Why I Volunteer

 

Volunteers are among Rice University's greatest assets, and we want to know what motivates you to stay involved at Rice. We also want to share your story with others to inspire them to do the same!

Please note we reserve the right to edit submissions for accuracy, grammar, spelling and clarity. Please contact us if you have any further questions.

 

SUBMIT YOUR STORY

Natalie Hachem '09

Natalie Hachem

Undergraduate Alum
Reunion Giving Chair, Alumni Interviewer for Prospective Students

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

Volunteering allows you to re-live some of your favorite Rice moments! I love keeping up to date with new programs, construction, and stories from campus. As a volunteer, I feel connected to the University even while living 2000 miles away.

Julie Yau-Yee Tam '03

Julie Yau-Yee Tam

Undergraduate Alum
ARA BoardRice OwlEdge Externship Program host, Center for Career Development Alumni Advisory Board member

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

I owe my career start to a great Rice alumnus mentor, so I want to give other promising Rice students that same opportunity by mentoring or hosting an extern -- whether it's giving a piece of advice, a connection to the right person, or a job opportunity. I also enjoy learning fascinating new things when I judge undergraduate and graduate student research competitions.

Apoorv Bhargava '12

Apoorv Bhargava

Undergraduate Alum

Rice Engineering Alumni's Board of Directors, Rice Bay Area Alumni Chapter

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

I love volunteering for Rice because it's given me so much in my life. Rice was the launching point for all my adventures and accomplishments to date. It gave me an incredible foundation in both engineering and economics, and an appreciation of how to look for the problems AND solutions at the intersection of different fields.

Tammy Taura '84

Tammy Taura

Undergraduate Alum

Rice Alumni Volunteer Association (RAVA), DC Rice Alumni President, and Homecoming and Reunion Chair

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

Our love and appreciation for Rice and our community has only grown through the years. It's wonderful to stay in touch with all the changes on campus and to share and hear memories we have when we were students. As the residential colleges are more than dorms, we are more than an alumni network. We are family, here to support each other wherever you land.

Julie Gianelloni Connor '73

Julie Gianelloni Connor

Undergraduate Alum

Society of Rice University Women (SRUW) President, Baker Volunteer

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

Other Rice volunteers shaped me and helped make me who I am--from the senior who recommended a class that became an important influence on my life to the O-Week leader who introduced me to the magic of Rice.

H.T. Than '87

H.T. Than

Graduate Alum

Board of directors for Rice Engineering Alumni (REA), Alumni Interviewer for Prospective Students

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

I hold a great deal of affection for Rice.

Near the completion of my undergraduate studies in New England, unexpectedly I needed to move to Houston to assist my elderly father and had to forgo employment and graduate school opportunities elsewhere. I had always knew about Rice's excellent reputation, and as a Hail Mary I applied to be a graduate student at School of Engineering (SoE). Fortunately, I was accepted and granted a full tuition scholarship and a stipend. This was such a timely and generous life line!

In addition to the fantastic education, Rice's reputation helped me land a number of job offers before graduation, and opened many doors for me many years after graduation.

Rohit Padmanabhan '06

Rohit Padmanabhan

Undergraduate Alum
President of the Nashville Association of Rice Alumni, Alumni Interviewer for Prospective Students

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

There’s no question that Rice provided me with an incredible education and a heightened ability to think critically, but day to day, what I notice most is the social benefit of my Rice experience. Owls are everywhere, and they are amazing! Volunteering allows me to continue socializing and networking with fellow Owls, and perhaps more importantly, allows me to ensure that the same experience will continue to be available to current and future Owls.

Melissa Jeng '12

Melissa Jeng

Undergraduate Alum
Social and Communications Chair, NYC Association of Rice Alumni, Alumni Interviewer for Prospective Students, Rice Annual Fund Volunteer

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

My 4 years at Rice were so impactful to my life, and volunteering is my way of paying it forward. I had been involved in student government and other initiatives while I was an undergrad, so transitioning into an alumni volunteer was a no-brainer! It is one of the most fulfilling activities that I am a part of as an adult!

Kristjan Stone Ph.D. ’08

Kristjan Stone

Graduate Alum
Social Chair and President, Physics and Astronomy Graduate Student Association

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

While at Rice, I realized that it presented the perfect opportunity to change my environment for the better. I have applied that realization to my life after Rice and its associated volunteer opportunities. I enjoy holding events that bring people together, especially when I get the chance to meet passionate, smart and fascinating Rice Alumni.

Kay and David Lasater

Kay and David Lasater: Rice Parents

Rice Parents
Parents Leadership Council 

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

We volunteer so that we can be better connected to the people and places that are significant to our daughter’s experience. These opportunities also help us to meet other parents and to engage with alumni and friends who have enriched this journey for our family.

Songying Fang

SONGYING FANG

Faculty Member
Divisional Advisor, Hanszen College

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

I feel that it is such a privilege to do what I do — research and teaching. I feel particularly fortunate to do so at Rice, where there are great students. Helping students realize their potential by sharing my knowledge and life experiences seems like the most natural thing to do given this privilege.

AJ Beard '01

AJ Beard '01

Undergraduate Alum
Seattle Area Regional Coordinator, Rice Alumni in the Northwest (RAIN)

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

When I moved away from Houston and Texas, I really wanted to keep my connections, so I sought out events and fellow alumni in my area. I love what the university is trying to do to help students afford a high quality education, and I also love the continued emphasis on student life.

McKinzie Chambers '20

MCKINZIE CHAMBERS ’20

Undergraduate Alum 
Sid Richardson College Government

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

I volunteer for Rice to give back to a community that has raised me these last three years. I choose to volunteer in leadership positions and with various organizations to make my campus the best it can be and to enact the change I wish to see in the future.

Priya Prasad ’08

Priya Prasad ’08

Undergraduate Alum
Rice Engineering Alumni Board

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

Volunteering provides a tangible way to give back to the Rice and to see the impact of alumni contributions for students. It's also a good way to connect with classmates and meet new alumni from different class years, colleges and industries.

Evan Meeks ’02

Evan Meeks '02

Undergraduate Alum
R Association Board Member

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

I volunteer out of gratitude for those who spent their private time to help me when I was a student-athlete. I want to continue to help Rice grow and succeed by supporting current students and new alumni as they pursue their goals and by showing them how to continue to give back to the school that made them.

Matt Andrade Cheney Ph.D. ’14

Matt Andrade Cheney

Matt Andrade Cheney Ph.D. ’14
Society of Latino Alumni of Rice

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

I contribute a significant portion of my professional and personal success to my time at Rice and the mentorship I received. I strive to provide similar mentorship to current students at Rice in the hope that they succeed, value the mentorship they received and choose to mentor reciprocally.

Sheila Perry

Sheila Perry

Friend
Volunteer Greeter, Moody Center for the Arts

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

When the call came out for volunteer greeters for the Moody, it seemed to be a perfect opportunity to "give back" to the Rice community. The very talented and committed staff makes sure we, as volunteers, are up to speed on each new installation and have made us feel very much a part of the Moody family.

Jesus Patino MBA ’10

Jesus Patino MBA '10

Graduate Alum
Jones Graduate School of Business Alumni Association Board

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

I find value in staying involved with the school, lots of learning opportunities, fun and the opportunity to continue building Rice's value proposition.

Charley Landgraf ’75

Charley Landgraf '75

Undergrad Alum
Rice Board of Trustees, Glasscock School of Continuing Studies Advisory Board, Boniuk Institute Advisory Board, Rice Annual Fund 

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

The Rice proposition — academic excellence, commitment to socio-economic opportunity, world-class research and scholarship, all in an institution sized for maximum benefit to students — is rare and compelling. It simply must be encouraged and supported.

Francine Di ’03

Francine Di '03

Undergraduate Alum
Rice University Community of Asian Alumni

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

What I learned at Rice, and the people I met across all functions of campus, opened my world in profound ways, and I will always be deeply grateful for that incredible opportunity. I am even more excited, however, about the many lives that the Rice community continues to touch and inspire, and I am proud to be a small part of it.

Merinda Watkins-Martin ’91

Merinda Watkins-Martin '91

Undergraduate Alum
School of Social Sciences, Advisory Board

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

Rice is an amazing university. I am grateful for my opportunity to attend Rice, and I am eager to give back to the university. I also truly enjoy working with the students.

Kate Gunn Pagel '05

Kate Gunn Pagel '05

Undergraduate Alum
Rice Annual Fund

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

I volunteer for Rice because I cannot imagine my life without my Rice experience. I learned so much from my time at Rice, and I want to be sure that current and future students get that same, and hopefully even better, opportunity.

Mindy Smith MBA '13

Mindy Smith MBA '13

Graduate Alum
Jones Graduate School of Business class ambassador

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

I want to give back as much as Rice has given me. It is also because I enjoy it! Rice has a diverse population of students, faculty, and alumni who have fascinating stories of their life experiences and learnings. It also helps me keep up with all of the exciting changes at the university.

Leonard Chan '07

Leonard Chan '07

Undergraduate Alum
Association of Rice Alumni Austin Young Alumni Chair, RAVA Volunteer

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

Our years at Rice merely created the foundation of a common experience. I feel that my role is to facilitate opportunities that help this community of incredibly talented people continue growing. As with any community, its strength is in its members, and with its "unconventional wisdom," we can make a positive impact on the world.

Alberto Tohme

Alberto Tohme

Parent
Owl Edge Externship host, career mentor

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

My three children are undergraduate students at Rice. I want to give back to Rice, stay engaged with the undergraduate programs, and add value to the environmental and health science programs.

Purvez Captain M.A., Ph.D. '93

Purvez Captain

Graduate Alum
School of Social Sciences Advisory Board, Graduate student mentor

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

My experience at Rice was very special to me. I am married to Jennifer Rich Captain who is also a graduate alumni of Rice. We live in Houston and we are close to Rice and we enjoy coming back to campus and being able to help with all the initiatives.

Akilah Mance ’05

Akilah Mance ’05

Undergraduate Alum
Association of Rice University Black Alumni (ARUBA), Association of Rice Alumni Board

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

I volunteer for Rice because Rice has given me so many tools for success and I want to give back to make sure the university continues to thrive. I loved my time at Rice and I want to make sure the experience is as rewarding, if not more so, for current students.

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