Competitive by nature, Rachel Wolters always has loved to push herself, be it in sports or school. While she enjoys the academic challenges she’s found as a Blugold majoring in chemistry with a business emphasis, she’s also enjoying the opportunities to push herself that she’s discovered outside her studies. Just weeks into her freshman year, Rachel discovered the university’s rock-climbing wall and was immediately hooked. After just a few months, she was not only climbing regularly but hired by the Environmental Adventure Center to work at the rock wall, a job she’s continued throughout her years as a Blugold. Through the friends she made at the climbing wall, she soon added yet another passion, this time backpacking. By her junior year, she was leading backpacking trips to the Porcupine Mountains, as well as working as the co-team lead at the rock wall, and working at the Eagle View Challenge course on campus. She competes in the Wisconsin Indoor Climbing Series, a spring competition that includes other UW schools that have climbing gyms. And she’s trying to start a climb team, called “Eau Climbers.” While Rachel enjoyed the competitive sports she played in high school, she loves that climbing offers a different kind of competition: Since climbing is an individual sport — it’s you versus the rock — everyone cheers for any climber who makes it to the top. Rachel, who will graduate in December after just 3½ years, credits her professors with helping her succeed in a challenging major. And she praises UW-Eau Claire for providing students with opportunities to discover and follow their passions outside the classroom. Rachel now looks forward to taking all of the academic and life experiences she’s gained as a Blugold into her future workplace, Univar, the nation’s largest chemical redistribution company. As a climber AND chemist, Rachel Wolters is well-prepared to tackle the challenges that will come as she launches her career and begins her life as a UW-Eau Claire alumna … and that’s pretty powerful!