Rachel joined Hope College and the Frost Center for Data and Research in 2022. Previously, she served as a faculty member and BSW program director in the Department of Sociology & Social Work at Calvin University (2009–2022). During her tenure at Calvin, Rachel regularly taught the Social Research and Social Science Statistics courses and engaged in community-based research and evaluation with numerous organizations, such as Family Futures, Gilda’s Club, the Eastown Community Association and Treetops Collective. Rachel has served as external evaluator on local projects, such as the Westside Collaborative’s evaluation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and on national projects, such as a faith-based childcare study with the Center for Public Justice.

Rachel’s area of research focuses on gendered violence and institutional responses, such as law enforcement response to reported sexual assaults and university responses to sexual violence. Rachel engages in both qualitative and quantitative research and enjoys working with undergraduate students on projects. 

At Hope, Rachel serves as the Director of Surveys and Research, partnering in research and evaluation activities with the college and non-profit, for-profit and government organizations.


  • Ph.D., Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2013
  • MSW, University of Michigan, 2005
  • BSW, Calvin College, 2004


  • Journal of Social Work Education Best Teaching Note published in JSWE in 2019. Recognized at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting, 2020.
  • Outstanding Thesis Award for 2013–2014, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Graduate Awards Committee, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences, 2013.
  • Alice Dan Dissertation Award, Center for Research on Women and Gender, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2012.



Rachel spends time outside work chasing after two young children, thinking about future house projects, and enjoying her walkable Eastown neighborhood in Grand Rapids.

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