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Rachel Duncan, academic advisor in industrial and systems engineering

Staff Spotlight: Rachel Duncan

Rachel Duncan serves as the academic advisor for Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. She is available to assist students with course selection, career opportunities, and experience learning opportunities and also supports the department with recruitment efforts and curriculum discussions.

A stop by Duncan’s office can be fortifying to students or colleagues who might feel peckish or need a pick-me-up.

“I keep snacks in my office,” she said. “Other than that, I consider myself a good listener and encourager.”

Duncan was raised in Hendersonville, Tennessee, and spent a short two years in Cincinnati before finding her favorite homeplace in Knoxville. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Middle Tennessee State University. She has experience as an advisor in both her professional and personal background.

“I worked as an academic advisor at the University of Cincinnati before being a stay-at-home mom,” said Duncan. “I’m glad to return to working with college students.”

While being a stay-at-home mom, she worked for short periods of time for the Helen Ross McNabb Center, Fountain City United Methodist Church. She loved years of volunteering at her children’s elementary schools and with the Fountain City Mothers of PreSchoolers group.

“Believe it or not, there are a lot of similarities between working with preschoolers and elementary age students and working with college students,” she said.

Off-campus, Duncan loves bargain-hunting and diving into social occasions.

“I love parties and celebrations,” said Duncan. “I can think of a reason to celebrate most anything any day.”

She most often celebrates time spent with husband Andrew and their children, Natalie (16), Matthew (13), and Kate (7).

“I am proud of my husband, who serves at Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church as the Director of Choral Ministry and also as the Assistant Director of the Knoxville Choral Society,” she said. “I’m also extra proud of my three kids. They are my favorite people in the world.”