The Sallyport Award is presented by the Association of Rice Alumni (ARA) to an undergraduate degree candidate and/or graduate candidate who shows great promise in carrying forth the ARA’s mission of providing a continuing relationship between the university and its former students. The ARA recognizes individuals who have demonstrated one or more of the following:
- Campus Involvement: Displayed loyalty, spirit and pride in the university through meaningful involvement in programs and activities.
- Rice Connections: Fostered strong ties with classmates, faculty or other members of the Rice community beyond their college or department.
- Community Engagement: Strengthened the bonds between Rice and the Houston community or other communities outside of Rice.
If you know a graduating student who deserves to be honored with the Sallyport Award, please submit a nomination.
Meet the 2022 Honorees
Mason Reece ’22 (Hanszen)
Mason Reece grew up in North Carolina amidst unprecedented affronts to our democracy – gerrymandering by race, strategic polling place closures, and more. While at Rice, he has worked to eliminate barriers to youth voting, particularly in marginalized communities, and to rekindle generational belief in the power of voting. For the 2020 election, Mason was elected precinct chair and became the first student presiding judge at the Rice polling location, recruiting and leading a team of student poll workers to serve over 13,000 voters. As president of Civic Duty Rice and a member of the RICEngaged coalition, Mason brought together Rice administrators, student groups, and the broader Houston community to ensure our voting system served everyone. He also served as the main organizer of the 2021 Houston Youth Voters Conference to give a platform for young leaders around the city to discuss their unique perspectives and work. As part of his political science and social policy analysis studies, Mason completed research on Harris County’s election systems to support our local election administrator and help ensure there were safety protocols and innovative voting methods across the county for elections during COVID-19.
Mason’s true home at Rice was at Hanszen, where he could be found most days solving crosswords, helping his peers with their work as an academic mentor or drafting new legislation as the college parliamentarian. Although he came into Rice having never ridden a road bike, Mason has since coached numerous new riders as Hanszen bike captain and the RUCT cycling president, giving back to a community that cared for him when he first matriculated. Although Mason will not be completing his PhD in Political Science in Houston he will surely be back for beer bikes far into the future.
Liana Reyes ’22
Liana Eustacia Reyes is a Ph.D. Candidate at Rice University's Department of Political Science and Predoctoral Fellow at the University of Arizona's School of Government and Public Policy. In the summer of 2022, Liana will be a Provost's Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and an incoming Assistant Professor of International Relations at Purdue University-both appointments in their respective political science departments. Her work examines the determinants of conflict resolution mechanisms and their consequences.
To date, her research has been generously funded by the National Science Foundation and Rice University. It has also been published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, International Studies Quarterly, and Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. In addition to her scholarly work, Liana is the founder and former President of the Minorities in Social Sciences at Rice University.
See past recipients of the Sallyport Award and read about their accomplishments.