LaPlace Resident Rachel Oxley Sought Career Change, Found Success at Delgado

December 16, 2019

Rachel Oxley came to Delgado Community College for a career change. After earning a bachelor’s degree in film, theater and communication arts from the University of New Orleans in 2008, she decided to return to school for something that she thought she would enjoy and that would provide longevity in the workforce.

Oxley, 33, will graduate from Delgado on Tuesday, Dec. 17, with an associate degree in science laboratory technology (SLT) with a biotechnology concentration.

Last summer, Oxley completed an internship with the United States Department of Agriculture, at the Southern Regional Research Center in New Orleans. She was mentored by research chemist Dr. Barry Hurlburt, whose work focuses on purifying nut allergens. Through this experience, Oxley applied what she learned in the Delgado SLT courses and engaged in real-world laboratory research.

At the conclusion of the internship, Oxley presented her research before her USDA peers. Because of her excellent performance as an intern, she was offered part-time employment that allowed her to continue her research with the same group of scientists on the same allergens.

Oxley currently is working at the USDA as a biological science lab technician, but says she is actively looking for other work in industry and research.

 “I feel extremely confident that I can achieve any biotech job that I am qualified for,” she said. In the future, she may apply to graduate school.

 “I’ve really enjoyed my experience at Delgado, and I have received so much in return from the faculty. As far as the student experience, I thought it was all very positive,” she said.

Oxley and her husband live in LaPlace, LA.


Rachael Oxley headshot
Rachel Oxley

About Delgado Community College

Delgado Community College will celebrate 100 years of service to the New Orleans region in 2021. The oldest and largest community college in Louisiana, Delgado provides instruction online and at seven locations. Fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Delgado offers students the most comprehensive array of education and training services available in the 10-parish New Orleans region. Additionally, Delgado has articulation agreements with most of the state’s four-year colleges and universities that allow students to smoothly transfer their Delgado credits to bachelor’s degree programs. As well as offering degrees and transferable college credits, Delgado provides diplomas and certificates in many professional and technical areas. Workforce development is a priority at Delgado, hence the college’s well-known motto: “Education That Works.”