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Episode Notes | Episode Transcript | AskTheGuest

 Hi Fives (5 Highlights)   3-Minute Listen

Jemina Bouma Perez is a graduate of Rice University with a Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science.

Jemina experienced a full College Life. She majored in a rich interdisciplinary area like Cognitive Science which brought together her wide array of interests.

Jemina played flag football, engaged in community outreach, pursued education with Teach for America, Teach for China.

She even started learning Mandarin in her junior year.

Hi-Fives from the Podcast are:

  1. Rice: “Tight knit community”
  2. Why Rice?
  3. Transition to Rice
  4. Teach for China
  5. Advice for Aspirants

Episode Notes

Episode Title: Jemina Bouma Perez on Rice: Cognitive Science, Passion for Education, and Culture of Care.

Episode summary introduction: When Jemina was looking at colleges, her high school counselor suggested she look at Rice University. Jemina had not heard of Rice, but all that changed after visiting the campus.

Jemina Bouma Perez is a graduate of Rice University with a Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science.

In particular, we discuss the following with her:

  • Choosing Rice University
  • Majoring in Cognitive Science
  • A Passion for Teaching & Education
  • Advice to Aspiring Students

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Introduction to Jemina Bouma Perez, Rice [0:14]
  • Hi Fives - Podcast Highlights [1:45]
  • Rice - Tight knit Community [5:03]
  • Why Rice? [6:29]
  • High School Interests [9:00]
  • Transition to Rice [9:51]
  • Peers - “Happiest Students” [11:47]
  • Engaged Professors [13:44]
  • Plethora of Clubs [15:48]
  • Teach for China [17:40]
  • Summers [19:59]
  • Passion for Teaching, Culture of Care [24:01]
  • Majoring in Cognitive Science [26:49]
  • Rice Redo [29:54]
  • Impact of Rice on Career [32:15]
  • Advice to Aspirants - “Don’t be shy!” [33:57]
  • Memories: Beer Bike & Other Tales [36:04]

Our Guest: Jemina Bouma Perez is a graduate of Rice University with a Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science.

Memorable Quote: “...education is just a cornerstone for, for people to have the tools and resources to, you know, better themselves, and really just become aware, or have access to things that they wouldn't have had before.”

Episode Transcript: Please visit Episode’s Transcript.

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Episode Transcript

Transcript of the episode’s audio.

Jemina Bauma Perez 0:14

This organization, you know, enabled not just for me, but for 1000s of students the opportunity to attain higher education so I kind of feel that responsibility, what I can do to, you know, pay it forward and so that's why it's very much ingrained in, in my own beliefs and what my activities in teaching, I think it's just one of the best vehicles.

Venkat  0:47  [Introduction to Lorena James, Davidson College]

Jemina Bouma Perez is a graduate of Rice University with a Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science.

Jemina grew up in a family where volunteering was the way of life. Her mom was her role model.

When Jemina was looking at colleges, her high school counselor suggested she look at Rice University.

Jemina had not heard of Rice, and actually thought it was funny to have a college named after a food item.

But all that changed after visiting the campus and feeling welcoming and a sense of belonging.

Jemina joins us today to tell us her entire Rice story.

Before we jump into the podcast, here are the High-Fives,  Five Highlights from the podcast:

Jemina  1:45  [Highlights - Hi Fives]

[Rice: “Tight knit community”]

My first impression of rice was definitely been the small, tight knit community, which I found to be true once I actually started attending.

[Why Rice]

It was always Rice. I knew after doing my campus visits, particularly that it just the sense of welcoming and belonging that I felt immediately when I did the outdates are called for the student weekend at Rice that I just didn't quite feel at other universities.

[Transition to Rice]

Because Rice is very rigorous academically, so really, you know, working with, you know, the staff and faculty to form better study plans, reaching out for support, going to office hours, and also working with my other students.

 

[Teach for China]

Teach for China specifically, essentially, it's a two year commitment to teach in underserved areas of China. And so I had done an internship at Teach for America, national headquarters between my sophomore and junior year of college. And so that's how I learned about you know, more, both Teach for America, but the Teach for All network. And as my junior year I actually began studying Mandarin Chinese language studies, just the personal passion, the interest of mine. I was you know, reached out to if I would be interested in promoting the program on campus.

[For Aspiring Students]

I would say don't be shy to express yourself in your application. Don't be shy to pursue very deeply your passions, your talents, as I mentioned earlier, a lot of the right student body really blew me away with their you know, extreme interest. Or you know, quirkiness in a particular subject matter.

Venkat Raman  3:42

Now, I'm sure you want to hear the entire podcast with Jemina. So without further delay, over to Jemina Bouma Perez!

----------------------

Venkat Raman  3:51  

Hey Jemina! How are you?

Jemina  3:53  

Doing well, Hi, how are you?

Venkat Raman  3:56  

I'm doing well. Let me first welcome you to our podcast, "College Matters. Alma Matters." Thank you so much for making the time to be here.

Jemina  4:06  

Thank you for the invitation.

Venkat Raman  4:08  

Sure thing. So I'm really looking forward to our conversation today. We're going to talk about your life at Rice as an undergrad. And stories like yours are extremely beneficial to our audience, which is a bunch of aspiring students, college students, and primarily international at this point, but I think these are hopefully both informative and inspiring to these folks. So with that, if you're ready, we can jump right in.

Jemina  4:47  

Ready. Yeah.

Venkat Raman  4:50  

Okay, so maybe the best place to start is looking back a little bit, your overall impressions of Rice now that you're a few years away from that. What do you, what do you feel?

Jemina  5:03  [Rice - Tight knit Community]

Yeah, my first impression of rice was definitely being the small, tight knit community, which I found to be true once I actually started attending. So for some background, I'm originally from Maryland. I'm on the east coast. And Texas, I've never been to Texas before, right here in Houston, Texas. And I did not know about Rice until actually my senior year of high school when I was working with my high school counselor. And based off just my profile of, you know, my SAT GPA, extracurriculars, they recommended to me that I consider looking into Rice University.

So, definitely, it was kind of like, Okay, what is this university, I hadn't heard of it, it's named after a food. So it was kind of a little bit funny to me. But when I just started doing my investigations, seeing the small student to faculty ratio, the emphasis on the undergraduate life, and also just the beauty of the campus news, particularly beautiful. It really just started to draw my attention more and quickly became my top choice when actually submitting my applications.

Venkat Raman  6:21  

Did you consider any other schools other than Rice at that point, or were you pretty much set on Rice?

Jemina  6:29  [Why Rice?]

I was keeping my options open to the other schools that I was admitted to, and, like, definitely, they're all fantastic schools as well. And for me, it was always Rice, I knew after doing my campus visits, particularly that, it just the sense of welcoming and belonging that I felt immediately when I did the outdates, or called for the student weekend, at Rice that I just didn't quite feel at other universities. You know, because there's no Greek life system is a unique characteristic of Rice. And so it's actually a residential college system.

So a big part, when you are, you know, accepted into Rice is and you, you know, decide to attend, you're sorted into one of 11. And actually, Rice just recently announced that about expanding, there's going to be more residential colleges coming soon. But you're sorted into one of these houses, that has their own unique traditions and customs and, you know, friendly rivalries with other colleges on campus, and it's just, you know, there's no pressure of like the sorority or fraternity type rush or pressure to fit in, it's just very much Come as you are, and you are immediately kind of had like your family from day one. So that was what really was like the selling point for me.

And the other one was also just a financial considerations as well. And so thankfully, like rice had offered a very generous financial package. Even more so to this day, actually, since I graduated rice has announced in price commitment, which is guaranteed full funding for certain income levels that, you know, it's actually pretty, pretty generous a pretty high range that it goes up to even, you know, for some what would be traditionally considered higher income levels, there's still partial guaranteed financial support.

So that take into consideration as well, as well as the external scholarship I received the Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholarship was really what kind of sealed the deal that okay, you know, thankfully not having the financial constraints or barriers in the way I was able to choose and attend Rice.

Venkat Raman  8:49  

Maybe you can tell us a little bit about what, you know, what, what kind of things you were doing in high school, what kind of interests what, what are you passionate about?

Jemina  9:00  [High School Interests]

Yeah, I was pretty involved with the high school newspaper. I did technical crew for theater. So just working behind the scenes, particularly with props and costumes. I also really big in volunteering, I volunteered regularly at a nursing home and as well in my local faith Community Church. So that was a big part of my after school activities as well. And it just for my personal free time interests, I was very much into video games and enemies. So had that kind of background as well.

Venkat Raman  9:40  

Okay, so you show up at Rice the first semester. So how was that transition from high school to Rice now?

Jemina  9:51  [Transition to Rice]

It was challenging. So I it was the, you know, my first time living in Texas away from home for the first time, I'm also first generation college students was so just getting used to what it means to be a college student. Navigating the system was financial aid, just signing up for classes. And thankfully, Rice had such a great infrastructure to support. They have an orientation week or O-week, as we call it. That's really kind of it's a fun boot camp. But it's a very intensive week, bonding with not only your residential college and your fellow new students, but also really getting to meet faculty members, mentors, and just getting as prepped as possible. So even for students who may have shared my background, and this could have been, you know, very unfamiliar territory. But I really did feel supported, and, you know, making those initial steps to acclimating to college life, and there's always going to be bumps, I think, just in any new chapter of life. I think in high school, I may not have, I was a good student, but I couldn't coast as quite as I could in high school at Rice, because Rice is very rigorous academically. So really, you know, working with, you know, the staff and faculty to form better study plans, reaching out for support, going to office hours, and also working with my other students to really help and kind of solidifying how to adjust to what was more rigorous academic lifestyle than what I was used to before.

Venkat Raman  11:43  

So how did you find your classmates and peers?

Jemina  11:47  [Peers - “Happiest Students”]

Great, I really can't speak enough on the bonds that you form with the other students at Rice, I think, as I said earlier, the tight knit community of Rice and that kind of family feel with you know, the residential college system is just so true. Rice, it's like ranked in, you know, whatever these rankings are, like Princeton Review, etc, for having happiest students or quality of life and best class race interactions as well. To this day, like, I am still very close with my, my Rice colleagues, you form friendships that lasts a lifetime, and more. So I am married as well to a fellow Rice student an alum at this point now. But yeah, you really just it's so communal, it's really a community that everyone is kind of celebrated for their quirkiness. That's kind of a characteristic you'll find in common with Rice students. Everyone has like their unique traits, or just little aspects that I think rice really does speak in its applicant pool, there's this section on the application that's like the Rice box, where you're allowed to put whatever. And it's really just to allow applicants to kind of just express whatever way they feel fits. And I do see that reflected in the student body where it's like, well, you meet people with such a wide range, passions, or talents. So it's always like, super fascinating to just sit down and pick the brains of other rights students and alum.

Venkat Raman  13:35  

How did you find the classes? I know you mentioned there was a lot of academic rigor, but how was the teaching? The professors?

Jemina  13:44  [Engaged Professors]

Yeah, I, so I studied cognitive sciences for background. And I do feel that it's really true the the small ratio that that has student to faculty, I believe it's six to one. So you have small class sizes, and professors really do try to make themselves accessible.

As I mentioned, office hours are not just something that you know, is put on the syllabus, but it's true. They encourage you to come and show up and speak with them. And not just for academic work, too. But I feel that I was even able to develop relationships outside of the classroom with their engagement with the residential college system. So there's, you know, programs, such called associates, or RAs, and, you know, come to lunches to just sit and chat with students, as well as participate in, you know, they'll go to cultural shows.

So you want to just always necessarily see them only in the classroom, but you can also get to interact with them outside as well. And I really do think that there's this this emphasis on that undergraduate teaching. Even though Yes, it's very much a research, institution focused, but they really do push Professors or professors, naturally, I believe actually just really wants to make sure that they are really prioritizing the teaching aspect. So there are, you know, awards and things that they do to highlight these, these professors and their teaching. So really, really, perhaps not to come to all universities aspect. But I did feel that it really rang true at Rice.

Venkat Raman  15:32  

I do want to talk a bit more about your cognitive science, but we'll come back to it. So let's sort of talk a little bit about the campus life. You mentioned the residential college system. Anything more you want to add to that?

Jemina  15:48  [Plethora of Clubs]

Yeah, I mean, there's just such a plethora of clubs and almost too many, it's like, you want to sign up to do it all. But you actually have to make sure you are maintaining your study life balance, but there's so many clubs. So I was, like I mentioned in high school, I was really involved with volunteering. And that was something I continued at Rice, working with a variety of different organizations like the rice service Council, which was kind of like the overarching community service service focus group. And also just doing direct outreach to local area schools. We're doing one on one mentoring, tutoring. As well as on campus, I also did English as a second language, tutoring to the Housing and Dining stuff at Rice. Another thing I was involved with was recreational sports powderpuff, which is a flag football for women. So my residential college was particularly good at flag football. So it was an honor to be on the team. But that was, you know, something that a lot of people engaged with club sports from call, you know, from soccer, waterpolo. Tennis, it was just anything that you would be interested in playing, you could find a group. And I would say that there was a lot of events as well to, you know, share culture, in people's identities. A lot of really interesting shows that I've been able to attend and learn and try different foods. definitely feel that diversity is really celebrated and shared throughout.

Venkat Raman  17:33  

I noticed that one of the things you were involved in was Teach for China, you were a Campus Ambassador, what was that about?

Jemina  17:40  [Teach for China]

Yeah, so Teach for China is part of the Teach for All network. So the one that we have in United States is Teach for America that some people may be familiar with. But it is a global organization. in multiple countries, I can't think of the number but top my head because it's continuously growing, but Teach for China specifically. Essentially, it's a two year commitment to teach in underserved areas of China. And so I had done an internship at Teach for America, national headquarters between my sophomore and junior year of college. And so that's how I learned about, you know, more, both Teach for America, but the Teach for All network. And as my junior year, I actually began studying Mandarin Chinese language studies, just the personal passion, the interest of mine, I was, you know, reached out to if I would be interested in promoting the program on campus. So essentially, it was kind of a recruitment type position to share with those who will be graduating that year to look into, would you be interested in going to China for two years in teaching, which is, you know, just the mission, I believe in, in greatly the closing in the quality in education achievement. So I was able to connect with students, both in my Chinese classes, but also Asian Studies department, and just give brief presentations on Teach for China the mission, what the commitment would look like, and then connect them more formally with the organization to those who express interest on then pursuing upon graduation, this two year commitment in China, which, yeah, I didn't know some people of my colleagues who actually signed up and went to China for two years and had really cool experiences really challenging experiences as well. Because, yeah, it's specifically working with schools who just unfortunately don't receive all of the resources that they may need. But this is precisely why Teach for China Teach for All exists to counter that.

Venkat Raman  19:49  

So I wanted to talk to you a little bit about your summers. You alluded to one just now. So what did you do the different summers that you were at Rice?

Jemina  19:59  [Summers]

Yeah. So the summer after my freshman year, I was kind of in a rut actually, for the month leading up to, you know, the end of the spring semester, I was like, Okay, I guess I'll just go home and relax.

But then I was actually contacted going back to what I was speaking about how professors really do reach out to students and try to promote and share opportunities, I was contacted by one of my Spanish professors, if I would be interested in a volunteer opportunity in Nicaragua. For the summer, it was through an organization called Amigos in America. And he just, you know, reached out to me said, Hey, I saw this bulletin thought you may be interested in it. And I was. So I was able to go to Nicaragua for two months, volunteering in a very rural community, in Boaco region more in central area. And from there, I assisted the local community. And it was essentially sharing knowledge on how to use computers and laptops. So this was a community of 350 people that did not have general broad internet connection, or services didn't have laptops.

And so we, in conjunction, I was working with a Nicaraguan volunteer, as well as one other American volunteer, we live in the community for two months. And we're just doing these workshops with laptops that were, you know, they were given to the community and teaching both adults, teenagers and children how to use because more than ever, right, we used to depend on computers and laptops, just even for submitting or finding out about what we're talking about.

Now college opportunities, you need to have internet connection, you need to have the resources to connect to the internet. So that was a pretty cool opportunity.

I after that, my summer, after sophomore year between Yeah, sophomore year, was Teach for America working in their headquarters in New York City, and working on the communications team. And so that was focused primarily on just promoting Teach for America, getting the word out, and also highlighting those who were accomplishing great things in their classrooms and contacting local newspapers, with stories about, you know, hometown heroes, or just different people they can highlight from Teach for America. And then after that, I guess, during my junior year after that internship, I realized that teach America was something I wanted to do myself. And so focusing that how can I hone you know, now my teaching skills even more, I worked with an organization called breakthrough Houston, the national organization, nonprofit that's breakthrough collaborative is the official name. But I was specifically in Houston, and I was a teacher for incoming ninth grade students teaching English literature and a French elective. So it was just very much on the ground. Like we had the very set schedule, it was pretty much summer school, but for very high achieving talented students from a decent area. So got to start rushing, or I guess, developing my teaching skills for what I did, ultimately, did after graduating as well.

Venkat Raman  23:40  

Talk a little bit about this passion for teaching and outreach. I mean, it seems like it was a big part of your Rice years and subsequently. Speak to that. Where does that come from? And where do you think it's going? I know you're doing some other things now. But..

Jemina  24:01  [Passion for Teaching, Culture of Care]

Yeah, it comes from both, you know, my own upbringing, from my mom is the biggest volunteer I can point to all the time. So it was just very much instilled from childhood the importance of serving the community of giving back. So just from, as I mentioned, the high school I was active in working at the nursing home or with my church, and then also being a recipient of a direct outreach program through the Gates Millennium scholarship. Without that security, that I would, you know, be able to attend the College of my choice without having to concern myself with the, the cost was, wasn't a direct, you know, initiative from the Gates Foundation to targets so to give some background on the eligibility requirements for the gate scholars If you have to be Pell Grant eligible in Pell Grant is in reference to the FAFSA, kinds of family income determinations. So my family was eligible, coming from, you know, below the threshold. And, yeah, that's, as I mentioned, as well, first generation college student, and also the gate scholarship is specifically for minorities in the United States. So without that, it's kind of like, Okay, I have to pay it forward, right, someone, or this organization, you know, enabled, not just for me, but for 1000s of students the opportunity to attain higher education, so I kind of feel that responsibility, what I can do to, you know, pay it forward. And so that's why it's very much ingrained in, in my own beliefs, and what my activities in teaching, I think it's just one of the best vehicles to be able to reach out to community, right, education is just so a cornerstone for, for people to have the tools and resources to, you know, better themselves, and really just become aware, or have access to things that they wouldn't have had before.

Venkat Raman  26:21  

No, that's, that's, that's hugely commendable. So I really congratulate you for that. And for all that you're doing.

Venkat Raman  26:33  

Let's sort of segue to the major you ultimately picked - Cognitive Sciences. Tell us, is that something that you came into college with? Or is that something that you discovered? How did you finally end up picking that?

Jemina  26:49  [Majoring in Cognitive Science]

Yeah, it came a little by happenstance. I went in as an econ, economics major, which quickly fell off, I realized, after my first semester that it just was not of, you know, personal interest in not knocking anyone who pursues Econ, but it was just not for me. And so I kind of was in a rut, my second semester freshman year is like, Well, okay, Econ, not working out, but I don't really know what's instead. So I think really to rise, they have a lot of flexibility to allow students to explore and take some time, you don't have to declare your major until your second semester of your sophomore year. So I was like, Okay, this is kind of my sandbox semester, I'm going to take some courses that just, you know, catch my attention. And so I enrolled in the psychology course, and another course, which was teaching English as a second language methodologies. And it was those two courses, the psychology and linguistic ESL course, that really sparked in me, okay, these are just two subject matters that already personally interests me, but that also connect to what I was already trying to formulate my ideas that I wanted to work in education. And education requires working with people. So Psychology, being able to understand others in linguistics, being able to understand the structure and methodologies that are most effective for teaching foreign language. So for more for context, my mother's immigrants in English as their second language, and just growing up being, you know, kind of an assistant sometimes for her for English, as well as Lexus there's. So that was a something that's rang to me that, okay, this is something that I can actually dedicate myself to and study more formally. So cognitive sciences, is kind of an interdisciplinary major at Rice, where it has a psychology, linguistics, also philosophy components of philosophy of the mind, computer science, artificial intelligence, primarily, and, of course, neuroscience. Yeah. And I was just greatly compelled. Just also having that variety in one major that's, you know, I'm not just completely singling myself to psychology, linguistic courses, but I'm also, you know, learning about computer programming, too, and just general philosophy. So, being able to kind of have that all in one major, just made sense to me, for my own interest.

Venkat Raman  29:40  

From this conversation, you had a full life, so to speak at Rice. And if you want to go back and relive those four years, what would you do differently if anything?

Jemina  29:54  [Rice Redo]

Yeah, I would say this sounds maybe silly, but I was I could take more classes. I don't know if many people would say that. But I wish I could, because there was such a wealth of offerings. And I guess I'm glad that I focused on my area that already there was such a wide range of disciplines that were to be explored in my major. But I wish that's, you know, I just tried to branch out a little bit more, while still keeping in mind, right, you don't want to stretch yourself too thin. And some people tease right students for being like, double major, double minor, triple major, which is good for them. But I do wish that perhaps if I return to rice, I would take more classes, or perhaps just shop around more to I would definitely would love to take more advantage of those, you know, fantastic professors, and just such a, you know, interesting range, like they were courses like cooking with Chef Rogers like that. I could learn that cooking, even if yes, it may not have fit into my major plan. But it just, there's also a lot of student course, led course, student led coursework. So being able to learn from student instructors, I wish I could have done a little bit more from that. But yeah, that would be the one thing.

Venkat Raman  31:29  

You'd be surprised actually, this is the number one thing I hear from alumni. Yeah. What they wish they wish they could explore more, and that they had been more, that they had not been, so quote unquote, scared of trying courses that were difficult or seemed hard and not be so GPA focused. So that was, that's been a pretty interesting thing to hear. So you're not alone!

Jemina  31:58  

Good to know.

Venkat Raman  32:04  

Now, how do you think Rice has shaped what you're doing? You know, now, how much impact you think Rice has had on you?

] Jemina  32:15  [Impact of Rice on Career]

Great impact, it's hard to measure how much. But definitely, one thing that's kind of a mantra at Rice is this "Culture of Care", looking out for one another's and so already coming in with that belief in giving back in working with others. Part of was just reiterated through Rice, Rice's services, in general to prepare you for the life after college to the career Student Services I was involved with as well, you know, have been very much in depth guidance in pursuing, you know, or investigating career paths, or preparing your resume, even just setting up your LinkedIn profile, things like that, they definitely really prepare you for that real world exposure, as well. And then just the, you know, the quality of the education, it's a fantastic institution, just brilliant students, brilliant faculty, that you are learning for. So conversations that still stick with me and have influenced, you know, my own ideologies, to this day just can't, can't be measured.

Venkat Raman  33:34  

I wanted you to kind of look ahead at sort of the army of students out there aspiring students hoping to make it to a good college, and one like Rice, and what would you tell them? What kind of advice would you give them both from an application point of view, and also from a college life, my view,

Jemina  33:57  [Advice to Aspirants - “Don’t be shy!”]

I would say, don't be shy to express yourself in your application. Don't be shy to pursue very deeply your passions, your talents, as I mentioned earlier, a lot of the right student body really blew me away with their, you know, extreme interest. Or you know, quirkiness in a particular subject matter. But I did rise really values that and I feel that sometimes there's this impression that we'll have to check all the boxes, we have to be this, you know, quote unquote, well rounded students. And I believe rice really does value those who are like, Well, I know what I like, and I know what I'm passionate about, and I just really want to dig into it. And don't feel that pressure that's, you know, if you're maybe not so passionate about something else that you have to do it anyway because that's what's expected of you. I don't think that's the case with rice. I think you are allowed to just come as you are Obviously I write values, people who are curious and want to learn about others. And so another aspect would be those who express interest or investments in the community in others, as I mentioned, that culture of care mantra, so being able to kind of share how you connect with others, and seek to connect with others, it's also incredibly valued since community and the community aspect of the residential college system of the rice campus in general, is huge. So those would be two things I would say.

Venkat Raman  35:43  

Now, we're sort of nearing the end of our podcast, and some time I like to sort of just offer from a point of view of talking about anything that we haven't covered or things you want to expand on, maybe some favorite memory or tradition at Rice. Anything that you think would be interesting.

Jemina  36:04  [Memories: Beer Bike & Other Tales]

Yeah, well, I can't talk about Rice without mentioning Beer Bike, which is one of the traditions on Rice campus and don't get scared by the name, it is fine. It's just the name because historically, that was the beverage consumed. But beer is a tradition that is just a big biker. Yes, as I mentioned, it's modified today to you know, actually have water, but it's essentially a relay style race, where there is one athlete, I suppose, quote unquote, athlete who has to chug a bottle of water, and on chugging that bottle of water, then the biker gets, you know, the indication to go around the track. And so it's a huge competition. One of the biggest sources of rivalry between residential colleges. It's almost like we call it Christmas in March. Because there's so much anticipation and build up and training of the bikers training for the water chugging. And then week of you know, there's like the water balloon fights. Just the fantastic tradition, that's is a ton, a ton of fun, a lot of school spirits really comes out. So that's one of my fondest rice memories each year.

Even going back as an alum To this day, I also want to speak to the Alternative Spring Break trips that Rice does. So essentially, this is opportunity for students to lead and organize trips during the spring break holiday to tackle in study firsthand a social justice issue. So it can range from subjects such as climate change and environments to you know, what a group I led one year was related to immigration and visiting the border. So there are trips that you know, disperse, both within Texas but across the nation as well, to really wake up service which completely speaks to me, but I think speaks to as I was saying that Rice commitment to giving back and serving and learning from others. So really cool opportunity as well, in just the traditions.

You know, the colors of the residential colleges the Squirrels, the Sammy the owl, the chants and cheers of the residential colleges. There's just so many nuances, little nice traditions that Rice has.

That's something that I always remember it's like you will meet someone new on campus and after asking their name. The second question is what residential college are you in? What college are you on? Because you just really identify so closely with it. Whenever I meet an alum even though we didn't know each other during college, it's like immediately like which college so it's just very much it sticks with you. Beyond you know, the hedge as we call it, Rice is, like a little garden of Eden in the middle of Houston.

Venkat Raman  39:12  

So yeah, that sounds fantastic. Okay, Jemina, this has been awesome. You've been very generous with your time and stories. I am sure that the audience is going to find this very, very beneficial. So thank you again, so much for your time it you know, I'm sure we'll talk more, but for now. Thank you Take care, be safe.

Jemina  39:36  

Absolutely. Thank you so much. And my pleasure. Thank you for hosting, and yeah, stay safe. We'll be in touch.

Venkat Raman  39:44  

Okay.

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Venkat  39:50

Hi again!

Hope you enjoyed our podcast with Jemina Bouma Perez about Rice University.

Jemina experienced a full College Life.

She majored in a rich interdisciplinary area like Cognitive Science which brought together her wide array of interests.

Jemina played football, engaged in community outreach, pursued education with Teach for America, Teach for China.

As a personal passion, she started learning Mandarin in her junior year.

I hope Jemina’s story inspires you to research Rice University for your undergraduate pursuits.

For your questions or comments on this podcast, please email podcast at almamatters.io [podcast@almamatters.io].

Thank you all so much for listening to our podcast today.

Transcripts for this podcast and previous podcasts are on almamatters.io forward slash podcasts [almamatters.io/podcasts].

To stay connected with us, Subscribe to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Spotify or visit anchor.fm forward slash almamatters [anchor.fm/almamatters] to check us out.

Till we meet again, take care and be safe.

Thank you!

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