UIO Student Staff 2022

The UIO Student Leadership Team consists of current international undergraduate students that will serve as your guides to life at Rice and will be leading you through UIO. All of them are excellent students, superior leaders, and mentors

The UIO Advisors are very excited to help welcome you to Rice University! Now let's learn a little more about them.

2022 UIO Advisors

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ALINA

College: McMurtry
Hometown: Changzhou, Jiangsu, China
Interests: K-pop dancing, travelling, cooking, watching the jumping squirrels’ fluffy tails
Fun fact: Have petted a baby squirrel; Trilingual – Chinese, English, and Korean
Future goals: Learn more languages if possible. Enjoy my life at Rice while learning diligently.
Advice to new students coming to Rice: Don’t worry! Everything will work out, but it just takes time. Rice is glad to have you here:)
Favorite thing to do in Houston: Going to concerts, Watching the squirrels, Visiting Chinatown
Favorite spot to study on-campus: Alone: 3rd floor Fondren Fine Art Library (Very aesthetic) Group: Rayzor 1st floor or Kraft(but far)

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ANNIE

College: Jones
Hometown: I was born in Hangzhou China. I’ve also lived in the UK, Michigan, and Pennsylvania before coming to Houston:)
Interests: I like making vlogs, cooking, running, fencing, and playing chess;) I also enjoy reading detective novels and watching scary movies (with other people). I love the Houston zoo, I think I visit the zoo more often than local Houstonians:)
Fun fact: I can do dog bark.
Future goals: My ultimate future goal is to go to the moon with my friends.
Advice to new students coming to Rice: My advice to new students is to explore every servery, every floor of the library, every college commons as early as possible! It’s the best way to meet new people as well as get to know the beautiful Rice campus! Also, go to at least one OWL game and cheer for our school! WE HAVE THE BEST SCHOOL SPIRIT.
Favorite thing to do in Houston: I love exploring different restaurants with my friends. Houston Museum of Fine Arts and Natural Science Museums are also my favorite go-to places.
Favorite spot to study on-campus: My favorite spots to study on campus are the window seats at the Fondren Library.
Anything else you wish to add? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or just to hang out! My first year at Rice has been amazing thanks to all the lovely people I've met, and I want to pass on this spirit to you.

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CATARINA

College: Martel
Hometown: London, England
Interests: Playing soccer, hanging out with friends, traveling
Fun fact: I have a twin sister.
Future goals: I would like to work in the sports industry, but am still working out where exactly :)
Advice to new students coming to Rice: Take part in as much as you can - Rice culture is amazing! And you might also meet your best friends while you do it.
Favorite thing to do in Houston: Trying out all the great food places.
Favorite spot to study on-campus: Brochstein

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CHIRO

College: Brown
Hometown: Lagos
Interests: I am interested in theater, computer science and writing.
Fun fact: I used to play the piano during mass in my high school.
Future goals: I would like to spend some time abroad in France.
Advice to new students coming to Rice: Coming to Rice might be intimidating, but the same things that make it challenging make it fun and worthwhile.
Favorite thing to do in Houston: I like taking walks or running in the park.
Favorite spot to study on-campus: I don’t really have a favorite spot to study, but Ray’s courtyard, at the right temperature, is a solid spot.

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FAVOUR

College: Wiess
Hometown: Abuja, Nigeria
Interests: Black and white drawings, chess, psychology, soccer, electric vehicles, engines, meeting new people
Fun fact: I love the RDJ Sherlock Holmes movies.
Future goals: Make out time to play more soccer and learn to play the harp.
Advice to new students coming to Rice: Feel free to ask questions, everyone here is always willing to help.
Favorite thing to do in Houston: Going to concerts and cultural shows
Favorite spot to study on-campus: Duncan library/up-co, Ryon classroom, McNair & Jones study rooms

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GRACE

College: Wiess
Hometown: Kigali, Rwanda
Interests: Writing, reading, going on walks, talking with friends, and learning languages.
Future goals: Become an organizational psychologist.
Advice to new students coming to Rice: Try new (legal) things out for fun, don't be afraid to ask for help, and try to always get enough sleep.
Favorite thing to do in Houston: Going to Rice Village
Favorite spot to study on-campus: Fondren Library

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HAMZA

College: Lovett
Hometown: Tunis, Tunisia
Interests: Chess, gardening, philosophy
Fun fact: I speak 4 languages (Arabic, French, English, Spanish)
Future goals: I still don't know :) Just going with the flow for now
Advice to new students coming to Rice: Be open to try new things!
Favorite thing to do in Houston: Eat tacos!!!
Favorite spot to study on-campus: Rayzor Hall
Anything else you wish to add? Very excited to meet new international students!!

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HUZAIFA

College: Brown
Hometown: Lahore, Pakistan
Interests: Playing FIFA and tennis, trying out new cuisines, photography, travelling
Fun fact: Go-to person for halal/desi food recommendations :)
Future goals: Learn the piano
Advice to new students coming to Rice: Chill out and take college one step at a time
Favorite thing to do in Houston: Go to Hilcroft for desi food!
Favorite spot to study on-campus: Brochstein Pavilion

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JOSIE

College: Baker
Hometown: Christchurch, New Zealand
Interests: I do High jump for the track team and love drawing and reading with a good cup of coffee
Fun fact: I am an identical twin and am studying bachelor science majoring in earth environmental and planetary science.
Future goals: Become a geophysicist and go to the olympics
Advice to new students coming to Rice: There are going to make so many opportunities shown to you, make sure you take advantage of this and just have fun!
Favorite thing to do in Houston: I love hopping on an electric scooter and exploring downtown
Favorite spot to study on-campus: Brochstein and the library, both close to a coffee source!

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KENECHUKWU

College: McMurtry
Hometown: Anambra, Nigeria
Interests: I spend the time I am not doing academic work or sleeping either dancing, singing (mostly privately), or making my friends laugh.
Fun fact: I have been in the US for a long time but I have never actually had mac and cheese.
Future goals: I am at a transition point in my life so I don't really know what I want yet for sure. I promise to have an answer by the time you arrive here.
Advice to new students coming to Rice: Take it easy. You'll find your place I promise.
Favorite thing to do in Houston: Exploring Houston! There's so much history and culture here.
Favorite spot to study on-campus: Nothing beats an evening at Fondren.
Anything else you wish to add? I love you all and can't wait to meet you.

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KUSH

College: Sid Richardson
Hometown: Mumbai, India
Interests: I love exploring different cuisines in Houston! I also love to go on drives.
Fun fact: My left ear can do a weird folding thing, I’ll be glad to show it to the incoming students when I meet them!
Future goals: I want to work as a software developer before transitioning into an entrepreneur in the technology field.
Advice to new students coming to Rice: You belong here, even if you feel like you don’t. You’re here for a reason and embrace that every single day. Be patient and everything will fall in place with time.
Favorite thing to do in Houston: I love to go to Rice Village or Downtown and eat at amazing restaurants!!
Favorite spot to study on-campus: Brochstein Pavilion right outside Fondren library is amazing. Also, I love to study at Chaus (Rice’s very own coffeehouse)
Anything else you wish to add? Can’t wait to work with all the incoming international students!!

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LAVENDA

College: Wiess
Hometown: Nairobi, Kenya
Interests: Technology, nature trails, yoga
Fun fact: I play chess and I can play only 4 chords on the guitar
Future goals: To be a highly competent computer scientist
Advice to new students coming to Rice: Make your experience at Rice what you want it to be.
Favorite thing to do in Houston: Going to different restaurants to try a variety of cuisines
Favorite spot to study on-campus: Fondren 4th floor

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LUISA

College: Jones
Hometown: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Interests: I am interested in Politics, talking about movies and watching New Girl.
Fun fact: I have a huge sock collection.
Future goals: Live in Amsterdam and work in the ICJ, or be a diplomat.
Advice to new students coming to Rice: Don't be afraid to ask questions, this will most likely spark conversation which can lead to friendship!
Favorite thing to do in Houston: Go to the art museums!
Favorite spot to study on-campus: Either 2nd floor of Fondren or Jones' quad.
Anything else you wish to add? I am so excited to meet all the incoming international students!

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MICHAEL

College: McMurtry
Hometown: Accra, Ghana
Interests: Community service, playing video games, solving puzzles (crosswords and Sudoku), cooking dishes from around the world (or at least trying to).
Fun fact: I speak 4 languages.
Future goals: Visit every country. I love meeting new people and exploring different cultures.
Advice to new students coming to Rice: Ask a lot of questions! Luckily for you, there are a lot of people willing to help!
Favorite thing to do in Houston: Trying new food spots every weekend. Houston is a very multicultural city and has so much to offer.
Favorite spot to study on-campus: RMC Basement. Sadly it’s going away :'(

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MOHAMED

College: Lovett/Will Rice
Hometown: Cairo, Egypt
Interests: Playing soccer, going on random walks/bike rides to explore new areas, and playing FIFA
Fun fact: I can do a handstand!
Future goals: Create an impactful tech startup
Advice to new students coming to Rice: Set time to talk with fellow Rice students and meet new people! I have grown so much through some of the conversations I have had here.
Favorite thing to do in Houston: I love exploring Houston’s coffee shops, my current favorite is slowpokes!
Favorite spot to study on-campus: New Sid’s terrace, or outside Brochstein are two of my favorites

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SHIVAM

College: Duncan
Hometown: Kolkata, India
Interests: I really enjoy playing the guitar and the piano during my free time specifically singing and playing Bollywood music. I also love making beats using FL studio and logic pro and composing my own tunes.
Fun fact: I went skydiving in New Zealand when I was nine years old. Also (really silly) I can touch my nose with my tongue.
Future goals: I am currently pursuing a Computer Science Major and an entrepreneurship minor. After graduating, I aim to work for a big tech company and hopefully start a business of my own eventually.
Advice to new students coming to Rice: My advice to new students coming to Rice would be to never be afraid to ask for help. There are plenty of resources available on campus such as the Rice Student Wellbeing Center or even just your advisors and magisters. It is easy to feel an “imposter syndrome” but you should always remember that you got accepted to Rice because you are special.
Favorite thing to do in Houston: My friends consider me a big time FOODIE! I love going around Houston, trying different restaurants and cuisines. My personal recommendation – Oh My Gogi food truck in Rice Village.
Favorite spot to study on-campus: The Rice Coffee Hose (CHAUS)
Anything else you wish to add? I am extremely excited to work with all of you and together we are going and make this one of your most memorable times at Rice.

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SINI

College: Hanszen
Hometown: I’m from Espoo, Finland.
Interests: I’ve always loved water sports and that’s probably why I also found my way to the Rice Women’s Swim team. My other interests include but are not limited to medicine, longboarding and exploring Houston restaurants. :)
Fun fact: I love baking and cooking overall. Some might say I’m pretty good at it too
Future goals: Get into a medical school and be able to travel to Asia.
Advice to new students coming to Rice: If I was to give one piece of advice to the incoming international students, I would tell them to use the resources Rice has to offer, and branch out to try new things. College is meant to be the time to find yourself. Even though Rice will give you an incredible education and an academic standing close to none, it has also the potential to serve as the place where you find your true calling and spend the happiest 4 years of your life.
Favorite thing to do in Houston: Explore the Houston restaurants.
Favorite spot to study on-campus: My favorite place to study outside is in front of the student entrance of Fondren library. Recently I’ve also liked to study on Sid Richardson second floor terrace.

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WED

College: Jones
Hometown: Jeddah!
Interests: Reading, Cooking, Gaming, Shopping, Anime, etc ^_^
Fun fact: Grew up in Wales, love tea, the Renaissance fair is my favourite event of the year, I love nothing more than swords, I sometimes do sfx makeup ^_^
Future goals: No clue honestly, as long as I’m happy, comfortable, and still have my friends ^_^
Advice to new students coming to Rice: Stay in touch with your family and friends back home! It’s so important and really helps stave off homesickness. Try your best not to get too swept up in college life. One phone call a week really does make a world of difference.
Favorite thing to do in Houston: Japanese bbq my beloved <3
Favorite spot to study on-campus: My room
Anything else you wish to add? Starting uni, especially in another country, is quite daunting, but don’t let that dissuade you! You’re gonna have a blast!!

2022 Summer UIO Director

Over the summer, Favour will working in Houston with Jenny on prepping all details for the UIO program in August. Let’s learn a little more about Favour!

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FAVOUR WILLIAMS

College: Wiess
Hometown: Abuja, Nigeria
Interests: Black and white drawings, chess, psychology, soccer, electric vehicles, engines, meeting new people
Fun fact: I love the RDJ Sherlock Holmes movies.
Future goals: Make out time to play more soccer and learn to play the harp.
Advice to new students coming to Rice: Feel free to ask questions, everyone here is always willing to help.
Favorite thing to do in Houston: Going to concerts and cultural shows
Favorite spot to study on-campus: Duncan library/up-co, Ryon classroom, McNair & Jones study rooms