March 14, 2013
Meet the Interim Director of Marketing, Communications, Development, Planning and Information Technology in the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences. LaRachelle S. Smith, a Prairie View A&M University alumnus from the College of Engineering, started her career almost 20 years ago in the aerospace industry. While working as a Systems Design Engineer, she amassed a wealth of experience controlling processes and developing systems while working in manufacturing and later on NASA’s International Space Station program with The Boeing Company.
Always enthusiastic about learning new things, she pursued her passion mid-career in the field of information technology becoming a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) subsequently choosing to work in the medical research industry. LaRachelle imparted her analytical skills to assist Baylor College of Medicine garner millions of dollars in research funding.
LaRachelle knew from the moment she walked across the graduation stage in the Baby Dome at Prairie View A&M, she would one day return to campus to give back to the institution that afforded her the opportunity to enjoy such a rewarding career. In preparation for her return, she enriched her career in various ways. First, she joined the faculty at ITT Technical Institute in 2003 as an adjunct faculty member in the Computer Design and Drafting Department where she assisted more than 300 students begin their own careers in drafting and design and performed the role of Interim Department Chair.
Teaching was only part of the goal of preparation. In the spirit of entrepreneurship, LaRachelle has been a proprietor and partner. A yearning for independence led her in business for herself operating an online catering service, a web development company and finally an e-commerce website selling shoes and accessories to a worldwide market.
In order to refine her marketing skills, she matriculated through an MBA program and graduated just before accepting a position with the Cooperative Extension Program (CEP) at Prairie View A&M in 2008. Excited about the idea of finally achieving a major milestone in her career, she vigorously worked as a Web Content Associate to help the College increase its online visibility and implemented several innovative ideas that included podcasting, blogging and social media activities. In recent years, she has worked extensively in community and economic development providing guidance to CEP clients as a business development specialist.
What most may not know about LaRachelle is that she speaks Spanish. Originally from San Antonio, TX, she has always had an affinity for the Latino culture and the language. In the spring of 2011, she participated in a cultural immersion program in the Dominican Republic living amongst the natives and enhancing her experiences internationally.
LaRachelle believes in the vision set forth by the administration in the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences. As an alumnus, her passion for the university runs deep. She is ready and enthusiastic about doing her part as a team player to move the College toward higher heights because she knows, quoting Prairie View’s esteemed President, George C Wright, “The best is yet to come”.