Rachel is originally from Fredericksburg, Virginia, is a member of Delta Company, in the Great Class of 2020, and of course an ORCA major. At the Academy, she participates in the CrossFit Club, Women’s Rugby, Compañeros Council, and Women’s Accountability Group. For “fun,” she enjoys calling any of her eight siblings and listening to them talk for literally hours on end.
On the decision to choose ORCA
“I chose the ORCA major because I have always loved math and solving puzzles, and I felt this major did a great job at combining the two. To summarize the ORCA program, the main focus is to find ways to maximize benefits and reduce costs. In high school, I was a “mathlete,” which was a club where we got together and competed to solve challenging word problems. Choosing ORCA was a pretty easy decision for me, especially since it is sometimes nicknamed “the math major.””
On how ORCA provides hands-on experience
“This major actually has no ORCA-specific labs, so the hands-on component is a little different than the other majors at the Coast Guard Academy. However, this major does a good job of getting real-world experience and exposure with computer software and programming languages that can aid in solving complex math problems. My favorite classes in this major have actually been Computer Modeling Languages during my 3/c year and then Algorithms 2/c year, which focused on learning to code in Python.”
On dedicated faculty
“A huge benefit of the ORCA major is the math help room, which is always open to anyone who needs assistance with homework and projects, and it is open to cadets from every major! There are always teachers in the room available to answer questions and help students gain the satisfaction of having that “a-ha!” moment after understanding something difficult. I guess the reason the math help room is so great is because it is just one example of how devoted everyone in the Math Department is to helping cadets succeed.”