Grad student life at Rice: Vanessa Espinoza gets a Ph.D. at her dream school

Dr. Vanessa Espinoza is a recent Ph.D. graduate from the Chemistry program at Rice University.

Vanessa Espinoza

After pursuing a summer REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) program at a National Lab, Vanessa was encouraged to, and ultimately decided on applying to Rice for graduate study. After visiting, she fell in love with the campus. “Everyone cared,” she explained. “It was a welcoming environment where I already felt like I had my community.”

When Espinoza thought about grad school initially, she says she thought about it as a job. But now she sees the Rice community as a second family that has supported her in her passions and interests.

“I’ve started initiatives at Rice, and been supported in this. Different DEI initiatives or starting a diversity book club, or doing outreach and mentoring high school teachers. Rice has delivered, and then some."