Rachel Waford wins Guy Stevenson Award

Rachel Waford wins Guy Stevenson Award

Rachel Waford receiving the Guy Stevenson award at the December 2013 graduation ceremony

Rachel Waford is the winner of The Guy Stevenson Award for Excellence in Graduate Studies, which honors a former Graduate Dean. The Stevenson Award is presented to a doctoral degree recipient who excels in scholarship, leadership, and other areas within his or her discipline.

Rachel Waford is a native Kentuckian, was schooled in Kentucky from elementary through graduate school and is a fan of all things Cardinal. She obtained a BA and an MA from Western Kentucky University and worked for two years in a neurodevelopmental science lab, after which she was admitted into the graduate clinical training program at the University of Louisville. While at the University of Louisville, Rachel has been what is known as a “triple threat” in baseball. She is an outstanding therapist, engages in rigorous clinical science, and is an exemplary professional citizen.

Her scholarship has exemplified the scientist-practitioner model in the identification of a clinical problem exhibited by a hospitalized psychiatric patient, use of research tools to develop an innovative research program, and applying the results of the research to suggest a unique intervention for thought disorder in schizophrenia. Rachel’s clinical skills are exemplary, especially noteworthy given the patient population with whom she works- individuals with severe mental illness. As one of her clinical supervisors noted, “What sets Rachel apart from many trainees is her ability to combine her outstanding clinical and interpersonal skills into a therapy style that is natural to who she is. She is one of the most genuine therapists I have supervised in 20+ years”.

Whether as teaching assistant, graduate student representative, organizer of graduate school applicant interviews, “hallway mentor”, or clinician, Rachel received consistently outstanding reviews. It is not a coincidence that, despite many earlier attempts by others, Rachel was the first one to organize the clinical graduate students into an informal brown bag series during which they present their research.

Now in her final phase of professional training, Rachel completed her clinical internship at Harvard’s Massachusetts Mental Health Center/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, this being the second Rachel Waford in the United States. She is now a postdoctoral fellow at Emory University.