- Occupation: Graduate Assistant for Institutional Research at Rockford University
- Hometown: Rockford, IL
- Program: Master of Arts in Teaching with Middle School certificate
- Graduation: May 2013
Graduating from Rockford University in 2008 with a degree in Math, Rachel Scanlan wasn’t surprised to find herself back "home” a few short years later, working towards her Master’s in Teaching. "I had a regular, 9-5 job after I graduated, but I knew I didn’t want to do that forever,” she says. "Teaching has always been something that piqued my interest.”
"I knew I was a weird kid when, instead of playing with toys, I’d get excited about counting money,” she laughs, "that’s not what most kids do for fun.” Now, she can hardly wait to put her passion into practice as an 8th and 9th grade Algebra teacher. She applauds the MAT program for preparing her to manage a classroom, saying "It’s not all theory; a lot of it is practical. You can have all of the theory in the world, but without application, it doesn’t mean anything.”
Rachel begins student teaching in the spring, and attributes her confidence to the RU program. "They stretch you to your creative limits,” she says. "The professors have all been teachers, so they’re able to give you real tools that you can adapt to your own strengths for application in the classroom.”
For Rachel, becoming a teacher is the ultimate way to pay it forward. "I have had so many teachers that made an impact on the path I took, and if I can do that for even one child, that would be incredible.” That’s why she is one of this year’s Rockford University Rock Stars.