they are the than it is now. sluggish and product prices are high, people are most competitive and efficient producers. In the The second has to do with supply. Biofuels changing their behavior in the way they drive past, the industry depended on exporting chemi- are part of the answer, but they aren’t a complete and heat their homes. Product demand has been cal products, but the new capacity being built in solution, and they make sense only if they are down dramatically. At the same time, supplies the Asia–Pacific region, where the big demand not driving up the cost of food. Sunoco doesn’t are getting quite loose because of ethanol and drill for oil and gas, but for those companies that for the products is, will push those exports back other biofuels mandates. We also have refinery do, there needs to be more access. That includes into the U.S. I predict that some refineries and expansions coming on-stream. All of those fac- drilling in wildlife preserves, in Alaska and off- petrochemical facilities will need to shut down. tors really squeeze the margin for downstream shore. I don’t understand why we would deprive That’s a tough call for those businesses, and it’s a producers like Sunoco and make it quite difficult ourselves of a secure supply based here in this tough outcome for the communities where those to make money. That surprises most people, country and continue to depend on parts of the plants are located. who think that oil companies are making tons of world that aren’t necessarily friendly to our coun- money. The companies that produce oil and gas try. The industry knows how to produce oil and are making a lot of money, but the downstream Rice Magazine: What challenge are you gas in a very responsible way with a minimum companies aren’t. least looking forward to as Sunoco’s president and footprint on the environment, and as a country, There are really two pieces to the down- CEO? we have to let them do that. stream oil industry. One is the manufacture of oil products, such as gasoline and other fuels. Right Lynn Elsenhans: I’m not looking forward Rice Magazine: Can America eventually do now, nearby, non-OPEC sources of supply, such to dealing with those politicians who are looking without foreign oil? as those in Mexico, are not producing as much to paint the industry as villains. Sometimes I get as in the recent past, at a time when demand for the impression that, for political reasons — mean- Lynn Elsenhans: In a word, no. Our appetite crude in developing economies is soaring. That’s ing what they perceive it takes to get re-elected for oil is well beyond our ability to produce it from part of the reason the price of crude oil is go- — they don’t really want to understand what our supplies just from the United States, or even from ing up. In the short to medium term, there will country’s energy challenges are and don’t have the North America as a whole. In the very long term, be tremendous pressure on product prices to go will to do the kinds of things that need to be done we might become less dependent than we are up even if the economic environment is not par- for sound energy policy. It can be frustrating to try today as other forms of energy come on-stream. ticularly good for the companies that make those to get our story out, and that’s compounded by Biofuels are a part of a mix that will help extend products. That will tend to lessen the amount considerable distrust of the industry and almost a the life of liquid fuels, but there’s only so much cel- of investment in that part of the business. Over tuning out of what the industry has to say. lulose and waste plant matter that you’re going to 26 www.rice.edu/ricemagazine
  • “One of the hardest lessons for me to learn as a leader was the need to give up being right. If you’re always advocating your position, you aren’t being open to the ideas of others.” —Lynn Elsenhans be able to turn into fuel without affecting the food Rice Magazine: What are the qualities of fantastic, and the Taj is just amazing. And I love supply and impacting the CO2 balance through de- effective leadership? Italy. There’s probably no place in Italy I’ve been forestation. There’s been a lot of talk about hydro- that I didn’t think was just fabulous. gen and hydrogen fuel cells, but that has its own Lynn Elsenhans: The critical thing I tell problems. Where do we get the hydrogen? A main people is to be yourself. Authenticity is incred- Rice Magazine: You’re a member of the solution will be electrification. Predominantly, in ibly important, and if you’re trying to be some- Rice Board of Trustees, and you’re also a major the large scale, it’ll have to be nuclear generated. one you’re not, people see that, and it’s the kiss contributor to scholarship funds as well as to the Wind and solar are great, but they’re not going to of death. Being self-aware also is important. rebuilding of Autry Court. Why is this phenomenal be enough to make a significant difference, though Understanding the impact you have on others level of service to the university important to you? they’re part of the mix. and being open to feedback. One of the hardest lessons for me to learn as a leader was the need Lynn Elsenhans: I have a tremendous pas- Rice Magazine: When you started in the to give up being right. If you’re always advocating sion and deep love for Rice. I had a fantastic experi- industry, it was unheard of for a woman to reach your position, you aren’t being open to the ideas ence here as a student. It prepared me extremely well of others. Beyond that, a leader has to be more and is a part of my success. I still have relationships the level of president and CEO. Is the glass ceiling positive than negative and have a vision for the fu- with many of the people I met here. A way for me being broken or just cracked? ture and a belief that things can be better. People to give back to Rice is to contribute my time and my need a reason to believe and hope, and they will money. I was fortunate enough to be asked to be a Lynn Elsenhans: Women in all kinds of not follow a leader who doesn’t have the view that trustee, and I’ve really enjoyed it. The Rice Board is a fields have opportunities for leadership that tremendous group of dedicated and capable people. tomorrow will be better than today. didn’t exist when I started working. In the In terms of my personal giving, I try to stay tuned energy industry, I cannot think of a role that Rice Magazine: Some people define suc- to what the university needs, and one of the things women don’t participate in, so I think the op- cess by how far they rise and how much money we’re trying to do is expand undergraduate enroll- portunities are out there. The numbers would they make. How do you define success? ment while maintaining the exceptional quality of the suggest, however, that it’s still difficult for students. A big part of our ability to attract students women to get to the highest levels, and one of Lynn Elsenhans: How much of a difference is scholarships, so that’s one of my concentrations. the difficulties is in the ways people interrelate. I can make to people’s lives. On the personal side, Also, I was approached by Athletics Director Chris Research shows that women leaders tend to it’s: Who loves you? Who do you love? Del Conte to give to Autry Court. I was convinced be either competent or liked, but rarely both, because I believe that having students of high aca- and that’s a double bind. People don’t tend to Rice Magazine: You’ve lived in a lot of demic achievement who have the ability and drive to trust people they don’t like, and it’s very hard countries and traveled extensively. What are some compete in Division I is one of the things that sets in business to lead if there isn’t mutual trust of your favorite places and why? Rice apart. I’ve participated in sports throughout my life, and respect. It’s also difficult to go forward in Lynn Elsenhans: I really like Indonesia. and it’s a big part of who I am. In fact, one thing I tell a company if you’re not considered competent. The Indonesian people are incredibly friendly, wel- anyone — women, especially — who is interested in As society gets more comfortable with the no- going into business and being in leadership is to play a coming and gentle, and the colors, music and art tion that women can be tough when there’s a are quite interesting and exciting. Bali really is a team sport. You learn a lot about yourself and what it reason to get tough, as well as taking the more magical place. Another place that I think is magi- means to interrelate with people and to work toward traditional supportive role, it will tend to make cal is the Rajasthan region in India. It’s where the a common objective at the highest levels when you it easier for women to have top jobs and break Taj Mahal is, and it’s the area of India where the play on a good sports team. Being able to give toward that glass ceiling. There have been inroads, but Mughal Empire had trade routes from Pakistan the women’s basketball locker room in Autry was a I don’t think we’re there yet. down into India. Again, the food, colors and art are small way for me to help keep that alive at Rice. Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 27
  • 28 www.rice.edu/ricemagazine
  • g By Jade Boyd and Christopher Dow Cra kin c AND OTHER EARTHY MATTERS The past few years have witnessed a number of devastating earthquakes, such as the Great Sumatra-Andaman earthquake in 2004 that generated tsunamis as high as 100 feet, shook the planet by as much as 1 centimeter and triggered other earthquakes as far away as Alaska. That earthquake and others — more recently, several that hit China — have caused billions of dollars in damage and widespread loss of life. While most occurred in Asia, few places are immune. Tremblors have been felt in the United States — not just in expected locales such as California and Alaska, but also in the Midwest. We may not be able to control cataclysmic earth events, but understanding them can lead to prediction that could minimize their impacts. Rice Earth scientists and others have made some headway toward deciphering how and why earthquakes and volcanic activity take place, and one may just have found a way to predict when a quake is imminent. Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 29
  • Continental Staying Power “Weathering occurs in just the top solid planet would respond.” few meters or so of the Earth’s crust, and Lenardic said the research team Continents seem so substantial that it’s it’s driven by the hydrosphere, the water wanted to better understand the differ- easy to forget they’re simply big chunks that moves between the air, land and ences between the Earth and Venus and of rock floating around on the Earth’s oceans,” Lee said. “It appears that our establish the potential range of conditions viscous mantle. The movement can lead planet has continents because we have an that could exist on Earth-like planets in to earthquakes, but other processes active hydrosphere — if we want to find the solar system and elsewhere in the also are at work. Geologists know, for a hydrosphere on distant planets, perhaps universe. The findings may explain why example, that continents have come and we should look for continents.” Venus evolved differently from Earth. gone during the Earth’s 4.5 billion years. The two planets are close in size and As of now, however, there are more Too Hot to Move geological makeup, but Venus’ carbon theories than hard data about some of dioxide–rich atmosphere is almost 100 the key processes that govern continents’ The planet Venus provides evidence for times more dense than the Earth’s and lives. Lee’s hypothesis. Venus’ surface, which acts like a blanket. As a result, Venus’ One thing we do know is that con- shows no outward signs of tectonic surface temperature is hotter than that of tinents ride higher than oceans. This is activity, is bone dry. It also is heavily even Mercury, which is only half as far partly because the Earth’s crust is thicker scarred with volcanoes. Scientists have from the sun. beneath continents than it is beneath long believed that Venus’ crust, lacking The team discovered that Earth’s oceans. It also is the result of the conti- water to help lubricate tectonic plate plate tectonics could become unstable nents losing their magnesium and calcium boundaries, is too rigid for active plate if the surface temperature rose by 100 to the oceans, leaving behind lighter, tectonics. But Rice Earth scientist Adrian degrees Fahrenheit or more for a few silicon-rich rock that is buoyed up by the Lenardic thinks something else might be million years. denser rock beneath the Earth’s crust. at work there. “The time period and the rise in Rice geologist Cin-Ty Lee always Conventional wisdom holds that plate temperatures, while drastic for humans, assumed that processes deep within tectonics is both stable and self-correcting are not unreasonable on a geologic the Earth accounted for most of the and that the stresses generated by a scale, particularly compared to what magnesium loss. One of these pro- flowing mantle help keep tectonic plates scientists previously thought would be required to affect a planet’s geodynam- ics,” Lenardic said. The research team wanted to better understand the differences One of the most significant findings in the new study is that the atmospheric heating needed to shut down plate tec- between the Earth and Venus and establish the potential range tonics is considerably less than the critical temperature beyond which free water of conditions that could exist on Earth-like planets in the solar could exist on Earth’s surface. “The water doesn’t have to boil away for irrevocable heating to occur,” Lenardic system and elsewhere in the universe. The findings may explain said. “The cycle of heating can be kicked off long before that happens.” why Venus evolved differently from Earth. The researchers also found that a spike in volcanic activity could accom- pany the initial locking of the tectonic plates. This might explain the large per- cesses is delamination, in which dense, in motion. But that view relies on the as- centage of volcanic plains that are present magnesium-rich magma wells up beneath sumption that excess heat from a planet’s on Venus. continent-feeding volcanoes then ulti- mantle can efficiently escape through the mately sinks back into the Earth’s interior. crust. Lenardic has recently completed a Targeting a Tsunami Zone Lee already had learned from previous study that suggests a planet’s mantle can research that about 40 percent of the become less viscous if it heats up. In fact, Volcanoes generally seem innocuous magnesium in basaltic magma was lost prolonged heating of a planet’s crust via compared with the devastating shakings to delamination, but a bit of laboratory rising atmospheric temperatures can shut that emanate from subduction zones — serendipity made him take a closer look. down plate tectonics and cause a planet’s places where one tectonic plate slides In measuring the lithium content crust to lock in place. beneath another and recycles back into of the granitic rocks, Lee noticed that “The heat required is far more than the Earth’s molten mantle. lithium tends to behave like magnesium, anything we expect from human-induced Earthquakes often occur in and he realized he could use lithium as climate change,” Lenardic said, “but subduction zones when plates that a proxy to find out how much magne- things like volcanic activity and changes normally move smoothly across one sium continents had lost due to chemical in the sun’s luminosity could lead to this another lock, causing stress to build. weathering. He was surprised to find that level of heating. Our goal was to establish When the lock breaks and the plates chemical weathering alone accounted for an upper limit of naturally generated jolt past each other, the sudden re- 20 percent of the magnesium loss. climate variation beyond which the entire lease causes the earth to shake. If the 30 www.rice.edu/ricemagazine
  • shock occurs beneath the sea floor, it U.S. Geological Survey has been collect- rock. Detecting stress changes before an can create a tsunami. ing seismic data for almost 40 years. Niu earthquake has been the Holy Grail of One infamous subduction zone, the and his colleagues set up shop there, at earthquake seismology. Only recently, Nankai Trough, located on the floor of the San Andreas Fault Observatory at however, has technology improved suf- the Pacific Ocean about 100 miles from Depth, a deep well seismologists use to ficiently to make the necessary precision Kobe, Japan, has been responsible for make direct measurements of the fault. and reliability possible. numerous earthquakes and tsunamis and “Almost everything we know about In analyzing the data from the new likely will cause more. the deep interior structure of the Earth sensors, Niu and his colleagues found The morphology of the Nankai comes from seismic waves, the elas- that a distinct change occurred in the Trough interests Rice Earth scientist Dale Sawyer, who was part of an international team that spent eight weeks aboard the new scientific drilling vessel Chikyu col- Changes in the rock structure are critical for predicting earth- quakes. When rocks are compressed, the stress forces air out lecting data on a particularly troublesome zone deep beneath the trough. “Earthquakes don’t nucleate just anywhere,” Sawyer said. “While the slip zone for quakes in this region may be of tiny cracks, causing seismic waves to travel slightly faster hundreds of kilometers long and tens of kilometers deep, the initiation point of the big quakes is often just 5 to 6 through the rock. Detecting stress changes before an earthquake kilometers below the seafloor. We want to know why.” has been the Holy Grail of earthquake seismology. The drilling done by Sawyer and colleagues marked the beginning of a massive project dubbed the Nankai tic waves of energy that are released rock before each of the minor Parkfield- Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment. during earthquakes,” said Niu, whose area earthquakes during the test period. The project is organized by the Integrated work has earned a prestigious Early A measurable change preceded a magni- Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), an CAREER Development Award from the tude 3 quake by 10 hours. This was the international scientific research program National Science Foundation’s EarthScope largest local event during the observation dedicated to advancing scientific under- Program. period. A smaller but closer magnitude 1 standing of the Earth by monitoring and Today’s state-of-the-art earthquake temblor five days later was preceded by a sampling subseafloor environments. In warning systems give only a few seconds’ signal about two hours before the quake. addition to drilling across the fault in the warning before a quake strikes. These “We’re working with colleagues in Nankai Trough, the scientists also hope systems detect P-waves, the fastest- China and Japan on follow-up studies to to sample the rocks and fluids inside the moving seismic waves released during determine whether this physical response fault, and they want to place instruments a quake. Like a flash of lightning that can be measured in other seismically within the fault zone to monitor activity arrives before a clap of thunder, P-waves active regions,” Niu said. “Provided the and conditions leading up to the next precede slower-moving but more destruc- effect is pervasive, we still need to learn great earthquake. tive waves. more about the timing of the signals if Sawyer said scientists with IODP In an attempt to obtain readings that we are to reliably use them to warn of plan to return to the Nankai Trough each would give warning much further in impending quakes.” year through 2012, with the ultimate advance of the event itself, Niu and his The study’s other co-authors goal of drilling a six-kilometer-deep well colleagues employed precision instru- include Paul Silver of the Carnegie to explore the region where the quakes ments built by collaborators at Lawrence Institution for Science’s Department of originate. If they succeed, the well will be Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). Terrestrial Magnetism, Rice graduate more than three times deeper than previ- These sensors can measure the minute student Xin Cheng and LBNL scien- ous wells drilled by scientific drill ships, changes in the time — sometimes just tists Tom Daley and Ernest Majer. The and it will provide the first direct data tens of billionths of a second — that it research was supported by the National from this geological region. takes seismic waves to travel through Science Foundation, Rice, the Carnegie the rock along a fixed pathway beneath Institution and LBNL, and it appeared in Seeking Seismic Signs Parkfield. The instruments are so sensi- the journal Nature. tive that, although they were more than Rice seismologist Fenglin Niu and his half a mile below ground, they could colleaques have used a similar well in measure fluctuations in air pressure at California to uncover information that the Earth’s surface. could change quake prediction forever. Changes in the rock structure are The famed San Andreas fault runs critical for predicting earthquakes. When through San Francisco and around Los rocks are compressed, the stress forces Angeles, and about halfway between the air out of tiny cracks, causing seismic cities lies the town of Parkfield, where the waves to travel slightly faster through the Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 31
  • HistoricBuilding With its largest-ever freshman class and the continuation of its green-friendly building campaign, Rice University is making history in more ways than one. “The ‘John and Anne’ Grove” spreads its peaceful beauty near the south colleges, vegetated roofs are sprouting up across campus, and the new 103,000-square-foot David and Barbara Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center is taking shape. Across campus, the excitement is building. 32 www.rice.edu/ricemagazine
  • A Grovey Kind of Love It may have culminated this summer with a revitalized green space near the south colleges, but it started with romance. In April 2006, a million-dollar gift from John ’63 and Anne d’Olier Mullen ’64 through the Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund financed the beautification of the quadrangle bordered by Rice’s inner loop on the north, Sid Richardson College on the south, Baker and Will Rice Colleges on the east, and Hanszen College on the west. Filled with formal rows of cedar elm and live oak trees and appropriately called “The ‘John and Anne’ Grove,” it is where the Mullens met and where their friendship evolved into true love. “I first noticed Anne when she walked out of the grove into the Hanszen quad in fall 1960,” John said. “We soon became close friends, and one of our favorite places to talk was up in the branches of Rice’s majestic oaks. This gift is to all the other Johns and Annes who will meet on the Rice campus and form enduring friendships.” Over the years, the grove began to suffer from poor drain- age and mosquitoes, and students gradually began seeking other places to gather. “This is an area that has been underdeveloped and a little bit ignored,” said Facilities, Engineering and Planning (FE&P) Project Manager Larry Vossler, “so the Mullens wanted to do something to give back.” During the renovation, FE&P tackled the grove’s problem of standing water by installing new drains. They also replaced the concrete sidewalks with decomposed granite paths, which now extend down the center of “The ‘John and Anne’ Grove” and along its edges. FE&P chose to use the permeable granite material to help safeguard the health of the existing trees, some of which were planted in the 1930s. “With the age and beauty of the Grove, we wanted to do ev- erything possible to ensure that the trees continue to flourish,” Vossler said. “Decomposed granite is better for the trees’ roots, since it lets air and water get through.” Over the years, a few of the original trees had become diseased and were removed. FE&P replaced them with six cedar elms and four live oaks — in addition to planting a number of crepe myrtles alongside Will Rice and Hanszen Colleges — and the pervious paths will benefit them as well. St. Augustine grass was planted on either side of the center path. Seating has not yet been placed in the area, but FE&P has turned to south college residents for input regarding their prefer- ences. No decisions have been made, but the students are leaning toward picnic tables or benches with backs in hopes of using the grove as a peaceful place to eat, study or converse with friends. “Our goal was to turn ‘ The “John and Anne” Grove’ into a more accessible oasis for relaxation and recreation,” said Vossler. “I’d say we’re there.” —Merin Porter Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 33
  • Building for a Healthy Mind and Healthy Body Rice University students already are adept in the gym- nastics of the mind: Soon they’ll have a new place to master the athletic pursuits of the body. Scheduled to open in August 2009, the David and Barbara Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center will offer state-of-the- art workout and health facilities and will house everything from competitive swimming and billiards to nutritional coun- seling and meditative classroom space. Rice broke ground on the two-story, 103,000-square-foot building on April 22. Upon its completion, the Rice Wellness Center will relo- cate from its current location next to Brown College. The Recreation and Wellness Center’s $41 million price tag will be funded solely through philanthropy. “We are particularly grateful to David and Barbara Gibbs for making the lead gift for this historic project,” said President David Leebron. “We also want to thank Ralph O’Connor and Carl Isgren for their generous gifts.” 34 www.rice.edu/ricemagazine
  • Taking the Heat limit damage from hailstorms and provide a habitat for songbirds and other native animals and insects. “As vegetated green roofs cover our buildings, we’ll reduce our en- As rooftop gardens grow, energy usage shrinks ergy consumption, our flooding and even the outdoor temperatures in summertime,” said Director of Sustainability Richard Johnson. “At the Most roofs are built to keep water out, but the green roof same time, we’ll have helped restore ecosystems disrupted by human slated for several new Rice buildings will actually drink development. That’s a future I think we can all get excited about.” it in. That’s because the roof — which recently debuted The landscape of today’s green roofs varies from utilitarian over the South Plant’s electrical room and will also be stretches of grass to elaborate elevated parks, and Rice is experi- added to Duncan College, the Collaborative Research menting with different plant species to determine which perform best Center and the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen — is in Houston’s scorching rooftop environment. The lessons learned atop Rice’s newest buildings will help others in the Houston area choose actually a garden. optimal plantings for their vegetated roofs, which is exactly what The roof employs low-maintenance vegetation that is planted in a Johnson is anticipating. special growing medium, which sits on layers of drainage and aera- “My hope is that when someone flies over Houston in an airplane tion material, insulation, roofing membrane and structural support. 10 years from now, they’ll be able to look down at all the native land- The vegetated roof’s exceptional insulating powers will help reduce scape on our rooftops and wonder where all the buildings went.” the buildings’ energy consumption, minimize storm-water runoff, —Merin Porter and Susann Glenn Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 35
  • RSGBI Green as Grassroots
  • The Rice Student Green Building Initiative may have started small, but it has big plans for sustainable construction on campus. By Merin Porter An odd thing happened in autumn 2006: Despite the changing weather and the natu- ral push toward dormancy, something green grew. It was a tiny seed of an idea planted in the fertile soil of junior Stephanie Squibb’s mind. It grew along with Rice University’s Vision for the Second Century plan for a mil- lion square feet of new campus construction, until finally, it flourished into the Rice Student Green Building Initiative (RSGBI), a conscien- tious campus club that gives students the op- portunity to help build grassroots awareness of and interest in environmentally friendly building techniques. Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 37
  • [ Stephanie Squibb • Niki vonHedemann • Sabina Bharwani ] “When you take three young women like these and give them a fairly simple project, they find ways to increase the scope of the project. They get ambitious.” —Richard Johnson “As an architecture student, I have been progressively interested to do is build grassroots awareness and support among Rice in environmental and sustainable issues,” said Squibb. Her focus students and those faculty members serving as college masters, on “green” architecture began when she was a student in the who were very important in helping decide what was planned spring 2006 Environmental Studies class co-taught by Director for the new colleges.” of Sustainability Richard Johnson and Professor Paul Harcombe, who has since retired. As part of a team assigned to research Expertise on Tap green options for a Jones College restroom renovation project scheduled for that summer, Squibb and classmates Niki vonHe- Despite the larger scope of the LEED initiative, Squibb, vonHe- demann ’08 and Sabina Bharwani ’07 explored the Leadership in demann and Bharwani hadn’t forgotten about the Jones College Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating restroom renovation project. Johnson and Harcombe connected System, a U.S. Green Building Council program that provides a the students with FE&P Project Manager Ken Thompson, who benchmark for the design, construction and operation of envi- asked for the students’ input regarding new faucets. His criteria ronmentally friendly buildings. were that the faucets have a single handle and input line and What these incredibly bright students did next came as no be well made, ADA compliant and within the price range of surprise to Johnson. $125 and $130. As a result of the students’ recommendation, “When you take three young women like these and give Thompson chose a more efficient faucet than the one originally them a fairly simple project,” he said, “they find ways to increase under consideration — reducing Jones College’s water usage by the scope of the project. They get ambitious.” around 175,000 gallons per year and saving the university ap- The women compiled their research into a PowerPoint proximately $1,200 annually. presentation and began showing it to friends, as well as to the “The purpose of this project was to minimize the lifetime presidents of Rice’s residential colleges. Before long, they were ecological footprints of the products and replacements in as showing it to Rice’s college masters, too. many ways as possible,” Squibb said, adding that the students “They attended a meeting of all the college masters and got also suggested that the old sinks and fixtures be reused or re- them to recommend that the new residential colleges, which at cycled instead of being thrown away. As a result, the sinks were that point were just dreams, be ‘green’ buildings,” said Johnson. donated to a local Habitat for Humanity supply store, and the Recognizing that the grassroots effort had legs, he and Harcombe metal fixtures were recycled as scrap. invited Associate Vice President of Facilities, Engineering and Squibb calls her experiences eye-opening. Planning (FE&P) Barbara White Bryson and Vice President for “I began to recognize the level of student interest in green Administration Kevin Kirby to attend the students’ final class building and the potential opportunities for connecting students presentation on green building. After the presentation, something with green building efforts and education on campus,” she said. special happened: Bryson and Kirby stood up and announced to “I felt that a student group on campus that embraced that focus the class that Rice would build not only the new residential col- and was acknowledged by the Student Association would be leges according to LEED standards, but all other future campus beneficial.” structures as well. Squibb decided to complete independent study courses on “Of course, that’s not the kind of decision you just pull out sustainable building practices throughout her senior year, during of a hat, so clearly they had been talking about this already,” which Johnson and Harcombe encouraged her to pursue her said Johnson. “But what Stephanie, Niki and Sabina were able idea of organizing the RSGBI. The club held its first meeting in 38 www.rice.edu/ricemagazine
  • “I feel that sustainable issues surround us at all levels. The RSGBI allows students to be involved in these decisions and encourages them to help shape the future.” —Stephanie Squibb December 2006, and Squibb offered an introduction to the 10 or training materials. The students who took and passed the LEED so students who attended. for New Construction Professional Accreditation exam before “I explained that the group was a great way to learn about the end of the semester enjoyed the financial support of Rice’s sustainable issues, network with architects and engineers within schools of architecture and engineering, the director of sustain- the community and become more involved with design decisions ability and local architecture firms. This support covered half of made about the buildings on campus,” Squibb said. She also the $300 exam fee for each student who passed the exam. Tseng discussed ways in which the organization would allow students noted that several students have expressed interest in taking the to be involved in sustainable issues. These included education class next year, which not only means that it will need additional through guest speakers and organized tours, engagement and sources of funding, but also indicates that its popularity isn’t input during the design process of new buildings and selected likely to dwindle. renovations, and implementation by providing labor Among the other projects that RSGBI has fostered and other assistance to support the campus’s green are the Green Dorm Initiative, which encourages stu- building goals. dents to adopt sustainable lifestyles in their dorms; the Advocacy Task Force, which helps the club stay Ideas Into Action connected with other campus environmental organi- zations; a lecture series that brings architects involved The club held three meetings in spring 2007, further in sustainable design to campus for the benefit of developing its mission statement, electing officers and club members; and site visits to green buildings in creating a Listserv that quickly gained nearly 70 sub- the Houston area. scribers. Squibb, who received her bachelor of arts in Today, seven RSGBI board members help admin- architecture that semester, knew she would be pursuing istrate and coordinate “green” events, and 150 members a bachelor of architecture degree at Rice. Since she would benefit from their efforts. Despite the fact that the club was be completing her architectural preceptorship in New York at started with the Vision for the Second Century’s construction Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, the club elected Alex Tseng as its efforts in mind, Tseng says that it will still be here long after the president for 2007–08. last construction worker has left campus. “Alex has been absolutely great for taking ideas and turning “The RSGBI has a special status as an organization that seeks them into actions,” said Squibb, whose plan for a LEED training to work from the inside out,” Tseng said. “We want to cultivate program Tseng executed. More than 40 students from architec- advocates among the Rice student body who will be equipped ture, engineering and even ecological and evolutionary biology to guide future development at Rice and to encourage others to attended the first set of classes, which were taught in spring participate.” 2008 by Rice alumnus and LEED-accredited professional Guyton Squibb agreed. “I realize this is a pivotal time with all the Durnin ’06. current construction, but I feel that sustainable issues surround “We started the LEED Certification Class mainly to raise us at all levels,” she said. “The RSGBI allows students to be student awareness in sustainability issues and to allow those involved in these decisions and encourages them to help shape students who want to gain more knowledge in sustainable design the future.” to become professionally accredited,” said Tseng, adding that the U.S. Green Building Council generously provided the class’s Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 39
  • By Merin Porter The Entrepreneur Next Door Rice alum David Zumwalt may have a penchant for making history, but his keen sense of humor and passion for family have kept the former MOB member as down-to-earth as ever. People still talk about it today: a human “cockroach” so enor- persistence, leadership, an appreciation for de- layed gratification — and diplomacy. mous, so irreverent that it crawled into the Rice history books “Untangling roommate incompatibilities, and has nested there to this day. It made its debut on Texas grappling with multicultural and religious issues, testing the limits of on-campus capacity, and the A&M University’s Kyle Field on Oct. 25, 1980, the same day inevitable privacy concerns that arise in a co-ed the Owls beat the Aggies 10–6, when the Rice Marching Owl college all served up very useful skills for later ap- plication,” he said. Band (MOB) — which prides itself on never actually march- He also credits some of his favorite Rice fac- ing — gave onlookers a halftime show to remember. It wasn’t ulty and staff members with helping him develop personally and professionally. Physics professor the first time David Zumwalt ’81, a former MOB member who Harold Rorschach, who made Rice history as the helped pull off the stunt, made history — but it was certainly first nonresident associate of Jones College when one of the most memorable. it still housed only women, was, Zumwalt said, “an outstanding and approachable Rice professor, es- pecially for wide-eyed and disoriented freshmen.” “I was a Drum Minor in the MOB my senior year, His fascination with telecommunications, Through Professor Patricia Reiff’s instruction, he pregame announcer and a part of the scriptwrit- technology and software began in the late 1970s, discovered a passion for astronomy and space ing team,” said Zumwalt, a Baker College mem- while he was pursuing his bachelor of science in science, and Baker College master Jeff Kurtzman ber and fellow who serves as executive director electrical engineering at Rice. Zumwalt appren- reignited Zumwalt’s love for music. History profes- of the University of the Virgin Islands Research ticed with Southwestern Bell when the company sor Charles Garside brought out his very best man- and Technology Park (RTPark). Orchestrating the was planning and rolling out electronic switching ners, and Zumwalt said he still uses sociologist insectile spectacle taught him some lessons he in its north Texas offices, and he became fasci- Bill Martin’s “days behind for the undergraduate” still relies on. “Challenges such as designing and nated with the upcoming divestiture of AT&T and equation. (“Who knew sociology had equations?”) executing a halftime show both Rice and Aggie the imminent deregulation of the industry. He remembers other Rice faculty and staff partisans find entertaining, while ‘desecrating’ members with fondness, too: political science pro- Kyle Field with a cockroach and leaving the field to Path to the Future fessor Gilbert “Doc C” Cuthbertson, who taught a standing ovation, are no less complex than most Zumwalt’s favorite class at Rice; Bert Roth, the any in business life.” Competitive telecommunications was in its in- “archetypical and original” director of the MOB; It’s a claim Zumwalt is well qualified to fancy when Zumwalt graduated from Rice and and faculty resident associate Maria Leal, who make, since he has founded and directed several joined Compucon Inc. The company actively sup- liked the way he sang in the shower — although technology and communications companies over ported the development of terrestrial microwave Zumwalt said he didn’t realize his voice was the past two decades. The most notable among and satellite communications networks — and it carrying. these is CNet Inc., a software services business also supported Zumwalt’s nascent entrepreneurial While these Rice friends helped him discover that merged with publicly traded, multinational ambitions. He left the company to form CNet with and develop latent passions and interests, it may Glenayre Technologies in 1997. (Glenayre later fellow alumnus Scott Greenwell ’82, and the two have been Zumwalt’s freshman chemistry class sold the CNet name to the well-known media “faced all the struggles, panics, stresses and joys that most affected his future path. Fresh out of high company that now holds it.) Zumwalt also served of growing that business over an 11-year period in school and with a straight-A record, he planned to in founding and executive positions for technology a dynamic environment.” take the world of elements and electrons by storm and telephony companies such as Privacy Inc., Go- To succeed in the chancy venture, Zumwalt — until he earned a 30 on his first chem test. Comm Inc. and Exceleron Software Inc. drew on the life skills he honed at Rice: patience, “That did plenty to make me rethink my career 40 www.rice.edu/ricemagazine
  • aspirations, not to mention my opinion of my work behind the scenes — organizing capital re- scholastic aptitude,” he said. “Rice quickly demon- sources, identifying prospective partners and hon- strated to me that achievement and excellence are ing its business model, among other things — its in abundance, and there’s always someone more recent progress has won it a place in the sun. talented and gifted, more committed and hard “In 2007, we secured a breakthrough agree- working, or just plain smarter than you.” ment with Global Crossing to provide data center Zumwalt said that while his time at Rice im- solutions for tenants and partners — to which proved his discipline and focus, it also softened we’ve added key alliances for telecommunications some of his competitive drives. Since then, he’s and managed services — and we are negotiating learned that even the best-laid plans sometimes with strategic partners for e-commerce transac- sink under the tumultuous waves of market condi- tion processing capabilities,” Zumwalt said. “We tions, capital restraints and simple bad luck. But currently have a television station as a tenant, Zumwalt also has learned to measure success with additional tenants and partners on the way.” in language that doesn’t include “big houses” or “bank accounts.” His yardstick for success com- Another Path to the Future prises two words: “Always try.” “I have learned that a very thin line separates While Zumwalt is happy about his successes as failure from success, so how we live and how we head of the RTPark, they are not his proudest ac- handle failure say much about how we handle suc- complishments. That distinction falls to his third- cess. There are any number of ways to keep score, and fifth-graders, Emerson and Maggie, and to his but I believe success is less an outcome and more wife, Emmy ’85. (Zumwalt does, however, admit to a way of living.” being proud of “the rather unusual distinction” of “Many tilt at windmills That’s one reason why, in 2005, Zumwalt appearing in Playboy magazine: “April 1981, page agreed to the challenge of nurturing the fledgling 15, in the huge pink bunny suit, related to a MOB RTPark. After more than two decades of entrepre- halftime show.”) neurship, he was ready for something new. “When I was approached with the opportu- as they work hard to The importance of family is a consistent theme in Zumwalt’s story. He sold CNet in 1997 shape careers and nity to apply my past experiences to the greater in pursuit of a schedule that was more conducive challenge of economic development in a commer- to a strong family life. One of his favorite places is cially crucial but financially stressed region, I found a Singaporean hotel where he and Emmy learned it hard to resist,” he said. “I also sensed this was something I had been called to do.” families to match their their first child was on the way. And, most days, he drops his kids off at school on the way to work and is home again in time for dinner. If he must work at The Challenges of Economic Development dreams and expecta- home in the evenings, he waits until Maggie and Emerson have gone to bed. The RTPark was born in 2002 out of the U.S. Virgin Island’s search for untapped resources that could provide opportunities for the region’s outstanding tions. Life, however, Zumwalt says his wife and children “continu- ally inspire me, in the words of Jack Nicholson, to ‘try to be a better man.’” He also credits his businesspeople. Agriculture and tourism had been the major pillars of the local economy, but those molds us on its own father and fellow alumnus Gary Zumwalt ’57 and his mother and grandfather with being highly sectors offered few opportunities for the island’s rising young business and technology stars. “The result was a ‘brain drain’ from the timetable and in many influential. “They passed on many qualities for which I am profoundly thankful: my father’s temperament, Caribbean basin, as many of the region’s outstanding talents relocated to the mainland to pursue better unexpected ways.” patience and sense of fairness; my mother’s per- sistence, faith and strength in the face of adver- opportunities. This robbed the Caribbean of many sity; and my paternal grandfather’s quintessential —David Zumwalt gifted leaders who might otherwise be contributing example of what every man truly aspires to be — more directly to the future of these islands.” a humble, loving father, grounded in faith, who led When key decision makers from govern- an exemplary career and actively sought ways to ment, academia and commercial enterprise came To capitalize on this bandwidth, the islands’ be of service to others.” together to search for a potential panacea to the local leaders worked together to “design an engine While Zumwalt strives for that kind of excel- USVI’s commercial woes, they quickly found it in that could focus the region’s many assets to foster lence, he’s not afraid to let go of the wheel, either the islands’ role as a significant switching center a vital, growing and globally competitive new — and he encourages Rice students to do the for subsea fiber networks. technology sector in the economy.” The resulting same. “The USVI is home to one of the very largest RTPark provides a physical hub for technology- “Many tilt at windmills as they work hard to concentrations of bandwidth in the hemisphere, centered businesses interested in establishing shape careers and families to match their dreams and a significant amount of Internet and voice operations in the area. It leverages the islands’ and expectations,” he said. “Life, however, molds traffic is carried through our switching facilities,” fiber connectivity and encourages workforce us on its own timetable and in many unexpected Zumwalt said. “In a way, the USVI is to global development through strategic partnerships and ways. Don’t be afraid to let it shape you.” data what Memphis is to the delivery of overnight significant local tax incentives. packages.” Although the park conducted much of its early Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 41
  • Amanda Wallace was awarded the Rice University Art Gallery Director’s Choice award. Launch into New Space in the gallery during the opening. “There was a huge attendance, and not everyone could see the speakers, so we brought in Student shows are nothing new for Nancy Hixon. After almost 30 years with the a 12-foot ladder,” Davenport said. Each Blaffer Gallery, the art museum of the University of Houston, she’s seen and installed professor giving an award would climb enough student art to fill the Louvre. But that doesn’t mean Hixon isn’t excited every up to look out over the crowd. time she works with students. “I find it interesting to learn what they’re reading, who The “ladder podium” became a they’re studying with and what artists they’re influenced by,” Hixon said. “I want to tradition and was used until a few years see where they take their work.” ago when the student award ceremony was moved to the Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts’ new quarters in the Hixon served as the juror for “LAUNCH: In her statement about the work, Rice Media Center. Beginning next year, Rice Student Art Exhibition 45.” “Nancy Wallace wrote, “When you are away at the student art exhibition will be held is one of the most respected arts profes- college, you are absent from the many there — a fresh start signaled by this sionals in Houston and she has so much moments experienced by your family. year’s exhibition title, “LAUNCH.” experience working with students,” said You also miss the changes that have “It has been fun to organize the Rice Gallery Director Kim Davenport. taken place in areas that were once student art exhibitions over the past 13 “Working closely with such a gifted familiar to you. These photographs are years,” Davenport said. “However, we “The Media Center is the place on campus where art is being made every day, where the art students gather and where the department’s identity and sense of community lie.” —Kim Davenport curator and having the opportunity to the beginning of a way of representing realize the need for students to reclaim recognize outstanding creative students these two experiences.” the sense of ownership they had for are some of the great rewards for the “LAUNCH” also was something of the show when the art department was gallery staff.” a special occasion for the Rice Gallery located in Sewall Hall, right up the stairs One of those outstanding stu- staff and one of many turning points in from the gallery. The Media Center is dents was Amanda Wallace, who the gallery’s long history. the place on campus where art is being was awarded the Rice University Art “When I came to Rice, the student made every day, where the art students Gallery Director’s Choice award for show looked very different than it did this gather and where the department’s “Back Home,” a series of photographs year,” Davenport said. “In the past, visual identity and sense of community lie. It’s she took of friends, family and the arts faculty selected works from all classes exciting to think about this change rein- neighborhood where she grew up. and among all years of study, which were forcing the vitality of the arts at Rice.” Accompanying each photograph was hung in the gallery salon style.” —Kelly Klaasmeyer a small story about the person or The lively visual cacophony was com- place depicted. plemented by the awards ceremony held 42 www.rice.edu/ricemagazine
  • Arts When artist Mark Fox decided to move from Cincinnati, Ohio, to New York City, he knew he had a problem. His 6,000-square-foot studio in Cincinnati was full of Memories stuff, but his new space in New York was only 400 square feet. He from realized he’d have to get rid of a lot of what he owned, but somehow, he just couldn’t bring himself to Dust eliminate everything entirely. So he drew it all. “Dust,” Fox’s Summer Window installa- tion for Rice Gallery, was filled with black ink drawings of almost all the items Fox once owned, such as a vacuum cleaner, Christmas lights, C-clamps, a stuffed liz- ard, a toy horse, desk chairs, a ladder, a giant fan and even a stray corncob holder. He cut the drawings into the shapes of the objects, painted their backs fluorescent green and mounted them on wires that ex- tended from a wall constructed just behind the gallery window. “All my prior work was about manipu- lation and about how people move or con- trol things, collect things,” Fox explained. “Now, I was being denied movement by the things I owned; the things kind of owned me in a way.” The massed images seemed to float and swirl in space like the vortex of a tor- nado — sparse in the center with dense clusters at the edges, as if some force was sucking all of Fox’s possessions into oblivi- on. The luminous green paint on the backs of the drawings reflected against the wall behind them, creating the ominous atmo- spheric effect he saw as a boy when he witnessed a tornado’s destructive funnel cloud. “After I drew things, there was an as- sessing process,” Fox said. “The stories behind the objects I owned came back as I drew them.” In the end, Fox may have jettisoned a dumpsterful of stuff, but he got to keep his memories in images that produced a fan- tastic installation. —Kelly Klaasmeyer Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 43
  • Trio Destino: Rachael Young, bassoon; Hilary Abigana, flute; and Amy Chung, clarinet. For the fifth year in a row, musicians from Rice University took center stage at one of the best-known venues in the country: the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Eight students from The Shepherd School of Music participated in the Kennedy Center’s Conservatory Project, which was designed to introduce audiences to the top young musical artists from the nation’s leading undergraduate and graduate conservatories, colleges and universities. Students from The Shepherd School, which was one of the project’s founding participants, have been selected to perform every year since the program’s inception in 2004. “This year was one of our strongest concerts yet,” said Gary Smith, associate dean of music. “The opportunity for our extraordinary musicians to play at the Kennedy Center — the national face of performing arts — is rewarding and in- valuable for them and for The Shepherd School.” Return This year’s participants Sadie Turner, harpist were Trio Destino (graduate students Hilary Abigana, flute; Amy Chung, clarinet; to the and Rachael Young, bassoon), harpist Sadie Turner ’08, and the Jasper String Quartet (graduate students John Kennedy Freivogel, violin; Sae Niwa, violin; Sam Quintal, viola; and Rachel Henderson, cello). In the spring, the Jasper String Quartet won the Grand Prize and Audience Prize at the Plowman Chamber Music Competition Center and the Grand Prize at the Coleman Chamber Music Competition. This fall, they are studying with the Tokyo String Quartet at Yale University. Other participating schools were Northwestern University School of Music, Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, Berklee College of Music and Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. —Jessica Stark Photography: David Long 44 www.rice.edu/ricemagazine
  • Arts “The opportunity for our extraordinary musicians to play at the Kennedy Center – the national face of performing arts – is rewarding and invaluable for them and for The Shepherd School.” —Gary Smith Sam Quintal, viola; Rachel Henderson, cello; Sae Niwa, violin; and John Freivogel, violin Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 45
  • Shepherd School’s Stallmann Earns Prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship If there is a way for a composer to write music for walking on cloud nine, Kurt Stallmann will probably find it. And for good reason. Stallmann, the Lynette S. Autrey Assistant Professor of Composition and Theory at The Shepherd School of Music, recently was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, which placed him among an elite group of professionals who have demonstrated stellar achievement and exceptional promise for future accomplishment. A piece for cloud nine might have to wait a become more aware of the world around National Conference. The organization is while, however. Stallmann hopes to spend them — experiencing the familiar, everyday devoted to music that involves electronic 2009 producing creative works that use world as something vivid and fresh — and and digital generation of sound materials electronic and computer-generated sounds consequently re-engaging and reconnect- for performance. This year, he was also pre- in concert with live instruments and in ing them with their surroundings.” sented with a SEAMUS President’s Award live performances. He’s also considering “Breaking Earth” built on Stallmann’s for his contributions to the organization. forming a new ensemble to explore musi- history of pioneering works. He devotes his cal dialogue using computers and acoustic energy to the synthesis and connection of The Shepherd School Influence instruments. the many mediums available to composers “One thing that will remain very impor- today and creates works for acoustic group- Given Stallmann’s incredible talent and cut- tant to me,” Stallmann said, “is interdisci- ings, acoustic/electronics groupings with ting-edge vision, it’s likely that he will be plinary work involving other mediums — interactive elements, environmental sounds remembered as a hero and mentor to many. video, dance, light, movement.” and purely synthetic sounds. He already is helping artists and musicians of the next generation leave their marks on ‘Breaking Earth’ Passing It On the world. “One thing we try to encourage at The Stallmann’s multidisciplinary work incor- Another of Stallmann’s passions — perhaps Shepherd School is the development of the porating performance, fixed and interactive his greatest — is teaching. creative imagination and a sense of artistic electronics, and visual elements has earned “I urge my students to look inside responsibility — learning to commit one- him the attention of a number of national themselves to find out what it is they want self to seeing ideas through to completion,” organizations and foundations. Meet the to contribute to the artistic landscape as it Stallmann said. “Students have to become Composer’s Commissioning Music/USA exists in the world today,” Stallmann said. convinced that their ideas and the quality of program commissioned his latest exhibi- “That requires a knowledge of what is out their ideas are important. Without that con- tion, “Breaking Earth.” For that innovative there to begin with and an understanding viction, it is hard to invest the many hours work, Stallmann collaborated with film- of how the past has led to the present.” of work necessary to bring those ideas into maker Alfred Guzzetti to create a palette of Stallmann hopes to be able to pass on the world.” images, spaces and sounds. to students his knowledge of that land- Stallmann credited The Shepherd The installation, which ran last spring at scape — the very landscape his work is School and its administration for fostering Houston’s DiverseWorks Art Space, featured significantly impacting. He said that while an environment so conducive to artistic de- five screens of projected high-definition connections and talent are important, they velopment and collaboration. video and multiple channels of audio. At can take a person only so far. “Our students are wonderful and the en- first, sounds and images were recognizable “Hard work completes talent,” Stallmann vironment is very stimulating. Dean Robert items from the natural world, like woods, said. “This is something that most people Yekovich is an accomplished creative art- sea, wind, streams and stone. Elements don’t understand. It takes a lot of courage ist himself, so the support offered by the then slowly shifted into one another and and determination to commit oneself to administration is outstanding,” Stallmann transformed into an abstracted landscape of very personal ideas.” said. “Rarely have I seen a school where consciousness. Stallmann’s ideas earned him the honor colleagues are more supportive of one an- “We set out to blur the lines of reality of presenting his piece “SONA — Sounds of other and where there is such a genuine around the things we hear and see every Houston: Wind, Rain, Trains” as the closing sense of teamwork.” day,” Stallmann said. “We really hope this work of the 2008 Society for Electroacoustic —Jessica Stark work has the effect of motivating people to Music in the United States (SEAMUS) 46 www.rice.edu/ricemagazine
  • Arts The Sound of Summer Music Summertime is camp time at Rice, where summer pro- A Scholarship grams range from the academic and scientific to the Recipient’s athletic and recreational — and include one offering that fills the air with the sound of music. Journey Abroad The music camps were created by Rachel Buchman, a lecturer in music and head of The Shepherd School of Music’s Young Children’s Division. Buchman wanted to encourage children ages 2 through 9 to explore music through sing- ing, rhythm games, creative movement, improvisation, musical storytelling, and the building and playing of percussion instruments. “I come from years Throughout the weeklong camps, the of conservatory children develop their innate musicianship and understand music through joyful experi- training, so I know ence. And the kids aren’t the only ones who that the serious benefit. Current and former Shepherd School elements of music students who lead the weeklong camps often discover that the experience rekindles the making can often spark that first led them to music. For Tyler Barth ’08, studying in Asia was an get exaggerated. “I come from years of conservatory train- opportunity for constant discovery, both in It is nice to be ing, so I know that the serious elements of the classroom and beyond. music making can often get exaggerated,” reminded of why said Juliette Javaheri ’05, who was among While dining out with one of his teachers in Japan, we are all here in the camp’s seven teachers. “It is nice to be Barth offered to pay for their meals, but his teacher reminded of why we are all here in the first the first place — to place — to have some fun.” pointed to a sign written in Japanese. “It was an old phrase that meant the older give to the younger,” have some fun.” Javaheri first began working with The Barth said. “She said she would pay for me to do these —Juliette Javaheri Shepherd School’s Young Children’s Division things now, but later I would also have to give to the in 2006 when Buchman asked her to observe young. I realized that’s how scholarships work.” some classes. “Rachel’s enthusiastic approach to music is contagious,” Javaheri said. “She With scholarship support, Barth was able to spend is always reminding us that the kids are here in the summer to have fun. two summers and an academic semester abroad in And boy, do they have a good time. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find Asia. After his freshman year, he participated in Rice’s another group of kids getting so fired up by a piece of classical music — NanoJapan program, and as a junior, he studied at sharing with one another their thoughts and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology feelings about a selected recording or live (HKUST) and took part in a summer program at performance.” National Taiwan University. Recently he received the Buchman has spent more than 25 years “The camps are Wagoner Foreign Study Scholarship, which will allow teaching music to young people, from open to everyone him to return to HKUST to study computer science, a toddlers to doctoral students in the U.S., Germany, England and Israel. Researching — not just Rice field which he hopes to pursue in graduate school. the connections between children and mu- people — so they Looking back, Barth believes that studying abroad was sic, she found that singing encourages brain keep me plugged a critical component of his Rice education. With finan- and language development and is one of the most essential educational activities a in to community cial support, he was able not only to attend Rice, but also to extend his undergraduate education overseas. parent can do with a child. needs.” While the summer programs build on —Rachel Buchman her research interests, they also offer her a way to stay connected to the Houston com- munity and her students. “The camps are open to everyone — not just Rice people — so they keep me plugged in to community needs,” Buchman said. “They’ve become a won- derful way for me to keep in touch with Shepherd School alumni and for them Rice University • Office of Development–MS 81 to come back to Rice to share their marvelous energy and creativity with the P.O. Box 1892 • Houston, TX 77251–1892 children of Houston.” 713-348-4600 • www.giving.rice.edu —Jessica Stark Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 47
  • ‘The Things They’ve Done’ When Professor of Architecture William Cannady talks about his former students, it sounds like he’s talking about his own children. He recounts memories of them as “kids” while at Rice and tells stories of their school projects. But most of all, he speaks of their accomplishments. Cannady’s new book, “The Things narratives express a connection to the For example, William Caudill, director They’ve Done,” is in that same vein. It campus, classmates, faculty and activities of RSA from 1961 to 1969, had a pragmat- offers a brief history of the Rice School at Rice and, according to Cannady, are ic and team approach to design. Under of Architecture (RSA) from 1912 to the most interesting part of the book. his leadership, faculty members devised 2007 and profi les the heralded ca- “Themes started to develop among studio projects that explored planning reers of 68 alumni who attended Rice students who were in school during the and real estate development and exposed between 1964 and 1998. same period of time,” Cannady said. “You students to engineers, photographers and Cannady began by making a list of can see that what you taught them has artists. Alumni in the “Caudill era” include the many students he had taught at Rice affected them and, in many cases, shaped three real estate developers, a commercial since early 1964. Senior faculty added their careers. That wasn’t a surprise to me photographer, an urban designer and two more names to the list, and recommenda- but was a reassurance that the time faculty public officials, in addition to practicing tions from alumni yielded others. spend conceiving, developing and deliver- architects and designers. “There were many students who ing curriculum matters in the long run.” Jack Mitchell, dean from 1978 to 1989, “You can see that what you taught them has affected them and, in many cases, shaped their careers.” — William Cannady stood out as undergraduate and graduate and his faculty affected the paths of students whom we knew had excelled many RSA alumni who chose to go into in the professional realm,” Cannady said. academia and hold faculty positions at “There are other alumni who should have architecture schools around the been included, but either we didn’t have world. The 1997 Association their contact information or they chose of Collegiate Schools of not to respond.” Architecture annual meeting of The key to the selection process was 105 schools included RSA alumni based on identifying a diversity of holding leadership positions on 11 occupations and locations around different campuses. the world. The profiled alumni “This book demonstrates the studied under seven administra- many careers that a Rice student can tions of the school starting in develop through the study of architec- 1964, when Cannady started ture,” Cannady said. “The traditional and teaching at RSA, and not-so-traditional career paths.” pursued about 25 different Along with architects and designers, career paths. They represent RSA has turned out artists, photographers, approximately 5 percent of RSA’s teachers, deans, government officials, real graduates. estate developers, corporate executives, Cannady asked each alum to spacecraft designers, urban designers, write a short narrative on something authors and even an actor/producer. memorable about their time at Rice. The —Jessica Stark 48 www.rice.edu/ricemagazine
  • ON THE Bookshelf Translation and the Word “It appears to have something to do with our collective guilt about “Judas is a frightening anti-Semitism and our need to reform If you thought that Judas’ betrayal of character. For Christians, the relationship between Jews and Jesus was firmly established long ago, Christians following World War II,” she he is the one who had it said. “Judas is a frightening character. last year’s National Geographic trans- all and yet betrayed God For Christians, he is the one who lation of the Coptic Gospel of Judas had it all and yet betrayed God to his to his death for a few death for a few dollars. For Jews, he is might have given you pause. The trans- lation caused a sensation because it dollars. For Jews, he is terrifying, the man whom Christians associated with the Jewish people, portrayed Judas not as a villain but as terrifying, the man whom whose story was used against them for a friend of Jesus who acted on Jesus’ Christians associated with centuries.” But DeConick contends that the request to betray him. the Jewish people, whose Gospel of Judas is not about a “good” story was used against Judas or even a “poor old” Judas. It is a gospel parody about a “demon” them for centuries. ” Judas written by a group of Gnostic Like most religious studies scholars, —April DeConick Christians who lived in the second April DeConick, the Isla Carroll and century. Percy Turner Professor of Religious “Once I started translating the Studies at Rice, was instantly Gospel of Judas and began to see the intrigued. Not content to simply types of translation choices that the read the translation, she obtained National Geographic team had made, I a copy of the original to read for was startled and concerned,” DeConick herself, and that’s when she began to said. “The text very clearly called Judas have doubts about the accuracy of the a ‘demon.’” National Geographic team’s work. Her DeConick’s book has ignited a doubts were serious enough that she fresh round of fierce debate on the undertook her own translation, which subject, but that’s something she was confi rmed for her that the National prepared for. Geographic’s version was in error “The fi nding of this gospel has and led her to write her own book on been called one of the most impor- the subject, “The Thirteenth Apostle: tant archaeological discoveries in What the Gospel of Judas Really Says” the past 60 years,” she said. “It’s (Continuum, 2007). important that we get this right.” DeConick said many scholars and writers have been inspired by the — Christopher Dow National Geographic version. “Esalen: America “Border Ransom,” “Literature-Based “Breaking Free: How to “Science Without and the Religion by Pat Carr ’54 (TCU Activities for Integrating Work at Home with the Laws: Model Systems, of No Religion,” Press, 2006) Mathematics with Perfect Small Business Cases, Exemplary by Jeffrey J. Kripal, Other Content Areas,” Opportunity,” by Brian Narratives,” edited by J. Newton Rayzor by Robin A. Ward, clinical Armstrong ’05 (Lulu, 2007) Angela N. H. Creager ’85, Professor in Religious assistant professor for Elizabeth Lunbeck and Studies (University of the Rice University School M. Norton Wise (Duke Chicago Press, 2007) Mathematics Project University Press, 2007) (Allyn & Bacon, 2008) Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 49
  • WORDS AND PHOTO BY TOMMY LAVERGNE If you love Rice baseball as much as I do, it doesn’t get much better than going to Omaha for the College World Series. No matter what the outcome, you know the team worked hard to get this far, and this year was no exception. With the program’s seventh trip to the CWS since 1997, and third consecutive trip, the Owls registered another sensational season. Rice won at least 42 games for the 14th-straight year on the way to another Conference USA regular-season championship, and the team members garnered a number of individual awards for their performance on the field and in the classroom. Rice had a sky-high rating power index from the NCAA, which allowed the team to showcase the renovated Reckling Park to record crowds for the Regional and Super Regional rounds of the NCAA Tournament. And for the 2009 season, Head Coach Wayne Graham and his staff will return a host of tal- ented young players and are bringing in one of the top recruiting classes in the nation. There’s a sad part to the term “next sea- son,” because a lot of these fine young men Omaha will move on. Some have graduated, and some might live out their dreams by taking a chance in the pro ranks. But no matter where they go or what they do, the character of these ball- players will never cease to amaze me. For complete coverage of the 2008 College World Series, including a photo gallery, visit: ››› tinyurl.com/ 5ahlza 50 www.rice.edu/ricemagazine
  • Sports 2008 Rice Magazine • No. 1 • 2008 51
  • A Class Act Awarded all-around excellence Rice’s Cole St. Clair earns top honors for Rice University pitcher Cole St. Clair ’08, who returned for his senior year after being drafted by Major League Baseball and helped lead the Owls into this year’s College World Series (CWS), has been selected as the winner of the 2008 Lowe’s Senior Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School (CLASS) Award in the baseball division. The award, “I am honored to receive this chosen by a nationwide vote of coaches, media and fans, is presented prestigious award with annually to college baseball’s outstanding NCAA Division I senior student–athlete. such a rich history. I know that a lot of The nation’s premier tribute to college seniors, the CLASS Award identifies personal qualities that define a complete student–athlete, effort was expended such as good character and excellence in the classroom, in the community and on the field. in the voting process “I am honored to receive this prestigious award with such a by the dedicated Rice rich history,” St. Clair said. “I know that a lot of effort was expended in the voting process by the dedicated Rice fans and my friends and fans and my friends family, and I truly appreciate their efforts.” Since moving to the bullpen full time in March, St. Clair became and family, and I truly one of the nation’s most dominating closers, posting a Conference USA- leading 10 wins with a 2.09 earned run average in 21 relief appearances. appreciate their efforts.” During that span, he held opposing hitters to a .204 batting average. His —Cole St. Clair strong performance down the stretch played a big role in Rice winning its Super Regional and earning its third consecutive trip to Omaha for the prestigious CWS. St. Clair, an economics major at Rice with a 3.22 GPA, received his bachelor’s degree May 10. His classroom achievements include becoming a three-time Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll member. He was also named the recipient of the 2008 Bob Quin Award, given to the senior Rice student–athlete who best exemplifies leadership and academic and ath- More information about St. Clair, Rice baseball letic excellence. and other Owls athletic teams can be found at: In the community, St. Clair has raised money for a local Houston neighbor- ››› www.riceowls.com hood center to sponsor a family for Christmas. He also assisted with the base- ball team’s clothing drive for the Star of Hope Foundation in Houston. While in Omaha, he visited with and gave advice to several young men from the Omaha School for Boys, a residential group home for at-risk school-age boys. 52 www.rice.edu/ricemagazine
  • “Our great experiences at Rice were burned in our memories, and I know the same thing is going on now. That’s what I want to help facilitate.” —Clint Johnson Honoring the Past, Creating Opportunity in the Present As a professor with more than 30 years of teaching experience at the University of Central Arkansas, Clint Johnson ’64 knows the value and importance of undergraduate research. In memory of his aunt, Elizabeth Johnson Duncan, who made his graduate education possible, and in honor of the Rice professors who influenced his career as an educator, Johnson has created the Elizabeth Johnson Duncan Endowed Fund for Undergraduate Research through a charita- ble remainder unitrust. To read more about Johnson’s gift to the university and the experiences that inspired it, please visit www.giving.rice.edu/giftplanning. To learn more about this fund or about making charitable gifts to Rice through your estate, please contact the Office of Gift Planning for gift illustrations and calculations tailored to your situation. Phone: 713-348-4624 • E-mail: giftplan@rice.edu • Web site: www.giving.rice.edu/giftplanning
  • Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Permit #7549 Houston, Texas Creative Services–MS 95 P.O. Box 1892 Houston, TX 77251-1892 Rice University President David W. Leebron and University Representative Y. Ping Sun stand in front of National Stadium after attending the opening ceremo- nies for the Beijing Olympics. They were in Beijing as special guests of the Chinese Minister of Education, who issued only 12 such invitations worldwide, and just two in the United States.