Unconventional Students at Rice 2019: Jessica Hartz discovered her passions by trying new things

Since she was a young girl, Jessica Hartz always wanted to horseback ride. Being one of four siblings and growing up in the city of Atlanta, her access to horses was limited. However, her parents told her if she still wanted to horseback ride when she got to college, she could. Jessica didn’t hesitate fulfilling her dream when she got to Rice.

“I joined the equestrian team freshman year and got dumped off my horse the first day,” she said. “I got back in the saddle and kept at it all four years.”

Trying new things became a theme for Hartz throughout her time at Rice. She joined Duncan College’s powderpuff team and played softball for the first time as a senior. “Rice has offered me so many physical, social and academic opportunities,” Hartz said. “As a freshman, I joined a research class and loved it so much, I was a teacher assistant for the course five times.”

After taking the research course, Hartz, a biological sciences major, thought she wanted to pursue a career in medicine. However, after later taking an animal biology class, she discovered it complemented both her science background and passion for animals. She plans to attend veterinary school after graduation.

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!