October 8, 2013

Senior Story: Rachel Thibodeau

Rachel Thibodeau was a star scholar athlete at Southwestern, earning an NCAA postgraduate scholarship for her prowess in the classroom as well as on the volleyball court. She says her Southwestern Experience was "stimulating, challenging and enriching."

Best lesson learned at SU?
I have learned how important time management is. It is really hard to be successful at SU without prioritizing your time and activities. This is a skill that I will be able to use for the rest of my life!

Why did you choose SU?
When I was choosing an undergraduate school, I knew I wanted to play volleyball but I also wanted to go to a school with a high academic standard. Southwestern fit this criteria and had a unique sense of community that was very comforting to me. I was also impressed by how much focus the faculty placed on involving their students in research. I knew the opportunities at Southwestern would be endless!

What's the best advice you received from a professor?
Early on, I was considering graduating early, but my adviser encouraged me not to so that I could get the true, full Southwestern Experience. I'm so glad I listened!

If you had a super power, what would it be?
To read minds. I've always been so fascinated by how people think and learn!

In your opinion, what makes SU special?
At SU, you have the opportunity to get involved in and have a positive impact in several different organizations. Being an athlete, it meant a lot to me to be able to enjoy my sport and get a great education while also participating in a sorority and several honor societies on campus. 

Do you have any fun, embarrassing or quirky stories about campus life?
On the volleyball team, there is a running joke that I am the charter member of the "17-0 Club". This came about my first year when we were playing a team and we were winning 17 points to 0. We were hoping to make it 25 to 0, but I made a really bad mistake…one that my team will never let me live down!

After graduation, Rachael enjoyed traveling and getting ready for graduate school. She is now in a four-year Ph.D. program at the University of Alabama.

To read all the 2013 Senior Stories, please click here

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