Meet Rice’s Graduate Ambassador Dallas Havens

Havens shares his interest, experience, and advice to prospective graduate students

Rice University

Meet Dallas Havens. Havens is a first- year Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Philosophy at Rice University. Havens is from Oregon and is a Rice Graduate Ambassador. Ambassadors are students who represent the university and help prospective students gain knowledge of student life as a graduate student at Rice.

Havens chose Rice as a graduate school because of the program’s strength and faculty that fit well with his research interests. His research focuses on the appropriateness of criticizing others according to the moral, political, and epistemic standards we commonly expect of others. Rather than starting with ideal standards to explain this appropriateness, he begins with the basic ability people have to form skills and perform actions. 

“From this basic ability, we can internalize and live according to followable standards that we can be criticized for when violated,” said Havens. 

When he is not conducting research, he serves in various leadership roles within the Rice community. He is a part of the Humanities Graduate Student Association (HGSA) on campus.

Havens warns prospective students that it is really easy to get overly excited about imagining what it will be like at graduate school but not to let those emotions prevent them from fully vetting a school and its environment.

“Don't let the excitement cloud your judgment, and really put in the work researching your program, faculty, and graduate student culture,” said Havens. “Meet with as many graduate students in your prospective department as you can and ask probing questions about what life as a graduate student is like for them.”

Havens advises current students to step away from their campus and explore the environment they are living in to fully emerge in the new location.

“Integrate yourself into a variety of communities, both on-and-off campus,” said Havens. “Graduate school is hard work, but don't forget to be human and have fun doing non-academic activities that give you a chance to recharge.”

Outside of academics, Havens enjoys yoga, rock climbing, and cultivating different species of mushrooms.

Graduate ambassadors can be contacted via email at Dallas Havens can be contacted directly by email at