Meet Rachel Merchak ’13
"I have been blown away by how much the professors on this campus really care about their students."
A psychology major and economics minor, Rachel Merchak is often the go-to person for fellow students in need.
“I love helping people and a lot of my friends have told me I am their go-to person when they need someone to talk to, so being a psychologist had always been in the back of my mind.”
It wasn’t until her sophomore year when she transferred to Wittenberg, however, that she fully realized her purpose in life.
“I thought I had wanted to be a lawyer and was majoring in economics. And even though that pesky thought about being a psychologist kept popping up, I never budged,” she said.
“But, when I decided to transfer from my previous university and attend Wittenberg, I figured it was time to make another change as well. I couldn't be happier with my decision to switch from pre-law to psychology; this really is what I am meant to do. And since I had taken a year and a half of economics courses, the minor sort of just happened. I love working with numbers and have found the statistical background I received from that minor to be extremely helpful in my psychology classes.”
Following graduation, Merchak will attend Xavier University’s doctoral program in clinical psychology thanks to the encouragement of Wittenberg’s psychology faculty.
“The psychology department has inspired me most during my time at Wittenberg,” she said. “I love all of the faculty and staff in the department; they seem truly happy to be here and really want to help the students. Dr. Brookings, as my academic adviser, and Dr. Little, as my thesis adviser, have both been a great support to me in my two and a half years here, and I couldn't have done it without their help.”
Looking to advise those yet to attend Wittenberg, Merchak gives a shout-out to the close student-faculty relationships that develop at Wittenberg.
“I would tell a future student that he/she should attend Wittenberg because of the relationships students are able to form with professors,” Merchak said.
“Even outside of my department, I have been blown away by how much the professors on this campus really care about their students. For example, in my first semester here, I had Dr. Smith for an English class, and when I came to him to approve my honors thesis over a year later, he still remembered me by name and asked my how I was doing. That was an awesome experience that I don't think people get at bigger, more impersonal universities.”