Medal for Eminent Service

Paula K. Rauch 1977, P 2000, 2008

Through more than four decades of engagement, Paula K. Rauch, M.D., has embodied the values and ideals of Amherst as a graduate, a volunteer, a board member, a parent and a wise counselor. A visionary leader in the field of child psychiatry and an inspiring advocate for mental health, Dr. Rauch is the inaugural Timothy C. Davidson Chair of Psychiatry and founding director of the Marjorie E. Korff Parenting At a Challenging Time (PACT) Program at Massachusetts General Hospital.

At Amherst, Dr. Rauch was a pioneer of coeducation, one of only 35 female students on campus when she arrived as a transfer student in the fall of 1975. After graduating magna cum laude with a double major in biology and psychology, she attended the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, becoming the first Amherst woman to earn a medical degree. In the intervening years, her expansive service to the College has included two terms as trustee and participation on multiple committees, including a presidential search committee and the President’s Campaign Board. She has provided guidance on mental health issues confronting our students and our world during some of the College’s most challenging times and has played an essential role in setting Amherst on a transformative path toward increased access and diversity. Additionally, she has played a leadership role in Reunions and has graciously given her time to advise students, speak on campus and participate in College-wide celebrations of coeducation.

Among numerous recognitions for her work as a clinician and teacher, Dr. Rauch has won The Schwartz Center’s National Compassionate Caregiver of the Year Award and the Simon Wile Leadership in Consultation Award from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She is a co-author of the book Raising an Emotionally Healthy Child When a Parent Is Sick and author of many other book chapters and journal articles. She serves on the Science Advisory Board for the Military Child Education Coalition and has been a longtime consultant to the PBS cartoon Arthur.