Rice Unconventional Wisdom

Humanities Star

Rachel Boyle
Department Coordinator
Visual & Dramatic Arts

RachelBoyle_large.jpgRachel is the front-line, go-to person in the Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts. Her smile is the first impression that people remember when they venture into the arts at Rice. She calmly and efficiently runs command central of our modest academic operation that has big plans and even bigger dreams for delivering the best undergraduate arts curriculum and also the best in stage productions, exhibitions (in three distinctly different department galleries), receptions, film screenings, and film festivals. We're not sure how she does it, but she has everything under control in our diverse, three-part department of visual art, theatre, and film, and can lay her hands on what's needed to resolve the most unforgiving crisis. Amazingly, she does this while making people feel they are the only one asking for her help.

Rachel has been with the department for almost 15 years--before that she began her training in the trenches of Continuing Studies. It's not unusual for her to be organizing a student and faculty trip for 30 to New York, while getting quotes on catering for an exhibition reception, while waiting for a call back from a cultural organization to finalize the logistics of a collaborative film festival. Her expertise and professionalism is boundless and her remarkable sense of humor and warm personality continue to brighten the lives of VADA faculty, staff, students, and all who come through our doors.

"This wonderful person does the job of several people, and always with the best smile and attitude. Students know that she will help them solve all sorts of problems, be their advocate in finding their way through requirements and paperwork, and is a very good listener to anything on their mind. She is also excellent at helping faculty keep up with deadlines, forms, fees, facilities, and even their feelings. Plus she feeds us all with the most delicious and nutritious tidbits at meetings, art exhibit openings, and saves the left-overs for our next-day lunch-bunch get-togethers. She is organized, on top of all the different activities that happen in the three different art buildings spread far and wide across campus. She often stays late for the many after-hours activities, setting up, cleaning up, making certain that everything works smoothly and that everyone has what they need. For two years in row she has been the one to plan, schedule, organize, and chaperone our new Junior Studio Field trip in the spring. The initial one to Marfa involved riding AmTrak to Alpine, Texas. Lots of possibilities for lost students, but she didn't lose a single one. Second year was a bigger challenge: Chicago. More students, more places to get lost and into trouble. It was an even bigger success. She is so good at her job in so many ways to help so many people. You can tell when you talk with her: she cares about people, she cares about the department, and she cares about Rice." - Paul Hester, VADA

The School of Humanities Star Award is presented to one outstanding staff member each academic semester and is based on recommendations from supervisors, colleagues and faculty. To nominate a staff member for future consideration, please submit your recommendation to Anita Norwig - humadmin@rice.edu.