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Welcome to the ARA's Stories Section!

Alumni Making an Impact
Features alumni who are making a difference for Rice on campus and in their communities.

Alumni in the News
Highlights stories that are gathered from the media through the hard work of the ARA's Alumni Recognition Committee, which recognizes and celebrates achievements of Rice alumni, faculty, students, staff and university friends by sending hand-written notes and emails. If you are interested in volunteering for the committee, contact Tara Quell, assistant director, alumni relations at 713-348-4694.

A Message from Association of Rice Alumni President Shannon Vale ’77 (December 2016)

As a first-grader growing up in Houston, I had never referred to anyone as “my hero” until the afternoon John Glenn returned to earth following his groundbreaking orbital mission in February 1962, so it is with a blend of sadness, pride and nostalgia that I write this letter on the ...
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A Message from Association of Rice Alumni President Shannon Vale ’77 (October 2016)

Just last weekend, I had the opportunity and great privilege to represent the Association of Rice Alumni (ARA) at numerous homecoming events, where I met an incredibly diverse array of Rice alumni of all ages, backgrounds and regions. It was very rewarding to get to know so many of you ...
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Sallyportal launches with 4,000+ users

Sallyportal, Rice's new professional networking website, is off to a roaring start after 4,000+ Owls (and counting!) signed up for an account. That includes more than 2,500 alumni and 1,200 students. And with that many users, so many connections are already being made. Wondering what kind ...
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My Story: let them eat cake!

Carole Griffin '82 owns and operates The Continental Bakery and Chez Lulu in Birmingham, Alabama. Her signature loaf: Pain au Levain, a 4.5 pound miche, has been lauded by the NYT, Boston Globe, Southern Living and more. SPOON declared it “one of the 18 best artisanal bread bakeries in ...
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My Story: from finance to Kuma Burgers

From Diane Feng '07 on behalf of Willet Feng '06 -- Willet Feng graduated in 2006 with a B.A. in Asian Studies and Managerial Studies. He intended to work in finance, but after he followed his now-wife Diane (Sid Rich ’07) to Seattle, WA, he couldn’t find a banking job ...
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My Story: Tours of Houston's vibrant culinary scene

From Lauren Barrash '08 -- I graduated in 2008 from the Jones School & started The Wave, a jitney shuttle bus company, in 2009. Once people started to get comfortable with a transportation provider outside of their own cars, they started requesting us do other things like holiday lights tours, brewery ...
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My Story: an entrepreneurial career as author, chef and historian

From Mary Margaret Pack '74 -- After more than 20 years as a technical writer in Austin, I changed it up in the mid-90s by leaving my high-tech career to attend the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Since then, I’ve made my living as a private chef and food writer ...
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My Story: IT security for the food industry

From Elizabeth Love '96 on behalf of Jason Love '93, MBA '04) -- In response to your call for stories about Owls working in the food industry, I would like to call out my husband, Jason Love (Weiss '93 - BA, English and Econ; and Jones School '04 - MBA). He founded and ...
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The inside scoop: Tareck Haykal ’19 interns with Underbelly’s Chris Shepherd

This summer, Rice chemistry student and aspiring medical doctor Tareck Haykal ’19 put his science knowledge to good use in the kitchen of a master chef. He’s in the midst of an incredible summer internship at Houston’s Underbelly restaurant, where he works with Chef Chris Shepherd, a recipient of the ...
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Robin Austin’s ’04 journey from TV producer to wine, food and travel journalist

Robin Austin (Brown College ’04), who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in history, took an interesting career turn in 2008 when she left television news to pursue a passion for wine, food and travel. Today, she writes for regional, national and international publications and websites, and she works as ...
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Summer recipes from award-winning college chefs

At Rice, college never tasted so good! So say the students who ranked Rice’s dining experience No. 5 in the nation according to Niche.com. Taste for yourself with these special summertime recipes from Rice’s award-winning chefs Kyle Hardwick, Verena Saenz and Ed Castillo.
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A Message from ARA President Shannon Vale '77 (July 2016)

Dear Fellow Alumni: When I graduated from Rice in 1977, I never imagined the major role Rice would play in my life both as an alumnus and as a proud parent (Matthew ’14). My involvement with the university began in earnest through my participation with the Austin Chapter of the ...
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