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Join Us for Classroom Connect 2017

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! The Association of Rice Alumni and the Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing invites you to join us back on campus for the next Classroom Connect program on April 22, 2017. The program will feature lectures by some of Rice's top experts, faculty-led immersive learning experiences designed to bring learning to life, and opportunities to network and connect with fellow attendees.

Classroom Connect 2017 Program:

8:30 - 9:15 a.m.: Check-in & continental breakfast available

9:20 - 9:40 a.m.: Dr. John B. Boles '65, William P. Hobby Professor of History, will give a welcome address about how the teaching and learning landscape has evolved from his time as a Rice student to now serving as a professor.

9:45 - 10:15 a.m: Dr. Robert F. Curl, University Professor Emeritus, Pitzer-Schlumberger Professor of Natural Sciences Emeritus, Professor of Chemistry Emertius, will give a keynote presentation about automation in the 21st century. Dr. Curl shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1996 with Harold Kroto and Richard Smalley for their discovery of the carbon cage compounds.

10:15 - 10:45 a.m.: Dr. Genevera Allen '06, assistant professor of statistics and recipient of Forbes magazine's 30 Under 30 in Science and Health Care, will give a keynote presentation about the field of data science and how it enables medical discoveries.

11 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.: Concurrent Sessions (choose one of the following)

  • Dr. John Anderson, W. Maurice Ewing Professor in Oceanography, will offer a concurrent session about how scientists are measuring the changes in ice sheets and the implications for the future.
  • Dr. Aysha Pollnitz, Assistant Professor of History, will provide a discussion about Niccolo Machiavelli who is famous for his work The Prince and you will play historical detective to decide for yourself if he was really a democrat or a republican.
  • Dr. Matthew Wettergreen '08, Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK) lecturer, will offer a hands-on session in the OEDK where you will learn how to solve problems with physical objects that can be found around your own house. (Please note: this session will be held at the OEDK and attendees who wish to attend will need to walk from the Anderson-Clarke Center to this program.)

12:15 - 1:30 p.m.: Lunch and Learn — While enjoying a buffet lunch, the Honorable Annise Parker '78, Rice professor in the practice, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Neighborhood Centers, Inc. and former mayor of Houston, will deliver a keynote address titled "Why Cities Matter" where she will discuss the role of the new city-state in driving culture, paradiplomacy and the world economy.

1:50 - 3:00 p.m.: Concurrent Sessions (choose one of the following)

  • Ben Kamins, professor of bassoon, and Janet Rarick, associate professor of music career development, will lead a hands-on session about the Alexander Technique — a process that develops one's ability to use conscious thought to achieve balance in the body.
  • Dr. Andre Droxler, professor of Earth science, will lead a session about half-billion year old microbial reefs in central Texas.
  • Daisy Ames, lecturer and visiting studio critic in the School of Architecture, will lead a roundtable discussion about the impact of emerging economies on the design of housing in Houston and the transformation from isolated neighborhoods to the desire for new living models in downtown.

3:15 - 4:15 p.m.: Brock Wagner '87, the founder and owner of Saint Arnold Brewing, and Scott Birdwell '75, the owner of DeFalco's Home Wine & Beer Spirits, will lead an afternoon keynote session about the science and business behind beer making and breweries. During the lively session, a variety of complimentary Saint Arnold beer will be available to enjoy for those 21 and above.

4:15 - 5:30 p.m.: Moody Center for the Arts Showcase — Enjoy exploring the Moody Center for the Arts' exhibits in action and learning from gallery guides in the Struth Exhibition and the Tilt Brush Gallery.  Complimentary wine, beer, and food will be available on the Anderson-Clarke Center patio adjacent to the Moody Center for the Arts.  

Please note that all speakers, topics and the schedule is subject to change. This website will be continually updated if changes are made, so we encourage you to check this page to learn of any program updates.  

Pricing & Registration Information

Early Registration (through Feb. 28., 2017)

  • FULL DAY: Alumni & Friends $80; Young Alumni ('05-'16) $60; Youth ages 13-17 $40
  • MORNING ONLY (breakfast, lectures, and lunch): Alumni & Friends $50; Young Alumni ('05-'16) $35; Youth ages 13-17 $25
  • AFTERNOON ONLY (lunch, afternoon experiences, and reception): Alumni & Friends $50; Young Alumni ('05-'16) $35; Youth ages 13-17 $25

Regular Registration (March 1 - April 17, 2017 at 11:55 p.m.)

  • FULL DAY: Alumni & Friends $100; Young Alumni ('05-'16) $80; Youth ages 13-17 $60
  • MORNING ONLY (breakfast, lectures, and lunch): Alumni & Friends $60; Young Alumni ('05-'16) $45; Youth ages 13-17 $35
  • AFTERNOON ONLY (lunch, afternoon experiences, and reception): Alumni & Friends $60; Young Alumni ('05-'16) $45; Youth ages 13-17 $35

New in 2017!  

If you register for Beer Bike taking place on April 1, 2017, you will be able to receive a $20 discount on the full day price of Classroom Connect! During registration for Classroom Connect, select the option indicating you are registered for Beer Bike for the discount to be applied. Please note: There is a separate form to complete for the Rice Alumni Tent at Beer Bike 2017 registration.

REGISTER NOW for Classroom Connect 2017. If you have questions about the program, please email Dan Stypa, associate director of Alumni Programs, at

If you're interested in seeing who has already registered, click here.  Please note that during the registration process, guests have the option of indicating whether or not they want their name included on this list.  As such, this list is not complete as some opt to not have their name listed on the public list of registered guests.  

Classroom Connect on the Road

Classroom Connect — Rice’s premier lifelong learning program — is going on the road. Hear top faculty share fascinating insights and network with fellow alumni, parents and friends at our programs in San Francisco, Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, New York City and more. 


The Leo S. Shamblin Scholarship Fund

The Leo S. Shamblin Scholarship Fund provides scholarship support to potential Classroom Connect participants with a strong record of volunteer service in the community and on campus. Young alumni and out-of-town participants are especially encouraged to apply. The scholarship covers the cost of registration for up to three recipients who are then expected to attend the entire program.

Interested? Email a letter to Dan Stypa, Associate Director of Alumni Programs, at In your one-page letter, please describe your volunteer service and why the funds would assist in attending Classroom Connect. For full consideration, your letter must be received by March 1, 2017. All scholarship applicants will be notified by March 10, 2017 of their status.

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