Meet Rachel Porter, Ph.D.

Thursday, March 12, 2020
Rachel Porter, Ph.D.
Rachel Porter, Ph.D.

Rachel Porter, Ph.D., was recently promoted to a faculty position in the Duke Physician Assistant Program and will serve as the senior education strategist. Previously, Porter held a staff position at the PA program as educational technology specialist, and prior to that worked as director of adult programs for the Triangle Literacy Council. Porter earned a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction in 2009 from N.C. State, and a doctorate in education research and policy analysis in 2013, also from N.C. State. She also earned a post-graduate certificate in nonprofit management in 2014 from UNC Greensboro.

Why did you choose to join the faculty in the Department of Family Medicine & Community Health?

Having first joined the PA program as a staff member, I am passionate about the program's mission and focus on providing an inclusive educational experience and creating PA graduates who make a real difference in our health care system. As the first PA program, and the birthplace of the profession, I also value our role as leaders in the PA and health professions education space.

What is your approaching to mentorship/teaching?

I come from a constructivist background and approach teaching and mentoring as collaborative endeavors that build skills and deepen understanding for all involved. For adult learners, the difference between androgogy and pedagogy is a significant one. When we value what each learner brings to the table, we can engage in meaningful educational exchanges that are not only mutually beneficial, but also contribute to the growth of our organizations and society as a whole.

What are your research interests?

Higher education teaching and learning, collaboration and faculty skill development; Curriculum innovation as related to national trends, technology, equity, and policy changes; Equity and social justice in teaching and learning; Utilizing emerging technologies for communicating, teaching, and learning; Project management capacity and effects on climate and organizational learning.

Are there any major research grants you have been a part of or are currently working on?

Transforming Healthcare Through Enhanced Clinical Training Teams, 2016-2021

Is there any other information you would like to share?

A publication: Rachel E. Porter, Lance D. Fusarelli, and Bonnie C. Fusarelli. “Implementing the Common Core: How Educators Interpret Curriculum Reform,” Educational Policy. January 2015 29: 111-139, December 30, 2014 doi:10.1177/0895904814559248