Meet Phelecia Scotland. Scotland is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering at Rice University. Scotland is from Dominica 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.
Scotland chose Rice as a graduate school because of the research opportunities and the school’s location in Houston. Her research focuses on synthesizing, characterizing, and finding applications for two-dimensional nanomaterials.
When she is not conducting research, she is serving in various leadership roles within the Rice community. She is a part of the Materials Science and NanoEngineering Graduate Student Association (MSNE GSA) on campus and provides high school students with tours of science labs and pieces of equipment.
Scotland provides a few tips to prospective students who are looking to come to graduate school.
Tip #1: Graduate school is a marathon, not a sprint. This will take 5 to 6 years of your life, thus, the PI and research group you select will play a major role in shaping your experience.
Tip #2: Choose the environment/school where you can see yourself being the happiest.
Tip #3: Reach out to the current graduate students who work with the PI that you are interested in to get a better idea of the expectations and group culture.
Scotland also provides a few tips to current students to help enrich their graduate school experience.
Tip #1: Well-being is a very essential component in graduate school, and you do not want to neglect your mental health for one second!
Tip #2: Give yourself grace to grow through your journey.
Tip #3: Houston is very diverse, and you should take the opportunity to experience different cultures.
A fun fact about Scotland is she grew up on an island but did not know how to swim.