Meet Rachel

Mechanical Engineering, ’20
Carmel, IN

Hey, welcome to my page!

My name is Rachel and I’m a junior from Carmel, Indiana studying Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Dramatic Arts. On campus, I have served as a resident assistant (RA) in McCarthy Honors Residential College, an E-Board Member for one of USC’s comedy improv troupes, and treasurer of Phi Alpha Delta, USC’s professional pre-law fraternity. I am also an active member of the structural avionics team for USC’s Rocket Propulsion Lab. Last summer I had the opportunity to travel to Florence, Italy and take Viterbi classes through the Viterbi Overseas Program. This summer, I will be interning in the structural dynamics department at The Aerospace Corporation. When I’m not going to auditions, making puns, or doing physics homework (sometimes simultaneously!), I enjoy performing stand-up comedy at various venues throughout LA, taking trips to the beaches and mountains, and exploring nature.
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Phi Alpha Delta

I currently serve as the treasurer of USC’s professional pre-law fraternity, Phi Alpha Delta. Phi Alpha Delta aims to provide a community for students interested in law school and hosts professional events to help prepare students for law school applications and law related internships. In addition, I have held various cabinet positions during my membership, including VP of Recruitment and VP of Standards.
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Comedy Improv Troupe

I am an active member of one of USC’s comedy improvisation troupes. We perform shows all over campus and collaborate with improv professionals throughout LA to hone our skills!
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Residential Education

Last year, I served as a Resident Assistant (RA) in McCarthy Honors Residential College. As an RA, I designed multiple programs catered to the interests of my residents and promoted safety and wellness throughout my residential community. Working for USC Residential Education allowed me to collaborate with outstanding mentors and an amazing staff team.
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Viterbi students get involved in all types of organizations! From design teams to entrepreneurship groups, there’s a place for everyone. Read about more organizations by clicking the button below!

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My Major: Mechanical Engineering

How did I pick my major?

I was originally admitted to USC as an architecture major. Even though I loved practicing creativity and design skills in my architecture courses, I found myself asking questions about the structural and mathematical implications of my designs. I missed learning about the physical laws that governed my artistic choices and the systems necessary to make each structure stand. The beginning of my sophomore year, I switched my major to mechanical engineering hoping to take classes that would more adequately address my scientific curiosity. Pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering has opened my eyes to thousands of career possibilities beyond architecture and has inspired my interests in astrophysics as well as patent law.

My Favorite Classes

Although honors quantum physics might sound a bit daunting to some, Professor Bickers made it such a blast! I was able to learn all about optics, general relativity, waves, and quantum mechanics through exciting lectures and fascinating demonstrations.

In this class, I had the opportunity to study political science through the context of the 2016 election (as it was happening) and learn from prominent political consultant Bob Shrum. For our midterm paper we had to predict the outcome of the election and in our final paper we had to analyze the outcome.

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My #ViterbiLife

This is my #ViterbiLife

Favorite LA Spots

Although it may seem overly hyped at first, The Last Bookstore is the place to be in downtown LA. This joint is the best secondhand bookstore/ record shop/ art gallery/ deserted bank in the whole city. Definitely stop by if you’re looking to curl up with a good book, listen to some groovy toons, or watch talented artists at work!

My Netflix Obsessions

  • Arguably the most extraordinary television shows ever created, Avatar the Last Airbender combines humor and social commentary through the story of a young boy named Aang and his attempts to restore peace to the world. This series is a bit lengthy, but episodes are fairly short, incredibly engaging, and endlessly entertaining (by that I mean I rewatch the entire series roughly once a semester). If nothing else, at least watch this show so you can understand all of the references your friends make.

  • Although it is a commitment to watch, Game of Thrones is one of the most immersive TV shows currently running. The plot is much too complicated to explain in detail, so just know that it includes a lot of drama, dragons, and death. I would definitely recommend getting caught up with this series over the summer before new episodes start airing when winter comes.

Favorite USC Tradition

My favorite USC tradition is attending football games at the Coliseum. USC football brings people from all backgrounds, majors, interests, and extracurricular activities together to support our team. It is so fun to bond with friends and meet new people when heading over to the Coliseum and cheering on the Trojans. My friends and I even have our own specific game day traditions which include setting up our very own tailgate and grilling food on McCarthy Quad.

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I would love to help you better understand my experience at USC. If you have any questions or need more information about anything, please fill out the form below and I will get back to you!

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