Graduate student ambassador and Ph.D. student Marquise Bell

WEBSITE(S)| Mechanical Engineering Department | Preston Innovation Lab | Marquise's LinkedIn | Marquise's Instagram | Marquise's Twitter | Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA)

I am a (rising) 3rd year Ph.D. Student in the department of Mechanical Engineering at Rice University. Before I started at Rice, I completed my undergraduate degree at Baylor University, also earning minors in Math and Computer Science. I started grad school at Rice in July 2020, during the height of Covid.

Coming in with no prior research experience proved challenging, but I’ve learned and grown a considerable amount. I am now the current Mechanical Engineering Graduate Association president, and I also serve as the Treasurer for the Black Graduate Student Association.

I have been awarded a GEM Associate Fellowship through the GEM Consortium and a NASA NSTGRO fellowship to further research textile materials for integration into spacesuits to decrease their weight and increase functionality. On the side, I co-founded a scholarship for minority men graduating from my alma mater, Hirschi High School in Wichita Falls, TX. In my free time I heavily enjoy visiting coffee shops, playing basketball, grilling, and being outside with friends.

Fun Fact:

I’ve built two life-size backyard roller coasters.

Favorite thing about Rice:

The greenery and how the trees canopy over the walkways.

Favorite thing about Houston:

The options, there is something for everybody and there are so many great food spots.

Why did you decide to go to graduate school?

I want to be the change I seek. I had one black professor during undergrad and because of him, I have to confidence to do what I’m doing in engineering. I want to help lead and cultivate the next generation of underrepresented minorities in the engineering academic landscape. Grad school has also allowed me the freedom to pursue problems important and interesting to me, and I have found this aspect of grad school to be fulfilling.