Alumni Spotlight- Rachel Murdy

You’re about to depart for your flight, but it’s raining. The clock is ticking, you have a meeting across the country in the morning, and that hotel bed is calling your name. The engines start to come to life as you drift off to sleep. Then, all of a sudden, the plane is experiencing severe turbulence. Thankfully, you locate your handy guide in the seat back compartment and begin to read. Pictures of rafts and oxygen masks fill your head while the pilot is telling you and the flight attendants to stay seated. All of these manuals are made by the technical writing department of each airline. Our very own Rachel Murdy (TTU 2012) is a Publications Specialist at Southwest Airlines. Her behind-the-scenes job is an important one that ensures safety and efficiency as we travel through the skies. Check out her alumni photo story below!


During her time as a Texas Tech Terry, Rachel served in many capacities, including the role of president for a year and a half. In fact, during her very first picnic, she had to present Texas Tech’s accomplishments to the entirety of the Terry Family as a freshman. Although it was nerve wracking, she loved serving as an officer. One of her favorite events as an officer was a reality-television themed fundraiser based on the Bachelor. A fellow officer created a cardboard cutout of their head football coach, who was the bachelor, and the women passed out flowers to people while wearing tacky prom dresses.

Rachel would have continued to be an officer if she hadn’t studied abroad. In the summer of 2014, Rachel flew to Italy (not on Southwest) to study in Florence. After Rachel returned to the states, she was already in her last full year of being a Terry Scholar. She took advantage of this opportunity and participated in traditional interviews during the spring of 2015. It was quite serendipitous, for her brother, Logan, was interviewing simultaneously to become a Texas Tech Terry Scholar. Continuing to follow in his sister’s footsteps, Logan has been a very active Terry on campus and again, like Rachel, studied abroad. Because of her flight benefits, Rachel was able to take her mom, who is also a Texas Tech alumna, to visit Logan in Seville, Spain, and they were able to create memories that would last a lifetime.

When Rachel’s not traveling, she’s hard at work. As an undergraduate, she worked tirelessly in the Digital Humanities Lab and later, the Texas Tech University Press (TTUP). Luck would have it that she was able to meet the Editor in Chief while volunteering with the Terry Scholars at Literary Lubbock, an event hosted by TTUP. When she decided to apply for Southwest’s competitive internship program, she believes it was her position with TTUP that made her a great candidate. Although Rachel’s resume was impressive, she said, “everything seems to trickle back to Terry.” Upon graduation, she rejoined Southwest’s technical writing team in Dallas. Because of her position and flight benefits, she has been able to stay active in her Terry community in Lubbock by flying in for the annual banquet and picnic. She also serves as the Texas Tech Liaison for the DFW Alumni Chapter.

To find out more about Rachel Murdy’s adventures, follow her blog, Standby for Takeoff.