Student Advisory Committee


Purpose and Goals of the Student Advisory Committee

The main focus of the Student Advisory Committee (SAC) is to help develop the Urban Studies Program. Members will be meet throughout the year to discuss curriculum, programming, and community engagement. Members will meet as a group with and without faculty to evaluate and propose ideas.
SAC members are expected to be active participants in both the SAC and the student organization. The committee will be inclusive and open to all Urban Studies majors and minors, but there is an expectation of leadership and dedication. Students must submit an application showing their interest. Members will meet several (no less than five) times throughout the semester. Perhaps meetings would be monthly with two meetings per month toward the beginning and end of the semester, particularly around course registration time. Members may also need to attend lectures and prospective professor talks. After the first semester, member’s involvement will be evaluated jointly by department professors and possibly other SAC members. If it is determined that a student has not made sufficient time contribution to the SAC, he or she may be asked to leave the committee.
Because not every student that takes urban studies courses will be a major and not every Urban Studies major or minor will have time to dedicate to the SAC, members must ensure that they are soliciting input and advice from members of the Rhodes community. The SAC may hold a student forum where non-members can advocate for their own ideas, as well as a forum with students and to the extent possible, Urban Studies faculty, where students and faculty can engage in conversation about what they would like to see in the department. SAC members must also be willing to meet with students who wish to propose an idea outside of the forums and then present that to the committee. Care must be taken to provide multiple venues for Rhodes community members to present ideas so that no one’s voice is left out.

Although there may be issues that need to be kept private for a certain time period, it is important to ensure that the SAC does not appear to be a secret committee that makes decisions without input from the community. Meeting minutes of pertinent, non-sensitive information should be shared with any member of the Rhodes community that requests to see them, and a report should be compiled at the end of the semester that provides a summary of the work done by the SAC. 


Student Advisory Committee Goals

• Developing, evaluating, and advertising the Urban Studies Program
• Engaging the department with the Memphis community
• Connecting students to pertinent information and people
• Fostering relationships between students and faculty


Meet Our Members

Caroline Clark
Area(s) of Interest: Community health, art (public art, art therapy), education
After Graduation: Gain experience through working with local nonprofits and traveling before going to grad school for public health
Dream Job: Advocacy and public policy work; leadership role in a health organization
Kelly Drane
Area(s) of Interest: Community health, urban education, youth and gun violence, AIDS and Tuberculosis prevention and control
After Graduation: Master of public health
Dream Job: Gates Foundation′s Director of Global Health
James Ekenstedt
Area(s) of Interest: Social Entrepreneurship
After Graduation: Start a small business then a MBA/MPP program
Dream Job: Founding a quirky and stylish non-profit that makes real change
Alex Galloway
Area(s) of Interest: Urban and community health, healthcare, and social justice
After Graduation: Medical school and use the MD to treat patients and address social disparities
Dream Job: Doctor who revolutionizes health structure but still has relationships with individual patients
Aubrey Kearney
Area(s) of Interest: Food justice and security, low income housing
After Graduation: Graduate school for Urban Planning after a few years working in the nonprofit sector
Dream Job: Director of a nonprofit or an Urban Planner
Abbey Judd
Area(s) of Interest: Urban Arts, Social Justice, Art Advocacy, Neighborhood Politics, Latin American Urbanization
After Graduation: Masters in Urban Planning or Communications
Dream Job: Community Outreach for Crosstown Arts Center
Andrew Tait
Area(s) of Interest: Urban redevelopment, New Urbanism, “back to the city,” mixed use development, community empowerment
After Graduation: Potential architecture or urban planning graduate school
Dream Job: Lead developer on the Sear’s Crosstown project