PEAC Director leaves

By The Elm - Nov 08,2018@10:34 am

edited.RachelBoyle_RebeccaKanaskieBy Lori Wysong

News Editor

Rachel Boyle, director of the Prevention, Education and Advocacy Center (PEAC) at Washington College, is moving on to become the Child Advocacy Coordinator for Kent County Social Services. 

According to the WC website, PEAC aims to “collaborate and support students, student organizations, campus departments, staff and faculty in providing campus-wide programs aimed to connect and encourage wellness, healthy relationships, and healthy choices.” 

Boyle, who has been at WC for 18 years, said that her path here “guided me in some ways,” to this new position, and ultimately left her “with an interest in empowering young people to effectively make decisions that are in their best interests around their lives.”

Boyle started her WC career in a different position of mentorship by working as a coach. 

“She was my assistant field hockey coach for a couple of years in the early 2000s and then, when I moved over to Student Affairs, Rachel was a natural selection to take over as the head coach,” said Vice President and Dean of Students, Sarah Feyerherm. 

Boyle left coaching at the end of the 2016 season to step into another position, which led her to become director of PEAC. Boyle said that being PEAC director has allowed her to expand upon her role of guidance as a coach.

“I think that often times, when you’re in a team atmosphere, you can lose sight of the skillsets that are developed and the natural ability of collaborative thought,” she said.

However, Boyle sees a clear link between coaching and the work she currently does with PEAC.

“I think I’m very proud of the ability that I’ve had to utilize my creative interests and instill certain initiatives, both as a coach and then as the director of PEAC, to impact students,” Boyle said. 

Boyle is proud of the programs she has begun as PEAC director, which include resources meant to educate students on topics such as substance abuse and healthy relationships. 

“I think I’ve been able to do that in a way that has allowed connections to happen, which is at the forefront of my overall philosophy of life — that life’s about relationships that you build, “she said.

Feyerherm said that Boyle “is a wonderful human being with a big heart and has the ability to connect with students in a way that they know she truly cares about them. Coupled with a great work ethic, she’s always been someone that you can rely on to do good work and to treat others with respect.”

“I’m proud of the fact that I can walk the campus and have had ongoing connections that have been made cross-departmentally with multiple students from all different sections,” Boyle said.

Once Boyle leaves, Sarah Tansits, assistant director of student engagement, will step in to fill the role of Coordinator of the Sexual Assault Response and Advocacy Team, one of the most critical functions of Boyle’s job.

As for the other tasks she currently performs, Boyle does not know how they will be distributed, or what the future of PEAC will be, but said, “I’m hopeful that I’ve been able to leave a very clear guide,” and left “initiatives someone can build off of.” 

Feyerherm believes that Boyle’s personality and spirit will be difficult to replace as well. 

“I will miss many things about Rachel [Boyle] when she leaves: her great sense of humor, a passion for helping other people, and the fact that she is completely genuine. She’s a true unsung hero of WC,” she said. 

“I hope that my time here was impacting to the people I crossed paths with,” Boyle said.

The Elm

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