Meet the Coordinators


Yovahn Hoole


Hi friend!

Welcome to Martel!! It is truly an honor to welcome the matriculating class of 2017, and I’m beyond excited to meet each and every one of you. Take a moment and be proud of all the work that led you here, you’re now part of a family of exceptional Owls. You’ve had to fill out a bunch of forms to help us get to know you, so it’s only fair that you get to know us. So here are a few things about yours truly.

I was born in Sri Lanka, but also raised in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Connecticut. I’m majoring in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and will hopefully be professor in a few years. This summer, I’ll be taking my GRE and getting ready to apply to graduate schools for a PhD in Machine Learning (i.e. creating Ultron) . Wish me luck!

I have 2 dogs and 2 cats: Kadiyan (he’s helping me right now!), Kalafi, Optimus, and Bagheera. There’s nothing like a nice dog or cat belly *squish* 🙂 I also have a three sisters – one in Seoul, one in Dublin, and one in San Francisco and my parents are both in Sri Lanka.

I’m a big fan of exploring restaurants (help me add to my list!), road trips to Austin, climbing anything that I can, cooking spicy food, and recently anime and Korean dramas. As a senior, I’ve had a lot of fun at Martel, Rice, and Houston and I’m excited to pass all that on to you!

At Rice, I’ve been a part of the boxing, wrestling, and Brazilian jujitsu clubs. I’ve built houses with Habitat for Humanity and had some great conversation as a past Diversity Facilitator. In my senior year, I’ll also be a small group leader for XA (chi alpha), an on campus Christian fellowship. I’m also involved with Computer Science research on campus and at the medical center. If any of these clubs/opportunities sound like your cup of tea, come talk to me!

My advice to you is to help those around you, it’s a brand new place and everyone is feeling scared and a little awko taco. Break down those barriers, look for what makes you happy and don’t be afraid to go outside your comfort zone! These next four years are going to be filled with close friendships, hard work, and great memories. You’re in for a ride 🙂

Welcome home buddy,

Yovahn Hoole

Thresa Skeslien-Jenkins


Hello wonderful new Martelians,

Congratulations!  You made it to Rice, one of the greatest schools in the country, and you’re lucky enough to get to live in and be a part of the future of the best residential college Rice has to offer, Martel!  We’ve spent a long time getting ready for O-Week and getting to know you through your forms so I’ll use this page to tell you a bit about me.

I came to Rice from Montana (yes, that state with more cows than people).  I’m a junior studying Political Science and Sociology and after graduation I hope to go into consulting, just like what I’m doing for my internship this summer.  Since coming to Rice, I’ve grown with the support of the incredible people here from a quiet freshman to an outgoing junior.  Now, I’m always excited to make new friends across campus.

I spend most of my time at Rice either semi-studiously working in the Commons or Coffeehouse or flitting from meeting to meeting across campus.  In my free time I’m probably binge watching Grey’s Anatomy and I’d be more than happy to talk to you about the latest drama that’s emerged there.  Because I’m always going to events or lectures across campus, I’ve become incredible at finding events with free food.  You should always be on the lookout for me late at night as I’m probably carrying leftovers back to Martel.

Now that you know a bit about me, I am extremely excited to get to know each of you (whether before, during, or after O-Week)!  Rice (and Martel) will offer you so many opportunities to get involved, learn more about yourself and meet some of the smartest people in the world.  While times at Rice can be tough (I’ve definitely had my fair share of struggales), there are more than enough people here to help you get through it.

I do have a few pieces of advice for each of you based on my own two years at Rice:

  1. Read every email, you never know what kinds of things you’ll find there.  I got summer internships (for this summer and next), an on campus job, a ticket to see John Kerry, and my qualitative research position. Rice has a lot to offer, but sometimes these opportunities can be easy to miss.
  2. Sign up for anything that sparks your interest and learn more.  College is the time to explore and Rice is a great place to do it. There’s a lot here that you probably have never heard of before, but you never know which of those things will end up being your favorite.
  3. Talk to as many people as possible!  It’s the people at Rice that will help you make your best memories and learn the most.

I’m super excited to be your O-week coordinator and help all of you make the transition to Rice University and Martel (the best college ever), the place you’ll call home for the next few years!

Welcome to our ohana,

Thresa Skeslien Jenkins


Josh Sorge


Before I introduce myself, CONGRATULATIONS on getting into the BEST college at Rice! Ooh, of course, (how could I forget?) congratulations for getting into Rice. This is no small accomplishment! My name is Josh, and I can’t wait to get to know you. Welcome to Martel College!

So, who am I? Imagine a guy riding a unicycle and yelling “cheerio” as people walk away from a lame pun he just delivered. That’s me. I’m usually not that extra – I love the low-key vibe of a conversation over a puzzle.

I find the “where are you from?” question really hard to answer. An American citizen with roots in the Indiana suburbs of Chicago (go Cubs!), I was born in Malé, Maldives, and spent most of my childhood in southern India. Indian food will always have a special place in my heart – I’ve been known to occasionally try cooking it (with limited success). Sadly, I never learned any Indian language. I’ve got an older brother – my personal role model and, incidentally, a Martel alumnus – and I recently became and uncle! (Ask me if you need a dose of cute baby pictures!) Over the past two years (I’m a rising Junior), Martel has become the place I call home – a place of unconditional acceptance, fun times, and growth. The process took time, but I’m grateful for the head start to my own O-Week experiences gave me, and I hope that Stitch and LilO-Week will provide you an outstanding transition to life at Rice.

I am majoring in mechanical engineering (having switched from physics last year), and am involved with research relating to fasteners (read: nuts and bolts). I don’t believe in chewing gum or lollipops. I love biking (and unicycling), and train hard for Beer Bike each year – our annual race. I’m also involved in Chi Alpha, a Christian ministry on campus and would be happy to get you connected if you’d like. If you can’t find me on a Saturday night, I’m probably playing board games in the Martel game room, or trying to get people to watch a “mindscrew” movie like Primer or Memento. My friends pretend to hate my puns, though in fact they are quite excellent.

The fact that you have made it into Rice means that you have an incredible story (even if you don’t think so), and I would love to hear it. So, if you’ve got time, pull up a chair next to me at lunch (during or after O-Week) – I’d love to get to know you! A few final words of advice: relax, you are going to fit in here no matter who you are (that’s what makes Martel and Rice so special); talk to people about your struggles; and don’t wait until you get to the “real world” (i.e. out of Rice) – you’re already in the real world.

With that, have a great remainder of your summer!


Josh Sorge