Elaine Howard Ecklund, Rice University (image) Rice University Caption Ecklund is the Autrey Professor of Sociology and director of Rice University's Religion and Public Life Program. Credit Jeff Fitlow/Rice University Usage Restrictions For news reporting purposes only. Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.