Although her official job title is Bonner Coordinator, Bailey Myers ’19 builds community. From the moment Bailey learned about the Bonner program, she knew being from Memphis, she wanted to engage deeper with the city she loved so dearly. As she began to do service at volunteer sites throughout the city, Bailey started to think critically about what service does for communities, and why service is needed in the first place. Eventually, she found a place to explore her curiosity in her Urban Studies classes and found the topics she learned about in classes seemed to bleed right into her Bonner experience. During her senior year, Bailey worked in the Bonner office, and was able to synthesize this knowledge and help make recommendations for how to promote civic engagement within the program.
Bailey’s Rhodes experience has come full circle. Today, she is the Bonner Coordinator and helps students explore their intellectual curiosity through service. “Community is one of the greatest ways we can give back to Memphis,” Bailey says.
Jordana Terrell ’20 has always loved a good show. Though she arrived at Rhodes with aspirations of becoming an actress, she quickly found her niche in production, where she could work creatively, while also leveraging her attention to detail and love of organization. During her time at Rhodes, Jordana participated in Rhodes Theater Guild, and worked closely with Dr. Joy Fairfield to learn the ins and outs of stage management.
After a working with the nonprofit Girls Inc., Jordana was recruited via Linkedin for a position that would put her production skills to the test: Branded Entertainment and Operations Production Assistant at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, where she currently coordinates hundreds of volunteers, as well as the larger-than-life balloons we see annually on TV.
On any given day, you’re likely to find Susan Chambers ’74, in her studio making art, a practice she’s carefully cultivated over the years. Chambers first discovered her passion for art at the age of twelve, and after earning her B.A. in Art from Rhodes, Chambers has gone on to receive an M.F.A in Painting from the University of Georgia at Athens, and has enjoyed a prolific painting career that continues to push her to explore new creative limits.
For Joel Brown-Christenson ’14, and Michael Pilgreen ’19, Rhodes’ liberal arts curriculum was essential to their professional development. The two alumni came together in the financial and educational technology worlds, something neither could have imagined. Joel and Michael both attribute their success to the value of a liberal arts education at Rhodes.
Looking for a college with a good academic reputation and a rich community to be a part of, Brandon Valentine ’10 was excited to commit to Rhodes. Although he was initially recruited for football, Valentine had a lifelong love of baseball. Luckily at Rhodes, he didn’t have to choose.
As a two-sport student-athlete, Valentine created incredible connections with his coaches, teammates, and professors, so much so that he returned to Rhodes after graduation to be one of the first students to complete the Rhodes Master of Science in Accounting program. Currently an MBA student at Vanderbilt University, Valentine continues to forge strong and meaningful relationships across communities. He greatly values the communication skills he learned at Rhodes that not only proved to be valuable during his time as a graduate assistant for the Rhodes Men’s Baseball team, they continue to serve him professionally, and when reconnecting with his personal alumni network.
As she approached the end of her high school golf career, Annie Paris ’21 found herself suffering from something many athletes are familiar with: burn out. But when she won a state championship during the fall of her senior year, Paris realized she wasn’t ready to let go just yet. Though she was initially unsure about attending a small school, Paris thrived in Rhodes’ intimate setting, and went on to double major in business and religious studies. Today, Paris works as a volunteer Coordinator for the FedEx St. Jude Championship + WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, a position she initially learned about through her golf coach, Mike Clary ’77. Paris credits Rhodes athletics for helping her build the skills necessary to thrive in the professional setting, saying, “I think Rhodes and Division III athletics are the reason I could do it all”.
Recent Rhodes Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee Daniel Frankel ’09 came to Rhodes to get the best academic experience possible. If golf was part of the equation, that would be even better. When he visited Rhodes, it instantly became home. Rhodes allowed Frankel to experience it all - in addition to playing golf, Frankel was able to pursue his passion of music, participating in Rhodes Singers, Master Singers, and Opera Memphis.
After graduation, Frankel felt like most recent grads, unsure of what to do next. Although he considered going into real estate, fate came knocking: Frankel received an offer to work for the PGA tournament. Today, Frankel works as the Director of Junior Golf at Metropolitan PGA, a position that allows him to marry his passions of golf and service to others.
Dr. Russ Wigginton '88 was initially looking for "the full college experience"- a place that supported academic rigor as well as involvement in athletics. After his first overnight visit, Dr. Wigginton knew he had found a place to call home. At Rhodes, he developed a life long passion for learning, leading him to study history and civil rights issues at the graduate and doctorate levels. As of August 2021, Dr. Wigginton has been leading the National Civil Right Museum as President and continues to bring his passion for community and activism at the forefront of his career.
On May 27, 2022, Brad Hensley ’12 embarked on a 45 day long, simulated journey to the Martian moon, Phobos to be a subject of a study on isolation and confinement. His mission to Mars and 140 missions as a mountain rescuer exemplifies his willingness to undergo personal sacrifice for the pursuit of scientific advancement and service to others as well as his determination, leadership, and inspirational ingenuity.
Kathy Moore Cowan ’78 has held a deep love for Memphis since her childhood, so applying to Southwestern at Memphis as one of the top schools in the city was the obvious choice for her college education. While working in community development at The Works, Inc. she was able to train several Rhodes interns, and has been a major influence in bringing up the next generation of urban planners in Memphis.
Memphis native Mathew Jehl ‘13 was initially hesitant to stay in his hometown for college but by the end of his four years, Jehl was confident that staying in Memphis was the right decision for him. “I couldn’t have asked for a better place to have done my undergraduate work,” says Jehl.
“At certain points, I have had the opportunity to provide more time and service to the college while at other points, less so depending on what life has in store. However, Rhodes has always been there for me, welcoming me back to games, events, and programs while providing a network of new relationships that I continue to call on to this day. As a Rhodes alumnus, it has always been important to keep the college top of mind, as we all benefit from its ever-growing success and national recognition”
“Rhodes is about, thinking deeply and using that insight; recognizing the complexity of the world to try and make it a little bit better. For me that’s what it means to be a Rhodes alumnus.”
For Emily Burkhead, Class of 2020, her Rhodes experience laid the foundation for a Master’s in Fine Arts at Michigan State University, but, like so many other Rhodes students, that wasn’t her original plan when she first stepped onto campus as a wide-eyed first year.
From the first time he stepped on campus, it was love at first sight for Alan Curle '82, and like all great loves, his commitment to his alma mater has only grown stronger with time.
Jyo “Six” Carolino graduated from Rhodes in 2011 with a degree in theatre. Spurred by a passion for performance and a history studying a variety of martial arts forms, he now works professionally as a stunt coordinator and fight choreographer for the stage and screen. He represents the Society of American Fight Directors and his own Memphis-based fight choreography brand, Dance Nocturnal Productions, which he began developing while a student at Rhodes. Carolino’s choreography has been featured in projects and performances across the Midsouth, as well as his own original projects, and has been featured in a multitude of film festivals both locally and internationally, receiving over 25 awards in the process.
Promotional photo of Carolino for the film I Am Spartan. Photo by Drew Russom.
Married duo Brian and Ann-Tyler Konradi graduated from Rhodes in 1994, where they each completed study abroad programs focused in Eastern Europe. Beyond their time spent studying abroad, the Konradis lived and worked in Russia for around nine years post-undergrad, and both speak Russian fluently. "Our study abroad programs were life-changing events for both of us,” said Ann-Tyler. The programs ignited a love for Eastern Europe that would persist throughout their lives.
Appalled by the unfolding crisis, Brian said his family “felt compelled to try to use our knowledge base. We know the region of Eastern Europe and we know the language that most of the Ukrainian refugees speak, so we thought we should chip in more than just a blue and yellow flag on our Facebook pages.”
Karen Dobyns ’05, is an Occupational Therapist living in Southern California. She received her Master’s in OT from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and in 2015 finished her post-professional clinical doctorate in OT from the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. Professionally known as Miss Awesomeness, Dobyns recently published her first children’s book, The Centipede Who Couldn’t Tie His Shoes.
Bryce Hayes graduated from Rhodes in 2020 after an impressive tenure as a linebacker for the Rhodes football team. While a student, he worked closely with the Rhodes Office of Athletic Media Relations to produce a variety of social media content for Rhodes Athletics, including creating his own podcast, “Can’t Knock the Hustle.” His passion for sports recently led him to Seguin, TX where he now serves as the Director of Sports Information and Sports Marketing at Texas Lutheran University. In this conversation with Annalee McConnell ’22, Hayes reflects on his time in Memphis and discusses how creativity and athletics intersect in his work.
Matthew Womack ’09 grew up in Germantown, TN before graduating from Rhodes with a major in Business Administration. He currently serves as the operations and finance director of the Memphis Humane Society, a nonprofit organization which strives to save the lives of abused and neglected animals across Memphis and Shelby County, offering them a space to recover before they are adopted into loving families. In the following conversation, Womack discusses his time at Rhodes and the Humane Society’s work within the local community.
Rose Hutcheson ’21, is an East Tennessee native who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. She served as a Curb Fellow at the Mike Curb Institute for Music at Rhodes, as well as completed multiple institutionally funded research projects connecting her own artistic pursuits with the culture and history of the music scene in Memphis. She recently released the product of one of these projects, an EP album entitled The Liminal Space.
Maria Bonovich-Marvich ’85, a Patent Analyst for the United States Patent and Trademark office, was planning on celebrating her 35th Class Reunion this year in Memphis. Unfortunately, like many things, Homecoming/Reunion Weekend was different.
In this exchange with Mariam Khayata '22, Bonovich-Marvich discusses marathons, her work as a Patent Analyst in D.C., and how she came to Rhodes College.
Olivia Gacka ’17, graduated with a self-designed major in Anthropology/Sociology and Theatre. Olivia received her Master’s degree in Irish Theatre History and Archives from the National University of Ireland Galway. She is currently the assistant director for Theatre Memphis’ upcoming production of Mamma Mia!The show runs August 16 – September 8.
In the following exchange, Olivia talks about working with Cecelia Wingate, Ireland, and why it is important for her to stay connected with Rhodes.
Isabel Celata ’19, was a Music and Political Science double major while at Rhodes. She has been very active in the local theater scene since moving here from Louisiana. Isabel is currently in rehearsals for the role of Sophie Sheridan in Theatre Memphis’ upcoming production of Mamma Mia! The show runs August 16 – September 8
Christy Weir Krueger ’85 is currently the CFO for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. As Vice-President and now President-Elect of the Alumni Association Executive Board, Krueger works tirelessly with other AAEB members to assist Rhodes College to provide students and alums opportunities and connections in their communities.
Thomas Mitchell ’18 is an East Tennessee native who serves as the current Bonner Special Projects Coordinator at Maryville College in Maryville, TN. An Education Studies and Political Science double major, Thomas was very active in student government while at Rhodes, including serving as RSG President.
Charles Holt ’89 is an actor that has performed in such celebrated productions as: Smokey Joe’s Café, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Rocky Horror Show, and The Lion King. He is currently preparing to be the headliner for the cruise ship, Brilliance of the Seas, setting sail in early March 2019.
Marlinee Clark Iverson ’93, was recently named County Attorney by Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris. Iverson received her BA from Rhodes College and a JD, cum laude, from the University of Memphis School of Law. She began her post as the County Attorney September 12, 2018.
In her new position, Liz focuses on growing the alumni career network by connecting current students and alumni with other alumni, parents and friends of the College in the fields and geographic locations in which they are interested.
- Kevin Willoughby '99
- Peter Warren '99
- Allison Squires '09
- Patricia Spears Jones ′73
- Erick Devore ′10
- Eric ′02 and Leah ′97 Swindle
- Carolina Sánchez-Hervás ′12
- Mary Frances Silitch ′57
- Ryan Prewitt ′98
- Pat Morgan ′91
- Katie Jameson ′05
- Melissa Avery ′92
- Doug Trapp ′85
- Tony Capizzani ’95
- Jane Howze ′73
- Jim Mulroy ′71
- Richard Banks ′85
- Peggy Pence Freund ’52 and Rev. Henry O. Freund ’53
- Amy Moore ′08
- Speros Vryonis ′50
- Will Edington ′67
- Dorothy Wells ′82
- Justin Sampson ’05
- Phillip Ruppel ’06
- Joey Dudek ’94
- Amy Opsal ’98
- Dot Neale ’77
- Sam Jordan ’98
- Bita Esmaeli ’84
- Darrell Cobbins ’97
- Anna Smith ’02
- Catherine Cuellar ’96
- Tim Robinson ’06
- Charlaine Harris Schulz ’73
- Tracy Vezina Patterson ’84
- Dr. Brian Wamhoff ’96
- Rachel Wright ’02
- Dr. Sidney Strickland ’68