From Our Director
Rachael Weldon-Caron is a highly experienced administrator with over 10 years’ experience in higher education as a TRIO Director for Talent Search and Student Support Services. As the current Director for Student Support Services (SSS) and Student Support Services STEM (SSS STEM), she provides coordination, implementation, direction, and evaluation of services related to the program’s goals and objectives as well as writing grant proposals. Prior to her work at Texas State University, she worked in Human Resource Management, Financial Management, Fiscal Management, Budget Development, Supervision and Staff Management and as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of her own non-profit. In addition, she authored and self-published two books, Secret Sins of the Heart, which chronicles her triumphant life’s journey from childhood to the present, and Life Beyond the Pain, a story of grief, faith, and love.
Rachael most notable qualities can be found in her authenticity, resiliency, honesty, vulnerability, and mentorship of students, staff, faculty, and friends. These attributes can be attributed to the values that have informed her career: Building authentic relationships through the acceptance of all individuals through affirmation and inclusiveness, engendering positivity through encouragement, support, development exploration with team members to help them advance their professional goals, demonstrating a strong work ethic through commitment to high quality work, professionalism, honesty, integrity, humility, and accountability, and promoting teamwork that builds trust, mitigates conflict, encourages communication, and increases collaboration to balance the strengths and weaknesses of individuals.
This is what people have said about Rachael:
“Through her recognition and encouragement of my skills, talents, and abilities, she has empowered me to develop a stronger sense of career identity in distinguishing between the kind of careers I would like to pursue and the kind of communities I would like to actively work towards uplifting.” Jasmine Flores, 2017 graduate
Rachael has always been there to patiently listen and share her wisdom. As I am completing my program, she is continuing to motivate me to critically think about what would help me towards my career goals.” Quynh-Huong N. Nguyen, 2018 Graduate
“It was difficult to understand how someone could survive so much loss in their life. Rachael’s mentoring has been invaluable in helping me understand that life can seem unsurmountable but if we press, we can endure anything.” Dr. Stella Silva, Assistant Vice President of Inclusive Excellence – Faculty & Staff Initiatives
“Rachael has also helped to mentor students on campus and her open-door policy has allowed many staff and students to receive guidance and professional growth making them more productive agents of change and educational access.” Ray Cordero, Upward Bound Director, Senior Director for TRIO programs
“This was a situation when a Rachael as a graduate student modeled how a faculty member was to interact with students of color. Through her role modeling.” “Being one of two women of color, and of a different generation and stage of life than many of the students in the class, could not have been easy. Yet Rachael neither shrank from sharing her story with the class, nor from the vulnerability of examining her own life. She was open about her many impressive accomplishments, as well as pain she has suffered, and she worked hard—on top of juggling work and family responsibilities—to make all this reflecting worthwhile for herself and others. She is truly a model for leading by example.” Dr. Hilary Lustik, Faculty
Rachael believes that turning challenges into triumphs is what life is all about. She is well respected in the department of Institutional Inclusive Excellence for student initiatives as one who takes the opportunity to share her personal and professional strategies for succeeding in life and developing a resiliency that comes from the courage to not give up. She is a huge fan of Rocky movies, because she says, the character taught her as a child to never give up and to have the courage to take on a fight even when it appears, you will lose. She adds, Rocky had the courage to fight which was the door to him fulfilling his destiny, which is the reason she believes Rocky’s story is her story.
Rachael has received several awards throughout her professional career however she holds in the highest regard the Muriel Muir Mentoring Award received for her mentorship of students, and staff, and the Outstanding Graduate Non-Traditional Student Award will enrolled in the Occupational Workforce Leadership Studies graduate program. She is currently enrolled in the Adult, Professional, Community, Education (APCE) doctoral program to pursue her doctorate in adult education. Her favorite quote is "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can choose to change the world." - Nelson Mandela