Program Operations Specialist, IPE Curriculum

Rachel grew up in the beautiful city of Seattle, just minutes away from the UW campus, on an old Lake Union houseboat. After getting two sons started in the world, she attended Shoreline Community College and the University of Washington, majoring in Anthropology and American Indian Studies, and earning two BA degrees. Rachel then attended the UW School of Social Work to complete the MSW program in the Policy track. Her overall goal was to combine her passion for social justice and Indigenous issues and work for upstream policies that address economic and health disparities in communities marginalized by the mainstream and left with a mountain of unmet need. This led, in a roundabout way, to working in the UW Department of Family Medicine on programs designed for students dedicated to becoming effective, well prepared, and compassionate physicians for marginalized and vulnerable members of our community.

Subsequently, Rachel spent several years working with medical and other students in the UW Department of Global Health, advocating for diversity and equity within the department and medical school, and working to prepare students for global health careers. With her work in CHSIE, the same mission and values apply to interprofessional education – the main goal is to support student development so they can work effectively and responsibly toward better health for our communities. Rachel has been involved in service learning, safety, and diversity/equity/inclusion committees throughout her time at the UW. She enjoys spending time outdoors, listening to and singing music, reading, and learning about everything!

“My favorite experiences with students have to do with aha moments: In realizing that the assumptions about a different profession that they came in with were wrong; in realizing they know more than they thought they did; and in gaining a familiarity and respect for other professions. These moments when a light bulb goes on in a student’s experience or reflecting on an experience, are just the best. It’s when I know we’re really making a positive contribution to their learning.”

Areas of Interest/Focus of Work

  • Interprofessional Education (IPE) curriculum development, implementation and evaluation
  • Health Sciences Service Learning

Research Centers


  • Waterman SU, Kost A, Lazzar R, Dobie S. The underserved pathway-fostering medical student interest in the care of vulnerable populations. Virtual Mentor. 2011 Aug 1;13(8):539-43. doi: 10.1001/virtualmentor.2011.13.8.medu1-1108. PMID: 23137454.