News and relevant information about Rhodes students, faculty, and staff making the most of living in Memphis.

Rhodes Mock Trial Team Headed to Nationals

The Rhodes College mock trial A team has qualified to compete in the American Mock Trial Association National Championship Tournament to be held April 8-10 in Lancaster, PA. Teams competed March 11-13 in the first weekend of the Opening Round Championship Series qualifiers to determine the top 48 advancing to the nationals.

Rhodes Student JD Willis ’25 Lands Starring Role in Theatre Memphis Production

JD Willis, a Rhodes College first-year student from Madison, AL, will perform the role of Jean-Michel in Theatre Memphis’ production of La Cage aux Folles. The musical runs March 4-27. Students enrolled in Rhodes dance courses taught by choreographer Whitney Branan this semester are planning to attend the show. “Performing for an audience brings out a unique energy that doesn’t come from anywhere else,” says Willis.

Prof. Charles McKinney Appointed to the Shelby County Historical Commission

Dr. Charles McKinney, the Neville Frierson Bryan Chair of Africana Studies at Rhodes and associate professor of history, recently was appointed to the Shelby County Historical Commission. In the role, he will help to preserve the history of Shelby County, TN. Members of the commission are nominated by the Shelby County Mayor and approved by the Shelby County Commission to serve four-year terms. Votes by the commission for McKinney’s appointment were unanimous.

Senior Biology Major Sinead Eksteen Wins Scholarship and Map Competition for GIS Research

Sinead Eksteen ’22, a biology major from Vienna, VA, won the annual scholarship presented by the Memphis Area Geographic Information Council. The $2,000 award was announced at the group’s Geospatial Conference recently held at the Memphis Botanic Garden. Eksteen submitted a written research proposal and then gave a 20-minute research talk titled “Benthic Biodiversity and Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise in the Chesapeake Bay” at the conference.

Olivia Lane ’22 and Fatima Leal ’23 Join the World of Art Curation at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

Housing thousands of works of art, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is a staple of Midtown and a frequent afternoon excursion for Rhodes students. For Olivia Lane '22 and Fatima Leal '23, who both interned at the museum this past summer, Brooks is now home to their first forays into professional curation. “Rhodes students are receiving an education that will not be complete without ties like this one,” says Leal. “To be involved in the larger tessellation that is Memphis is to truly experience the city that is giving us a home for four years."

Biology Fellow Mia Harris ’23 and Memphis Zoo’s Elephant Matriarch Create Painting to Benefit Elephants in the Wild

Mia Harris ’23, a biology major from Hermitage, TN, got to have a unique experience this summer as an Animal Behavior and Conservation Fellow at the Memphis Zoo. As part of this Rhodes fellowship, she was involved in daily behavioral data collection on four female African elephants. Harris became interested in the zoo’s art enrichment activities for animals and was provided with an art piece painted by Gina, matriarch of the zoo’s African elephant herd. Harris then painted around Gina’s work to create the face of Tyranza, who was the herd’s previous matriarch and the oldest female elephant in North America when she passed away in 2020 at age 56.

Right at Home: Priscilla Foreman ’23 Sees a Bright Future in Memphis after City Leadership Internship

“You can’t have Rhodes without the city of Memphis.” That’s how Priscilla Foreman ’23 sums up her experience as a marketing intern at City Leadership through Rhodes’ 2021 Summer Service Fellowship Program. “This internship has made me feel more confident, and proud, to call myself a Memphian . . . From all of the different people I've met through my time serving at City Leadership to all of the talented students, faculty, and staff at Rhodes, I feel confident in a future here in Memphis, TN, helping to continue the great things already happening in this city.”

GlobeMed at Rhodes Sets Stage for Shreya Visvanathan’s Rhodes Institute Research on Healthcare Providers and Childbirth Experiences

Shreya Visvanathan ’22, a chemistry and health equity double major who aspires to become a physician, has been exploring the topic “The Role of Healthcare Providers on Childbirth Experiences” as a Rhodes Institute for Regional Studies fellow this summer. “My research was heavily influenced by Memphis, which has a high maternal mortality rate but also an amazing network of doulas and other incredible organizations that do the work to combat this problem,” she says.