Rachel received a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Dietetics at the University of Missouri, Columbia, and her certification as a Registered Dietitian in 1976. She continued studies in Human Nutrition at the University of Missouri, Columbia, and was awarded a Master of Science degree in 1979. Rachel is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Therapeutic Science at the Kansas University Medical Center, Department of Occupational Therapy Education. This doctoral program is an interdisciplinary program that focuses on issues related to disability.
Ms. Barkley’s planned research for the doctoral degree will be related to study of obesity and its impact on child health and disability. She is interested in researching topics that allow her to use her expertise in nutrition and interests in maternal and child health.
Ms. Barkley has worked with dietetics and nutrition students for many years in the role of program director for a Coordinated Program in Dietetics, a Didactic Program in Dietetics, and as a Dietetic Internship Program Director. She has also taught the following courses at two different universities (Kansas University Medical Center and University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center): Public Health Nutrition, Practicum, Nutrition during the Life Cycle, Community Nutrition, Nutrition Counseling, Introductory Nutrition, and others. At the 2000 Summit on Best Practices in Dietetics Education, an international nutrition experience that she planned and coordinated was selected as one of three presentations for the 2000 Summit that was held at the American Dietetic Association Annual Conference.
In addition to working in the area of higher education, Ms. Barkley has had professional positions working as a Public Health Nutritionist for the Missouri Division of Health and as a Clinical Dietitian at Cox Medical Center in Springfield, MO.
Efforts involve conducting a qualitative study of children’s perception of dairy foods. Barkley is also a member of the research team for the KIDS study – a controlled randomized study of elementary school age children. The KIDS study is investigating the effects of dairy snacks on blood pressure and other outcomes such as body mass index and blood lipids.
Ms. Barkley was recognized as Outstanding Dietetics Educator (Oklahoma, 1995), Outstanding Dietitian of the Year (Oklahoma, 1991) and Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year (Missouri, 1982) by the American Dietetic Association.