Published: Mar 24, 2017 7:00:00 AM
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Rachel Helm, senior in biosystems engineering, was named the Department of Biosystems Engineering Outstanding Student. Learn how Rachel's past influenced her academic decision and the future.
"When I was only 3, my father accepted a job in Indonesia, and my family was uprooted from my hometown of New Orleans. In Indonesia, my family and I literally lived in the middle of a rainforest. I spent my days capturing insects to watch them grow, planting pineapples and bananas and splitting rocks to examine their intricate insides. Life was an adventure, and it was in Indonesia that I fell in love with the beauty, complexity and importance of the environment. As a result, my decision to major in biosystems engineering was inevitable – it fed my passion for engineering and the environment. I knew that a degree in biosystems engineering would provide the tools to make a positive impact on the world around me. Through my time at Auburn, I have truly poured myself into the university and my curriculum. Whether as the vice president of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, a Cupola Engineering ambassador or even on the jobsites committee for the Big Event, I have thoroughly enjoyed serving my department and my university. As a result, I am honored and thrilled to be selected as the Outstanding Student for biosystems. After graduation, I plan to pursue a career in water resources engineering and obtain my Professional Engineering license. Additionally, I hope to continue to promote the STEM fields to young women. I am so incredibly thankful for the endless support of my professors, mentors, family and friends."