Take the Cake: A Sweet Celebration of Major Fellowship Winners

By Cam Zapater. The Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies recognizes the accomplishments of graduate students and postdocs who have earned major fellowships, commemorating their success with a special cake.

Take the Cake Winner

By Cam Zapater. "Take the Cake" is a cherished tradition at Rice University that began in 2016. This tradition, founded by the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS), celebrates the achievements of graduate students and postdocs who earned competitive external fellowships. Winners of these prestigious awards choose from an array of cakes and desserts. 

Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Seiichi Matsuda added a special touch to the event by presenting each cake and individually recognizing each student during the ceremony. In the most recent celebration, we awarded cakes to over 86 outstanding students from various disciplines, resulting in the collective consumption of almost 2,000,000 calories.

"The highlight of this experience was the opportunity for me and my friends to celebrate our achievement in the most fun, delicious way possible,” said cake winner Aayushi Doshi. 

"We often forget to celebrate our achievements in life, but taking a break and some time to actually appreciate yourself and others for it is very important, which Rice allowed us to do so graciously,” she added.

The Graduate Commons area was buzzing with activity as everyone came together to celebrate the achievements of our graduate students and postdocs. It's not uncommon to leave with both a slice of cake and cherished memories.

“One of my favorite aspects of this event is that the customary sharing of cake makes visible the rich networks that support individual success,” said Dr. Randi McInerney, Program Administrator in GPS and organizer of “Take the Cake.”

“This year’s awardees invited mentors, colleagues, grandparents, partners, and more to share their cakes,” she added. 

If you're interested in participating in Take the Cake next fall, fellowship coaching is available for graduate students and postdocs. Reach out to Dr. Randi McInerney at gradfellowships@rice.edu for more information. Learn more about it here!