While a doctoral student, Rachel, along with her mentor Liliana Goldin, co-published Behind Maya Doors: Modeling gender violence, acceptance, and resistance in highland Guatemala. In the spring and summer of 2013, Rachel lived in Costa Rica so she could conduct research for her dissertation. Her research focused on the life histories of poor mothers in Costa Rica who had an unintended pregnancy in adolescence. Part of her research was funded by the Diane Greenstein Memorial fellowship award, which is awarded each year to a doctoral candidate with an exemplary dissertation proposal. In May 2015 Rachel was selected as the doctoral student speaker at the Silver School of Social Work graduation.