Rhodes Chaplain Lands Awards Helping Rhodes Students Connect with the Broader World, Explore Interfaith Topics

a young woman with dark hair and a clerical collar

Rev. Beatrix Weil, chaplain at Rhodes College, is the recipient of multiple awards that will help Rhodes students connect with the broader world and support the college’s commitment to promoting diversity, inclusion, equity, and accessibility.

“A top priority this semester is making connection points among the Rhodes community, especially among people with different backgrounds,” says Weil. “We’re talking about queer theology or vocation or justice, but really we're finding ways to draw closer to one another even as we’re far apart.”

Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education administered by the Council of Independent Colleges is providing a $10,000 grant to develop a cohort of faculty and staff to enhance communication with students about pursuing vocations and finding places where their talents and passions intersect the world’s needs. The cohort will engage with shared readings and discussions over the course of the academic year. Working with Weil on the grant are Sandi George Tracy, director of career services; Dr. Sherry Turner, vice president for strategic initiatives; and Dr. Catherine Sundt, assistant professor of Spanish.

Presbyterian Church (USA)’s Presbyterian Mission Agency is providing a $2,500 grant to create a weekly virtual discussion group in which guest speakers who are Christian, Black, and queer discuss theological topics with a cohort of students. The Rhodes chaplain will moderate the discussion, and each of the student participants can pick one book recommended by the guest speakers to be sent to them.
Interfaith Youth Core is providing a $500 award for Grub Hub gift cards to be given to students to purchase meals for discussions over Zoom on how faith intersects with racial equity and justice. In addition, the Office of the Chaplain will incorporate Interfaith Youth Core’s “We Are Each Other’s” curriculum into its programming.
Interfaith Youth Core is providing $1,000 for stipends for 10 artists to create art that illustrates how their religious or secular traditions interact with their commitment to racial justice.
Grace Oboh ’22 says this about the Interfaith Youth Core awards, “Working with Chaplain Beatrix has opened my eyes to the possibility, importance, and beauty of interfaith work. Being a part of the interfaith meal in October was a reminder of the interconnectedness that we share in having faith traditions, and it brought me joy to see that even though we may not always agree, we will choose to love and be there for each other as a community.”