The H-Team is our dedicated team of adults and their families who live at Hanszen and who provide endless wisdom and resources to all Hanszenites. They include the Magisters, whose house is by Old Section and the grove, three sets of Resident Associates (RAs) spread across Old Section and New Section, and a College Coordinator with her office in the Commons. Their job is to make sure Hanszen is running properly, throw excellent study breaks, and serve as mentors for Hanszenites to support us through the highs and lows of college life.
My name is Joyce and I am the Hanszen College Coordinator. I have been at Hanszen for 17 years and at Rice for 25 years. I assist the Magisters with the day to day administration of Hanszen. I also support and advise students on a myriad of issues, working closely with our executive Cabinet with budgeting, purchasing, housing, and event planning.
Students are the heart of Hanszen and should not hesitate to come to me anytime to ask for life advice, rant about a class, figure out how to approach a difficult situation, to gain a different perspective, or just to have some candy.
I was born and raised in Texas, attending the Bradford School of Business. I am married to my high school sweetheart and we have 3 sons, 2 beautiful daughters-in-law, 4 grandchildren with another on the way, and 2 fur babies. When we are not with our family, my husband and I love to travel, garden, and preserve our own food.
While you are in the Hanszen office you can:
Fabiola López-Durán and Carlos Pelayo Martínez, Magisters of Hanszen College, are thrilled to welcome you to the Hanszen community! They look forward to assisting you to succeed in your academic career at Rice University and to make the most out of living in Houston—one of the largest and more fascinating cities in the country. They are here to foster the intellectual and social life of the residential college and to accompany you in your own personal journey during your years at Rice.
Fabiola and Carlos are both Venezuelans but from opposite sides of the country. They met in Caracas, when Carlos was just moving back after spending five years working in agriculture in the rice fields of the countryside and Fabiola was just setting up her home in the Venezuelan capital after coming back from graduate school in Italy and France.
Fabiola, Associate Professor of art and architectural history in the Department of Art History, was originally trained as an architect and as a museum professional in Venezuela and Europe. After a decade teaching at the Universidad Simón Bolívar in Caracas, working at the National Museum of Fine Arts, and conducting diverse interdisciplinary museum projects in Europe and Latin America, Fabiola decided to come back to school in 2002 to pursue a Ph.D. in History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture and Art at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), a bastion of science and technology education, which considers the arts and humanities as essential for both educating great scientists and engineers and for sustaining an extraordinary capacity for innovation. Perhaps, that is the reason behind the interdisciplinary nature of her research and her commitment to teaching from interdisciplinary perspectives, identifying connections between fields that are often treated as compartmentalized phenomena within specific disciplines. Prior to joining the Rice University faculty, she was the 2009-2011 Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at the Department of History of Art at the University of California-Berkeley, where she developed a profound interest in political ecology and environmental issues. She also has a long trajectory extending her intellectual reach into new areas of investigation and collaboration with contemporary artists and architects from around the world.
Carlos was trained in business at the Universidad Metropolitana in Caracas, Venezuela, and has over 25 years of management experience in a variety of industries including agriculture, biotechnology, international trade, and adventure tourism. He also has a long record volunteering in non-profit organizations from his work at La Cocina, a kitchen incubator in San Francisco that helps low-income food entrepreneurs (mostly immigrant women) to formalize their businesses, to his work for many months after hurricane Harvey with the Red Cross in Houston. Currently, Carlos found a passion for woodworking and video production. Carlos feels at home in the skills he learned in his youth, when learned craft along with mathematics and sciences as equal parts of the curriculum, materializing the intimate relation that exists between problem finding and solving, technique and expression, work and play. “I am a producer,” he said, “and an outdoor enthusiast,” who enjoys creating and implementing administrative processes and procedures, designing and producing objects and furniture, and organizing hike, bike and kayak excursions to the most fascinating places, including the Amazon in Brazil and the Santa Elena Canyon in West Texas.
They are both passionate about Houston and its surroundings, and both are also very active in the cultural life of the city. Fabiola collaborates on a regular basis with the various cultural institutions in the city, from the Museum of Fine Arts Houston to the Sicardi-Ayers-Bacino Art Gallery, and Carlos is a member of an art collective called Tarraya and collaborates with TransArt Foundation for Art and Anthropology and other institutions. He is the technical director of LASSER-Houston—a broadcast program of MIT's journal Leonardo, whose first two iterations in Houston were hosted by TransArt. Both enjoy the vibrant life of the city and cannot wait to share their favorite places with the new Hanszenites! They will love to take you in their gastronomy itineraries to food markets and small restaurants of the various ethnic groups that make this great city, to the cultural events in which they participate, and to extraordinary natural sites in this large state—from Pedernales River to the Big Bend.
They are thrilled to welcome each of you to Hanszen, to Rice, and to Houston!
Hey Hanszen! We are Bryn and Neal Dugre, your Old Section RAs! We met the first few weeks of college at our alma mater, Elon University. We've been married for twelve years and have been Houstonians for eight. We have a five year-old daughter, Georgina, and a one year-old, Ambrose, aka the youngest Hanszenite.
Bryn grew up in rural Virginia and is a bona fide debutante. Send any etiquette questions her way. At Elon she majored in two English concentrations: Creative Writing and Literature. Her passion for English contributes to her love of reading and her Instagram captions. Bryn has been the Operations Administrator in the Earth, Environmental & Planetary Sciences (EEPS) department at Rice for four years, working with the chair on special projects and as event planner extraordinaire for all EEPS department events. She listens to a lot of podcasts and is currently working her way through Armchair Expert and Wait, Wait... Don't Tell me. You'll likely see her walking around campus with headphones trying to catch the latest episode.
Neal also hails from the East Coast: Massachusetts (the best of all the commonwealths, however much Bryn would beg to differ). Neal is an Assistant Professor of Early American History at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on U.S. history, American Indian history, and all aspects of the colonial period. Unsurprisingly, his research focuses on seventeenth-century New England, which is to say that he knows more than you will ever want to know about the puritans. Whereas most normal children grow up watching cartoons or sports, Neal grew up watching cooking shows on his local PBS station. The silver-lining of this unusual upbringing is that he is now an excellent cook and baker, skills you will no doubt benefit from during your time at Hanszen.
As an honorary Beer Bike team member-in-training, Georgina loves riding her tricycle around campus. She loves to read books, sing, the pool, and showing you her stuffed animal friends. You will probably see her running around the quad or commons saying hi to all her friends.
Ambrose loves to move and loves food. He started walking at 11 months, and we can't slow him down. He's generous with his smiles, chews on everything, and loves people. You will probably hear him before you see him.
We look forward to hosting weekly study breaks and plan to make lots of goodies to feed hungry Hanszenites. We live in Old Section, apartment 105. Please stop by and say hello. We can't wait to meet you!
- Bryn and Neal Dugre, Hanszen RAs
Hello Hanszenites! We are one set of the RAs and we are thrilled to have you as part of the Hanszen family. Lebena and Nick met in Houston. Charlie is their naughty dog son whose saving grace is his cute little face.
Lebena is from Abu Dhabi and received her undergraduate degree from Christ College in Bangalore, India; M.S. from University of Manchester; and PhD from University of Northern Illinois. She is a research manager at the Baker Institute of Public Policy and is an absolute foodie. She loves to cook and is looking forward to sharing her culinary creations (both savory and sweet) with you.
Nick's family moved around quite a bit but they eventually settled in Baytown, Texas. He received an undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University and a M.A. from University of California, Merced. Nick is an archeologist at the Texas Historical Commission and likes to spend his free time camping, caving, and all things outdoors. Nick has promised to at least organize a few study breaks that involves biking and taking Hanszenties beyond the hedges of Rice.
We enjoy going to Rocket games and the local theatres to watch plays. Traveling is a shared interest of ours and being foodies comes with the territory. We have tons of recommendations for you be it microbreweries or restaurants in Houston. We are ardent fans of superhero movies- DC or Marvel doesn't matter, all of them are avengers to us! We would like to invite you to their study breaks which is an ideal time for all Hanszenties to leave work behind and socialize, or you can come visit us on the fifth floor of New Section!
- Lebena Varghese and Nick Bourgeois, Hanszen RAs
Hello Hanszen! We are Lam and Rebecca Yu, your friendly neighborhood RFAs. Lam was born in China and grew up in Houston. Rebecca is a more recent transplant to the Lone Star State, having lived here for the past eleven years. Rebecca grew up outside of Nashville and then Atlanta but returned to Nashville to study music at Vanderbilt for her undergrad. They met and then married in Memphis. When Rebecca was seven months pregnant with their first child, Catherine, they and Tuck, their faithful puppy, moved to Houston. A decade later, Tuck is still our puppy, but Catherine is a big sister with two brothers, Joshua (8 years old) and Samuel (4 years old).
Lam is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He mainly teaches introductory physics classes for science and engineering majors. He loves teaching physics. To him, physics is breathtakingly beautiful. He believes physics is one way for us to face the infinite without being overwhelmed. Lam hopes everyone can be persuaded that physics is not an intimidating subject filled with incomprehensible formulas that only a selected few can understand but a thing of beauty that is approachable and enjoyable. In his free time, Lam likes building and fixing things and enjoys reading and learning to play the piano (still a work in progress). His favorite author is Marilynne Robinson.
Rebecca is a violinist. This job title essentially means that she freelances and teaches. Being a musician has allowed Rebecca to travel and perform with people from around the globe. She has taught students ranging in ages from three to sixty-three, music courses for college undergraduates and preschoolers, and loves that despite different ages and backgrounds, there is always a way to connect with each other. She has played events ranging from wedding proposals to weddings; small dinner parties to shows in full costume involving pyrotechnics and aerialists. In her free time, Rebecca loves reading and learning to play new instruments, as well as learning German and Cantonese. She has also recently taken up running (also a struggle, but like learning a new language, the good kind of struggle) and ran her first Half Marathon when Samuel was four months old.
Catherine is 11 years old and has always had a natural joy and love of learning. She is a loving big sister and takes great care of her brothers. She delights in making new friends, creating art, and being outside. Catherine loves to go camping (especially the s'mores) and has helped to instill that love in her little brothers. Since she was three, Catherine has wanted to be an astronaut and go to Mars when she grows up. She loves being on campus and hopes to attend Rice. She has studied violin at the Michael P. Hammond Preparatory School at the Shepherd School of Music for seven years and plays with the Houston Youth String Orchestra. She loves to read and write and, more often than not, will have either her head in a book or a pen in her hand.
Eight-year-old Joshua is a big Harry Potter fan and cannot wait until he turns eleven. He has big plans for when he arrives at Hogwarts, but for now, he says Hanszen is his Hogwarts. Joshua plays the piano and little league baseball and would stay outside to play baseball all day if he could. Joshua has a kind heart and is a deep thinker. He loves to be silly just to make us laugh and is a great brother. Joshua has always loved to learn and loves reading. He also enjoys conducting science experiments and always has a variety of seeds growing, rocks tumbling, or concoctions mixing. He loves playing and watching baseball and wants to play for the Astros when he grows up (after Hogwarts, that is).
Samuel recently turned four years old, and he loves to do whatever his big brother and sister are doing. He is very inquisitive, loves to listen and dance to music, and gives Tuck treats. Samuel loves to play any musical instrument he can get his hands on and has told us he would like to play the cello. Samuel also enjoys playing outside and finding animals and insects. Samuel loves to help bake treats, and you just might find him around Commons with a basket full of freshly baked cookies that he wants to share. He loves to pull a book off the shelf, climb into a reading nook, and read like Catherine and Joshua.
The oldest of the Yu children, fourteen-year-old Tuck, is passionate about you. He hasn't even met you yet, but he already loves you. Just like Ariel from the little mermaid, Tuck wants to be where the people are. He is the happiest when he is with us, and he takes good care of us. If it storms at night, he will pace between everyone's rooms until it stops, or sometimes he will knock the door open so that he can lay in front of Samuel's crib. He loves to take walks, meets new people and animals, and is highly interested in squirrels, birds, and UPS delivery people. He eagerly anticipates mealtimes with Samuel because he knows the youngest Yu will always give him a snack. Tuck's life goals include learning how to climb trees (squirrel motivated), sleeping in bed with Catherine, Joshua, and Samuel, and convincing us to let him have a seat at the dinner table.
We enjoy watching movies and tv shows, camping, cooking, baking, and learning about different cultures. We can't wait to host study breaks and share our passions (and food!) with Hanszenites. We live on the first floor of the New Section. Please come by any time and see us and say hello. Welcome to the Hanszen Family!
- Lam and Rebecca Yu, Hanszen RFAs
Harry Femur Hanszen is our a glorious 12-feet-tall skeleton who guards Lower Commons, and an unofficial member of the H-Team. We like to dress them up for Halloween, Beer Bike, and any other celebratory time of year.