Student, Athlete, Spartan: Rachel LeBlanc Aims to Develop On and Off the Field

Rachel LeBlanc throws in the ball during a game in the fall of 2019.

by Kevin Hulsmann, CWRU Sports Information

Case Western Reserve University junior defender Rachel LeBlanc played a crucial role for one of the most successful seasons in the history of the women's soccer program.

In 2019, LeBlanc appeared in 11 games off the bench during her first season as a Spartan, and was a key part of a defense that yielded just 18 goals in 19 games and shutout seven opponents. She helped the squad hold opponents to averages of 5.0 shots on goal per game and 10.0 total shots per contest. LeBlanc's efforts helped CWRU match a program record with 13 wins, while earning a bid to the NCAA Division III Championships for just the second time in program history.

Off the field, LeBlanc is a Macromolecular Engineering major on a biomaterials track. She also serves as the Co-Director of Special Events for the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) on campus. SWE strives to work with women in engineering at CWRU to develop well rounded inviduals through technical and leadership growth.

"I joined SWE because we unfortunately are still in a time when women engineers are still a minority group," said LeBlanc. "I wanted to be a part of a national organization that encourages girls to pursue STEM careers and supports them every step of the way. I think there are specific issues that women engineers face every day, and I want to be part of a group that addresses these issues and empowers women to be confident engineers."

In addition to her on campus involvement, LeBlanc is currently co-oping at Becton Dickinson in Warwick, Rhode Island. She is on the bio surgery team working on the development of hemostatic devices.

"I think my experience at Becton Dickinson has given me exposure to many different things," said LeBlanc. "I have gained a lot of technical experience, but this co-op has also opened my eyes to many different paths one can take with an engineering background. My time so far at BD has also validated my choice in major because I love what I have been doing helping to develop a medical device, specifically a biomaterial."

"I am not completely sure about what I want to do after CWRU," said LeBlanc. "I may stay for the five-year BS/MS program or go to grad school elsewhere. Or, I may go into industry, hopefully for a medical device company."