Staff Spotlight · Thoughts from Counselors

Staff Spotlight – Rachel Onishi

My name is Rachel Onishi, and I have had the joy of working as an Academic Counselor since Fall of 2015. However, my journey with the TECHniques Center began my junior year of college, Fall of 2013, when I became a tutor in the program! Tutoring quickly became much more than a job. I discovered the privilege of being a part of growth in the lives of others. At the time, it even moved me to change my focus of study to Human Sciences with a minor in Psychology. Four years later, I am daily reminded of the beautiful complexity of life as I get to come alongside brilliant students and watch them uncover the ways they are uniquely gifted.

A young woman sits in a cave, smiling

Many are surprised to learn that, although I was born on US soil, my roots run deep into the heart of Venezuela. I grew up in Maracaibo, Zulia, graduating from an entirely Spanish-speaking high school. I am Latina at my core. Despite the initial culture shock, Lubbock, Texas quickly became home during my undergraduate years. I am so glad I chose to stay within the Red Raider family as a professional.

A little bit about me:

I am passionate about countries, cultures, and the people that embody them. I plan to travel to as many countries as possible throughout my lifetime. I have loved adventuring in Brazil, Spain, El Salvador, Ecuador, Mexico, and the ABC Islands. When I go “home” to be with family for the holidays, I fly to San Jose, Costa Rica.

A dad, 2 daughters, and one son (all grown up) stand together smiling at a football game.

I love learning, about people and from books. I am always down for any sort of adventure or road trip. I appreciate good food, good coffee, and good music. I have recently discovered I enjoy yoga because it’s not running. When I’m not at the TECHniques Center, you can find me somewhere in the sun, with friends, or curled up with cup of coffee and a book.

I love working as a Senior Academic Counselor, because it allows me to forget myself for most of the day, as I pour all my ability into cultivating growth in students and tutors. There is something beautiful about self-forgetfulness, for the sake of others, and I am glad to call it my job.

Academic Counseling Philosophy

My goal as an academic counselor is to create a dynamic partnership founded on mutual trust that works to uncover the student’s personal “why,” which in-turn informs how I will work to empower them to walk out the “how.” Through critical listening and motivational interviewing I seek to strengthen both my students’ and tutors’ resolve towards holistic well-being. I provide practical resources and encourage goal setting, boundaries, and healthy patterns that flow into an ever-evolving course of independent action. I am intentional with presenting challenging truth because I believe that it sets people free to grow and accurately define their self-construct. The constant undercurrent to my practice is unconditional positive regard. Students and tutors will leave my office feeling known and empowered.

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