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Karina Van Sickle ′08

What I have loved about Rhodes is the variety of things I’ve been able to get involved in. And I mean really involved.

As a result of working in Professor Mauricio Cafiero’s chemistry lab, I have had two research papers published in scholarly journals, and we’re finishing up a third. It’s so exciting to see all that work come together and actually be published. Now I can Google myself!

Another big involvement is working as a student athletic trainer. In the fall I work in the training room setting up for sports practices and doing ultrasound therapy. I’m also the assistant trainer for the baseball team which means I go to all the home games. My boyfriend is a baseball player, so I’m getting paid to be a supportive girlfriend. It’s a lot of fun.

I have also gotten back into music. I was in the school band fifth through eighth grade and really fell in love with playing the flute. My high school didn’t have a band, so it’s been great to pick it back up. I took lessons last semester and got to play a concert with one of my friends. This year I’ll get to do that again.

I have also enjoyed being in a sorority although I have less time for that than I did at first. I want to help out and be there for my friends, but it seems I’m going in a lot of directions now. And I have to keep my grades up so I can get into dental school.

The ironic thing is that I didn’t even want to look at Rhodes. I grew up in a suburb of Memphis, and was quite sure I wanted to go to college somewhere else. My dad said, “Well, let’s just do a practice interview at Rhodes,” which didn’t make me too happy. When I got here, I fell in love with the campus just like everyone else does. Then, I didn’t want to visit anywhere else.

It has been a lot of fun to discover midtown and downtown Memphis, which I had hardly ventured into growing up. It’s so pretty here and there’s so much to do. The good news is, when I graduate from Rhodes, I don’t have to leave as a lot of people do. After dental school I plan to come right back to Memphis and go into practice with my dad. I know most of my friends may leave Memphis, but I’m hoping to stay close to my professors. Maybe I’ll even come to campus to eat sometimes. During sorority rush, my nametag said, “Ask me about the Rat,” which is what we call the dining hall here. I just love the food!

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