A Dedication to Education – Rachel Crawford

Rachel Crawford,’19, has made the most out of her experience at Meredith College, where she is pursuing an English degree with 9-12 licensure and minors in religious and ethical studies and Spanish. A Presidential Scholar and a member of both the Honors and Teaching Fellows programs, she has been conducting undergraduate research and will graduate in 2019.

Rachel, who is from Pittsboro, has also taken advantage of her time at Meredith by participating in campus clubs and organizations. This past year, she was a student advisor for a group of incoming freshman and the news section editor for the Meredith Herald, the College’s student newspaper. She is also the president of a new campus organization called POETS (People Opening Eyes Through Speech), which will create a space for Meredith students to share creative works and collaborate with faculty and local artists.

“I love the term “sisterhood” to describe what we have at Meredith because we are such a tight-knit community and we have a certain bond with one another that I don’t think we would have if we were co-ed. I also love that we are able to support one another whenever we succeed, without feeling like we have to constantly compete with our sisters.”

She gives credit to faculty for helping her succeed in her journey. This summer, Rachel worked with Steven Benko, assistant professor of religious and ethical studies, on undergraduate research. She studied subjectivity formation, theories of narrative and postmodern identity, and Game of Thrones.

“Thanks to Dr. Benko, I have definitely gained a new love for researching and working through difficult concepts. It has been an eye-opening experience to work so closely with one project for such a long period of time!”

Even though her academics keep her busy, Rachel has found time to participate in Meredith traditions. Her favorite experience has been the skit during her freshman orientation.

Following graduation, Rachel plans to spend her summer teaching with the high school summer academy of a Durham nonprofit called Student U.

“I will be designing and teaching a reading-intensive course about postcolonialism in literature and contemporary applications.”

Rachel’s long-term plans include teaching as a English/Language Arts teacher and ultimately, pursuing an M.Ed. in equity and justice in education and a Ph.D. in literacy language and culture. All of her plans will build on her passion for education, one that she has pursued throughout her time at Meredith.

“At the end of the day, I am strong because of my enthusiasm for learning. Meredith has provided an environment where I am encouraged to pursue projects that interest me. Every class I have taken here has offered an opportunity to make the content relevant to my interests.”

By Taylor Lynn Moore, ’17

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