John Wesley Honors College

Scholar Spotlight: Rachel Shepherd

by Shiloh Hines, John Wesley Scholar, Class of 2016

Rachel ShepherdMeet Rachel Shepherd, senior nursing major and Mary C. Dodd scholar. Rachel grew up around Indianapolis, with six younger siblings to keep her company.

Originally a student at Cedarville University, she transferred to IWU after her second year and joined the JWHC. She will be graduating this April, and hopes to become a critical care nurse, eventually working as a nurse on Mercy Ships in Africa.

Rachel recently returned from a study abroad trip to Zambia, where she lived and studied for a semester. Something she enjoyed the most about her trip were working and getting to know the study abroad team—composed of sixteen students, two professors, and one RD/clinical instructor. Another of her favorite parts of the trip involved spending time with the children.

“They were the sweetest, most precious children ever,” she said. “Leaving the orphanage for the last time was one of the most difficult parts of the trip, at least for me.”

The most different thing about Zambia, Rachel commented, is how they live in the moment. “It really taught me how they care about people and relationships over starting activities on time or keeping a schedule.” Her group was warned, before leaving America, that things worked a little differently in Zambia. They would not be able to “rush” anything. This proved to be true. When her group took physician orders to the pharmacy, it would sometimes take hours to get the prescriptions. The reason for this was due to the pharmacy workers being incredibly personable and friendly, striking up conversations and genuinely inquiring about their lives. They were not constantly worried about schedules; rather, they cared about people as individuals, and treated them accordingly.

She loves:

– Reading biographies of Tudor women such as Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I, and Lady Jane Gray.

– Sewing period correct Civil War-era dresses to wear over a hoop-skirt.

-Watching football, especially the Colts (or Peyton Manning).

-hanging out with her siblings and playing games like Bananagrams.

Where she wants to visit:

-The one place on earth she would like to go is, of course, Africa! She isn’t sure which country she wants to visit yet, but she does know that she desperately wants to return.