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Pursuing a degree to make a difference 

By Clarke News  |  August 3, 2021

Like many incoming Clarkies, first-year student Rachel Haubert has spent her summer enjoying time with friends and family. Yet there is one family member in particular that has inspired her education and future career. 

Haubert’s younger sister Maddie has Sturge Weber Syndrome, a neurological disorder associated with abnormal blood vessels in the brain. For Maddie, it caused weakness on the right side of her body, cognitive impairment, and epileptic seizures. Seeing her sister go through years of medical appointments, treatments, and care has made Rachel want to pursue a career in physical therapy so she could help Maddie and others living with the physical strain of epilepsy. 

Although Maddie’s epilepsy has had a detrimental effect on her health, our family was fortunate enough to become connected with an amazing group of doctors and support systems that have helped Maddie overcome challenges and create a brighter future for her,” Haubert said. “I am dedicated to advancing research and awareness of the condition because I understand Maddie would not be where she is today without the current research on epilepsy. I strive to assist the expansion of research with hopes that it can be used to change the lives of all people diagnosed with epilepsy.

Haubert’s dedication to furthering epilepsy research and treatment has also received international recognition. She was one of 10 students from around the world named to the 2021 Education Enrichment Fund (EEF) Scholars, stemming from a partnership between Cure Epilepsy and Greenwich Biosciences. The program provides scholarships to students, with the hope that they will use their knowledge and skills to advocate epilepsy awareness and research. After scheduling both a virtual and in-person visit at Clarke University, Haubert felt it was the right place to help her advance this critical mission. 

“I had the opportunity to speak with the biology professors at Clarke during my virtual visit. It was evident to me that they all shared the same goal of helping their students grow academically and as a person too, which is something I truly appreciate,” Haubert said. “Most importantly, Clarke has a strong program for the profession I wish to pursue. Their 3+3 Doctor of Physical Therapy program allows students to complete graduate credit as an undergraduate — something that is very hard to come across. I could not be more confident about my decision, and I look forward to see what my future holds at Clarke.” 

Read Haubert’s scholarship-winning essay at