Meet The Coordinators

Shruti Wadhwa | Megha Reddy | John Elizarraras

Helloooooo New Martelian!

My name is Shruti and I am insanely excited to welcome you to Rice and Martel College (the best college ever, as every Rice student knows). Martel is my home and Martelians are my family. Welcome to our family 🙂 Rice is an amazing school, but my favorite part about it is the community and the support system that I have found here, and I hope throughout O-Week and your time here, you feel the strength of that community as well.

To tell you a little about myself, I was born in Australia and then moved to India very quickly after that, living there until I was only 3. Most of my life was spent in Louisville, KY (and despite living there for so long, I am still unsure about the correct pronunciation of the city, a hotly debated topic here) and went to a K-12 school there. Some things I love are: being goofy, mindlessly driving around, listening to podcasts, following politics, trying new restaurants and coffee shops, and spending hours on end procrastinating to

perfect my Spotify playlists, also spending hours on end in Coffeehouse saying I am there to work but really just vibing. I am a Cognitive Science major, Biochemistry minor, and I hope to become a doctor! At Martel, I have served as the Chair of the Martel Diversity Council, and I have also been a Strive Liaison for 3 years. On-campus, I am an EMT on Rice EMS, I was a staffer for a leadership retreat called Impact, and I have an on-and-off relationship with the Hoot (a student-run business at Rice).

Since I had lived in Louisville for so long, I had a lot of fears coming to college so far from home. I came from a school where I had known some people for 13 years and I was scared to go to a university where I knew no one. O-Week at Rice really made me feel like I immediately had a support system. One of my best friends today is from my O-Week group. Throughout O-Week, I could feel those relationships and friendships growing and it already made my college experience so special.

Here is my advice for you coming into college:
Open yourself up. This can mean opening up to people or experiences or opportunities. I started doing this later into my freshman year and wished I had done it from the beginning. If you think someone seems cool and have a friend crush on them? Talk to them. If some opportunity seems out of reach? Go for it anyway. This has been so important for me and even though it can be scary to open yourself up, or be vulnerable, it’s worth it.

Appreciate every moment. I feel this now more than ever after our semester was moved online. Each moment at Rice– from small to big, easy to hard– has been so influential in making me who I am today. There may be difficult moments along the way, but use those moments to empower you, push you forward, teach you something about yourself. I’m gonna be right there, appreciating with you: taking in every moment at Rice, and being grateful for all of it!

Find your place. It may look different to each of you. Some may find their comfort in Martel, or a club, or a lab on campus, or Coffeehouse, or the Recreation Center. If you can’t find the place that is right for you… create it. At Rice, you have the power to form your experience the way you want it to. O-Week and Rice will give you the legos, it’s time for you to create your masterpiece!

I hope you have a good summer and that you are staying safe!

Martel Brings You Memories,
Shruti Wadhwa


It is my pleasure to welcome you to Rice University (aka the best university ever) and Martel (aka the best college ever)!!! I know this past year definitely hasn’t gone the way any of us expected and I am so sorry that you have missed out on experiences as you celebrate the next step in your life. While the future is unclear, one thing is certain: you are about to have the journey of a lifetime.

Rice University and Martel College are about to become your new home and I couldn’t be more excited to welcome you! You will soon get to know all the unique, fun, and inspiring people that make up the tight knit family at Martel. My fellow coordinators and I have been planning Orientation (O-Week) for the past couple of months, which will be your first taste of your time here and I am so grateful to be a part of it. I am learning more and more about all of you as you fill out various forms and prepare for the start of college, so I would like to share a little bit about myself with you!

I grew up in Long Island, NY, so moving to Texas was definitely a huge change for me, but I’ve loved every second of it. I am a rising junior majoring in Mechanical Engineering and I hope to go to grad school after I graduate. I am a class representative at Martel and head of the Community Committee to help promote Martel’s culture. I am also on Rice Women’s Club Volleyball team. I try to stay active whether it be going to work out or simply walking back and forth from Martel and Chaus 5 times everyday. Sidenote: Chaus is Rice Coffeehouse and their drinks and baked goods are amazing, 11/10 would recommend (my favorite drink is a good morning chai). Also, on the topic of food, I LOVE tacos (Velvet Taco is my fav restaurant). I love spending time outside and my favorite study spots are in the RMC courtyard and the Jones Business School.I know the college experience will be different for your first semester, but I encourage you to explore in any way you can!

I won’t lie and tell you your time at Rice will be easy and fun with no worries. You will make amazing memories here but you will also face challenges like you never have before, fail a few times, maybe shed a tear or two, but I promise you will come out of it smarter and stronger than before. You will grow so much even in just one semester and I, along with the other coordinators and advising team will be here with you every step of the way. I really love talking and I am always here if you need advice or just want to hang, so please always feel free to reach out to me! We want LEGO-Week to be the foundation for whatever path you wish to create. Make the most of every experience and opportunity you are given and never regret anything. Remember: work hard, play harder.



I’m John and I am really excited about introducing you to the best college! Welcome to Martel college, home of the best family on campus. Rice is an amazing place that helped me become someone I could never have imagined. O-Week is the just beginning of your time at Rice, but it was one of the most influential parts of my life!

Before coming to Rice, I was in Boise(boy-see), Idaho, and wanted to study mathematics, and eventually become a doctor. I am still pre-med, but I decided to major in bioengineering during O-Week. I am now a junior, and the Tech Committee head at Martel. I am also a leader of LIFE@Martel, a First-Gen and/or Low-Income group. On campus, I am usually either on a long walk or studying in Fondren (third floor only). I am a huge fan of the band Bon Iver, and I can talk about it for hours. If I am not at Martel, I am usually on a walk across campus or at the BRC. I also firmly believe in cereal before milk, and water is wet.

O-Week is coming quickly, and I have some advice that I wish I heard during my O-Week. The most important thing is to make the experience your own. All of your advisors want to make O-Week the best for you, so reach out to them. Also keep an open mind to new experiences. There was a lot of different things I was exposed to during O-Week, and I am glad that I got out of my shell and took part. O-Week is a great opportunity to meet new friends that will last throughout your time at Rice. I wish you the best during this summer, and I can’t wait for you to arrive!