Alumni-Athlete Spotlight

Rachel Hearn received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from NMU in 2007 and was a member of the Weightlifting team from 2003 – 2007.

Former resident weightlifting athelete Rachel Hearn headshot

What was your favorite memory of being at NMU?

I spent a full four years at NMU, so there are many great memories!

The impactful and amazing speakers that NMU brought to campus, including Sarah Weddington, Debbie Stabenow, Angela Davis, Edward James Olmos, Bart Stupak, Carl Levin, Jeff Corwin, Morgan Spurlock, Hal Sparks, musician Jason Mraz, to name only a few.

Working as a NMU Student-employee as front desk supervisor at Meyland Hall, living in the Meyland Hall dorms, snowball fights while walking to class in the snow, NMU Air band competitions, reading the Northwind, the US Short-track Speedskating World Cup, NMU Lake Superior Beach clean-up and volunteering in the Marquette community that so avidly supports the USOEC/ NMU Olympic Training Site athletes, and of course Wildcat Hockey.

What is your favorite memory of being in the weightlifting program?  

Training in the NMU Superior Dome state of the art facilities with my teammates, the annual NMU Olympic Challenge where the NMU Alumni and student body showed such amazing support to our program; and representing the USOEC and NMU at the Collegiate Nationals and World University Championships in France and Peru.

What advice would you give a freshman athlete entering the NMU Olympic Training Site program?

Use a day planner (or phone planner application) to chart out your entire semester training schedule, recovery schedule, class schedule, assignments, competition travel, midterm /final schedule; and make time for your academic advisors, NMU speakers, recreational activities, and clubs. Being a NMU Olympic Training Site Athlete will prepare you for the professional world where you will have the competitive advantage thanks to your balancing elite sport and academics.  Balance is key to absorbing the most from your NMU Olympic experience.  In Olympic Weightlifting, if you do not maintain good balance, you will not successfully complete the lifts, as in life you must maintain balance to attain success.

What have you been up to since leaving NMU?

After graduation in 2007, I was invited back to the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center to train for the 2008 Olympic Trials. I placed top 15 in the nation but did not make the 2008 Olympics in Beijing China.  I began my professional career using my Bachelors of Science Degree in Business from NMU, as a Physician Recruiter for Spectrum Healthcare resources, where many of the things I learned at NMU and the USOEC contributed to my success.  In 2009 I was elected as an Athlete Director on the USA Weightlifting Board of Directors, where I served for two years, helping to rewrite the sports By-laws, National Coaching, and CEO Selection criteria, served on the selection committees and contributed to hiring both the CEO, and the current national coach in Colorado Springs.  I retired from competing, continued to volunteer coach, relocated and worked for the Hyatt Regency Savannah for a number of years in my hometown, and in 2012 returned to my post collegiate profession of recruiting with the USOC Partner Adecco Staffing, where I am currently a top performing member of the Recruitment Center for Excellence team.   Currently I am also pursuing my MBA with the Devry Keller Graduate School of Management, again thanks to the USOC partnership and the writing and business skills I obtained while pursuing my undergraduate degree at the USOEC NMU program.

I accepted an invitation in the fall of 2013 from National and Pam American Games weightlifting team member Jackie Berube Black, to return to Colorado Springs to resume volunteer coaching for her team Pinnacle Weightlifting, where I hope to contribute to the community and other Olympic hopefuls.  

Anything else you want to add?

The NMU Olympic Training Site gives student athletes the unique experience and rewards of participating at one of the top Universities in the nation, experiencing the collegiate environment, while training and competing at an elite and Olympic level. I feel privileged to be a NMU USOEC graduate!

Go Wildcats!