Rhodes Learning Corridor and Community Development Fellows


Rhodes Learning Corridor Strengthens Neighborhood Ties

The Rhodes Learning Corridor (RLC) includes partnerships with the neighborhoods adjacent to campus, four nearby public schools and other neighboring community and educational organizations, in an effort to provide learning opportunities for Rhodes students and to extend these educational opportunities beyond the classroom and into the immediate Memphis community. 

"I am tremendously pleased with the progress this program has made,” says President William E. Troutt. “The Learning Corridor helps to ensure the attainment of the third imperative of the Rhodes Vision. It has the additional advantage of strengthening our neighborhood by helping area schools remain strong and viable.”

Apply now for Summer 2012 Community Development Fellowships

Summer CD Fellows work in teams on projects focused on the Midtown North and VECA communities. This full-time opportunity includes a stipend and campus housing. Fellows must commit to 9 weeks (June 4-August 3) full-time work on the project. To apply, email (1) a cover letter explaining why you want to be part of the program and (2) a current resume to Suzanne Bonefas, bonefas@rhodes.edu.  

The RLC goals are to:

  • Create more teaching, research and civic engagement opportunities for Rhodes students and faculty through programs integrated into Rhodes curricular and co-curricular activities;
  • Create and sustain mutually respectful and beneficial ongoing partnerships with the neighborhoods adjacent to campus that will lead to a healthy, clean, safe and vibrant community;
  • Improve teaching, learning, interest and performance at Learning Corridor partner institutions and encourage life-long learning among all partners.

Area Overview

The area served by the Rhodes Learning Corridor is directly northeast of Rhodes College. The area is bounded by Jackson Avenue on the south, Hollywood Street on the east, the Wolf River on the north, and University Street (extended) on the west.

Historically, this African-American section of the city was a working class community developed during the first half of the 20th century. The area has since declined, affected by such factors as loss of industrial employment, aging of the population, out-migration, industrial pollution, and poor health care.

Despite a variety of poverty-related issues, the area has many assets: many beautiful and well-maintained homes, extensive greenspaces, available land for housing, concerned residents, active and involved business, and engaged governmental service providers, churches, and nonprofits.

Working here since 2004, Rhodes College and its partners have made a difference by:

  • Supporting community groups
  • Bringing stakeholders to the area
  • Engaging local governmental services
  • Developing a community plan
  • Reducing crime and litter
  • Addressing environmental and health issues
  • Creating community gardens
  • Adding affordable housing



Rhodes Resources



The Rhodes Community Office is located at 2375 Shasta Ave. A focal point for connecting faculty and students with the community, it can help to gather and work with community partners, such as residents, nonprofits, businesses, government agencies, churches, and other stakeholders. It can also provide access to field opportunities, including surveys or community improvement projects and events.



The Rhodes Community Office supports such academic activities as field trips, individual student projects, and more extensive class involvements. It supports both quantitative and qualitative information-gathering efforts.

Rhodes Community Liaison Dorothy Cox, a staff member at Rhodes since 2004, can serve as a liaison for faculty and students. She can also guide students on specific projects. As someone who lives and works in the community, she has expertise concerning issues facing the area and potential strategies for addressing them.

The College Relations Office is available for assistance in identifying and soliciting grants to support community-based learning. It can also make a Student Associate available to work with the class in planning, implementing, and assessing the project.

The Urban Studies Program can provide assistance in designing community-based learning projects. It can also work with faculty and students on posters for the URCAS Community Connections session, such as those posted online at http://rhodes.edu/academics/11918.asp.

In addition, the Urban Studies Program can provide assistance with Geographic Information System (GIS) and other available data.

For more information, contact Suzanne Bonefas, Director of Special Projects;or Dorothy Cox, Learning Corridor Community Liaison.