2007 C-RING WINNER CELEBRATES THE COMMUNITY OF WOMEN
Rachel, who was chosen from a field of 15 finalists, is receiving her bachelor of science in biomedical engineering (BME) this June but will turn around and enter UC’s College of Medicine in August. She is one of a select few who was admitted under the highly competitive dual admissions option between UC’s Colleges of Engineering and Medicine. Denise Gabrelski is Rachel’s pre-med advisor.
“If accepted [into the dual admissions program], students have a spot in our College of Medicine upon graduation,” wrote Gabrelski in her letter to the selection committee. “Only a small percentage of applicants are accepted into the program.”
As a part of the Connections-E program with the medical school, Rachel had dual admissions to the med school out of high school.
“This was one of the main drawing points at UC for me,” she says. “BME at UC sounded interesting because I would learn a different way of thinking about medical problems which would be helpful as a physician.”
“She is truly a person who wants to make the world a better place,” says Mary Beth Privitera, assistant professor in biomedical engineering.
Rachel helped set up the recent trip to Kenya for UC’s Engineers Without Borders chapter. The UC students worked with residents to identify water source and quality issues.
“Rachel was instrumental in planning the Kenya trip, especially the health assessment component,” says Dan Oerther, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering. “She is incredibly devoted and focused, and understands global health issues.”
Rachel’s project in Privitera’s class was geared toward designing a minimally invasive saphenous vein harvester for the third world. Third-world countries typically cannot use minimally invasive techniques due to complexity & cost.
“If it were not for Rachel’s efforts her team would have totally disregarded this design requirement, as it is much easier to design for ourselves than for others who are less fortunate,” adds Privitera. “Throughout Rachel’s project she carried the majority of the research to better understand the needs of a developing world and I would not be surprised to find her participating in Doctors Without Borders one day.”
Mark Bowers, assistant dean in the College of Engineering, says that Rachel convinced a physician to let her participate in developing an HIV/AIDS program called “ACCESS: Caribe” in the Dominican Republic.
UC Women’s Center director Barb Rinto says that the C-Ring goes to a true winner.
“C-Ring recognizes women who work to improve the quality of life in our communities; who feel a responsibility to the greater world. These are women who ‘lift as they climb,’ selflessly reaching out to other women and girls to help them succeed,” says Rinto.
Rachel has many strong role models. “I have a diverse group of strong women in my family: both of my grandmothers, my mother's aunt, and my mother,” she says, “Also, Pearl Willis. Ms. Pearl's work in Chicago has been amazing, and I am honored to call her a mentor."
Perhaps advisor Gabrelski sums Rachel up best: “My words cannot do this compassionate, humble, intelligent and amazing young woman justice.”
“I'd like to invite everyone to get involved in these causes that are so near to my heart: Engineers Without Borders, CityCure ballet classes, a youth center in the Dominican Republic,” Rachel says. “The next four years of my life will be full of medical school. I am hoping that next summer I will be again able to work internationally, hopefully returning to the Dominican Republic.”
Ten years from now she hopes to be either a family medicine or pediatric physician working with an underserved population domestically or internationally, perhaps with Dominican immigrants or in the Dominican Republic.
5/4/2007 Fifteen Graduating Senior Women Contend for UC's 85th Annual C-Ring Award
5/30/2006 Competition for UC’s C-Ring Award Has Grown by Leaps and Bounds
7/4/2005 Samantha Cronier Grabs the Gold Ring at the Annual C-Ring Banquet
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