Rachel DeVries ’97, MA '21

Rachel DeVries ’97 decided to pursue a graduate degree in special education at Trinity so she could better her understanding of the special education field. “I am working in this department at Illiana Christian High School in Dyer, Ind.,” she said. “In order to be able to relate to my students with a greater sense of who they are and what they face on a daily basis, pursuing this degree was the route that I felt best to take.”

DeVries also earned her bachelor’s degree from Trinity, in Elementary Education. “As an undergrad, I had an excellent experience with my Education professors and that program. Going anywhere else was actually, not an option, in my opinion,” she said. “I enjoyed my Education Psychology class as an undergrad with Dr. Colosimo. I also enjoyed equally my Intro to Special Education class with Dr. Rudenga,” she said. “These are Godly, Godly women who teach God throughout their classes, model what it means to be a Christian teacher whether in a private or public school setting, and just women who I look up to still to this day. I cannot say enough about these two role models in my life.”

Balancing school and work can be challenging, DeVries said. “I desire to do the very best in both my place of employment and what my professors expect of me. I actually am probably my own worst critic,” she said with a smile. “I feel that the greatest challenge is also finding time for myself to do what I enjoy doing, along with spending quality time with my husband and our two children.”

She encourages everyone who is considering a graduate degree to go for it, regardless of age. “When you are young, you have time and youth on your side,” she said. “When you are older like me, you have experience on your side. Anytime is a great time to do this!”