Meet the Admission Team

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Baylee Champion, Assistant Director of Admission

text: 901-437-0014

Territories: Illinois, Mississippi, West Tennessee Public Schools

Baylee Champion’s journey from Chicago was fueled by her dedication to making higher education accessible to all. Her love for culture, history, and food is what drew her to make Memphis home. The commitment that Rhodes has to diversity and inclusion proved that the environment would be warm and welcoming. She attended and graduated from Rust College in 2020, having majored in Sociology. 

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Brooke Mangione, Assistant Director of Admission

text: 901-403-8122

Territories: Alabama, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri

A Birmingham native, Brooke Mangione joins the admissions team after a decade teaching middle school and high school English, both in Alabama and overseas. After graduating with a degree in Secondary English Education from the University of Alabama, Brooke knew she wanted to give life abroad a try, resulting in years spent in Asia, Latin America, and Europe. While teaching in international schools, Brooke prepared students from around the world for university in North America, eventually leading to the decision to work with students from the admissions side.

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Gil Villanueva, Vice President for Enrollment

Territories: California, Colorado

Gil oversees Admission, Financial Aid, and Enrollment Services at Rhodes. For three decades, he has served highly selective colleges and universities across the nation. Prior to his appointment at Rhodes, Gil was the Associate Vice President and Dean of Admission at the University of Richmond and Dean of Admission at Brandeis University. He also worked at Bucknell University and Harvey Mudd College. Gil earned a B.A. in Psychology at Pitzer College and an M.Ed. degree in Higher Education at Bucknell University. 

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Hazel Parks, Assistant Director of Admission

text: 901-617-3572

Territories:  Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington

Hazel Parks ’23 chose Rhodes after falling in love with its beautiful campus during visits to see family in Memphis throughout her childhood. Once she was a student, she fell in love all over again with the Rhodes community and all it has to offer. “I love the fact that I know I’m going to see a friendly face any time I walk around campus, or almost anywhere I go in Memphis. Also, Rhodes students are some of the most interesting, passionate, and engaged people I’ve ever met – it’s crazy that we all end up here.”

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Jo Gibbons, Campus Visit Data Coordinator


As the campus visit data coordinator, Jo helps prospective students and their families get the most (including the most fun) out of their visit to campus.

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Jose Garcia, Associate Director of Admission for Diversity and Access

Text: 901-612-3732
Territories: Central and East Tennessee, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey

Jose was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. He is a first-generation, low-income student who is a child of an immigrant from El Salvador. He is bilingual in English and Spanish. He comes from a very large and close family.

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Lily Shannon, Assistant Director of Admission

text: 901-401-9986

Territories: Arizona, Connecticut, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin

Born and raised in Memphis, Lily had their sights set on going far away for college. They ended up in the quiet town of Middlebury, Vermont where they took advantage of a liberal arts education and majored in Gender, Sexuality, & Feminist Studies with minors in German and Education. However, distance really does make the heart grow fonder, and they yearned to return home to be closer to their family and the city that raised them

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Mac Trammell, Assistant Director of Admission 

901-410-9221 (text)
Territories: D.C., Delaware, Louisiana, Memphis Private Schools, Virginia, West Virginia

Schedule an interview with Mac
Schedule a Financial Aid appointment with Mac

As a born-and-reared Memphian, Mac Trammell had always known about Rhodes growing up. But when it came time to choose a college, he had his sights set outside the city limits. He attended and graduated in 2017 from Washington and Lee University, having double majored in Journalism and English.

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Megan Starling, Director of Admission 

901-329-8954 (text)
Territories: Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota

Schedule an interview with Megan
Schedule a Financial Aid appointment with Megan

The student experience not only attracted Megan Starling '02 to Rhodes, but also has continued to shape the way she interacts with the school. As a prospective student from Lexington, KY, she wanted to feel an immediate connection to a student community, while simultaneously being able to create and maintain meaningful relationships with professors in and outside the classroom.

Piyush Kumar

Piyush Kumar, Assistant Director of Admission 

901-390-5730 (text)
Territories:  Texas (Houston, Austin, Sana Antonio), South Carolina

Schedule an interview with Piyush
Schedule a Financial Aid appointment with Piyush

There were several factors that played into the decision Piyush Kumar ’17 made to attend Rhodes College. Memphis, to him, represented an upgrade from his Greenwood, SC, home, and not only did the internship and research opportunities at close-by hospitals and health care providers intrigue the pre-med mind of Piyush, but the diversity he saw on campus during those visits confirmed to him Rhodes was where he wanted to be. 

Sydney Jones

Sydney Jones, Assistant Director of Admission  

text: 901-403-8822

Territories: Georgia, Idaho, Montana,  North Texas (Dallas, Fort Worth area), Utah, Wyoming

Schedule an interview with Sydney

Sydney Jones ‘21 stepped foot on the Rhodes College campus for the first time her senior year of high school when she attended one of the college’s multicultural visit programs. When she and her family checked in, students and staff greeted them, putting at least her parents at ease. But it was the experiences Sydney had, especially with her host, Zaria Jones ‘19, that weekend that sold her on Rhodes.

For International Students

Lauren Sefton

Lauren Sefton, Director of International Admission


US Territories: Alaska, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York,  North Carolina

Schedule an interview with Lauren
Schedule a Financial Aid appointment with Lauren

Lauren Sefton ’03 grew up only a 30-minute train ride from her home in New Jersey to one of the world’s largest cities. While searching for colleges, she knew she didn’t want to be even 30 minutes away from the newest restaurant or concert to come to town. However, she also valued the intimacy of a small campus community, and found that most small schools tended to be in more rural settings, while most urban schools were too large or didn’t have a tight-knit campus environment.

Tie sun

Tie Sun, Senior Assistant Director of International Admission

Territory: Asia

Tie Sun has been in the international admission field since 2017. Uniquely, he experienced both a national research university and liberal arts college in the US for his Bachelor of Arts degree in Education, as an international student from Xi’an, China. He is more than happy to share the value of a liberal arts education to prospective international students at Rhodes College, and advise for their best interests. He travels extensively with a peace of heart filled with a spirit of adventure, curiosity, and care. Please be expected to see him in future!