Meet Rice’s Graduate Ambassador Fernanda Morales-Calva

Morales-Calva shares her interest, experience, and advice to prospective graduate students

Rice’s Graduate Ambassador Fernanda Morales-Calva

Meet Fernanda Morales-Calva. Morales-Calva is a second year Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Psychology at Rice University. Morales-Calva is from Mexico City, Mexico and is a Rice Graduate Student Ambassador. Ambassadors are students who represent the university and help prospective students gain knowledge of student life as a graduate student at Rice.

Morales-Calva chose Rice as a graduate school because of the research opportunities that were presented to her. Her research focuses on human memory and why humans remember certain memories. Her goal is to identify whether particular characteristics from an experience can help predict whether it will be better remembered; in order to help prevent and treat memory loss, and cognitive decline within educational settings.

When she is not conducting research, she is serving in various leadership roles within the Rice community. She is a part of Fulbrighters@Rice, the Latin American Graduate Student Association (LAGSA), and a graduate mentor for the Undergraduate Neuroscience Journal, Rice NeuroTransmitter (RNT). She is also completing a graduate certificate in teaching and learning at the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE).

Morales-Calva tells prospective students to make sure they have the tools they need to make their graduate school decision.

“Try to find the school that is a right fit for you,” said Morales-Calva. “Tailor your application for the school you really want to go to, and it will show.

Morales-Calva advises current students that having a balance between work and life is essential for overall wellbeing.

“Remember that rest is productive and can enhance creativity,” said Morales-Calva. “Finding time to relax and disconnect from work is as important as time spent in the lab.”

Outside of academics, Morales-Calva enjoys exploring the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern and the various food options in Houston. Morales-Calva has lived in five different countries. They have lived in Mexico, London, France, Switzerland, and the United States. 

“Houston is a great place to be in,” said Morales-Calva. “Food diversity is amazing, and Rice represents the multiple cultures well too.” 

Graduate ambassadors can be contacted via email at Fernanda Morales-Calva can be contacted directly by email at