Anderson, Indiana

Rachel Rush

Sat, 2012-04-28 23:50 -- batch_migrate

Alumni: Rachel Rush

I chose Anderson University for its communications program that focused on real-world experience. It was also important to me that I attend a Christian college. I chose public relations because I wanted to pursue a career that focused on writing and allowed for creativity.

The Communication Arts Department prepared me extremely well for my career, as well as for earning my master’s degree at American University in Washington, D.C. The journalism and public relations courses were tough, but made me a strong writer. I was surprised to find myself better-prepared for graduate coursework than some of my colleagues who attended big name and Ivy League schools.

Currently, I work at the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the Food and Nutrition Service, which manages the nation's food help and nutrition education programs such as SNAP, WIC, School Meals, MyPlate, and many more. My office manages outreach and partnerships. I have been part of strategic outreach planning and creating new partnerships. I also manage outreach publications such as brochures, event displays, and web content from concept through design.

Before my current job, I worked as an alumni and outreach specialist at AmeriCorps VISTA headquarters at the Corporation For National & Community Service. I also spent a year as a VISTA Volunteer at College Mentors For Kids in Indianapolis, where I served as the organization's first, full-time volunteer communications director. I also have written for AU's alumni magazine, Signatures, since 2004.

The most important goal I have for my career is to work in a cause-oriented organization, whether it be nonprofit or government. A key motivator for me is seeing how my work directly helps others. AU helped solidify this professional value in me.

At AU, I participated in a lot of activities, which made my college years very enjoyable and valuable. I spent a semester at the American Studies Program (ASP) in Washington, D.C., learning how to connect faith and public service. I also completed eight internships, including two members of Congress and Dateline NBC (D.C.). I also worked as a writer and editor of the Andersonian, competed in debate, and served in student senate.

Earning a communication degree at AU is a fantastic opportunity to be challenged academically and get real-world experience. The professors were helpful in allowing me to tailor projects to my professional interests. They also supported me in creating a network of communication alumni both in Indianapolis and Washington, D.C. I wouldn't be where I am professionally or personally without AU.

Rachel (Johnson) Rush
BA 2003, Anderson University
Communication Arts (public relations) and Bible major
Program analyst at USDA Food and Nutrition Service