From Harvey to History: an Inspiring Panel for Students and Prospective Students Alike

From Harvey to History: an Inspiring Panel for Students and Prospective Students Alike

The Rice Sport Business Society hosted a panel titled “From Harvey to History: How the Astros Won More than the World Series” on April 12th in an effort to highlight the experiences of three individuals who worked for the Houston Astros throughout the 2017 season. The panelists, Justin Wolin ’15, Giles Kibbe, and Jose Enrique Cruz ’13, shed insight on their involvement in the Astros organization throughout an especially rocky period for their city.

RSBS 2018 Panel

Just weeks before the end of the baseball season, Hurricane Harvey dropped catastrophic levels of rain on Houston, ultimately destroying many homes, buildings, and infrastructure throughout the city. The Houston Astros seemed to take this tragedy as inspiration to bring light to their city, and they continued to have success on the field all the way to a World Series win.

The April 12th panel focused on these individuals’ experiences in order to showcase the unique education and skills one can gain from pursuing a Sport Management degree at Rice. Many prospective students were in attendance, and when asked what lessons he learned that could be translated to the college experience, Cruz addressed prospective students directly.

“Rice is an awesome place, for all you prospects who are here, the biggest thing I will say to you guys is that Rice is a unique place, very unique, [it’s] got its quirks…but it’s an awesome place to be around different people who you might not normally be around,” Cruz said. “The diversity of this place is amazing. The professors are amazing.”

When asked about his overall feelings on working at such a prestigious and sought-after organization as the Astros, Wolin noted that the organization has a “unique opportunity to create special moments in people’s everyday lives that not every company can create,” and that he is “very grateful to be able to do this on a daily basis.”

The impact of the storm and the Astros’ ability to inspire the city was not lost on Kibbe, and he noted that their team’s goal turned to “give Houstonians a place to go to get away from [the effects of Hurricane Harvey].” He stated that the team was “working extra hard to see the benefit of that, and it motivated everyone…because we saw we were helping out.”

The panel highlighted the interesting and unique experiences of these Astros employees, and it also spotlighted the Rice University Department of Sport Management and the Rice Sport Business Society as a catalyst for these types of experiences and opportunities, especially after Wolin mentioned he was hired on with the Astros following a series of internships with the franchise.

Astros World Series Ring

Erin Haney, a senior from Houston, Texas, is double majoring in Sport Management and Psychology.