In this issue, we highlight a former Rice student who earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Computational and Applied Mathematics. María Cristina Villalobos was an exceptional student who is currently the Interim Director of the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). She is also the founding director of the Center of Excellence in STEM Education at UTRGV.
We also highlight a former Rice undergraduate, Juliet Stipeche, who earned three undergraduate degrees with honors and then went on to earn a law degree from The University of Texas. As a first-generation, Hispanic woman, no one would have predicted that she would eventually rise to become president of the largest school board in Texas and then be appointed Director of Education for the City of Houston.
It is also fitting to show off our Tapia Math-Science Scholars (TMSS) Summer Math Camp in this issue, because Juliet founded the program before being taken from Rice by the new mayor of Houston. This four-week math content camp is highly competitive and is open to high school juniors and seniors especially those from underrepresented ethnic groups.
Tapia, the magazine, promises to be an exciting step in a new direction leading an expansion of programs by the Tapia Center. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we had producing it!