Editor’s Note

An Issue With No Theme

In the past two issues, we’ve featured themes of creativity (Spring 2019) and life after Rice (Summer 2019). This issue does not follow suit. In fact, the issue’s features could not be more distinct in subject or scope. To bring these and other stories in this issue to your door and desktop required a variety of creative strategies. 

In “When Words Fail” gifted science writer Rachel Fairbank brought a reporter’s ear and a biologist’s training to a story about aphasia research at Rice. Rice senior photographer Tommy Lavergne shot the beautiful and sensitive portraits that accompany Fairbank’s story. To report the complex story of The DNA Doe Project’s founding, challenges and successes, veteran journalist Dick Anderson (“The DNA Detective”) visited with forensic genealogist Colleen Fitzpatrick ’76 in Los Angeles. The feature’s combination of photography and illustration bring home the scientific and humanitarian aspects of solving criminal cold cases. Our former colleague Alyson Ward (“Beyond the Buzzword”) interviewed key members of the Doerr Institute for New Leaders to deliver a portrait of leadership training for students. The bold lettering in the story emphasizes the Doerr’s energetic and student-focused vision, and photographs by Jeff Fitlow convey the institute’s confident yet easy-going personality.

Wisdom, the most-read department in every issue, opens with a portrait of C. Sidney Burrus, the Maxfield and Oshman Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering. While the interview was conducted in-house, we turned to regular contributing illustrator Adam Cruft to capture the likeness of one of our favorite professors. Geochemist Laurence Yeung’s techniques for studying ozone trapped in polar ice presents a breakthrough in understanding how humans have changed the climate by altering the atmosphere’s chemistry. We had a little fun with the visual treatment of these findings. 

In Sallyport, we celebrate our newest students with a portrait of the class of 2023 in numbers — as well as a page of photos of sentimental items freshmen brought to campus.  Our alumni section highlights a little-known link between Rice baseball history and the infamous 1919 World Series. October marks the 100th anniversary of the “Black Sox Scandal” in which eight team members on the Chicago White Sox team were convicted of losing the series against the Cincinnati Reds. Dickie Kerr, one of the White Sox pitchers who was not implicated in the scandal, briefly coached here in the 1920s and returned to campus in the late 1940s to assist for a season. You’ll find these stories and more in this issue of Rice Magazine. Please send comments and feedback to lynn.gosnell@rice.edu