Three Rhodes Graduates Selected for Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships


Publication Date: 11/15/2007

Three Rhodes College alumni have been selected to receive Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarships for 2008-2009. They are Joel Harris ’03 of Memphis, Tenn.; Jessica Murphy ’06 of Oak Ridge, Tenn.; and Paul Carls ’07 of Jackson, Tenn.

The purpose of the Ambassadorial Scholarships program is to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries and geographical areas. Since 1947, nearly 37,000 participants from 100 nations have studied abroad as part of the program. While abroad, scholars serve as ambassadors of goodwill and give presentations about their homelands to Rotary clubs and other groups in the host country. Upon returning home, they share with Rotarians and others their experiences that have led to a greater understanding of the country.


Harris will study educational leadership and management at Rhodes University in South Africa.

“I hope to gain a comprehensive understanding of how South Africa is using education to bridge the professional achievement gaps that still exist between white and black South Africans,” says Harris. “My hope is to use this body of knowledge to develop new, effective strategies for improving our public education system.”

At Rhodes, Harris was a double major in history and German. He is the son of Don and Linda Harris of Austin, Texas.


Murphy plans to study business at La Universidad de la República in Montevideo, Uruguay.

“The holistic education at Rhodes encourages service learning, critical thinking and reflection as a means of problem-solving.  I hope to continue to develop and hone these skills as I explore a small country whose history is not so different from that of the United States and whose culture is vibrant and unique,” says Murphy. “At the same time, I hope to discover new ways of serving both God and my community, whether it be Memphis or elsewhere.”

At Rhodes, Murphy was a double major in Latin American Studies and Spanish. She is the daughter of Mike and Carol Murphy of Oak Ridge, Tenn.


Carls will study philosophical anthropology in the Netherlands.

“I hope to gain a deeper appreciation of humanity in order to pass this knowledge on to my fellow man,” says Carls. “Rotary International is a fantastic organization for offering these opportunities.”

At Rhodes, Carls was a double major in history and French. He is the son of Stephen and Alice-Catherine Carls of Jackson, Tenn.