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Ivy Thompson ′12


As a kid growing up in Memphis, Ivy always wanted to go to the "castle school"—Rhodes. As a junior, she still loves living in a residence hall because it’s the best way to stay involved in the many groups and activities on campus. Ivy originally planned to major in English, but after working with Rhodes Career Services to identify her strengths, she realized she wanted to study psychology and become a speech pathologist. Ivy is also a talented dancer who performs step shows with her sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho. Special thanks to the Brubeck Collection, University of the Pacific, for Jam Session exhibit photographs featured in this episode.

Why Rhodes?
Growing up in Memphis I always wanted to go to Rhodes. It looked like a castle. and I thought I was a princess [laughs]. When I got older and went to Rhodes’ Summer Writing Institute, I decided, “Oh my gosh! I love this school.” It was perfect. The Rhodes students wanted to help us, the professors were involved—it was a close-knit community. Plus, the students really served the Memphis community, and that’s what I wanted.

So how has Rhodes plugged you into serving the Memphis community?
Through Rhodes’ Kinney Program I joined the Bridges College Corps. We go to local high schools every week and lead students in discussions about violence and poverty. We also have games and activities that help them establish themselves and know who they are and where they want to go. Later, we mentor them on their own projects. It’s really fun to see high school students excited about making a change in their own community.

Any spare time for relaxation?
I’m in Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority. It’s an organization totally committed to community service, but it also has a step team. Stepping is a release for me. I love dancing. I can go out there and step and do my thing. It’s a way to express myself.

How will you combine your passion for service with your Psychology major once you leave Rhodes?
I started off as an English major, but switched after my first psychology course. I really liked exploring the mind. It was an adventure. But I never dropped my interest in English. I think my interest in language and psychology, combined with my passion for service, is a great start for becoming a speech pathologist. I would love to start a non-profit that helps children with speech impediments, free of charge.

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