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Meet Northern Pact Scholar Rachel Gathman

March 14, 2018

The Northern Pact encompasses principles that outline the expectations we have for members of our community–being purposeful, just, caring, open, disciplined and celebrative. Each year, the Division of Student Affairs awards the Northern Pact scholarship to students who share this vision of service and personal responsibility.

Rachel Gathman

Meet Rachel Gathman, one of the recipients of this year’s scholarships.
Hometown: Genoa, IL
Year: Junior
Major: Medical laboratory science 

Why did you choose NIU?
My mom’s actually an alum. I like that NIU’s a big university and it provides a lot of opportunities, but you get to know people and it doesn’t feel like a big university.

Why are you studying medical laboratory science?
I wanted to be in the health care field because they help sick people and there’s always new research and discovery which keeps it interesting.

What do you like most about NIU?
My two best friends from high school came here with me so it’s kind of nice having old friends here and still making new friends. We all live in Genoa still, so we get to go on study dates, it’s nice.

Who are your favorite professors and why?
My favorite teacher is probably Ellen Olsen, she’s really smart and kind of like a mom. She’s really nice and doesn’t make you feel stupid for not knowing an answer. She taught my intro into Medical Laboratory Science class and got me more interested in it. She’s really caring, funny and a really good teacher, too.

What’s your favorite spot on campus and why?
I like the student center. There’s places to study but there’s also a bowling alley to go have fun. A lot of different things going on there.

What excites you most about your major?
I’ve always loved science. You get to do different tests and help diagnose people to get them the right treatments. It’s interesting for me and helpful for other people.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned so far?
I’ve learned a lot about science but I’ve also learned a lot about myself. How to stay organized and deal with a lot of things on my plate. I have a job, I’m in different volunteer groups and a full class schedule.

What most surprised you about NIU?
I was really surprised at how many people you get to know. I was always more of a shy person and now I’ve really met a lot of people. I can walk around campus and pretty much run into someone I know, people are really nice.

Why should other students choose NIU?
NIU has a lot of clubs and research opportunities. There are so many different majors to pick from, my one friend is on her third major. There’s something here for everyone and everyone is super nice here.

What is your career goal and why?
I want to work in a hospital. I like the aspect of being able to help people. Hospitals are fast-paced, and I feel it’ll be interesting and I’ll always be doing something. I like staying busy.

Which Northern Pact Principal do you relate to the most?
Caring. I grew up in my church and learned how to be caring and started going on mission trips when I was in eighth grade. Those trips really got me interested in going and helping others. I’m a part of my church youth group and The United Way board.

What does the Northern Pact mean to you?
It’s nice that they care about us being students and learning but they also want us to be caring and purposeful and all of the other characteristics of the Northern Pact as well. It’s nice that they care about our grades and also that we are good people.

Do you know students who exemplify the principles of the Northern Pact? Encourage them to apply online for the 2018-19 Northern Pact scholarship.