Rice University

Rice University Center for Civic Leadership

CCL Student Ambassadors

The ambassadors are a group of eight students who have served in various leadership roles within CCL programs during their time here at Rice. Ambassadors serve as the student face to our center and are available to answer your questions or point you toward the CCL staff member who can. They are eager to tell you more about their experiences and the opportunities available to you through the center!

Sonia Torres

Loewenstern Ambassador

Major: Math-Econ & Computational and Applied Mathematics     

Class of 2019     E-Mail: st43@rice.edu

Hi Y'all! My name is Sonia Torres, and I am a rising Junior from San Juan, Puerto Rico/Houston, Texas/Hanszen College (in that order) studying MTEC & CAAM. I arrived at Rice two years ago, approaching community service as a checkbox item in my personal development. I have learned many lessons with the CCL since then, including the importance of long term service, how to engage with community partners, and how to create sustainable projects that are left standing long after we are gone. I am eternally grateful for these lessons, and as an Ambassador I hope to help other Rice students learn what it means to be involved in authentic civic engagement. Of course, learning never stops, so I also hope to learn from the new, excited, and passionate students who have never had an opportunity to work with the CCL! When I grow up (which is scarily and quickly approaching!), I hope to work in economic development, hopefully at an international stage, and I know that my work at the CCL will serve me well as I transition into a graduate economics program. See you in the fall!

Other CCL Experience: Urban Immersion Participant, Outreach Day Participant, Pilot Houston Internship Program Participant, Urban Immersion Coordinator, RSVP Outreach Committee, Loewenstern Fellow

Carly Frieders

Learn Level Ambassador

Major: Philosophy & Policy Studies     Class of 2020     E-Mail: crf4@rice.edu

Carly is a Brown College sophomore hailing from the great state of Arizona who loves musical theatre, dogs, and social justice work. Carly first came to the CCL as an Urban Immersion participant the summer before her freshman year and she has stuck around ever since. Many of her best memories from her first year are of CCL programs that helped her get connected to the Houston community and introduced her to some of the coolest people at Rice. She became a CCL ambassador because she is passionate about bringing people together through service and advocacy. From block-walking to get out the vote in East Aldine to braving a blizzard on a New York ASB, Carly has seen it all (well, not quite), and she is ready to tell you about it! Once Carly graduates, she hopes to go to law school and then do social justice work full-time at a legal clinic or advocacy organization.

Past CCL Involvement: Urban Immersion Participant, Outreach Day, Rich Endowment Selection Committee Member, Alternative Spring Break Participant (ASB), Leadership Rice Mentorship Experience (LRME) Fellow

Reilly Brooks

Alternative Spring Break Ambassador

Major: Sociology & Policy Studies     

Class of 2018     E-Mail: rrb5@rice.edu

I am originally from Grapevine, Texas. The CCL has been the core of my academic and personal growth at Rice by offering immersive experiential learning opportunities and individualized, consistent mentorship that challenges me in ways that a traditional classroom setting cannot. I have learned how to critically analyze social problems and injustices, thoughtfully engage with and learn from communities at the local level, and creatively problem solve alongside community partners to address the root causes driving these injustices. My experiences with the CCL motivate me to pursue a career in the field of social impact and sustainable development. I want to help others get involved with the CCL because I believe their programs encourage students to be more thoughtful, empathetic, and civically engaged in order to ultimately become agents of social change at Rice and beyond. 

Past CCL involvement: Lead 150; Alternative Spring Break Participant; Alternative Spring Break Leader for Homelessness and Housing Inequalities in New Orleans; Loewenstern Fellowship (with FSD in Kakamega, Kenya); Houston Action Research Team (HART); Leadership Rice Mentorship Experience (LRME); Rice Undergraduate Scholars Program (RUSP), Civic Leadership Capstone & Certificate

Navya Kumar

Alternative Spring Break Ambassador

Major: Sociology      Class of 2019     E-Mail: nrk2@rice.edu

Hello! I was born and raised in Austin, Texas and as a true Austinite, I love all kinds of food (tacos!) and most kinds of music. I'm a co-captain of the South Asian fusion a cappella team at Rice, Basmati Beats, a Rice Health Advisor, and an avid Instagram enthusiast. I plan to attend medical school and become a physician, while continuing to expand affordable access to healthcare for all people, regardless of race, gender or socioeconomic status. The CCL has taught me that being a passive believer of equal rights is not enough-- you must be active in your advocacy to truly make an impact. I'm truly passionate about making sure that students at Rice are empowered in their activism and fight for what they believe is right (AKA what the CCL did for me). I can't wait to meet y'all! 

Past CCL Involvement: Rich Endowment Selection Committee and Alternative Spring Break Site Leader, 2017.

Evan Flack

HART Ambassador

Major: Mathematical Economic Analysis & Statistics

Class of 2018     E-Mail: evan.flack@rice.edu

Hey y’all, it’s Evan! I’m originally from Annapolis, MD (land of Sperrys and crabcakes) but I happily call Houston my second home. Outside of school, I’m really into watching Baseball (go Orioles!), playing pickup basketball, and playing the drums in the jazz fusion band: Steve Cox’s Beard. After Rice, I plan on pursuing a graduate degree in economics and going on to research social welfare programs in the U.S. I’ve been involved in what seems like every program the CCL has to offer and learned way more than I can share in this bio, but the main thing the CCL has taught me is how to align my personal, professional, and moral goals. I’m really excited to help others get involved because I owe so many of my incredible experiences at Rice to the CCL and want to make sure my peers can have similarly awesome experiences!

Past CCL Involvement: Urban Immersion Participant, Leadership Rice Mentorship Experience, Alternative Spring Break Site Leader, Houston Action Research Team (2), Peer Coach, Certificate in Civic Leadership

Isabel Milton

LRME Ambassador

Major: Chemical Engingeering

Class of 2018     E-Mail: iim1@rice.edu

I am from Lafayette, Louisiana, a small town with the most flavorful food. When I am not cooking food or eating it, I am likely packing suitcases for my next trip to a new place.  Through studying chemical engineering at Rice, I have had the opportunity to fulfill leadership roles in a technical capacity. The CCL has broadened my leadership development, helping me view it as a continuous, lifelong journey. With the CCL’s help, I have been able to learn about the field of philanthropy while exploring my passion areas of pursuing environmental justice and mitigating education disparities. As a CCL Ambassador, I hope to be another resource for students who are seeking to engage with their academic interests in new ways.

Past CCL involvement: LEAD 340; LEAD 250

Shaian Mohammadian

Learn Level Ambassador

Major: Biosciences      Class of 2018     E-Mail: sm78@rice.edu

Hi everyone!  My name is Shaian, and I am a Sugar Land, TX native studying Biosciences on a Pre-Health track.  I am going to be a senior this year and I will be one of your ambassadors for Learn Level programming.  Although I am not entirely sure what kind of specific health profession I want to pursue after Rice, I know that my decision has been heavily impacted by my experiences at the CCL.  My favorite extracurriculars at Rice have been the experiences I've had the privilege of going on through the CCL (namely Urban Immersion and Alternative Spring Break).  I have met so many fantastic, like-minded (but also diverse) people who are passionate about social change and I have learned a wealth of information about communities and topics that I could not have learned in the same way in a classroom setting.  The CCL has taught me many things, but if one thing is to be highlighted, it is the concept of asset-based community development.  In short, this is the practice of assessing a community by its assets rather than its deficits.  This completely changes the framework and mindset of your thinking and perceptions, and allows for a much healthier, collaborative experience when working with a community or organization.  I want to get others involved with the CCL's programming so they can pursue their passions for service, learn about a vast diversity of topics, and explore the world beyond the hedges (cliché, I know).  There is so much to learn about and see, so if you are looking for a way to quench your curiosity, there is definitely a CCL program that will match your interests.  If you ever need any help with getting introduced to the CCL through its preliminary programming, please feel free to reach out to me at sm78@rice.edu.

Past CCL involvement: UI Participant/Coordinator, ASB Participant (2x)/Site Leader, RURS Participant, Friends-In-Deed Runner-Up Scholarship Recipient

Lanie Tubbs

LRME Ambassador

Major: Political Science & French        Class of 2018      E-Mail: dft1@rice.edu

Hi! I'm Lanie. I was born and raised in Houston. I'm a Jonesian studying Political Science and French. You can find me (over-caffeinated) at Coffee House or running around the outer loop and Hermann Park. After Rice, I hope to study security and civil conflict by pursuing research opportunities and a doctorate in Political Science. The CCL played a huge role in my decision to pursue these passions as a career, even though I had a totally-lame-way-too-narrow understanding of leadership, personal development, and what the CCL even is when I came to Rice and as I started LRME! I only wish I’d snapped out of it sooner and embraced all that the CCL has to offer, which is why I decided to become a CCL ambassador. For me, not only did LRME provide an amazing opportunity to practice Political Science research, but all the fabulous people in the CCL also taught me the importance of preserving my values and intentionally reflecting on who I am and what I can do. I look forward to meeting you, learning from you, hearing about all your hopes and dreams, and getting you plugged into the CCL, of course! See you soon!

Past CCL Involvement: Leadership Rice Mentorship Experience, RURS Co-Chair