I am originally from Venezuela, but went to college at Florida Institute of Technology (now Florida Tech). So I was also once a lost and lonely freshman in need of a friendly, helping hand. That’s why I’m here, for you! I have been at Rice since before you were born, working in the Space Physics and Astronomy department where I scooped up my hunky husband, Greg. He now works at NASA and is also a Martel Associate; you’ll see him at several Martel events during the year. I have three daughters, Alex and Steph, both are 26 years old (yes, twins!) and my little one, Cassie, who is a sophomore in college.
After almost 30 years of hanging around Rice and at Martel for since its beginnings, I know quite a bit about the university, so I will tell you tales of Rice and the founding of Martel, sometimes several times over! I also love to help all students out, so feel free to come to me with any questions you may have – from registration to relationships, I’m all ears! If I don’t have an answer, I’ll try to find it for you or direct you to the right person. But, most importantly I am someone who can listen if you find yourself overwhelmed; need a hug, or just someone to talk to. So don’t be a stranger; poke your head in every now and then and say hello and don’t be intimidated by the regulars in my oﬃce, they don’t bite.
As you probably already heard, we at Martel consider ourselves a family, so I know how important you will become to each other and to the College; some of you will even get married to one another. Your class will set traditions and it will enrich the College in so many ways you cannot imagine. I am excited with anticipation of new faces and personalities. I am so looking forward to welcoming you to be part of our Martel family!
-Maria Byrne, Martel College Coordinator