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Meet MMC’s 2019 Valedictorian, Rachel Nevins!

April 25, 2019
  • Rachel Nevins '19
The graduating Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology major will address her classmates, faculty, and family at the 2019 Commencement ceremony in the Valedictorian speech on Friday, May 17 at Lincoln Center.

Upon her arrival to Marymount Manhattan College, Rachel Nevins was determined to excel in her academics while also experiencing what life in NYC had to offer. Her education prior to college included homeschooling and attending a Montessori-based private school, so MMC’s small campus in the big city was a good fit for the Massachusetts native. “The small class sizes at MMC allowed me to forge bonds with professors who have been instrumental in life during my time in college,” Nevins shares. “They truly care about their students, and give us the knowledge, skills, and confidence to go out into the world.” 

Ultimately, she chose MMC’s Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology major for its comprehensive curriculum and undergraduate-level clinic opportunities, which she earned in her fourth year. The Ruth Smadbeck Communication and Learning Center is Marymount Manhattan’s on-campus speech clinic that provides free services to the community. “I see patients weekly and am responsible for every aspect of their speech therapy from diagnostic evaluations to treatment, all while being mentored and guided by my supervisors,” she explains. “Working with patients has been incredibly rewarding, and I have gotten to experience what my future job will entail. Getting the opportunity to work in the clinic has prepared me exceptionally well for graduate school and my future career.” 

In addition to her studies at MMC, Rachel was excited to be accepted into the Martha Graham modern dance training program. To fulfill her passion for dancing, she often got up before the sun rose to participate in this intensive dance training program for several hours each morning, and would headed back uptown to attend her MMC classes. She also volunteers weekly to teach an after-school dance class to elementary students at P.S. 63.

Rachel’s favorite thing to do outside of school is to travel, particularly when it involves hiking and adventure. During her college years, she has hiked through the Swiss and Austrian Alps; gone to the Arctic Circle to photograph the northern lights, ice climbed on a frozen waterfall cliff, and driven a dogsled; hiked into the canyons of Utah; lived in a van for a week while helping to build an off-grid house in the Canadian Rockies; learned to rock-climb; helped out in mountain villages of Peru for a medical service trip; and visited Machu Picchu. Immediately after she graduates, Rachel is headed to a remote forest on the Finland/Russian border to photograph bears in their natural habitat. She’ll celebrate her MMC graduation with her family by going on a summertime whitewater-rafting trip down the Grand Canyon.

This coming September, Rachel will attend the Speech-Language Pathology master’s program at Gallaudet University in Washington DC. She was awarded a Graduate Assistantship, which gives her a scholarship in exchange for doing research under a faculty mentor. Rachel studied American Sign Language during college and plans to incorporate ASL into her work as a Speech Pathologist. Her eventual goal is to become a certified Speech Pathologist who travels to countries that lack adequate healthcare resources, working to find ways to train those in the country to provide services that are sustainable and to establish community-based self-sufficiency.

Congratulations to Rachel and the entire Class of 2019!