Rachel McGinnis

Bachelor of Science (concentrations: women’s studies, public policy, psychology)



Rachel E. McGinnis learned early how important a multidisciplinary approach was in her career field.

After graduating from Perry High School, Rachel thought that her passion for affecting grassroots change and improving human rights could be accomplished through hard work alone.  But she saw that passion alone can lead to a narrow approach to problem-solving.  She quickly learned that social problems required multiple skills and the ability to see issues from multiple perspectives.

After graduating from Monroe Community College with honors in 2003, Rachel enrolled in RIT’s BS in Applied Arts and Science degree program in what was then called the Center for Multidisciplinary Studies. Her concentrations in women’s studies, public policy and psychology were strategically designed to provide her with the critical thinking skills needed to address issues in the areas of genocide, sexual violence and conflict. Before graduating in 2005, she won the Rochester Area Colleges Association’s Outstanding Adult Student award, the same award she won at MCC.

After completing her masters in Service Leadership and Innovation at RIT, Rachel was accepted into Nova Southeastern University’s PhD program in Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

“I was told that my multidisciplinary approach to my studies at RIT was one of the reasons I was accepted into the program,” Rachel said.

In May, 2015, Rachel received her PhD and is now an adjunct faculty member at RIT and MCC as well as the submissions editor for The Journal of Interdisciplinary Conflict Science and the executive secretary of the International Network of Genocide Scholars. Her work has taken her to Ireland, Northern Ireland, Italy, Jordan and Lebanon.

Rachel proudly points out that her daughter is a CMS (now SOIS) graduate and sees that she also has learned to see that “although there may be one issue there are many parts to it.”



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