Reach out to a Graduate Student Ambassador!

By Daziyah Sullivan: So, you’re interested in finding a university, but how do you find out what it’s like to actually be a student at that university?

Rice's Graduate Student Ambassadors in Downtown Houston

So you’re going through the different schools and universities that you’re thinking about applying for graduate school at. You’re interested in finding out about the research topics at the university, collaboration opportunities, stipend amounts, etc… But how do you find out what it’s like to actually be at that university?

Well, for Rice University, you can gain further insight into that exact question by reaching out to Graduate Student Ambassadors! Note: I’ll be referring to this group of students as Ambassadors from now on.

Who are these mythical magical mystery Ambassadors?


We are a group of graduate students who have been nominated for - and accepted - the opportunity to connect with prospective students. We help with recruitment by providing insight to prospective students like you. Some of the ways we do this include:

  • Coffee Chats! For an hour, Ambassadors provide answers to any and all questions (that we know the answers to, we’re only human!) asked by prospective students over Zoom. It is a very informal format and you gain perspectives of students from different departments, countries, and interests.
  • Blogs! I mean, you’re reading one by an Ambassador right now - hiya, I’m Daziyah. :) These blogs are on a variety of topics that we believe could assist in the application and decision making process for prospective students. Blogs can be on anything we choose in any language we choose.
  • Person-to-Person Connections! We attend the different recruitment events that the university attends and holds. We receive and respond to emails. We even do Zoom and in-person meetings! Our preferred methods of contact can be found on our individual bios. 

How do you contact an Ambassador?

Reach out via the listed contact information on the Graduate Student Ambassador website. There are some students who may only have their email listed, while others may have email and all of the social medias - like Marquise Bell of the socially active PI Lab.

Feel free to send an email or connection request at any time of day, we recognize that students may not be in the same time zone as us and are quite understanding. Just recognize we may be delayed in responding to you - graduate school can get hectic!

What do you say to an Ambassador?


Please start with an introduction, though. We love to learn more about who we are speaking to - you are a potential future peer after all. From there, you can be as informal or formal as you wish. Things I’ve seen in emails:

  • Undergraduate institutions - especially HBCUs as I’m an HBCU alumna
  • Home Countries
  • Resumes/Curriculum Vitae
  • Professors/Topics of Interest

And the list could go on.

Make sure you make it clear what type of response you are searching for from us. You may just want a general connection, and that’s fine! Let’s set up a Zoom meeting. You might want specific recommendations or answers to questions - would sending a link and a few contacts suffice?

We will provide as much information as we are able to and will try to guide you in the right direction: we just need to know where you’re headed.

It is important to point out that Graduate Student Ambassadors are ambassadors for the prospective student more than they are for the university. We were chosen because we’ve shown interest in ensuring students find their right fit at Rice and are able to access all resources available to them.

We want to help. 

Do not hesitate to reach out. Hope to hear from you soon!

About the author: Daziyah Sullivan is a second-year Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering. Originally from Florida, Daziyah earned her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering in 2020. Read more.