Meet the Coordinators


Taylor Armstrong

Stuart-Paul_-20150501_5344Imagine a field full of sunflowers slowly swaying in the breeze. Peaceful. Serene. Suddenly, imagine them being thrust aside with vigor by a tall, leggy, blonde running full speed screaming and laughing at a noise level of 100 db. To the future of Martel (the best college ever) I introduce myself. Warning: your peaceful, serene world will never be the same.
I liken the process of being your O-Week coordinator to giving birth. It’s been a long process AND I JUST CAN’T WAIT TO MEET YOU. Do not call me your mother, I am not your mother.

I believe in the metric system and Christmas during the summer because I was born and raised in New Zealand. I have an accent and say words you don’t understand. I’m also a member of the varsity swim team who won Conference my freshman and sophomore years. Through swimming I am a member of SAAC (student-athlete committee) and have consequently sold my soul until the end of time. I have also been involved in Martel as a secretary, historian, and traditions committee head. I am also a part time comedian, life coach, love guru, laughing machine, the sunshine in the commons, and clearly quite a humble soul. I bleed maroon and light blue all day err’ day, babaayyyy.

But wait! That’s not all. I’m also the proud owner of a life size President Lebron statue, have a pet kangaroo named Jack, and yes Lance Armstrong is a (very distant) relative of mine. While I do spend about 90% of my day underwater (ask me how long I can hold my breath…here’s a hint, I wrote this entire bio without breathing), the other 10% is spent studying for my double anthropology / psychology majors, hanging out with my minions who like to call themselves “friends”, and loving Martel.

Some factual “fun” facts about me (because let’s be honest, “fun” is a social construct #welcometorice #yourewelcome) — I love to laugh and no, my laugh is not as horrific as Anita’s, I am either joking, being sarcastic, or laughing 99.9% of the time (I’m never laughing AT you, I’m laughing with you, young sapling. You’ll learn), I have 3 siblings and we all live in different countries #reallove, I used hashtags ironically and now i love them for emphasis, I also used emojis ironically until I found the blonde Queen and have consequently replaced my signature on documents with said emoji, and finally, I’m insane — I once jumped off a 115 ft waterfall for FUN (read: social construct).

In all seriousness I consider myself so lucky to be able to introduce you to the greatest college on earth and CAN NOT WAIT for you all to get here. Prepare to meet your lifelong friends and have some of the best life experiences EVER! With so much love it’s unreal,

Taylor (aka taytay baebae)

Mohammad Kassim

Stuart-Paul_-20150501_5335Who’s that darting down the freeway spitting the latest Drake hit? If you guessed Mohammad Zakariya Saad Eddine Alsheikh-Kassim you were right. And if you guessed Momo, you were right too. We’ve been prepping and planning for the past 6 months. Now it’s your turn to tell your “story and make hiSTORY” as Drizzy once said. Get ready for a week full of excitement, fun, and…academics!

Now a little bit about the man behind Chateau Week, or, as I like to call it, MomO-Week. I’m a senior majoring in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. I was born in Houston but lived in Lebanon for a middle school and high school prior to college. Despite all my friends leaving Lebanon to study in different places all around the world, we all still stay in touch. We try as much as we can to see each other every once in a while, and we enjoy visiting each other with my last trip being in Canada where I also got to see…you guessed it: DRAKE.

This is about to be my third year at Rice: I transferred from UH after freshman year and absolutely love it here. Living off-campus makes being involved in Martel a bit tricky, but I try my best to be an active member of the best college ever. I keep myself busy by saving lives as an In-Charge for Rice EMS, working in clinical and biochemical research labs, and growing a sketchy-looking beard.

Martel isn’t the only family I enjoy spending my time with. Since my family is only a 20 minute drive from Rice, seeing them isn’t as difficult. I am the oldest of 4 siblings. We occasionally barbeque in our backyard, or a picnic at any of the Houston parks. I love teaching my brother soccer, and if time permits, I hope to become his soccer coach next year. While my soccer glory days are long gone, I still enjoy watching the sport, especially Chelsea! We’ll still be friends if you support another team though. I’m also a die hard Rockets fan. I like to think of myself as their lucky charm since they never lose when I’m in the stadium.

I love adventures, trying new activities and exploring the Houston restaurant scene. Even though I’m notorious for double booking and being late to everything (being popular is soooooo hard) never hesitate to reach out to me. So hit me up the next time you need a buddy or want to grab a cookie (“oh hell yeah” – Taylor). I’m always down for both.
Congrats on winning the college lottery. Can’t wait for y’all to be part of the family!

Momo (Σ π μ)

Anita Alem

Stuart-Paul_-20150501_5349Hello my innovative, charming, and strong swans,

Welcome to Martel, the universally-acknowledged best college ever. We are so lucky to have you in the family and I cannot wait to see y’alls beautiful faces!

A bit about me, since we’ll know hella about you: I was born to Bangladeshi parents and am originally from Fremont, California. I’m a junior majoring in bioengineering. My favorite thing about Rice is the strong emphasis on community (MARTEL, MARTEL, MARTEL, MARTEL) and how this fosters student responsibility (if something can be student run, it will be student run). That being said, I choose to engage in the Rice community as the News Editor of the student-run Rice Thresher and in the Martel community by heading a variety of committees. I’m also involved in undergraduate research in both public policy and synthetic biology. If you are at all interested in getting involved in any of the above, please talk to me! Or interpretive dance to me. Email me. Perhaps just make eye contact with me. Whichever works for you, man.

Some other information about me:

  • I can’t pronounce the word drawer, unless it really does rhyme with lawyer and everyone else is wrong
  • I love clothes and about half my wardrobe is thrifted so if you wanna go thrifting I’m always up for it.
  • Until very recently, I thought the prank of Willy’s Statue being turned around meant it was balancing on its head
  • I’m a feminist– I support and try to work towards the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.
  • My laugh has been described illustriously as the sound of a puppy dying. I’m sorry in advance. But is it really worse than Taylor’s? Yeah okay probably.
  • I’m so about that off campus life. If you have any solid smoothie recipes, hit me up please. Or if you have any questions about living OC. See above for methods of contacting me.

To reiterate, you’ve pretty much won the lottery as a new Martelian and ATM is here to support you in your new student journey. Relax and enjoy the ride because it’s going to be fulfilling, enriching, and incredibly fun!