Seven Members of the Class of 2019 Selected for Rhodes’ Hall of Fame

collage of seven diverse college students
top row (l-r): Aylen Mercado, AnDrea Hargrove, Hamid Shirwany, and bottom row (l-r): Rebeca Roldan, Pooja Dave, Zaria Jones, and Ryan Rosenkrantz

The portraits of seven graduating seniors will be added to Rhodes’ Hall of Fame, housed on the second floor of Southwestern Hall. They are Aylen Mercado, AnDrea Hargrove, Hamid Shirwany, Rebeca Roldan, Pooja Dave, Zaria Jones, and Ryan Rosenkrantz.

Selection to the Hall of Fame, established in 1931, is based on individual merit, leadership in student activities, service to others, and overall contributions to the campus community. Honorees are chosen by their peers. Here is more information about those from this year’s class.

Aylen Mercado, an urban studies and Latin American studies double major from Memphis, TN, came to Rhodes as a Clarence Day Scholar dedicated to community service. She has led initiatives on and off campus focused on diversity, holistic student development, and the arts. In the past year, she has been conducting a community engagement analysis to support the collaborative efforts of Whole Child Strategies, Inc. Mercado also has held fellowships on campus through the Urban Education Summer Institute, Mellon Faculty Innovation Fellowship Program, Rhodes Institute for Regional Studies, and Memphis Center Fellowship in the Arts. She writes monthly essays for the Memphis Flyer on topics including race and ethnicity, history, and social and economic justice. 

AnDrea Hargrove, an international business and theatre major from Little Rock, AR, has participated in a variety of organizations across campus, including the Rhodes College Ambassadors, Black Student Association (treasurer), Serving Our Students (mentor), Rhodes Diplomats, Rhodes Singers, and Rhodes Cheerleaders. She is a charter member of the Nu Phi chapter of Zeta Phi Beta sorority and former president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council on campus. She also has assisted with production management for two of McCoy Theatre’s main stage shows. With a minor in German, Hargrove has studied abroad in Berlin, Germany. She also has worked on campus as a student associate for the Office of Inclusion and Involvement and as a resident assistant. Currently, she is a hospitality volunteer at the Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Hamid Shirwany, who is from Germantown, TN, is pursuing a major in biochemistry and molecular biology, international studies, and history. He has served as president of the Honor Council and contributed to religious life on campus as president of the Muslim Students Association and as an interfaith coordinator through Rhodes’ Kinney Community Service Program. In addition, Shirwany worked for The Bridge street newspaper; delivered meals to home-bound, disabled elderly seniors; and served as a coordinator for Rhodes’ Souper Contact, a student-run meal program serving the hungry and homeless of Memphis year-round. As a Mertie Buckman International Studies Internship awardee, Shirwany spent the summer of 2018 in Rabat, Morocco, interning at a nonprofit whose focus is to prevent the transmission of AIDS and to reduce the infant mortality rate.
Rebeca Roldan
, a chemistry major from Saint Francisville, LA, has been conducting research for four years—under the guidance of Dr. Larryn Peterson and Dr. Mauricio Cafiero— with applications in anti-bacterial treatments. In 2018, she conducted research at Boston University as part of the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates. On campus, Roldan has led social justice advocacy work around issues of sexual violence as the vice president of Culture of Consent. As a participant in the Rhodes Bonner Scholarship Program, she has served as a volunteer with Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region; Choices: Memphis Center for Reproductive Health; and the Memphis Against Sexual Assault cohort of the Bridge Builders CHANGE program.

Pooja Dave, a neuroscience major from Atlanta, GA, has been an undergraduate research assistant in the neurosurgery department of Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital since August 2016. There, she engages in hands-on work both in the labs and in the operating rooms. In 2017 and 2018, she attended the Pediatric American Association of Neurological Surgeons conference and got the chance to network with pediatric neurosurgeons across the nation. At the 2018 conference, she delivered a presentation on a research project completed at Le Bonheur. Dave also has published research articles in three leading medical journals—Neurosurgery, World Neurosurgery, and the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics. On campus, she is a chemistry peer tutor, and she has served as the commissioner on Rhodes’ Allocations Board, chief of staff of Rhodes Student Government, and co-president of GlobeMed.

Zaria Jones is a business and urban studies bridge major from Arlington, TN, and currently serves as a community and economic development intern for the Memphis Medical District Collaborative. Last summer through the Rhodes Summer Service Fellowship, she worked as an intern for BLDG Memphis with a focus on participatory planning and community engagement throughout the city. In addition, Jones has conducted research on the historical socioeconomic impact of Overton Square on Midtown since the 1900s as well as the impact of leadership identity on the functions of local community development corporations. Jones has worked on campus as a student associate as well as served as the Rhodes Student Government secretary and the Black Student Association secretary and vice president. In addition, she has served as a Day Scholar, SOS mentor, First-Year Seminar student teaching assistant, Turley Scholar, and peer assistant leader.

Ryan Rosenkrantz, an educational studies major from Mandeville, LA, has established himself as a leader on the Rhodes Activities Board, Rhodes Student Government, Class Council, and the Academic Community for Educational Studies. As a 2017 participant of the Rhodes Institute for Regional Studies, Rosenkrantz conducted research on the school-to-prison pipeline in Memphis elementary schools. Off campus, he is an intern with the Juvenile Court of Memphis & Shelby County and a fellow at the New Ballet Ensemble and School. Rosenkrantz teaches English at Refugee Empowerment Program, and he 
recently was selected to serve as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Malta.