“I will strive to have patients reach higher levels of success when I am a physical therapist.”
— Rachel Lee, recipient of the 2011 & 2013 Naibert Scholarship
Rachel Lee was already an accomplished athlete in 2006 when a sports injury her senior year of high school opened the door to a career in physical therapy.
“An incredibly enlightening experience that I had working with a physical therapist opened my eyes to a whole new way of thinking about the body,” Lee said. “It turned out to be the most influential injury I have ever had.”
Five years later, the recent graduate of the University of North Dakota and four-year Division I swimmer is preparing to start a master’s program at Pacific University in Portland this fall to become a physical therapist. And for the second time, Lee is receiving financial aid from The Corvallis Clinic Foundation as she pursues a career of caring for others.
Rachel Lee is the 2011 recipient of the $1,000 Naibert Scholarship, an endowed scholarship in honor of Dr. James R. Naibert, who works in The Corvallis Clinic’s Immediate Care Center and previously was a family physician for 11 years at The Corvallis Clinic’s Waverly Drive/Albany office. His patients chose to recognize his efforts by establishing the scholarship for area students who demonstrate an interest in working in a health-related profession that involves direct patient care. Lee had previously been awarded the Riley Scholarship from The Corvallis Clinic Foundation.
Between her junior and senior years in college, Lee completed more than 150 hours of observation with two local physical therapists, including The Corvallis Clinic’s Matthew Corn, PT. Corn said Lee’s compassion for others helped him to rediscover his own passion for being a physical therapist.
“She clearly has a keen grasp of the patient’s emotional and psychological state and how it ties into treating the patient,” Corn said. “This is not an attribute of the classroom, but a component of her character that will serve her well as a future physical therapist.”
Lee’s friendly personality and outgoing demeanor have earned her numerous recognitions, including being named a USA Swimming Scholastic All-American for three years. She received the highest honors in Girl Scouting, the Gold Award, and in 4-H, the Benton County Medal. She was the 2007 Future First Citizen of Corvallis, the 2007 Kiwanis Student of the Year, and won the 2007 Benton County Foundation Founder’s award for exceptional service to others. Lee has been an active volunteer, participating in community services projects in schools, at food banks and soup kitchens, animal shelters and with the Special Olympics.
“Volunteering in my community has taught me the value of caring. I realized that patience, caring and optimism can make a difference in the lives of others,” Lee said. “I will strive to have patients reach higher levels of success when I am a physical therapist.”
When Dr. Naibert met Lee, he discovered they share a passion for bicycling, a sport Lee picked up when she recently began competing in triathlons. Lee also enjoys photography, music and travel. A 2007 graduate of Crescent Valley High School, she is the daughter of Marianne Clausing-Lee and Kevin Lee of Corvallis.