Campus News


Armour Receives New Jameson Jones Award

Dr. Ellen Armour, the R.A. Webb Professor of Religious Studies at Rhodes, is the 2005 recipient of the Jameson M. Jones Award for Outstanding Faculty Service. The award, which honors a current faculty member who has rendered exemplary service and provided leadership to the Rhodes community, was presented during the college’s Opening Convocation August 24.

The Jameson M. Jones Outstanding Faculty Service Award continues a practice of recognizing faculty service begun by the Charles E. Diehl Society in 1988. Armour is the first recipient of the Jameson M. Jones Award and the 18th faculty member to be recognized for outstanding service. Dr. Jameson M. Jones ’36, who served as professor of moral philosophy and dean of the college from 1955-71, attended the opening convocation.

“The award is conferred by the college to recognize the critical importance of service in the work of the faculty,” according to Dr. Robert Llewellyn, dean of the college. “It highlights a dimension of engagement within this community that is vital to the college’s well-being. It recognizes an exemplary level of achievement, and it celebrates what we value.”

Armour, who holds a B.A. degree in humanities from Stetson University and M.A. and Ph.D degrees in theology from Vanderbilt University, joined the faculty in 1991. While chairing the Religious Studies Department, she served as interim chair for the Philosophy Department. She also has served as chair of Women’s Studies at Rhodes. Her research centers on contemporary theology and culture, with a particular focus on issues of gender, race and sexuality. She is author of Deconstruction, Feminist Theology and the Problem of Difference: Subverting the Race/Gender Divide (The University of Chicago Press, 1999).

In 1998, Armour received the college’s Clarence Day Award for Outstanding Teaching. Her commitment to service is seen in her work on several major faculty and administrative committees, and in the words of one of her colleagues:

“Dr. Armour patiently and persistently worked with the Faculty Executive Committee (which she chaired) and then the faculty in revising standards, policies and procedures governing faculty tenure and promotions. Her work was guided by her understanding of faculty scholarly development in the context of a liberal arts institution. She sought consensus on positions that challenged all those who worked on this matter.”

As chair of the Faculty Executive Committee, she also worked as chair of the Presidential Taskforce to recruit and retain the best Rhodes faculty.

“This work along with her work as a member of the Standards and Standing and Curriculum committees, the Dean’s Council and other administrative assignments has made this college more understanding, more generous, more tolerant and more creative,” said Llewellyn.

Sharp, Warmack Named Associate Deans

Timothy W. Sharp, Elizabeth Gay Daughdrill Professor in the Fine Arts and chair of the music department at Rhodes, has been appointed associate dean of academic affairs for fine arts development. In this position he will provide leadership and program development for the Center for Outreach in the Development of the Arts (CODA), a program funded earlier this year by a $4,984,804 grant from the Robert and Ruby Priddy Charitable Trust of Wichita Fall, TX.

The program was established to foster creativity and develop students’ skills, regardless of experience or major, while instilling a passion for quality and appreciation of the universal importance of the arts. Under the program, there are opportunities to enhance and enrich through the fine arts the experience of all Rhodes students in the college’s interdisciplinary humanities programs. In addition, they will have access to newly-designed courses blending fine arts and other disciplines, such as music and physics, and they will experience fine arts programs and performances, along with in-class study.

Sixteen students each year—four per class—form the nucleus of the CODA program. Each will contribute in various ways outside the classroom—through service, work and research—to strengthen appreciation of the fine arts. Some might teach the arts in local schools in traditional ways or in ways to blend arts and other subjects such as using music to teach mathematics. Others might assist local arts organizations in a range of ways—cataloguing collections, preparing descriptive information about particular programs, helping to prepare pre-collegiate students or other audiences for specific program offerings.

At Rhodes, CODA scholars undertake leadership and administrative functions to help create a rich fine arts environment on campus. They help administer visiting artist programs, performances, exhibits and fine arts festivals, and work with community fine arts partners. Upperclass students will help guide and train less experienced students.

Like students participating in other leadership programs at Rhodes, CODA Scholars benefit from leadership training, faculty mentoring and community involvement focused on the fine arts in Memphis. They attend regular sessions to study models of leadership and to develop personal and shared goals. They also facilitate leadership activities and arts events both on and off campus and share their learning experiences in a variety of formal and informal settings.

As associate dean of students, Dwaun Warmack creates co-curricular and educational opportunities on issues of diversity and multiculturalism and supervises the directors for Greek Life and Alcohol and Drug Education, Multicultural Affairs, and Student Activities and Orientation.

Warmack comes to Rhodes from Western Carolina University, where he was associate director of the University Center and director of programs. Prior to that he served as the director of Multicultural Affairs and the Multicultural Center.

Warmack also held positions at Delta State University in Mississippi including serving as senior financial aid counselor. He holds a bachelor of science degree and a master of education degree from Delta State University and currently is pursing a doctorate of education from WCU.

Warmack has several professional development affiliations including serving on committees for the Southern Association for College Student Affairs. In 2004, he received its New Professional Award. Last summer he was selected for and attended the Mid-Mangers Institute sponsored by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).

Sinclair Receives DHS Scholarship

Rhodes junior and physics major Paul Sinclair has received a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Scholarship aimed at inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers while promoting technological breakthroughs in the war on terror. As a DHS Scholar, Sinclair receives full tuition, a monthly stipend for nine months and a paid summer internship at a DHS-approved facility. Nearly 700 applications were received for review by a panel of science and technology experts, and this year’s 130 award recipients include students from 32 states.

Sinclair, who applied for the DHS scholarship last February says, “I’m obviously very happy to receive the award, and I look forward to working for America in new and exciting ways next summer.” Sinclair will be eligible to request a one-year renewal for his senior year.
A Whitehouse, OH, native, Sinclair is an officer in the Society of Physics Students at Rhodes and has a double minor in mathematics and psychology. When he is not in the lab or working on problem sets, he is rowing on the Mississippi River with the crew team.

Beyond Rhodes, Sinclair races and designs radio controlled cars internationally. A car he and his father designed recently won the U.S. nationals, and last summer Sinclair finished in the top 60 drivers at the IFMAR Off-Road World Championships in Collegno, Italy. One of his cars appeared on the cover of the November 2005 issue of R/C Car.

For Our Friends Affected by the Storms

Our thoughts and hopes remain with our alumni/ae, students, parents and friends from the Gulf Coast area who suffered from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. After Katrina, Rhodes enrolled 20 students from Tulane University and continues to provide personal attention and counseling to our 113 students from the affected areas. Many Rhodes students, faculty and staff continue to contribute to the relief efforts with needed goods, money and time. Some students spent fall break helping with cleanup along the coast.

If you are a Rhodes graduate from the Gulf Coast area who has lost your Rhodes diploma due to hurricane damage, you may order a new one at no charge from the Office of the Registrar. If you order now, your diploma will be ready in May.

E-mail with the following information: name, graduation year, degree, mailing address and contact information (e-mail address or phone number). You may also write: Registrar, Rhodes College, 2000 N. Parkway, Memphis, TN 38112.

Gulf Coast alumni/ae, parents and friends displaced by the hurricanes are urged to send their current contact information to La Banks, Rhodes College Development Services, 2000 N. Parkway, Memphis, TN 38112 or e-mail

Remembering Dr. Cynthia Marshall

Cynthia Marshall, chair of the Rhodes College Department of English who held the Connie Abston Chair of Literature, died August 20, 2005. She was 51.

Marshall, a professor at Rhodes since 1985, was a summa cum laude graduate of Roanoke College, held a M.S. in library science from the University of North Carolina and earned her M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Virginia.

At Rhodes, Marshall was the first professor to win both of the highest honors bestowed on faculty: the Day Award for Outstanding Teaching, in 1990, and the Day Award for Research and Creativity, in 1996.

Marshall was the first woman to have been appointed president of Rhodes’ British Studies at Oxford summer study-abroad program, in which she taught numerous times. Also at Rhodes, Marshall served as a faculty-elected member of the Rhodes Board of Trustees during the 1992-1993 academic year.

Marshall was the 1999 recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award from the South Atlantic Association of Departments of English. She also received several fellowships from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, for summer research. A member of the editorial board of the journal Shakespeare Quarterly and an elected trustee of the Shakespeare Association of America, Marshall was a respected scholar of Shakespeare and critical theory. In addition to a long list of publications in scholarly journals, Marshall authored the books Last Things and Last Plays: Shakespearean Eschatology (Southern Illinois University Press, 1991) and The Shattering of the Self: Violence, Subjectivity and Early Modern Texts (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002), and was the editor of Shakespeare in Production: As You Like It (Cambridge University Press, 2004).

Marshall was the daughter of Phyllis Hurt Marshall and the late David H. Marshall of Roanoke, VA. She leaves her husband of 22 years, John Insley Traverse, and a daughter, Anna Elizabeth Traverse, a senior at Johns Hopkins University. She also leaves two sisters, two nieces, two aunts and an uncle and four cousins.

A memorial service was held in Hardie Auditorium August 27. The family requests that any memorials be sent to the Cynthia Marshall Endowment at Rhodes College, 2000 North Parkway, Memphis, TN 38112.

Gu Helps Establish High School Chinese Program

Rhodes professor of Chinese Ming Dong Gu, who serves on the board of the Chinese Academy of Memphis, has been instrumental in establishing an after-school Chinese education program at White Station High School.
With the approval of the Memphis Board of Education, the program offers Chinese as a Heritage Language (for level 4) and Chinese as a Secondary Language (for beginners).

The Chinese Academy of Memphis is a nonprofit organization sponsored by Rhodes and operated by local Chinese language professors, high school advisers and researchers from University of Memphis, FedEx, St. Jude Children’s Research hospital and educational specialists in Chinese language and literature.

Rhodes Joins Consortium

Rhodes has been accepted as a member of the Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges (CLAC), an organization comprising 62 of the top liberal arts colleges and universities in the United States. The organization was chartered to explore and promote the use of information technology in the service of liberal arts educational missions.

Incorporated in 1993, the Consortium is administered by a governing board of directors and is advised by an advisory board of six institutional-member presidents. Membership in CLAC is by invitation only.

Rhodes staff serving as CLAC representatives are Dr. Robert Johnson, vice president for information services, and Richard T. Trenthem Jr. ’92, associate director for systems and networks.

“The group offers us a good resource for solutions to information technology problems. All the members are liberal arts colleges facing the same issues that we face,” says Johnson.

Library automation, academic and administrative computing, Web services, telecommunications and campus-wide networking all fall within the scope of the consortium’s interests. It also provides referrals for colleges that seek qualified consultants regarding information technology in liberal arts environments.

“Admission into this prestigious group is an honor, and it has practical ramifications as well,” says Rhodes president William E. Troutt. “The opening of the Paul Barret, Jr. Library should promote innovative instructional technology initiatives supporting classic liberal arts teaching and research. CLAC will be an excellent resource for Dr. Johnson and his staff.”

Dean Jane Leighton Richards Liston

Jane Leighton Richards Liston, dean of women at Rhodes from 1955-59, died June 10, 2005, in Davidson, NC. She was 95.

She came to Rhodes from Converse College in Spartanburg, SC, which named her to the Converse 100, a group of alumnae who made outstanding contributions to the college. She had also served as a professor and administrator at Centre College in Danville, KY.

In 1959 she married Robert Todd Lapsley Liston, who was president of King College in Bristol, TN, and a minister. She leaves two sons, Robert Holman Liston and Jonathan Miller Liston.

Dorothy Sonnenfeld Ross

Dorothy Sonnenfeld Ross, lecturer emerita in art history, died July 19, 2005. She was 92.

The widow of Dr. Danforth (Dan) Raynolds Ross, professor emeritus of English, she taught at Rhodes from 1968-74. A native of Minneapolis, she was an artist and musician who also taught at the University of Memphis and the Memphis College of Art.

She was a member of Grace Chapel Church in Rossview, where she was organist.

Prof. Ross leaves two nieces and a nephew.