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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.

Alejandro Cestero ’96 Prospers in International Energy Law

Alejandro Cestero’s ’96 career in international energy law has taken him all over the world to work on many successful projects for major oil and gas companies.
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Rice Alumni Featured on List of Top Houston Startups

Emma Fauss ’13, Andrew Koller ’07, Charudatta Galande ’13, Adrian Yao ’14 and Lauren Miller '14 are all featured on Geektime’s list of top Houston tech startup companies.
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How Betty Heacker ’70 Became Houston’s Grandmother of Green

Thirty years ago, Betty Heacker ’70 bought an old plumbing supply store in the Heights. She transformed the location into a garden store that has continued to flourish throughout the years.
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Patricia Shands ’01 Discusses her Passion for Chamber Music Before a Concert Performance

University of the Pacific professor and clarinetist Patricia Shands ’01 was interviewed before a performance with her wind trio, Trois Bois, in March.
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Julie Griffith ’04 Featured in Black Women in Power List

Julie Griffith ’04, founder and CEO of J.griffith Public Relations, was recently featured on Defender Network’s “Black Women in Power” list.
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Kendall Toarmina ’10 Named 2017 Woman of Power by Outsmart Magazine

Kendall Toarmina ’10, who serves as board chair of Rice Alumni Pride, was recently named a “Woman of Power” for 2017 by Houston’s OutSmart Magazine. Toarmina was one of 11 Houston women chosen for the honor.
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Will Conrad ’05 Excels in Legal Field Despite Blindness

Will Conrad ’05 explains how he navigates day-to-day life as an attorney despite the challenge of being blind.
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Rice Alumni Win Grammy Awards

Shepherd School of Music alumni Blanton Alspaugh ’87, Shawn Conley ’05 and Brenton Ryan ’11 won Grammy Awards at the 2017 awards show on Feb. 12 in Los Angeles.
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Melissa Cefkin ’93 Applies Anthropology Background to Autonomous Cars

Melissa Cefkin ’93 joined Nissan as principal scientist and design anthropologist in March 2015. Working alongside programmers and engineers, she applies her unique perspective to the development of autonomous cars.
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My Story: Ulyana Horodyskyj ’07 sets her sights on outer space

From Ulyana Horodyskyj ’07 (Brown College) — I was selected as mission commander for NASA Johnson Space Center's HERA XII (human exploration research analog) experiment in September/October 2016. During this 30-day intense simulated mission to an asteroid, I received a call in the station's airlock that I made semifinalist ...
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A Message from Association of Rice Alumni President Shannon Vale '77 (March 2017)

As president of the Association of Rice Alumni, it is my privilege to reach out to you on behalf of the university to tell you about an important opportunity to help shape the future of Rice.
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Julie Tam ’03, who has served on the Association of Rice Alumni Board of Directors and is a past Young Alumni Builders Award recipient, was recently named a 20 Under 40 Rising Star in Real Estate for 2016 by the Houston Association of Realtors’ Young Professionals Network. The annual awards ...
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