Rachel Grisham was born in 1994 in Salem, Oregon as the oldest child in her family. As a child, Grisham was extremely creative and enjoyed reading, drawing, and developing her own games to play. This creativity led her to begin playing alto saxophone, which she continued to play in Sprague high school’s marching band, jazz band, and wind ensemble as both a member and drum major. As the oldest child in her family, her involvement in music led to her first exposure of Oregon State University. At Reser Stadium, Grisham competed in a marching band competition, and later, in the LaSells Stewart Center, she participated in a wind ensemble performance. These interactions with the university’s music department eventually influenced her decision to attend Oregon State University in 2012.
Although she first began her education at Oregon State University as a Biology major with a Pre-Med option, Grisham decided to pursue a degree in Public Health because it combined her interest in policy and the act of improving the health of society. In 2012, Grisham also became a member of Sigma Delta Omega. This “sisterhood of scientists” was created at Oregon State University in 2006 which aimed to promote and encourage women to pursue STEM programs. During this time, Grisham also became involved with Oregon State’s student government, the Associated Students of Oregon State (ASOSU). During her freshman year, Grisham volunteered in campaigns that were designed to educate and register student voters. The following year in 2013, Grisham was elected to serve on the ASOSU Senate and also became Recruitment Chair of Sigma Delta Omega. In 2014, Grisham continued to serve as Recruitment Chair and was elected as President Pro Tempore of the Senate.
In 2015, Grisham became the Executive Director of Operations of ASOSU and President of Sigma Delta Omega. During this time, Grisham was subpoenaed in the impeachment trial of President Cassie Huber. Finally, in 2016, she became President of both ASOSU and Sigma Delta Omega. During her Presidency in ASOSU, Grisham became a significant figure in the creation of the Shared Governance Agreement, which is now known as the Edward J. Ray Doctrine, and the passing of SB 762, which is more commonly known as Survivor Amnesty. Grisham also served on the Obama Administration’s sexual violence prevention campaign, “It’s On Us”, as a member of the Student Advisory Committee and integrated her work from the campaign to Oregon State University’s campus.
After graduating from Oregon State University in the spring of 2017, Grisham accepted a position at Planned Parenthood in Eugene, Oregon.