Rachel Whiteside


Tribe: Narragansett Indian Tribe, RI

Hometown: Washington DC

Degree(s) received from WSU, and major and/or minor: Bachelors of Social Sciences with my primary concentration being Anthropology and my secondary concentration History

Why did you choose WSU? I originally chose WSU because of their communications major but my first semester there as a transfer I took an Anthropology class and I fell in love with that major and what Anthropology covers so I switched.

What did you enjoy most about being a WSU student? The Native Center at WSU definitely was my favorite part of WSU, Faith and Joelle and Shana. The center made it very friendly and home like and reminded me of my old college Haskell Indian Nations University.

What activities/programs were you involved with while at WSU? While at WSU, I think the most activities I participated in were the events held by the Native Center such as celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day and attending First Friday Feeds.

Did any particular WSU program make an impact in your success as a student? With the help of the Native Center and their free printing to all Native students was probably my favorite part about WSU. Printing is expensive and being an upper class student I have to write a lot of papers.

What was your biggest challenge to achieving your education and how did you overcome it? My biggest challenge was my advisor leaving mid-semester and not knowing who was there to help me. By asking an advisor in my major’s department, I was able to explain my situation and she was able to help me and still be able to graduate on time.

What are your future plans? My future plan is to hopefully attend grad school. I would definitely like to continue my path with anthropology. My career end game is to be a curator in a museum or to restore historical landmarks. I am hoping to apply to the University of William and Mary or the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

What advice would you give a freshman? My advice is to make sure your advisor is end game. That they aren’t there to just get paid and do the bare minimum. I’ve seen some good and bad advisors and the good ones are the ones who are committed to helping you achieve your goals and not belittle you. I would also take huge advantage of the writing center at the CUE and ALWAYS talk to your professor if you’re confused.