Rachel Happeny

Rotary Student of the Month (May 2014)

Prior to pursuing her higher education, Rachel and her husband owned a local skateboard shop in Coeur d’Alene. They loved the opportunity the business gave them to be involved in the surrounding communities’ youth and were proud to sponsor a local skate team. Changes in the market led them to the decision to change directions and close their shops doors. They were sad to leave the business world behind but very excited about the new opportunities that awaited them. After the business closed Rachel decided it was the perfect opportunity to pursue a career she had always dreamed of, working outdoors.

Growing up in Coeur d’Alene helped to develop Rachel’s deep appreciation for the outdoors. What started as a love for outdoor recreation, ended in a mission to preserve and care for the resources that provided many of her favorite memories. Rachel really wanted to get involved with water management and sought out her education at the University of Idaho (U of I) because they offered a great Environmental Science Bachelors program that allowed her to focus on Hydrology. After graduating with her Bachelors in August of 2012, Rachel decided to continue her education at U of I and obtain her Professional Science Master’s (PSM) on the Ecohydrology track. She chose this degree because it encompassed her business knowledge, love for natural resource management, and hydrology. Rachel also put a lot of focus on obtaining her GIS certificate and has become very proficient at using GIS and several add-in software programs for GIS. Rachel obtained her GIS certificate in August of 2012 and will graduate with her PSM in May of 2014.

Rachel is blessed with two young children, now 2 and 3 years old. Rachel has a great appreciation for moms who return to school and understands the determination it takes to raise a family, go to school, and work full time. She is a big supporter of U of I’s Coeur d’Alene program, because it allowed her to do almost all of her courses online giving her a flexible schedule and the ability to work full time for the USDA Forest Service. Rachel has worked as a student intern for the Forest Service since 2012 and is hoping to find a permanent position with a natural resource management agency or organization after graduation

Chris Dixon, advisor for the UI Environmental Science program, says “Rachel has managed to complete an online undergrad degree and then go on to a master’s degree with tons of hard work and persistence. She works hard, never complains and has met every necessary requirement with good will and great intelligence. She is a very strong student and her character and determination make me confident in the future!”

Rachel Happeny

Env. Sci. Student

May 2014 Rotary Student of the Month More