Listen to a group of seniors thoughtfully reflect on finding their way at Rice — and leaving an indelible impression on campus — in these stunning video portraits.
Thu Nguyen, a Wiess College senior majoring in chemistry and sociology, thought she knew what she wanted to be in life. “I came into Rice thinking I wanted to give back to the world by becoming a doctor, but I realized that I can give back to the world in other ways that I’m much better at,” Nguyen said.
Michael Groth, a Baker College senior majoring in mechanical engineering, says his story is proof that you never really know what to expect in life.
Monica Czausz, a Lovett College senior pursuing her combined Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in organ performance, says the organ is her voice.
James Carter, Brown college senior majoring in psychology and English,had a plan for his life before he graduated high school. Aiming to be a college professor, he knew he would need extensive research experience and a Ph.D. to achieve his dream.
Yasna Haghdoost, a Will Rice College senior majoring in English and political science, entered Rice with no idea about what she wanted to do. That all changed when she became involved with communities she was passionate about. Now editor of the student-run newspaper, the Rice Thresher, and president of Rice’s sketch comedy troupe, Kinda Sketchy, Haghdoost found groups of people she cared about. She also got involved with the Baker Institute for Public Policy and found a mentor that helped her crystalize her professional aspirations.
Senthil Natarajan, a Will Rice College senior majoring in electrical engineering, used his four years at Rice to explore his passions for sports and technology. “I think the number one thing I describe about my time at Rice is the fact that it’s allowed me to not be restrictive by what my degree is.” Natarajan said. “I came into Rice as an engineering student but I’ve never been forced to follow the traditional path.” Natarajan has his own startup, Ziel Solutions, that is developing a sensory sleeve for baseball pitchers to help reduce their risk of injury. He also teaches a class on basketball analytics. “It’s really cool every time you introduce a new concept; the students get wide eyed over the realization of just how many complexities there are of analyzing a concept— like rebounding,” he said.
Mei Tan, a Lovett College senior majoring in computer science and visual and dramatic arts, wanted to do something completely different when she got to college. “During O-Week, something that really inspired me was this idea they kept pushing that you can completely reinvent yourself,” Tan said. “
Scott Filip, a Sid Richardson College senior majoring in sport management, contributes his many decathlon championships to his competitive nature and unwavering dedication. “Being able to have a great team to work with and then go around 180 degrees and sit in the classroom and have great faculty to work— a team more or less in the classroom to help you succeed.”
Neha Sahai, a Will Rice College senior majoring in architecture, decided to come to Rice on a last-minute whim. Not knowing what to expect at Rice, she says her experience as an owl surpassed every expectation she had coming in. Sahai says one of the most important things she did at Rice was implement wellbeing initiatives at the Architecture school and promote the importance of mental health, especially in high-stress environments.
Brian Barr, a Brown College senior majoring in chemical engineering, has a passion for bikes and design. He found organizations that fueled his interests through Rice Bikes, a student-run business, and Data Design Co_, a product design firm creating data-inspired home goods. “I’ve always been a creative individual, but I don’t think I realized how that intersected with other areas of my life until I got here,” said Barr. “Rice expanded my world view— you end up in a different place than when you came in.”