Adult Team


Jason Hafner and Jennifer Trotter

We are Jason Hafner and Jennifer Trotter, the Jones College Magisters.  Undergraduate students at Rice are assigned to one of eleven residential colleges where they live or associate for their entire time at the university.  Jones is home to about 300 students, and we are honored to serve in this position.  Our family lives in the Jones House on campus right next door to the residential halls.  As Magisters, we advise and assist students as they run the college, and we host events to support Jones’s intellectual, social, and cultural environment. We celebrate Jones’s inevitable and numerous victories, and we are there to support students through the occasional setbacks.

We met as undergraduates at Trinity University in San Antonio.  Jason came to Rice for graduate school in physics while Jennifer opted for the lush environs of the Texas Tech School of Medicine.  After a brief stint in Boston, we made our way back to Rice.  Jason is a Professor of Physics & Astronomy where he runs a molecular biophysics research group, teaches introductory physics courses, and helps keep Rice running smoothly - but he will gladly forsake all of that to help a student. Jennifer is a pediatrician working in a suburb of Houston.  She is an avid runner and enjoys running marathons - especially when they are somewhere fun.  She would be glad to have you join her on a morning run, but you need to be ready to go at 5:00 am! Our boys, George and Henry, are active in fencing, cross country, music, reading, and video games. Pretty standard, really.  Finally, there's our dog Freddie HG Hafner.  His interests are simple: treats and walks.  We hope to see you around Jones sometime!

Michelle Bennack 
College Coordinator

Hello and welcome to Jones College!

My name is Michelle Bennack, and I am the Jones College Coordinator. I hold the keys to the kingdom of Jones so to speak. My office is located in “central” on the first floor by the Commons.

As the coordinator, I am here to help you through your college years and provide you with a variety of things: your mail, packages from home, stamps, envelopes, faxes, photocopies, answers to your queries, and so much more!

The office is a great place to hang out (there are great sofas in here) and take a breather in your day. You can jump on the office computer to print your plane tickets, homework and such. If you're lacking in energy, answer the daily quiz for candy correctly and you will be rewarded with a delicious treat. Also chilling in the office everyday is my golden retriever, Beau. He gives great hugs and plays a mean game of tug-o-war. Stop in anytime!

Ian Schimmel and Allison Leedie 
Jones North RAs

Allison and Ian are both from the northeast… they’re also both from Connecticut… and if they’re being completely honest, they will also admit to attending the same high school… and that they went to prom together…. and that Ian had a mullet.

Ian graduated from Tufts University and Allison from Emerson College. After graduating, Allison taught with Teach For America in Houston, earned her Masters from Harvard University, and has since become a Teacher Development Specialist with the Houston Independent School District.

Ian taught English in Rio de Janeiro until deciding to pursue a career as a fiction writer. He received his MFA from the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program and now teaches courses in creative writing, also serving as the faculty advisor for Rice’s literary magazine, The Rice Review. He is also hard at work on his first novel.

When she’s not working, Allison enjoys anything involving cheese, Harry Potter, or low-stakes mysteries (i.e. not scary). Ian, on the other hand, can be found on the basketball court perfecting his head fake. They both love the beach and eating enough to feed a small circus.

The couple lives in with their wonderfully docile 7-year-old lab-mutt named Layla. You’ll see a burst of life from her if a squeaky toy is present, or if anyone anywhere in the halls of Jones even so much as breathes the sacred word, “walk.”

Kerri Barber 
Jones South RA

Me & BruBru Pup (edited).jpg

Kerri is a BoSox lovin’, Yankee hating, country music parrot-head that uses “wicked” and “y’all” in the same sentence. Kerri earned her B.S. in Sport Management from Ithaca College and was a member of the 2002 NCAA DIII National Championship softball team. Kerri is such a competitive player she thought it would be a great idea to play in the championship series with a busted ankle and broken nose (hey a fancy ring was worth it right?!?)

After spending four years bundled up in blankets and snow suits, Kerri realized she wanted to spend her days in flip flops and shorts. Since owning an island was way too expensive, she decided moving to hot-humid Houston was the answer. Kerri taught Physical Education and was the founding Athletic Director at the Southwest Campus of YES Prep Public Schools. Kerri was a Maverick for eight years until she made the wicked smart decision to become an Owl as the administrator for the Department of Sport Management. When she isn’t keeping her rowdy faculty in line, Kerri enjoys supporting the Houston sports scene, hosting TV watch parties (Game of Thrones & Bachelor), reliving her softball glory days, or indulging herself in the Houston brewery and food scenes. Kerri and her furbaby Bruin (or BruBru pup) are always together and have the same amount of energy, and you’ll never see them apart. They are both eager to meet anyone and everyone headed towards Jones!