Rachel Gathman

Rachel Gathman

#PeopleofNIU Photo by Danielle Guerra/Institutional Communications

Hometown: Genoa

Major: Medical laboratory science major

Why did you choose NIU?
My mom’s actually an alum and 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 with 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 chose 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 characteristic of the Northern PACT as well. It’s nice that they care about our grades and also that we are good people.

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