Houston, TX

Rice's incoming freshmen participate in RISE about racial justice, equity and urban life in Houston

Jackson Cutler


HOUSTON, TX - In July, Rice University introduced its new program named RISE, which stands for Responsibility, Inclusion, and Student Empowerment. It is a 10-day residential seminar to familiarize students with Houston's diversity.

RISE's inaugural cohort was attended by 14 students from humanities or social sciences majors. During the program, they went on field trips, cross-campus walks, West Servery breakfasts, day-long seminars, and evening bonding sessions.

Byrd and Chelsea Drake, assistant director of the Rice Emerging Scholars Program developed RISE in Rice’s Office of Student Success Initiatives, as well as finding ways to engage humanities and social sciences with important issues within the urban environment, from segregation to gentrification.

Drake said that these students feel responsible for their backgrounds and communities. Therefore, Rice will provide the tools that they need to be a great leader and successful student at Rice by August 13.

Drake also reminds the students when they are seniors in four years ahead, she expected them to involve in big leadership positions in leading this place and make the best time in Rice.

Additionally, the RISE program allows freshmen to take a look at the campus life and additional orientation before O-Week. The program is free and even offers an allowance to make it accessible for every student.

The 10-day sessions were filled with the introduction between students and professors along with graduate students working in the humanities and social sciences, such as Morgan Seay and Soha Rizvi, rising seniors and roommates at Hanszen College.

Seay and Rizvi volunteered Q&A sessions where the students asked about Coffeehouse, course loads, and college socials. Seay said this program initiative is really exciting and she's glad to take part in it.

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