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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.

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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Future innovators: Rice students look ahead to tomorrow's space challenges

Students studying space science at Rice are busy shaping how we will interact with space in the future. Take a step inside the world of tomorrow and find out what three future space innovators are up to. Rae Holcomb ’19 (general physics major) and Colin Howman ’19 (chemical engineering major ...
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The Rice Stuff: alumni working in space share their stories

Rice’s astronauts, engineers, scientists and researchers are dedicated to tackling today’s astronomical challenges. We ask some of them to discuss their work and bring it down to Earth for us.
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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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