Rice grad named Director of Student Advancement and Career Development

Rice grad named Director of Student Advancement and Career Development

Dr. Kim Gonzalez, a 2017 graduate of Rice University’s doctoral program in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, has been named Director of Student Advancement and Career Development in the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at Rice University.

“Dr. Gonzalez brings Rice substantial capability to promote graduate student success,” said Seiichi Matsuda, Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. “As a Rice graduate student, she published important discoveries, won the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and represented the U.S. at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. She will be a valuable resource to our graduate students and postdocs, and we are delighted to welcome her back to Rice.”

Gonzalez said she is excited to bring various resources to campus, including new workshops and classes focused on student success.

“If I can help students find a career path that makes them happy and that they find meaningful, that is how I would define my success,” she said.

Gonzalez received her bachelor’s in genetics from Texas A&M in 2011, which is where she fell in love with research and mentoring. She decided to pursue a doctoral degree to be able to teach at the collegiate level. As a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford, Gonzalez realized her real passion was mentoring and advocating for graduate students and decided to pursue a different branch of academia instead of the tenure-track faculty route.

“While I was a postdoc, I realized that while I liked research, it was not something I had to do to have a career as an educator or an advocate for grad students and postdocs,” she said. “After taking classes and workshops, I found a better niche for myself.”

She looks forward to working with “the next wave of Owls.”

“I’ve been in their shoes,” she said, “so I can understand the issues they may be facing. I want grad students and postdocs to be successful at Rice and also after they leave Rice, and I’m thrilled to be able to help them with that.”

She added that returning to Rice has been a wonderful experience.

“Being back at Rice, it feels like home,” she said. “I’m excited to give back to the institution that gave me such a great education.”