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Previous Envision Grant Projects

Read about projects funded by the Envision Grant in the past:


National Conference for Student Taught Initiatives (Pierre Elias ‘11, Ara Parsekian ‘11)
To enable student leaders at Rice to engage with administrators and students from various universities and colleges across the country.  Through these national interactions, Rice students are able to learn from others’ experiences, discuss different ideas, and improve student taught courses at Rice.  As student taught courses become increasingly popular at Rice, Rice University becomes a stronger presence in the national Student Taught Course community. 


Owl List (Violetta Krol ‘12 and Konrad Stoick ‘11)
An online marketplace for Rice students and staff hoping to trade books, furniture, and other miscellaneous items.  Owl List now functions in association with the Student Association (SA) and is the premier place for students and staff to trade goods versus previously being traded through college list servs and bulletins.  Owl List has also opened up jobs for students on campus and encourages campus-wide interactions.


Research Mentorship Initiative (RMI) (Rahul Rekhi ‘13)
To fill the gaps in education for students at inner-city high schools who lag behind more affluent students, especially in science, technology, engineering, and math related careers.  RMI introduces these disadvantaged students to scientific research and encourages them to pursue careers in those fields.  Undergraduates who participate in RMI mentor these students in their math and science research alongside Rice professors and graduate students. 


Rice Through the Decades (Eli Spector ‘14, Rohini Sigireddi ‘14)
To embrace Rice University’s history and presents it to the world through a RiceWiki website and various podcasts on iTunes.  The RiceWiki page, much like other university’s Wikipedia pages, features articles about student life, residential colleges, and university history while the podcasts feature a series of interviews with prominent community members, faculty, and alumni.


Be a Healthy EMT. (Halle Rasmussen)
To educate and inspire healthy lifestyles for campus EMTs. Halle’s project, Be a Healthy EMT, is an ongoing program which will use Rice resources to empower EMTs to seek and embrace a healthy lifestyle. Halle observed that the EMT work environment is susceptible to illness and stress, and many EMTs have poor eating habits, lack adequate sleep and exercise, and use alcohol and tobacco to relieve stress. The 'Be a Healthy EMT' program is an incentive program to promote a healthy lifestyle and build teamwork and camaraderie with fellow EMTs. Halle has set up an online inventory tool for EMTs to monitor healthy activities.  Some of these acitivities include: appointments with nutritionist or personal trainer, cholesterol screenings, input of time spent per week working out, number of well-proportioned healthy meals per week, inviting friends to join workouts, average number of sleeping hours per night in a week. 
To learn more about her project, click here!


Owl Parade
A collaborative intiative to raise money for student clubs and organizations. Twenty fiberglass owls were cast by Randall McCabe and "adopted" by student organizations. The decorated owls were auctioned off online along with "owl parliaments" of items from Dr. and Mrs. Camacho's owl collection. The project raised over $6,000


After-School Arts Program, San Jose, Costa Rica. (Elizabeth Bakalyar)
An after-school arts program and library in a small community of Nicaraguan immigrants called Pavas, near San José, Costa Rica. The program is run in the Lutheran church there. Elizabeth hopes not only to provide a safe, inviting place for children to come after school to do their homework and explore the arts, but also to provide concrete programming including music exploration games for young children, music lessons for older children, visual art projects, and drama. In addition, as students are required to pass an English exam in order to graduate high school (which has proven to be a significant barrier for this community), she will have certain aspects of the program facilitate the learning of the language - such as availability of books and games in English. She resided in Costa Ricka for 14 months, as the community gradually took over the project allowing it to become a sustainable and intrinsic part of Pavas.


Bat Houses. (Megan Mauter '06 and Davis Niendorff '05)
To alleviate some of the pain and itch of mosquito bites in an environmentally friendly manner. The Envision Grant will fund the construction of 6 large bat houses to be posted around Rice's campus. One of these bat houses will be equipped with a camera that allows for the monitoring of occupation and of the variety of bat species on campus. In addition, the live images from the video feed will be made available to the public via a website. With one bat's appetite for over 100 mosquitoes per evening and a capacity of 250 bats per house, bat house projects like this one can lead to considerable reduction in mosquito bite incidents in an area the size of the Rice campus.


Healing the Senses Museum Exhibit. (Anne van de Ven -PhD Candidate)
A museum exhibit to educate the public about how the ear works, what can go wrong, and what we can do as engineers to repair hearing loss. The exhibit was on display in Keck Hall through Jan 6, 2005.


Junior Critical Literacy Project. (Habib Irshad '04)
An educational initiative created by four students at Rice University and faculty members at Furr High School in Houston, Texas. Working with students in an eleventh grade English class, the goals of the project were to:
1. help students prepare for the TAKS test via cricitical assessment of educational journal articles, and
2. create a better composite of local dropouts for the HISD school board via interviews with former students and family members. 
The Junior Critical Literacy Project was an incredible success. From transitioning students away from passive learning to empowering them to represent themselves and their school at a citywide conference, we were able to make in a tangible difference within the community. To read the complete report, click here.


Poland through Poetry. (Hubert Gorniak '05
)To use contemporary Polish poetry as a foundation to define, and help explain, prevailing Polish attitudes reflected in the political climate. Hubert hopes to make a documentary answering the question, "What does it mean to be Polish today?" The project is also supported by the Parrish fellowship.


REACH High School Outreach Program. (Yian Liu '07)
Help students from Lee High School with the college application process. Topics include writing a college essay from the Texas Common Application, completing the application, attending Saturday sessions detailing interviews, scholarships, financial aid, colleges, etc., and learning more about college life. In addition, students have attended classes with Rice undergraduates, participated in a colloquium with speakers from the admissions office and high school guidance counselors, and stayed overnight at Rice during Owl Weekend. The initiative is an extremely rewarding experience for both students from Lee and Rice and we hope to continue our work for many years to come. Most importantly, we have learned that although it is difficult to change the world, it is entirely possible to do so!


Somewhere Out There. (Diane Shao '08
)A project encouraging campus-wide awareness of the multitude of animal species that live at or visit Rice University. Over 60 species of birds, including Rice's mascot Screech Owl, and many other animals such as possoms and rabbits can be seen around campus. All students are encouraged to submit photos of interesting species that they see, and submissions will be credited on the website and public display to be created when the collection is near complete. The goal is for the collection to be continued throughout the years as more animals visit and are sighted.


Breast Cancer Car. (Naturaleza Moore '04) 
Naturaleza resigned her 1988 Mercury Sable to honor women who have died from breast cancer and those who have survived it. The car's pink exterior and eye-catching artwork raises awareness for cancer and encourages women to be checked for the disease. The car participated in the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art's 2004 Art Car Parade in Houston and won the "Steer This" Collegiate Award. It also appeared on Channel 2, including an interview from owner, Naturaleza Moore.


Different Religions Week. (Nathan Black '06) 
An international grassroots movement. During the week, people are encouraged to attend religious services of faiths different from their own. This Envision Grant will help spread the word about the week by funding a Web site, www.differentreligionsweek.org. The site will include information about how to attend various services. Different Religions Week 2004 is July 9-16.


Documentary about the Pro-Life Movement. (Stephen Fell '05 and Will Thompson '05
)Check out this article about the documentary in the Summer 2005 issue of Rice Sallyport.


Erin's Playground: The Bobo Project. (Tara Teter '05 and Erin Porter '05
)Erin Mackenzie Peck was a promising architecture student with a bubbly laugh, a keen fashion sense, a love for music, practical jokes, and people. She had been at Rice for one year when she was taken from us by a drunk driver. We knew we wanted to create a memorial for Erin, something that embodied her spirit and ensured she would be with us in some way. We came upon Bobo, a little red stuffed creature that belonged to Erin. We wanted to give everyone a Bobo, a little piece of Erin that would eventually cover campus, cover Houston, and spread across the country, and across the globe. We unleashed Bobo in the form a pin, with instructions for Bobo’s “adoptive parents” to send pictures of Bobo having fun back to Rice. The project, and Erin, lives on as pictures are sent back and posted at bobo.rice.edu. A compilation of Bobo’s pictures and many adventures will also be displayed each year at Brown College around the anniversary of Erin’s death. Wearing the Bobo pin lets people know and remember Erin – and the consequences of drunk driving."


Plastic Baler. (Guyton Durnin '05)
A piece of machinery located in the F&E corral that allows Rice to instutionalize its plastic recycling program. In the past, plastic was only recycled if members of the Environmental Club drove it to a recycling center. Now, thanks to Envision, F&E, H&D and all of the colleges, the University is in charge of making sure plastic gets recycled. 
Once you place your bottles and containers in either the #1 or #2 plastic bins, H&D and F&E work to get it to the F&E corral where staff compacts the plastic in the baler and stores it until it is sold in half ton bunches.


Taste of the Town. (Ginny Stuckey '06 and multi-college team)
The first annual restaurant showcase at Rice University. A Taste of the Town started as a class project in LEAD 309. With a Van Wilder type drive, the group worked together through the spring of 2004 and kicked off Willy Week with a sell-out event! Members of the Rice community purchased $5 tickets which admitted them into the Grand Hall for an evening of delicious samples from 15 local restaurants, an elegant social setting, and musical entertainment from Rice students. Diners were encouraged to review the various restaurant booths and samples; Two Rows was the overall favorite!


Dance Marathon. (Alex Kipp '05)
A fundraiser for Memorial Hermann Children's Hospital. Rice students participate by fundraising throughout the year and celebrating with a 12-hour event in the spring. In 2003, its first year, Rice Dance Marathon raised over $10,000 for the hospital


Undergrad Research Symposium. (Janessa Shapiro) 
A campus-wide conference where undergraduates present their research on posters and are judged by a panel. Students from all academic fields can come together and share their work with their fellow students and the rest of the Rice community.


Coffeehouse PDRs. (Rebecca Sherman '00
)A project to redesign the PDRs (private dining rooms) located behind the student-run coffeehouse for the purpose of providing more space and interesting spots for students to meet, sit, and display artwork.


World Flight. (Chris Wall) 
In a reconstructed 1957 AeroCommander 560E plane, named the Dreamcatcher, Rice student Chris Wall and his high school friend, Dan Dominguez, circled the globe. The three-month journey was an educational opportunity for students around the world, as they communicated with the young pilots via the Internet.


Chamber Music Outreach Project. (Caen Thomason-Redus) Enhance music education in elementary schools by giving performances and conducting workshops. The program continues to thrive and has been renamed JUMP! (Just for yoU Music Program!). Students from various Houston elementary schools enthusiastically embrace the activities and concerts.


Rethinking Shotgun Houses. (Brett Zamore) 
Architecture graduate student Brett Zamore brought his expertise in architecture to the Fifth Ward of Houston to rehabilitate a shotgun house, which is a distinct style in American architecture. As a result of this project, a neighborhood of run-down shotgun houses has grown into a thriving art community.


Urban Plunge. (Teddy Kapur
)In an effort to promote understanding of the challenges and public attitudes confronting homeless people, a small group of students dressed down, emptied their wallets and spent 48 hours living as homeless people on Houston streets. These experiences raised awareness and more interest in service and social justice, in addition to a generous donation to homelessness prevention organizations.


Lovett Undergrounds. (Grayson Morris and Amy Chang)
A venue for students and the Rice community to perform on Friday nights complete with free beverages such as hot chocolate and coffee. The Undergrounds hosts mostly musical performances of a variety of genres.