Rachel Stanley

Able. Inclusive. Passionate.

“Try and find out what your passion is and how you can work that into your experience at Ripon.
“Try and find out what your passion is and how you can work that into your experience at Ripon."

I feel like there is a place for most everyone’s passions here. There’s so much going on. Put a little time into finding your place, and you’ll do very well here.

I’ve been working with the Queer-Straight Alliance and was just elected for the public relations position for that. I’ve also had an internship through the Center for Social Responsibility, and I'm working in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. I just always had an interest in social justice work because of my interest in psychology and understanding people. It seems natural to me to try to better society and make the campus more inclusive in whatever ways I can.

A lot of people want to learn more about inclusivity. They seem to appreciate the work that we do so they are able to learn more and grow in their understanding.

"Ripon is really a cool, safe and comfortable place for me."

I have dysautonomia, a nervous system disorder that affects the heart rate, blood pressure, chronic fatigue, which is why I use my wheelchair. I also have some sensory processing difficulties and can’t handle a lot of sounds all at once. It’s been nice to be somewhere that’s generally quiet and not big and loud all the time.

I am interested in psychology because I want to do something where I can actively be involved in helping people. I heard about how good Ripon’s psychology program is and how hands-on some of the different projects and research are.

I want to go into psychiatric social work and would like to work with children with disabilities. I am considering a self-designed double major in disability studies because that’s the population I want to work with.


Ripon's Center for Diversity and Inclusion is a dedicated space where we envision saliency in one’s identity will always be respected and where students are able to find community building and congregation with peers of like or shared experience based on their cultural identity.

"Professors do have high expectations for your work, but they're impossible to reach. It’s the right level of challenge.”

The variety of classes available and the quality of them has been really cool. I always feel like I’m learning things, and classes are taught in a way that I understand and find useful.

Papers and projects in my classes have been pretty interesting. I read autobiographies by people with mental illnesses. It helps me understand mental illness and psychology in general in a less clinical aspect. Their perception of what they’re experiencing can be very different from what the clinicians are experiencing.


Rachel is a first-generation college student. Her disability prevents her from working more than six hours a week, so paying for college is a challenge. Like many students, Rachel received a generous financial aid package to make her Ripon education affordable. She also received assistance through the Wisconsin Talent Incentive Program. The program has grants available for needy first-generation students. The Ripon College Student Support Services, a federally funded United States Department of Education TRIO program,  provides academic, personal and career services for students who are first-generation, lower-income or physically or learning disabled.