Merriam-Webster defines “Marlena-esque” as “not found in our dictionary,” but we at Martel define it as positive, driven, passionate, and kind, as those are the qualities that Marlena Fleck perfectly embodies. Marlena in three words: Cats. Coffee. KTRU. If you have Marlena as your O-Week Advisor, you’re already the luckiest New Student ever! A sophomore from West Palm Beach, Florida, she’s 5’2” of architectural knowledge, unexpected sarcasm, and love for literally everything in the entire world. Pursuing a double major in Architecture and Visual and Dramatic Arts (with a concentration in Film/Photography), she’s not only a master of time management but also an amazing and over-qualified official O-Week Photographer. As a Peer Academic Advisor, Marlena will make sure you’re satisfied with your registration, classes, and overall schedule. Even with all these amazing academic responsibilities, she still finds the time to DJ at Rice’s radio station (KTRU), drink ridiculous amounts of coffee and tea, and make Spotify playlists for every possible mood. Prepare yourself for an amazing Advisor, a supportive peer, and a friend for life with Marlena as your Advisor!
Let me describe a typical day of a Rice student to you. You get up and go to the Rec. Vincent is already there, toning his already perfect calves. After your workout, you decide to grab a smoothie from Coffeehouse. Vincent is behind the bar, serving up tasty drinks and tastier tunes from the speakers. You take your smoothie to go and head to class. Vincent is already there in the front row, ready to engage in a lively discussion about energy policy in Botswana. After class, you decide to go off-campus to a hip new café or a gallery opening. Once again, you run into Vincent (he knows all the trendiest spots in his hometown of Houston). How one man can seem to simultaneously be in so many places is one of the greatest mysteries of Rice. Maybe there are actually two of him, and that is how this Senior manages to have time to double major in Computational and Applied Math and Mathematical Economics with his busy schedule of performing cutting-edge energy policy research, dancing at every possible moment, losing at FIFA (hey, he can’t be perfect at everything), and being an amazing and supportive friend to everyone lucky enough to know him.
Have you ever wanted a friend that constantly offers you food and plans spontaneous vacations with you (complete with a powerpoint itinerary)? Christie Ballew, or Mama Ballew as her friends call her, is your girl! She’s a junior Bioengineering Major who is a true nerd at heart. This smart cookie hails from Southlake, Texas where she lives with her family including her older brother, two cats, and rabbit. But when she’s not talking your ear off about her newest Spotify playlist or the latest physiology fact she’s learned, she’s probably doing a face mask or “accidentally” ordering massive boxes of chocolate on amazon (#exposed)!! You can catch Christie running around Martel, hitting the rec, and trying to convince her friends to illegally foster kittens in her suite. She enjoys passing out hugs, advice, and chocolate because her favorite pastime is listening to her friends talk about their lives while avoiding her lab reports. This Hamilton-loving ex- socials committee head and current Supercommittee Director will always make time for you despite her busy schedule, whether it’s for a heart-to-heart, spontaneous shopping trip, or classy brunch. You’ll be more than Stayin’ Alive this year with Christie as your Advisor!
Most know him as Olasina, others call him Ola. No matter what you call him, just know how truly privileged you are to have Olasina as your Advisor. I mean, wow. Not only is this Wiess sophomore slaying the game as a Neuroscience major, but he’s also one of the most genuine and kind-hearted people you will ever meet, no competition. When you first meet him, you’ll notice a few things: 1. His height, 2. His bracelets, and 3. His ability to make everyone around him have a good time. With legs as long as his, he’s always two steps away, ready for a quick chat, emotional support, or a spontaneous dance party with his A1 music taste. He won’t hesitate to be there when you need him, no matter the time of day; he’s often up at 2 am anyway grinding away like the good Rice student he is. Always down to be a goon, he will definitely ask you to play Ultimate Frisbee (I mean, he IS the star player on Rice’s Cloud 9 team). This “Long, Tan, and Handsome” Nigerian from Atlanta, Georgia will automatically be your favorite person at Rice. The only thing left to say is to get ready for the most #litty O-Week with Olasina as your Advisor.