Our A-Team

The A-Team is made up of our wonderful Magisters and RAs, adult members of our college that support us in making this a great community!

 

THE MAGISTERS

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ANGELA AND LUIS DUNO-GOTTBERG

We are thrilled to welcome you to Baker.

In our position as Magisters, we look forward to assisting you to succeed in your academic and personal goals. We see students as young adults entering a fascinating process of discovery and growth. We are here to help you, and to direct you to the great resources Rice has to offer.

Angela is half Venezuelan and half Native American (from the Alabama Coushatta tribe). Luis is Venezuelan, with grandparents of German, Italian, Spanish, and Afro Caribbean ancestry. Although we don’t like the metaphor of the “melting pot” very much, we might be a good example of its “Hispanic” rendition. We believe, with Maya Angelou, that there is beauty and strength in diversity, so we embrace all these legacies, all of these traditions.

We both come from big families and treasure the deep, intense connections that this kind of dynamic brings into one’s life. We like to host and share stories, and always look for ways to expand our connections within the University, the city of Houston, and beyond the country. One thing the Caribbean teaches us is that many worlds can coexist and intertwine, even in the smallest territory--perhaps just like our college system that brings together and benefits from different kinds of people.

Raised in Houston, Angela knows this city like no one else. She has worked in the medical field and is studying to be a pediatric nurse. She is currently a stay at home mom and loves to spend her days baking. She bakes a mean apple pie! Her favorite pass time is sharing with her family including the extended Baker family. She loves anything sports and is a phenomenal swimmer. She competes in events such as the 200-meter butterfly! Look out for her this year as she plans to play sports with the Bakerites!

Luis is an Associate Professor of Film and Caribbean Studies. He currently serves as the Chair of the Department of Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American Studies. He has taught at many institutions around the world, and has extensive experience in student life and mentoring. He has authored and edited nine books and over twenty-five articles and book chapters dealing with Culture and Politics. Luis loves photography, so you might want to join him in an outing around town to capture some images of our fascinating city.

We encourage you to visit our home and share conversations about school, food, film, music, politics, sports, and life in general. We organize many social events such as dinners, engaging talks, small concerts, and watching TV and also enjoy having students over to share pastries, great coffee, and the Sunday Edition of the NYT.

THE RAs (RESIDENTIAL ASSOCIATES)

 
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BOBBY AND MATT

Hello, Bakerites! We are Matt Patterson and Bobby Beaird, and we’re thrilled to join you in discovering what life at Baker is like as we start our first year as RAs.

Matt is a Baton Rouge native and Rice graduate (sadly from one of those other colleges, but nobody's perfect), whereas Bobby attended Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana prior to making his way down to the "big city" of Baton Rouge for grad school in physics at Louisiana State University. (Now you know who to thank for teaching him how to devise PHYS 101/102 exam problems that will simply ruin your night.) After meeting as graduate students at LSU, we of course realized that we needed to get back to Rice as soon as possible, and so here we are today. Bobby is an instructor in the physics department, whereas Matt now works in the Office of Technology Transfer helping Rice researchers commercialize inventions they’ve developed.

You'll also meet our dog Penny, a pint-sized Staffordshire Terrier mix whose favorite activities are sleeping and licking things — like a shark, her primary means of interacting with the world is with her mouth —  as well as accepting all the ear scratches and belly rubs you have to offer.  

When he’s not torturing you with pledge problems, you’ll find Bobby gleefully stabbing students with actual swords as part of the Rice Fencing Club. Matt has historically preferred verbal combat to physical fights, having worked with several LGBTQ advocacy groups in Louisiana to bring change to the state Legislature, which was exactly as much fun as it sounds. Both of us are avid cooks and aim to bring a little bit of Louisiana flavor to Baker in our time here. Brace yourselves, because we’ll definitely try to feed you whether you’re hungry or not.

Our primary goal as RAs is to be as present for all of you as we possibly can be — sharing meals, events, good and bad times as a college family. All of us are continually figuring out how to make Baker a healthy and sustainable community, so let's help each other out and have fun doing it! Come find us in room 212 of Old Wing whenever you need good food, good company, or an enthusiastic dog to pet.
 

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STEVE AND AYSHA

We’re Steve Bradshaw and Aysha Pollnitz, your RA’s in 5th entrance (Room 152). Our role is to support your academic, cultural, and personal experience at Baker College and Rice University.  
Steve is a professor in the Physics and Astronomy department and specializes in the physics of the sun.  This means that he can legitimately claim to be working while relaxing on the beach.  Before arriving at Rice in the summer of 2010, Steve worked for NASA at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

Aysha is a professor in the History Department where she pontificates on all things Renaissance, Reformation, and Early Modern.  She used to live at Trinity College, Cambridge in rooms thought to have been occupied by the poet, Lord Byron and his bear, so remains unfazed by the denizens of 4th entrance.

Steve is English and Aysha is Australian.  He knows (most of) the words to “God Save the Queen”.  She thinks that strange women lying in ponds and distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.  Don’t mention the Ashes cricket, the Rugby World Cup, or the relative merits of Tim Tams and Penguins to either of them unless you have plenty of time on your hands.  
They are both expats so they know what being away from home isn’t easy. Surviving and thriving at college isn’t always straightforward either. Their door is always open to you and they are ready to listen, to offer support, and to provide baked goods.  

Steve and Aysha also help to run the events that make Baker such a fun place to be.  If there’s something you want to do at college, let them know.  If it’s legal, they will help you to make it happen.  Look out for our study breaks, too.  All-nighters need more fuel than a Saturn V rocket.