The Order of the Chocolate Fish was established in 2003 to recognize individuals who go beyond the call of duty in service of the Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders (CEED). We recognize people from within CEED as well as people outside the center who demonstrate extraordinary dedication to our mission.
This holiday season I am especially pleased to bestow this honor on Rachel Guerra. In many ways, Rachel represents the heart and the soul of CEED. If you were to ask me, “What does Rachel do?”, the only honest answer I could give would be, “Everything!”
Rachel has worked as a Research Assistant and Project Coordinator playing a vital role in just about every project that we have undertaken over the past several years. Here is what some of her colleagues say about her:
Dr. Christine Peat: “Rachel is a fantastic research assistant in every sense of the word. She is consistently dedicated and professional regardless of the task. She is thorough in her work and always willing to lend a hand. I have personally benefited from having Rachel as a part of our research team – she reminds me of things I sometimes forget, she anticipates needs that I might have (which is invaluable), and she is incredibly dependable. I don’t know what CEED would do without her and I’m so thankful she’s been a part of our team!”
Dr. Laura Thornton: “Rachel is one of those people who can step in to any role, learn the task quickly, and find a better way of doing things. She is amazingly efficient and does everything with a smile and a kind word. You can count on her to get things done – always. Everyone should have a Rachel. Everyone needs a Rachel – you just might not know it yet.
Dr. Stephanie Zerwas: “Rachel is like sunshine. You take it for granted sometimes that the sun will rise and you forget how much she gives life and light to everyone. She is warm, kind, and an amazing caring person. We are so lucky that she always gets the job done and often makes it look so easy in the process.”
Dr. Camden Matherne: “Rachel goes above and beyond in every domain. She recognizes needs for organization and problem-solves independently, then voluntarily completes tasks (even the mundane ones!) without being asked to do so. She is also a lovely person to work with, and her sense of humor and kindness go a long way in making the work environment more pleasant.”
One of Rachel’s latest roles is to be the outreach coordinator for the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. Her first task in this position was to wrangle busy geneticists at an international meeting to get them to do brief interviews on camera about the value of psychiatric genetics. This is not a uniformly camera seeking lot, but Rachel managed to get even the most reluctant researchers to share their enthusiasm for psychiatric genetics.
In addition to all of these wonderful qualities, what I value most about Rachel is her resourcefulness and focused determination to figure out how to do things and to do them right. It has been an honor to watch her grow as a professional, and everyone at CEED will enthusiastically support her throughout the rest of her career. Rachel is a true all-rounder and the heart and soul of CEED!
Please join me in congratulating Rachel Guerra on being inducted into the Order of the Chocolate Fish.
If you are interested in the origins of the chocolate fish as a reward, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chocolate_fish