Coastal Carolina University professor remembers student killed in Alaska plane crash

Grand Strand

CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) — A Coastal Carolina University professor is remembering one of his students who was killed last week in a plane crash in Alaska.

20-year-old Rachel McArthur was going to be a junior at Coastal Carolina University this fall. She was majoring in Intelligence and National Security with dreams of working for the U.S. Government. Coastal Carolina University said her sudden death will leave a huge hole in the intelligence program.

“She made her presence felt immediately from the day she stepped on campus,” said Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis, a professor in the intelligence program.

Fitsanakis had McArthur in class in her two years at the university. Rae, as she was called by those who knew her, was one of six killed when a sightseeing plane crashed in Alaska. An accomplished student from Georgia, she had a passion for her work both in and out of the classroom.

Fitsanakis said McArthur served as a role model for younger students.

“That amazing combination of personality and academic ability is what makes her loss so profound,” he said.

McArthur also was an intern for the Roswell Police Department in Georgia. In a Facebook post, the department said she stood out because of her driven desire for more.

Fitsanakis said McArthur leaves a lasting impact at Coastal Carolina University and has a message for other students.

“In the two years she was with us, she accomplished some incredible things that typically take four or more years for somebody to accomplish,” he said. “None of us know how long we are here on this earth and so do not waste time with Rae’s determination and drive.”

McArthur was the only freshman to ever receive Coastal Carolina University’s Intelligence Award and at just 20 years old, was also a published author.

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