Rachael/Raquel Rich

Rachael/Raquel Rich, Research Coordinator


What is one project you’re excited about that you are working on in the lab right now?

I’m currently working on a side-project within the lab, using both HOME & DT data. (It’s 10x more hands-on than my senior thesis was, which is really really exciting for me!) I’m examining executive functioning, and how it may moderate the effect of pandemic-related stressors on psychopathology. (I.e. children with lower EF skills may show stronger relationships between stressors and psychopathology, while children with higher EF skills may have more of a buffer against this relationship). I also plan to look at SES & violence exposure in my analyses, (keeping the stress sensitization hypothesis in mind!) to see how either could potentially moderate my main hypothesis, as children exposed to violence, or who grew up in low-SES households prior to the pandemic, may experience more severe covid-related stressors/have a higher risk of psychopathology. I’m broadly interested in resilience factors for youth exposed to stress, trauma within the nuclear family, and early home environments, so i’m very grateful to work with data that capture my interests well. I’ll of course keep the lab updated on my analyses, and genuinely thank the many of you who have offered such kind, patient help to me. <3

What is something that you enjoy doing outside of work?

Definitely distance running...(but seriously pretty slow!) I used to run on the beach as the sun came up when I was a cranky 15 year old, and it certainly helped me in more ways than one. I love the freeing feeling of a good playlist, some time to myself, and a new place to explore. (When I first moved here that's how I found so many cool places to eat). I also like painting, sketching, or drawing things for others, and giving them as gifts with all my love/time/attention built in. I feel like I enjoy both of these hobbies because they bring me out of the craziness of life, and back to being centered in myself...even just for a little (;

What do you want to be when you “grow up”?

Just a person little Rach would be proud of. (:

What has made you the proudest in your time in the lab?

I think when I take a step back and look at our STAR team. (I've been trying to practice this a bit more; I think we're all guilty of working to get to the "next" stage in our lives, while ignoring the current one we worked so hard for!) We are really all just a group of 20-somethings finding our way in the world, but at the same time are so committed to this work, serious about absorbing as much as we can, and dedicated to the broader outcome of improving the lives of adolescents with psychopathology. There's so much promise and hope for all the different ways we can take our careers in research, and all the genuine, passionate plans we have as budding scientists. I really believe in our tiny little team!

Give us a snapshot of a moment of joy in your life.

My college graduation was virtual, but all my friends and I got together in my driveway and made our own commencement ceremony. It was silly and disorganized but it was beautiful and it was ours. We "walked" across a 10ft patch of grass when we called each others names, someone's dad volunteered to be our commencement speaker (with a cardboard box turned sideways as a podium!), another's mom printed us out "diplomas" she made from a Word Doc. I'm the first on my Hispanic side to graduate from college, so everybody really rallied to be there, squished in that tiny little driveway. (Seriously like...30 people). My abuela is 91 and about 4'10, but she stood out the most to me; I could just feel how proud she was even when I wasn't looking directly at her. She'd never hugged me that hard before. <3

If you could be anything (outside from your current field) what would it be?

I think maybe a Kayak tour guide through the nature portions of South Florida, where I'm from. Slowing down so you don't miss the mangroves and the manatees, and living in the present (on the beach if you can!) is just about as good as it gets.

Do you have any hidden talents? If so, what?

Distinguishing quickly between a work Slack message and a "There's Clover pita in the break room" message

See also: Rachael Rich