Rachel Langenfeld Physician Assistant Student Presbyterian CollegeRachel Langenfeld

PA Student
Class of 2022

Clemson University ’20
Major: Animal and Veterinary Sciences
Minor: Biological Sciences

What activities and organizations were you involved in as an undergraduate? 

In undergrad, I was a member of Clemson University’s first pre-health organization for future PAs, Paws for PA. The purpose of the club is to equip students for a career as a PA through information about networking with PAs, program requirements, and opportunities for healthcare experience. I was an officer and managed all social media platforms for the organization. The club created a community of students pursuing PA school that help each other succeed.

I was also a part of the Clemson Medical Education Development program. CMED was designed to give Clemson students access to a network of physicians and improve the caliber of students entering the medical field. Through the program I was able to shadow local physicians and gain exposure to various areas of medicine.

Additionally, I was a member of service organizations such as Gamma Sigma Sigma. GSS is a national service organization that promotes a lifelong commitment to service and diversity. Through this membership I volunteered with local nonprofits such as The LOT Project, Foothills Alliance Child-Center, and Anderson County PAWS. I participated in service with Karaoke for Cancer, Miracle Network Dance Marathon, Relay for Life, Operation Lifesaver, Helping Hands, and Project Linus. I fundraised and volunteered with national partners of the organization including Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, American Red Cross, M.A.D.D., and March of Dimes.

Besides working part time as an EMT with a local ambulance service, I also worked with Clemson Fire and EMS. I provided emergency medical care to crowds to ensure the safety of visitors, students, and staff during large venue athletic events such as football games in Clemson Memorial Stadium.

What did you do after you graduated? 

Once I graduated, I continued working part time with a local EMS company. When the number of coronavirus cases climbed, I moved to Greenville, S.C., and secured a full-time EMT position in order to make a greater impact. I worked closely with local hospitals and transported COVID positive patients on a daily basis.

If you’ve done any volunteer work, please list what you’ve done and where.

TL Hanna Wearable Art Exhibition (Anderson, S.C.): As an alumna, I participated in a wearable art show in order to help save the art program at my high school when funding was cut. Specifically, I painted jean jackets for auction. Through the efforts of the teachers, students and alumni, we raised roughly $3,500 per year through the show. This money was used to purchase art supplies for the students and provide community outreach programs in the Anderson Area.

Cookout for CASA (Clemson, S.C.): My organization, Kappa Alpha Theta, fundraised for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) by hosting a cookout at Clemson University. I raised money through selling tickets and auctioning items. Together we raised $23,562 for the foster kids in our community. This money funded the Friends of Pickens County Guardian Ad Litem’s Annual Back to School Heart and Sole Day. We provided 200+ local children with new clothes and shoes for the start of the school year.

Dance Marathon (Clemson, S.C.): Through GSS I volunteered with Clemson Miracle which is Clemson University’s largest student-run nonprofit. I painted a banner for their primary event, Dance Marathon. The goal of the event is to raise awareness and funds in order to help sick and injured children from our area. That year $230,759 was raised for the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, Prisma Health Upstate.

Donation Drive (Clemson, S.C.): Anderson County P.A.W.S. asked GSS for help with a donation drive to get supplies that they were running low on for the shelter.

Alzheimer’s Association (Clemson, S.C.): I partook in a fundraiser, through GSS, that provided funds to the Alzheimer’s Association. The association used the money to fund research and support families facing Alzheimer’s. Specifically, we hosted an event called First Survivor where Clemson University organizations participated in games and donations. I assisted with the construction of materials for the games and the donation basket.

Sam Rankin Day (Clemson, S.C.): Sam Rankin Day is a day of service held by GSS in honor of a member who passed away. The organizations involved included Adopt-AHighway, Alex’s Bake Sale, Pickens County Advocacy Center, Helping Hands, Relay for Life, the Salvation Army, Mauldin Miracle League, and others. I made dog toys to donate to a local animal shelter, Crossroads Animal Rescue.

Karaoke for Cancer (Clemson, S.C.): I participated in a fundraiser held at TD’s of Clemson called Karaoke for Cancer. Through GSS we sold tickets and raffle prizes. All of the funds went to the American Cancer Society.

How or why did you become involved in this volunteer work?

I became involved in this volunteer work primarily through organizations at Clemson. I wanted to be able to help and serve my local community beyond my time working as an EMT.

What are some of your hobbies or interests? 

Art has consistently remained a passion of mine. I have competed in local art exhibitions from a young age and continue to create pieces in my free time. I occasionally get commissioned to do paintings and drawings, primarily requests for people’s pets. I tremendously enjoy interpreting someone’s idea and bringing it to life for them on canvas.

Why do you want to be a PA? 

I possess a strong devotion to healthcare that stemmed from my exposure to EMS. I enjoyed the three years I worked in emergency medicine, interacting with numerous patients with high acuity or chronic conditions; however, I felt I was lacking a sense of connection with my patients due to the limited amount of time I treated them. I desire to obtain a more permanent position in their health along with a higher scope of practice. Through shadowing doctors with Clemson’s Medical Education Development program along PAs in various specialties I saw the PA profession was the perfect fit for me. Becoming a PA offers me the chance to further my clinical competency and work in collaboration with other providers like I did on the ambulance. Additionally, I value having the versatility to explore various areas of medicine and having the autonomy of making my own diagnoses.

Why did you choose the Presbyterian College PA Program? 

I believe it is imperative to have a sound foundation to succeed in a program of such rigor. Part of why I chose Presbyterian College is because of the program’s emphasis on integrity and service. Through my service organization at Clemson, I witnessed the direct positive impact I had on those around me and I desire to be at a school that will support me continuing this. Additionally, it is important to me to remain local. I have moved many times and have finally found a place I call home in upstate South Carolina. The connections I established have firmly rooted me with a support system that I believe will help me succeed in PA school. Attending this program allows me to remain and serve a community I have come to cherish.