Unconventional students at Rice 2018: Brandi Ransom hits her stride on and off the track

Brandi Ransom was used to speeding through life as a track and field athlete, but when she entered Rice, she was happily surprised to find a fast-paced academic experience as well.

“I remember my second week of classes as a freshman, and I was already in a lab contributing to lab research,” said Ransom, who is graduating with degrees in materials science and nanoengineering and German studies. “I got to work on a 2-D synthesis growth mechanism using very expensive equipment even though I hadn’t even taken a freshman-year physics class yet.”

Ransom said being a student-athlete is the best part of her Rice experience. “My coach is an Olympian and I’m training with some of the fastest girls in the country,” she said. “Rice invests so much in you really early on. It’s cool to be treated as if you’re the person you’re going to grow into.”

Inspired by the opportunities she seized at Rice, such as conducting research in Germany and Japan, Ransom has enjoyed being involved with the National Society of Black Engineers and tutoring local underrepresented minorities.

“When you’re backed by a powerhouse like Rice University, you’re not only motivated to do incredible things and change the world, but you’re also motivated to give back and motivate others to do the same,” she said.

About Brandon Martin

Greetings, I am a video producer at Rice University in the Office of Public Affairs. I became a Rice Owl in June 2011. Before that, I was at KPRC-TV in Houston as a special projects photojournalist for seven years, where I covered everything from hurricanes to sports. Southeast Texas has been my home my entire life. I am lucky to have a wonderful wife and two of the cutest girls I have ever seen. Go Owls!