Rice University

Rice University Center for Civic Leadership

Current HART Projects

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Connecting Hermann Park and the Texas Medical Center (Spring 2018)

Rice’s Center for Civic Leadership (CCL) is collaborating with the Herman Park Conservancy (HPC), to make informed, evidence-based decisions regarding planned renovations to the park. HPC, through a public-private partnership with the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, raises funds, manages projects, and is responsible for the stewardship and improvement of Hermann Park. The current master plan includes developing the 15-acre section of the park known as the Hermann Park Family Commons into a welcoming and civic landscape, update the playground area, and improve access for the adjacent Texas Medical Center (TMC). With the support of TMC leadership, this research project will identify opportunities to design and publicize the space as a convenient, welcoming and enjoyable space for medical center employees and visitors. This experiential learning opportunity will enable students to apply the knowledge and skills gained from Rice courses to complete work that will benefit the city. 

Students:
Ashley Fite, Psychology & Kinesiology
Rose Kantorczyk, Sociology & Policy Studies
Franklin Zhang, Cognitive Sciences & Spanish
Alex Tobin, Sociology & Policy Studies

Team Coach: 
Matt Lamb, Political Science

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Improving Education Collaboration at Workshop Houston (Spring 2018)

Rice’s Center for Civic Leadership (CCL) is collaborating with Workshop Houston to identify ways to improve their ability to offer services for local youth by working more closely with community educators and leaders. Workshop Houston’s mantra for this initiative is, “How can we help you help our children?” This initiative is part of a larger effort to revamp the Scholar Shop (a project-based STEAM lab) and efforts to market the Scholar Shop as a fun, educational, hands-on learning experience to middle and high school students in the Third Ward. Workshop Houston, a youth development organization and neighborhood resource that provides youth with creative, technical and educational resources through experiential learning opportunities in Southeast Houston, hopes to increase engagement of local youth beyond their current traditional after school programming model. This experiential learning opportunity will enable students to apply the knowledge and skills gained from Rice courses to complete work that will benefit the residents of the City of Houston. 

Students:
Sara Tseggay, Cognitive Sciences & Sociology
Anu Dwarumpudi, Biochemistry and Cell Biology & Art History
Uma Ramesh, Cognitive Sciences
Kusha Gupta, Political Science

Team Coach: 
Cathy Boyd, Sociology

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Interpreting the Relaionship Between Drainage and Flooding (Spring 2018)

Rice’s Center for Civic Leadership (CCL) is working with the City of Houston’s Chief Resilience Officer to identify relationships between ground permeability, drainage, and flooding in the Houston area. As part of a larger endevor by the Research and Education for Able Communities under Hazards (REACH) group and the Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters (SSPEED) Center at Rice University, this project will focus on creating GIS based maps that help to identify areas of greater risk of flooding. Findings from this project will inform city policy on dealing with future flooding. This experiential learning opportunity will enable students to apply the knowledge and skills gained from Rice courses to complete work that will benefit the city. 

Students:
Arjoon Srikanth, Computer Science & Statistics
Katherine Simmers, Political Science & Social Policy Analysis
Meredith Brown, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Malvika Govil, Mathematical Economic Analysis

Team Coach:  
Steven Perry, Political Science