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Mary Catherine Reeves ′13

Hometown: Knoxville
Major: Biochemistry/Molecular Biology
Minor: Anthropology/Sociology

By Lydia Holmes ’14

When you meet Mary Catherine Reeves, the first thing you think is, have we met before? Her infectious smile and kind heart immediately make you feel like you have been friends for a long time. As a senior at Rhodes, Mary Catherine (called “MC” by most) is a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major with an Anthropology-Sociology minor—and no deficit of extracurricular activities. She spends her time representing the student body as the Rhodes Student Government (RSG) president, a member of the leadership team for the Peer Assistants program, community relations chair for the 2013 Class Council, student trustee, and member of Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority.

Mary Catherine joined RSG as a freshman. “I got involved and I felt so supported by the people around me. They really helped me figure out how to be invested in RSG and make a difference through that. It was something I could do that fit well into my skill set.” As a competitor in parliamentary procedure in high school, with Robert’s Rules of Order under her belt and upperclassmen to support her, Mary Catherine flourished in RSG. A committee chairmanship during her sophomore year and a role as RSG vice president her junior year meant it was no stretch for her to continue ascending the ladder.

Her year as RSG president has been memorable. “Being a Student Trustee has been such a wonderful highlight of my year so far. It is amazing that I get to be included in the conversations that I do, and the caliber of the Rhodes board members is remarkable. They care so much for the college and its students, and are working so hard to ensure that every aspect of the college is successful.”

Mary Catherine’s role as student trustee has involved her in many critical projects. “I have been asked by the Board of Trustees to sit on the Ad Hoc Committee on the Future of Health Care Professions, which is working to answer the strategic question of how to prepare Rhodes students to be leaders in health care,” she explains. “I sit on the committee with several trustees, faculty and staff members. It has really been an eye-opening experience because we are talking about ways to take advantage of the wonderful resources Memphis and Rhodes offer this track of study, which I just happen to be pursuing through the combination of my major and minor.”

Under her leadership, RSG has been developing a Student Academic Mentorship program designed to connect first-year students with upperclassmen and faculty in their field of study. “We are currently working with some of the biggest departments on campus to hopefully have a pilot program in place next fall. This project has a special place in my heart because we have been working on it for so long and also because of my involvement with the Peer Assistant Program.”

As a senior, she is starting to think about her future after Rhodes. She originally thought that she wanted to go to graduate school right after graduation, but she says, “Rhodes has changed the way I think about education. I came in thinking that I wanted to major in chemistry and go on to get my PhD in chemistry. I’ve realized that while that’s interesting and it still fascinates me, I’m much more of a people person.” While deciding what to focus on in graduate school, Mary Catherine plans to look for a job in health policy or some other area of health science.

She has not ruled out Memphis as an option. “I love living in Memphis; it’s cool and it’s getting cooler.” While living here over the summer, she explored some of the “funky” places that make Memphis the city that it is—rich with an ever-changing culture.

Tags: Anthropology and Sociology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Archive, Faces of Rhodes, Tennessee