Unconventional students at Rice 2018: Change of plans

 Kaysie Tam always knew she wanted to join an acapella group at Rice, but deciding on a major was more of a challenge.

“I joined Rice Philharmonics my freshman year,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun singing and arranging songs with some of my favorite people. I actually wanted to be a singer before I came to Rice –engineering was not the plan.”

Tam’s mom encouraged her to pursue mechanical engineering since she was strong in math and science.

“It definitely wasn’t my thing at first,” Tam said. “I remember thinking I’m about to be the worst mechanical engineer anyone has ever seen. But I stuck with it.”

Tam, who is graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering, discovered how she could blend her major with her passion on an Alternative Spring Break trip to Colorado that focused on advocating for people with disabilities.

“I think being at Rice has really pushed me to grow in ways that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to do elsewhere,” she said. “I think why Rice is special is because you’re surrounded by people who are all trying to be the best person that they can be.”

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!