Oluwanifemi Adebara, a sophomore at Duncan, whose name translated in English means, “God loves me.” As the only international undergraduate from Nigeria, Nifemi is not your average girl. Majoring in Mathematical Economic Analysis, Nifemi is intelligent, talented, generous, hilarious, and beautifully humble. Nifemi became a peer guide because she loves teaching people and wants to build relationships with the incoming freshman class by teaching them things she’s learned during her time at Rice. Nifemi might seem quiet at first but please do not be fooled. She knows when to offer her thoughts and keep it real with you. Nifemi spends her time eating french fries and oranges from the servery (American food does not compare to Nigerian food in her eyes), taking naps (she’s not about that stressful life) and spending time with friends. On top of casually dominating her academics, you’ll see Nifemi involved as theTreasurer for the Rice African Student Association, a dedicated member of the Baptist Student Ministry, a Duncan Academic Fellow and of course a UNIV 110 Peer Guide.
Makenzie Drukker is a senior at McMurtry College majoring in political science and French studies. She is from Port Washington, NY, but has spent some time living in Connecticut, Maryland, and Massachusetts. She first learned of Rice from an episode of the TV show Friday Night Lights, and chose it because of the residential college system and its emphasis on community. Makenzie has been an active participant in extracurricular activities, including O-Week, University Court, Rice Pancakes for Parkinson’s, and McMurtry College committees. Her favorite classes at Rice have been about US-China relations, the provinces of France, and developmental psychology. In her spare time, she’s an avid reader, baker, and watcher of Netflix documentaries. She became a peer guide because she felt so supported as a new student at Rice and wanted to help make sure other new students develop equally strong support networks. In five years, Makenzie hopes to be a Foreign Service Officer, working in American embassies all over the world.
Jamie Jiang is a senior from Will Rice College. She hails from Seattle Washington and is a Psychology major with a Biochemistry minor. As a Pre-Med, in five years she sees herself beginning residency in pediatrics. She is very integrated in the academics at Will Rice as a PAA and Academic Fellow. Outside of class she loves doing research, volunteering with ASB, and has spend the past two years co-advising at Sid and Wiess. You can spot her at all the cool study spots on campus with her overwhelming large headphones. But don’t let that stop you from coming to say hi since she loves getting to know everyone and is really excited to be a Peer Guide!
Catalina Malinowski, was born in Santiago, Chile but grew up most of her childhood in Naples, Florida. She is majoring in Kinesiology and a junior from Jones. Some of her favorite moments so far in her college career have been with all of the people she met throughout her employment at the Rec Center and the her random nap sessions out on the lawn in front of Skyspace. She became a peer guide because when she took UNIV 110 as freshman and it gave her an outlet and connected her with people that came from different backgrounds but ended up in the same class. She is not exactly sure where she’ll be in 5 years, but is hoping that wherever she is she will be happy and able to travel the world.
Annabelle McIntire-Gavlick is a senior at Lovett College. Hailing from Dripping Springs, Texas, Annabelle is majoring in Political Science with a Business minor. She aspires to become an event planner and spent the past summer interning with the event production team at a marketing agency. In five years she hopes to work for a large event planning firm in their incentive travel department, creating and executing trips in Europe and other places abroad. Annabelle became a Peer Guide to help new students through what can be a difficult adjustment period and share what she loves about Rice. Currently she serves as the Parliamentarian for the SA and is a Socials Co-chair for RPC, along with coordinating College Night at Lovett. So far her favorite classes are Intro to Comparative Politics with Dr. Ambler and Contemporary Issues in American Politics with Dr. Hamm. She absolutely loves Beer Bike, she was the campus-wide coordinator last year, and can’t wait for Willy Week this year!
Melissa Rodriguez, from Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela is a senior at Jones college studying psychology and minoring in business. Melissa, who goes by Mel, chose Rice because after attending summer volleyball camps at the university, she immediately noticed the sense of community that made Rice unique from other schools she was considering. On campus, she is currently involved as a director for STRIVE (Students Transforming Rice Into a Violence-free Environment), a coordinator for WomenLEAD, a senior interviewer, and a member of the Club Volleyball team. In 5 years, Mel hopes hold a job in the area of consulting—specifically, human capital consulting. Her major in psychology and minor in business, along with her research with the Industrial and Organizational Psychology department, are what shaped her interest in this particular field. Mel became a peer guide for the same reason she became involved as a tour guide and as an O-week advisor at Rice: to play an active role in helping new students learn about Rice and connecting them to the many resources on campus. On a more personal level, Mel is an easy-going, very sociable person who likes to surround herself with people who make her laugh and who are laid-back. She likes to spend her free time exploring Houston, hanging out with friends, listening to music, and watching Netflix. Her favorite shows include The Office, Parks and Recreation, Gilmore Girls, Family Guy, and 30 Rock
Originally from Houston, TX, Anna Thomas is a junior studying Anthropology. After living abroad in London for ten years, she returned to the U.S. and chose Rice for its small size, undergraduate focus, and reputation for having happy students. Part of McMurtry college, Anna is active in her residential community, serving this year as a STRIVE liaison and as the IM Sports Committee Head. She plays club soccer and powderpuff football and is also involved with Rice’s radio station, KTRU. In the future, Anna hopes to have a career that relates to either her Anthropology or Poverty, Justice, and Human Capabilities coursework. She is currently site leading an Alternative Spring Break trip about homelessness and housing inequality, as the underlying issue of racial discrimination is a topic she may want to focus on as a career. Anna took UNIV 110 her freshman year, and feels that the skills she developed and goals she set while in the classroom have shaped her time at Rice. She is excited to help new students adjust to college life and to identify their passions.