- Psychology (Social & Cognitive Neuroscience)
Brown enters the final semester of her Harvard career with a 3.513 GPA as a psychology concentrator. As a junior, Brown was named to the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District first team, and was one of two Harvard softball players to receive Academic All-Ivy League accolades. Brown was also named an NFCA All-Academic selection and helped Harvard earn team All-Academic accolades, registering one of the top GPAs on the squad.
“Rachel competes with the highest level of integrity,” says Harvard softball head coach Jenny Allard. “She is a true sportsman, respecting the skills and talents of her competitors.” Brown’s mettle was tested on the mound when, after absorbing a tough loss to league rival Cornell in the 2010 Ivy Championship game, she was pitted against the Big Red in the 2011 final. She responded by throwing a shutout in Game 1 and recording the save in Game 2 to lead the Crimson to the league title. After being passed over by many coaches as a recruit during high school, one of her many sent letters caught the eye of coach Jenny Allard, and Brown was recruited to come to Harvard the summer before her senior year, which is late by recruiting standards. She carries this humble work ethic with her in every practice and contest, something her teammates saw in voting her as team captain this season.
Brown has been a consistent teacher of softball to young athletes in New England and beyond. She has volunteered at numerous camps and clinics hosted by the Crimson. As a sophomore at Harvard, Brown was involved in the community service program REACH, which is a mentoring program for children with special needs involving sports and art projects. She and her teammates are also active with the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, and lead a self-defense program for local at-risk teenage girls. Brown also serves as a peer adviser at Harvard, helping freshmen transition to the rigors of the Ivy League. During her high school years, Brown served as the head coordinator of the Youth Umpire Program, where she trained and scheduled umpires for her local softball league. As her coach puts it, “She really believes in the notion of ‘pay it forward’.”
Through only three seasons of competition, Brown is the most decorated pitcher in the history of Harvard softball. A three-time All-Ivy League first team selection, Brown was tabbed league Rookie of the Year in 2009 and Pitcher of the Year in 2011. She also earned All-Region honors last season. During her junior year, Brown broke school season records in strikeouts (291), strikeouts per game (11.4), wins (21) and games started (26). She also led the Ivy League in strikeouts, earned runs average (1.90), wins and opposing batting average (.181), and broke the Ivy record for strikeouts in a season. For her career, she has been named league pitcher of the week on eight separate occasions.