With an IQ of 180, Winston started college at age 13 and graduated at 19. She has a total of 13 degrees, including B.S., M.S., M.A., MBA, ALM, MLA and Ph.D. in fields as diverse as chemistry, mathematics, computers, publishing, business, liberal arts, international relations and higher education administration, just to name a few.
Winston epitomizes the vision of a life-long student. Yet, she has also held positions as a statistician, chemist, mathematics professor, author, and college counselor. She even worked for President Reagan back in the day and was a press assistant to a congressman. At one time she pursued medicine but instead worked in the chemical industry.
She pursued politics in Washington, D.C., before a series of skating championships led her to California. Always looking for new programs, she counsels and advises high school and college students, helping them gain acceptance to undergrad and grad schools as she searches for the next grad program she will pursue. She graduated in May 2020 from Harvard in international relations, and will graduate from Cal State Dominguez Hills in December in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, and Peacebuilding, and then from Arizona State in History.
She tries not to attend the same school twice; she loves studying at different colleges to understand their nuances. During COVID-19, while working full time as a college counselor, she was enrolled in Harvard, CSUDH, and ASU concurrently while she also wrote two books available on Amazon: “From High School to Medical School: The Ultimate Guide to BS/MD Programs” (bsmd.com) as well as “Raging Waters in the South China Sea: What the Battle for Supremacy Means for Southeast Asia” (southchinaseabook.com).
Winston went to eight concentration camps in Poland with her husband to attempt to comprehend what her Lithuanian family members experienced when they died there.
“As an intellectual, I need to understand what happened,” she said.
She is the consummate traveler, believing, “To be well-rounded and serve my students, I need to travel the world.”
Winston’s China book, based upon three years of research at the University of Chicago and Harvard University, explores China’s global aspirations, militarization of the South China Sea, and issues surrounding the Belt and Road Initiative, debt diplomacy, surveillance, human rights and the future.
Today, Winston “helps students tell their life stories through their college entrance essays,” as she puts it.
“I’ve been in college my entire life and want to inspire students to love learning!” Winston describes herself as adamantly committed to helping students of all ages explore their passions and achieve their dreams.
Winston edits papers and books with students through her publishing company, Lizard Publishing. She said she is grateful and privileged to look through the eyes of her students and walk a mile in their shoes.
“I get to live vicariously through my students,” she said, and feels blessed that students trust her with their life stories. As a college counselor for 35 years, she does not intend to stop.
So, why did she name her business Lizard Publishing?
“The name ‘Lizard’ was chosen three decades ago and grew to represent a friendly, worldly, approachable and versatile way of serving students,” she explains on her website. “When people think of college planning, they envision themselves embarking on a quest to discover their personalized direction, pathway, and future. A lizard follows that same path as it negotiates a sometimes-complex desert or jungle environment. By navigating toward a goal and climbing through complicated terrain, lizards search for what will make them happy and the sustenance to survive and thrive.”
Winston and her husband plan to circumnavigate the globe on a world cruise in 2021 as she writes new books and studies history and philosophy online. She doesn’t mind being “homeless,” since she traded home life to permanently live in a hotel 20 years ago. Her ideal life is to live on a cruise ship while traveling around the world studying, counseling and writing.
To learn more about Dr. Rachel A. Winston, visit her website at www.collegelizard.com.
Rachel Stern is a contributing writer to JLife magazine.