Rachel Shaw '24 | Chair of the Board Scholar

Rachel Shaw '24

"My favorite thing about a small school environment is getting to build such a strong relationship with the many teachers, and I am grateful to each and every one of them."



  • Communication Arts (B.A.)


  • English & Communication Arts

Rachel Shaw ’24 is a Chair of the Board Scholar and recent graduate from Hood College, earning a B.A. in communication arts. She was active in SGA, student council, Hood College Choir, the Blue and Grey student newspaper, Wisteria Magazine and Hood College Theatre. She currently works as a social media manager for Coast Social Management. In the conversation below, Shaw discusses her time at Hood and shares advice for incoming students.

Tell us where you’re from originally and share a bit about your background before college.

I’m originally from Hagerstown, Maryland, and I went to Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, where I studied vocal music. I was involved in all sorts of student organizations, including National Honors Society, Tri-M Honors Society, environmental club, pride club and school musicals every spring.

Why did you decide to attend Hood College and how did you become interested in your major?

The main reason I chose Hood was that it was my most affordable option, but it was also great that it is so close to home, since I had a niece born the summer before my freshman year. I first became interested in communications during my senior year of high school, when I visited the now closed Newseum in Washington, D.C. It was the first time I had really thought about working in mass media, and I was instantly hooked to the idea.

How has receiving the Chair of Board Scholarship benefited you?

The Chair of the Board Scholarship is easily the most incredible opportunity I’ve been given. Now that I’ve graduated, it is really sinking in how fortunate I am to leave college debt free and how that has allowed me the privilege of getting to experience college without the underlying fear and weight of financial insecurity. It’s not lost on me that not many people in America get to say that, and I am so grateful every single day for the freedom that has provided me. Not only that, but the Chair of the Board Scholarship made it significantly easier for me to study abroad in Sydney, Australia, which was an absolutely life-changing experience. I’ve always loved traveling and experiencing different cultures, but taking a plane ride halfway around the world and getting to live there for more than three months really puts things in a wider perspective and makes you believe that anything in life is possible.

What is your proudest achievement during your time at Hood?

My proudest achievement during my time at Hood has absolutely been being a part of the renaissance of Hood College Theatre. Our first show post-COVID had pretty small audiences, maybe 15 people at most at each showing, so the following semester we were not mentally prepared for the massive crowd of people that had shown up. It was a full house every night, and a few times we even had people sitting on the floor. At the time, there were probably less than 10 students involved in the program, and now we have a whole crew of actors, tech crew and stage managers, and the program only grows every school year. My best memories from college have been with this program, so to see how quickly we’ve grown both in size and support has been so hugely inspiring.

What are your plans for the future?

I will be spending a few more months in my hometown before moving out to Hawaii in the fall to live with my partner. I will continue working remotely as a social media manager for Coast Social Management and hopefully find many other opportunities to work, create art and travel.

Do you have any advice to offer newly admitted Hood students?

My biggest piece of advice to incoming Hood students would be to get to know your professors. My favorite thing about a small school environment is getting to build such a strong relationship with the many teachers, and I am grateful to each and every one of them. They care about your life and wellbeing as much as your education, and getting to know them has been one of the best parts of my college experience.