Meet Rice’s Graduate Ambassador Ubong-Abasi Akpan

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

Ubong-Abasi Akpan

Meet Ubong-Abasi Akpan. Akpan is a first year Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Religion at Rice University. Akpan is from Nigeria 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.

Akpan chose Rice as a graduate school because of the research opportunities and diverse environment. His research focuses on African and African American new religions and messianic movements of African origin in the diaspora. He is interested in seeing how these movements have adapted in the diaspora and if they have undertaken missionary steps in their engagements.

When he is not conducting research, he serves in various leadership roles within the Rice community. He is a part of Rice‘s Christian Fellowship on campus.

Akpan advises prospective international students to be open-minded to the differences of studying abroad.

“Be open to learning new things; it may be a cultural shock, but be very open-minded,” said Akpan.

Outside of academics, Akpan enjoys eating the different foods in the Houston scene and spending time in nature. He likes going to concerts in the NRG stadium.

Graduate ambassadors can be contacted via email at Ubong-Abasi Akpan can be contacted directly by email at