Andrew Stefani can often be found listening to economics podcasts while cruising the Houston roads in his truck; whether it’s to move furniture, grab happy hour sushi, or shuttle helpless friends back and forth from the airport. While this Austin (well, just outside of Austin) native is loyal to his pals, he is just as stubborn when it comes to doing things his way (just try to get him to wear shoes other than flip flops). His special talents include but are not limited to: being able to fall asleep anywhere, consuming an entire extra-large pizza in one sitting—with hot sauce of course, and managing to avoid dance floors at all costs. And maybe just a little bit of athleticism in the whopping 12 intramural sports he part icipated in last year. Although Andrew seems a little too cool for school, his presence will make you feel all warm inside, just like the gas station coffee he swears is better than any brew around.
Congratulations, you must’ve won the advisor lottery, because Anh Tran is going to be your o-week advisor! Anh is an advisor loved by all, and for good reason. This Houston-Native is undoubtedly “hype” (if being hype means squealing at pitches so high no one can hear when excited) and always full of love to share. She’s super trustworthy, and will always give good advice. A rare pre-optometry girl (probably the only one at Rice, let’s be real) “loves glaucoma” and will always have an eye out for you! As Martel’s very own mail fairy, Anh knows a lot of the ins-and-outs of Martel and usually knows what’s going on before anyone else. She’ll make sure her freshman stay in the know! Usually spotted in bed, playing super smash in the game room, or at her cool cornea research lab, this Vietnamese beauty would do anything for her friends (which is practically everyone). From treating her friends to some super yummy Malaysian food in Chinatown, to studying off campus at an art cafe, even to driving furniture to help friends move, Anh is always down for an adventure (and an excuse to procrastinate). By the end of o-week, you’ll come to know and love the meme-able, gleeful, and zealous Ohn Tron. (Please don’t actually call her that)
Meet Peter Suzuki, the racially mixed-up Martel hero. Majoring in bioengineering, this guy is involved in at least two world-changing research groups at any given time. When he’s not doing that, he’s busy prototyping a medical device at the OEDK, playing guitar (or violin (or singing)) for Rice’s Mariachi Luna Llena, smashing home-runs for the club baseball team, or doing a puzzle with his mates. He’s always down for a serious conversation, be it talking about relationship woes, discussing the destiny of humanity, or how the Nats are doing this week. Probably the nicest guy I know, you can count on him for a good time, friendship, and support no matter what is going on (and will forgo sleep if necessary). Peter also brings a diverse skill set in the most important life activities: blanket making and board game playing. If you’re looking to j-chill one weekend, you need look no further, Peter will provide the perfect companionship for a fun time no matter the activity (even watching baseball-who knew it could be exciting?). I’m sure he can’t wait to meet you!
Don’t be fooled by the Chacos, athletic apparel, and vanilla lattes, this is the least basic girl you will ever meet. That’s right, it’s the half Chinese, half Egyptian, French speaking, Ice-skating, Austin loving Courtney Wang. If there’s one thing you should know about Courtney, besides the fact that she’s sweeter than her favorite bubble tea after a Dim Sum brunch, it’s that she can dance; and if she isn’t breaking out the worm on the dance floor or pulling triple axels on ice, she may be found casually knitting ear-warmers while listening to Dave Barnes. Whether you need a friend to take you to music festivals, teach you how to wakeboard, or just someone easy to talk to (she’s a psych major and knows what’s goin’ on), Courtney is your go-to-girl. The lucky new students that get her as an advisor better get ready for a dance party and a whole lot of fun.
Imagine you’re taking a walk around campus with your beautiful, amazing Diversity Facilitator, Kaarthika Thakker. (This could very well happen in real life. Kaarthika likes walks. She took a whole class about walking). First you’d probably notice that she walks very slowly – her pace is almost glacial. Maybe she’s weighed down by her giant orange water bottle, or maybe her parachute pants are catching the wind and slowing her down. It’s okay though – this snail-like speed gives you time to talk. Kaarthika likes talking. She’ll ask you lots of deep, personal questions. She’ll also tell you about herself. She’ll tell you all about the hidden gems of her home state of Ohio. Your first stop on this walk is the KTRU station, where Kaarthika dominates the airwaves on the reg. You talk about music – she knows many a band and her music taste is better than yours. It just is. It’s a fact. Next, you’ll go to Coffeehouse, Kaarthika’s favorite study spot/second home. She’ll inevitably run into someone from one of her classes, and you’ll end up talking about computer science or sociology, her two majors. Then you’ll pop over to the Women’s Resource Center to chat with whoever’s there. You might talk about art, which Kaarthika knows so much about it almost seems like she’s speaking in an incomprehensible code. On the way out of the RMC, Kaarthika will point out her spirit tree. Why don’t I have a spirit tree, you might ask. It’s okay, Kaarthika will help you find it as you walk back to her room at Lovett for a cup of tea – she has tea out the wazoo and can make mean cup of Chai.