Lindsey Dortch ′11
Hometown: Davidson, North Carolina
Major: Religious Studies
Minor: African American Studies
Fun Fact: While abroad in South Africa, Lindsey studied under a human rights hero she had learned about in one of her Religious Studies classes at Rhodes.
So, what first attracted you to Rhodes?
It’s almost as if Rhodes chose me; it kept popping up all around me. My high school advisor once worked in admissions at Rhodes and knew that it would be a great fit, and my youth minister grew up in Memphis and raved about the Religious Studies department. Everywhere I turned, people were saying amazing things about Rhodes’ academics, the professors, Memphis life and the opportunities to get plugged in around campus.
And what drove you to choose a Religious Studies major?
I initially chose a RS major with the intention of attending seminary, then to enter youth ministry. My plans have changed, but I continue to thoroughly enjoy the major. There is such a wide range of courses offered through the RS program, my favorites of which incorporate the Memphis community. I’ve taken so many courses that have shown me parts of Memphis I never thought I would see. I think my favorite experience as a RS major was a semester-long research project that compared prison ministry and youth ministry. This research has even opened up new volunteer opportunities at an urban youth club which I can’t wait to begin at the start of my senior year.
Which of your Religious Studies classes been particularly memorable?
I would have to say Professor Ivory’s Martin Luther King course. I remember having a heated discussion about human and civil rights and leaving his classroom in tears; they were happy tears that came from one of those ‘light bulb’ moments. I headed to Ivory’s office and said, “This is what I want to do. This is how I want to contribute to this world.” The class generated a passion in me about the study of equality and all that encompasses: the search, fight and desire for equality which human beings possess. This semester I will begin an academic internship at the National Civil Rights Museum. It feels like I’m on my way!
How have classes such as Professor Ivory’s shaped your future career goals? Similar to the epiphany in Dr. Ivory’s classroom, recently as I sat in the Drakensburg Mountains in South Africa, I decided that after graduation I will apply to law school with a focus on human rights. Everything that Rhodes has taught me about myself in and out of the classroom, paired with my experiences abroad, has led me to this life decision.