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Faculty & Staff Spotlight: Rachel Barone, UNT System

Faculty & Staff Spotlight: Rachel Barone, UNT System

Rachel joined UNT World three years ago, but only began her current role as Board Coordinator at UNT System in January. As if starting a new position during a pandemic isn't stressful enough, staring right back at her was the February 2021 Board of Regents meeting, her first event to handle operation solo. "I could barely sleep the night before the meeting," she recalled. Click the button below to see how all that turned out. Meanwhile, this wife and mother of a 5-year-old daughter and a fluffy Goldendoodle has a favorite country to visit where staple dishes are whale and fermented shark -- guess which one she spit out?! Also a lover of the vast Texas landscape, Rachel and her family have become quite the explorers of the Lone Star State during quarantine.

Q&A

What is your favorite aspect of your job?
My boss, Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs and Student Success, Rosemary Haggett, is a rock star and has taught me skills that will benefit me for the rest of my career. I always feel valued and supported in my role, and that’s not something that happens everywhere. Also, I get to work with some amazing colleagues from all over UNT World—I truly love my job.

What employee benefit or activity would you like to see added to UNT World?
I really respect the benefits package provided to employees, so it’s hard to think of something I’d add. But, if they wanted to give employees free Starbucks for life, I would not say no!

What is your proudest work moment?
We recently went through a transition in our office and I took on the Board Coordinator role in January 2021. The February 2021 Board meeting was my first meeting where I was handling the meeting operations solo. I could barely sleep the night before the meeting and was a ball of nerves the morning of the meeting. However, I’m happy to say that the meeting was a success, and I feel really confident in my work moving forward.

What is your proudest non-work moment?
I have a 5-year-old daughter named Safia, who is the light of my life. I watch her and how she effortlessly navigates issues that grown adults sometimes struggle with and I’m inspired to be the best human I can be. I’m proud to be her momma and I look forward to watching her blossom.

What is a fact about you that may surprise your colleagues?
I didn’t learn to drive until I was 25. My dad wasn’t a fan of kids having a license at 16 and I moved around after graduating high school at 17. I even lived in England for a year while pursuing my Masters at age 22, so driving wasn’t a priority until it was time for me to go back to work after having my daughter. I will say that I found driving to be easy and I barely practiced before passing my driver's exam. I credit that to being the best backseat driver that ever was—just kidding.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE...
Book?:
 Germinal by Émile Zola. This novel is about the coal mining riots in France during what was considered France’s third wave of revolution in the 19th century. It’s not what I would consider a happy novel, but it is rich in lessons about humanity.
Place to visit?: Iceland. I visited in September 2014 and loved the whole experience. Iceland is a beautiful country and the people are as sweet as can be. I even tried whale and fermented shark, which are two staple dishes. The whale was delicious and pretty similar to steak, but I’ll pass on fermented shark in the future (I spit it right out!).
Hobby?: My husband and I have hiked in multiple countries, and many states, but Texas is by far the best. It’s beautiful how the landscape changes from north to south, east to west. We made the most of quarantine by taking our daughter on as many hikes as possible. Oh, and we always include our goldendoodle, Pluto!