Rhodes Receives Presidential Recognition for Community Service
Publication Date: 5/20/2011
Rhodes College has been admitted to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll as a Presidential Award Finalist. Only 11 institutions of higher education in the country were selected as finalists, out of a total of 851 applications received.
Since 2006, the Honor Roll has been administered by The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships, and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service.
In the fall of 2010, Rhodes was named the “Most Service-Minded School” in the U.S. by Newsweek.
“We are so pleased with the national recognition we have received this year from The Corporation for National and Community Service and from Newsweek. It is a fitting tribute to our exceptional students,” says Rhodes College President Dr. William E. Troutt.
More than 80 percent of Rhodes students participate in service, with many choosing Rhodes because of the college’s strong support for connecting the lessons of the classroom to the community. Programs, like Rhodes’ Souper Contact (since 1988) and More Than a Meal (since 1998), serve about 115 meals a week. Such distinctive initiatives as the Rhodes Learning Corridor (RLC), Kinney Program, and Rhodes Fellowships illustrate the comprehensive nature of the Rhodes commitment to the community.
Rhodes Learning Corridor
The RLC is a collaboration with residents, schools, neighborhood associations, businesses and nonprofits focusing on four key areas—capacity building, community renewal, health, and education. Rhodes’ Community Development Fellows organize clean-ups, community celebrations and health fairs, and they manage ongoing commitments like community gardens and a city-approved neighborhood plan. Through Crossroads—Rhodes’ digital archive of the Civil Rights era in Memphis—students record neighborhood histories while helping to build community pride. Observable outcomes include reductions in overall crime, litter and code violations, and increased resident empowerment.
Rhodes’ Kinney coordinators recruit, support and motivate peers to meet community needs in areas such as education, the environment, and homelessness. Students organize service plunges, create educational/advocacy events and organize tutoring and crisis intervention training sessions. One of these programs is the annual Rites to Play festival, serving over 1,000 neighborhood children.
A distinctive feature of liberal arts at Rhodes, fellowships are extended activities outside the classroom that contextualize academic study. For example, St. Jude Fellows do in depth health research with leading scientists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Summer Service Fellows, Mike Curb Fellows, Regional Studies Fellows, Bonner Scholars and CODA (The Center for Outreach in the Development of the Arts) Fellows are just some of the fellowship programs involved in projects fostering professional identity, collaborative learning and critical reflection skills as well as immersing students in the community.
For a full list of the Community Service Honor Roll, visit www.NationalService.gov/HonorRoll.