"It's incredible to me how much people at St. Ambrose care about the individual. There is a true drive for education and community that really appeals to me."
Rachel became an Ambrosian in 2017 because we provide the remarkable university community she requires: a supportive environment; opportunities for academic, artistic and spiritual growth; collaboration and discussion; and a collective mission for social justice.
Hometown: Villa Park, Illinois
Rachel grew up in a Chicago suburb and realized early she was an explorer. She packed her schedule with classes, church, and activities she found interesting and inspiring and those that helped her grow as an individual. She volunteered as a Camp R.O.C.K. counselor, performed in jazz and marching band, completed almost half of the AP classes offered, and now wants to share her quest for learning. Rachel plans to become a professor.
Rachel chose St. Ambrose because she can be an active member – and explorer – of the Ambrosian community. We offer an education based in the Liberal Arts and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, which means our classrooms are alive with inquiry, discussion, critical thought, and collaboration. "I love that my Honors class is interdisciplinary, because in reality the world isn't split up into neat, unrelated subjects, and the class encourages you to think from multiple perspectives, drawing on skills developed from several different subjects. Whether or not it's a subject that is your major, education is a means for self-improvement, which allows you to improve the world around you and yourself. My Honors class really emphasizes and demonstrates this."
How are you involved at SAU?
Rachel is the brass section leader for Marching Band, writes for the Buzz student newspaper, is a member of Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, and Model U.N., as well as serves as a Peer Campus Minister. "One of the things I realized my first year is when I am in a new environment, I tend to become shy or timid. I learned to overcome that and not let it stop me from doing all of the things I want to do," she says. "This year I am really looking forward to expanding what I do and how many people I meet. Your first year is about finding your footing in a certain sense, then you can expand outside of your circle more," she says. "I found where I was at, and now I want to expand my circle and have a wider reach."
How do you live your faith at St. Ambrose?
Rachel is excited to serve as a Peer Campus Minister. "My Catholic faith is very important to me, and I was involved in ministry activities in high school. Other people helped me grow as an individual and leader in my faith." Rachel wants to do the same for her peers, and says it is easier to grow in faith when the people standing next to you are on the same journey. "I will also get to encourage students to learn more about Campus Ministry and get involved on campus."
Why major in Psychology and History?
Rachel started her first year with a plan to major in psychology and in economics, but that plan changed, just a bit, after she met Larry Skillin, PhD, associate professor and chair of the History Department. "He helped me realize how much I enjoyed history and how much I wanted to continue learning," she says. In fact, Rachel enjoyed the lessons so much, she switched her second major to history and will now minor in economics. "I feel you get a very personal experience at SAU that you won’t get at larger schools. Here, it is all about catering your education to your wants and needs, and I really like that."