Meet the Coordinators: 2019


Hope Lawrence | Paras Gupta | Justin Tang 

Hi there!

I’m sure you’ve heard many congratulations on your admittance to Rice University. While that’s certainly for good reason, I want to thank you for your acceptance of Rice’s offer. You each bring something entirely unique, from your interests and hobbies to your shining personalities and small quirks, and this community is so lucky and excited to have you joining us!

As for my interests and hobbies, I’m a rising Junior studying Civil and Environmental Engineering with hopes of finding a career in the renewable energy industry upon graduation. I work on campus as an office assistant for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering with one of our Resident Associates (RAs), Norma. Lastly, I’ve greatly enjoyed participating in Martel’s student government as a Secretary last year, and am excited to have the opportunity to throw fun events for you all as one of this year’s Community Committee heads!

Outside of the classroom is where you’ll find my personality and quirks, though. Hailing from the suburbs of Austin, Texas, I’m about as stereotypical an Austinite as I could be– I struggle to keep alive a family of succulents, enjoy practicing yoga, and am always happy to converse about my veganism! I generally enjoy staying active but need structure, so you can find me playing on Martel’s women’s flag football (Powderpuff) team, kickboxing at the Rec, or jamming along to a Zumba class. Whenever you see me in passing, odds are I’ll have my headphones in and look very serious, but that look is only to match my music (likely showtunes or Beyoncé), so never be afraid to say hi!

The greatest and most challenging thing about Rice is the abundance of opportunities it offers. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things being thrown your way, but some of these can also turn out to be your greatest points of growth. My advice is to not get frustrated with yourself for the opportunities you’ll inevitably have to pass, but also grab ahold of whichever ones do genuinely interest you. Remember, how something will supposedly serve your future goals is not what’s most important, as you never know how branching out may reshape your idea of that future.

Being flexible and open to trying new things has led me to some amazing opportunities here, from learning to kickbox to a summer abroad in Europe to publishing a social science paper to my current internship in the field of law. Rice facilitates and encourages your growth into the greatest version of yourself if you take the initiative to do so. I can’t express how honored I am to be part of the support network pointing you to Rice’s resources and cheering you along in your quest to first define what success here means to you and then to achieve it. While every good story has its trials and tribulations, never forget that you have an amazing cast and crew to back you up. Welcome to the family.


Hope Lawrence

Hiya New Martelian!

You’ve probably heard this so many times by now but, CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve been accepted into one of the greatest schools in the country, Rice University. Consider yourself lucky, you’ve also been put in the best residential college ever, Martel. Martel will be your home for the next four years, but it will be your family for considerably longer!

The Rice experience starts off with O-Week, short for Orientation Week, and it is truly the greatest introduction any university has to offer. I’m one of your O-Week Coordinators, and we’ve been preparing for your O-Week for the last few months. We’ve gotten to know a bit about you from those forms you’ve filled out, so I’ll take some time to tell you more about me.

Rice isn’t too far from home for me, I was born and raised here in Houston, Texas in an area known as Cypress. I am a rising
Junior studying Chemical and Biomolecular engineering, and I hope to attend medical school after graduating from Rice. I’ve spent the last year as an Assistant Justice, and have recently become a Rice Health Advisor, intending on applying the training I’ve received towards promoting Rice’s culture of care. Finally, I’m one of Martel’s Beer Bike Coordinators this year and I also play bassoon for the Campanile Orchestra!  Coming to Rice has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I believe I’ve grown considerably since matriculating.

You can often find me at Fondren library, studying for whichever mid term I have coming up, or even procrastinating on the homework I have due tomorrow. I’m rarely there long though, as I’m often at Coffeehouse, satisfying my coffee cravings, at the Hoot, finding a snack and meeting my best friend who’s a manager there, or around Martel spending time with my family. When I don’t have work to do I’m most likely at the recreation center hooping till I can barely make the walk home. I also enjoy participating in Intramural sports, in particular basketball and ultimate frisbee. Finally, I’m always open to try new things, I’ve tried every single item on Taco Bell’s menu, so if you ever need a friend to try something with, I’m your guy!

You’ve probably already heard tons of college advice leading up to this point, so I’ll keep my advice to you brief. The best piece of advice I was given when coming into college was simply: Do what you got to do, but also, do what you don’t got to do because that’s what makes life interesting. Rice has such a variety of things to offer and you never know what you might like till you try it. Also check your email every five minutes, seriously. New opportunities come up all the time, and it’s the primary form of communication between you and your professors.

It’s truly an honor to welcome your class to Martel, and I’m excited to see how your unique talents influence the best college ever. We look forward to seeing you take the spotlight, whichever way you choose too!

Welcome home,

Paras Gupta

Congratulations, New Martelian! This congratulation is twofold: not only have you made it to Rice, but you’re also part of the BEST college ever (if you don’t believe me, look up “Best College Ever” on Google and see the first link), and don’t let any other Rice student/alum tell you otherwise. I can’t wait to get to know each and every one of you and to talk to you during O-Week, but I also want to tell y’all a little bit about myself!

I’m a rising Senior studying Bioengineering on a pre-medical track. After graduation I will be headed to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai through their FlexMed program! I’m originally from Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey (although I often say I’m from New York since I went to high school in the city). I would love to talk to you about anything and everything, but will especially nerd out over bioengineering, medicine, or even the majestic beast that is New Jersey. This summer I’ll be travelling to Taiwan, where my parents are originally from, before heading back to Rice for coordinator ~stuff~ and to work on my start-up through Rice’s accelerator: OwlSpark!

At Rice, you’ll likely find me doing work in the Martel Commons or on Fondy 6th depending on how pressing a particular assignment is – procrastinating in the Commons if it’s work I can push off or truly grinding in the library a day before it’s due. When I’m not feeding my love for caffeine in Coffeehouse, I am probably in my classes in the Bioscience Research Collaborative wayyy across campus. As far as extracurriculars, I’m a part of Rice’s Biomedical Engineering Society, I’m a general chemistry TA, and I partake in research in the BIOE department. A long term project I have done is 3D printing prosthetic hands for kids without fingers since freshman year! Finally, to blow off steam I play any and every intramural sport I have time for, or I’m just at the rec – if you need a workout buddy, definitely let me know!

I’m beyond excited to get to know each and every one of you! Please do make the effort to reach out to me, whether that’s during O-Week or after, and I will make sure to do the same! I was fortunate enough to get really close with one of my Coordinators and he helped me immensely during my time at Rice. To this day, four years after, we still keep in touch, and I would love to make that connection with you!

Before I finish, knowing I’m about to graduate in a year (don’t remind me, it’s a sore topic), I want to leave you with a few pieces of advice.

  1. Be persistent. Opportunities at Rice are endless, but you need to put yourself out there and be known! Don’t be afraid to be annoying with follow-up emails or endlessly pursuing that really cool lab/club team/position you want to be a part of. That’s how you reap the benefits of having such a small student body! I wouldn’t have gotten to do such cool research if I gave up after my professor didn’t reply to my first email.
  2. Don’t let your lows prevent your highs. College is definitely a change of pace, but there are people here who care about you (see: advisors, friends, roommates, the A-team, coordinators!) who will help you and support you throughout your time here. There will be struggles, I know I’ve had my fair share, but it’s about how you come back from these challenges that will shape your college experience and make it amazing.
  3. Live it up. What I would give to be a freshman again is unfathomable. Go talk to anyone and everyone, seek those opportunities, and go to all the events. Coming from a rising senior, your college years really do fly by, so definitely make the most of it. They say you never know you’re making a memory, but I promise you’ll be making a ton of them these four years.

I’ll end with my favorite quote from The Office: “No matter how you get there or where you end up, human beings have this miraculous gift to make that place home.” – Creed Bratton. Martel has been my home and my family for the past 3 years, and I can’t wait to welcome you to it. I’m beyond honored to be your Broadway ShO-Week Coordinator and help you transition into Rice and Martel!

Break a Leg,

Justin Tang