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Kelsey Dean ′09

Major: Biology
Minor: Environmental Science
Hometown: Baton Rouge, LA
Way to go, sister! Kelsey recently received the AOII Collegiate Woman of Leadership Award, which recognizes women who clearly demonstrate outstanding leadership on their college campus, in the community, and within the sorority.

I hear that you are the President of Rhodes Activities Board (RAB). How did you get involved with RAB, and what exactly does it do on campus?
I came to Rhodes knowing that I wanted to get involved on campus. I was immediately intrigued by RAB, because they plan the “fun stuff” on campus. RAB is an elected student programming organization whose mission is to provide free entertainment and socializing venues for students. We always kick off the fall semester with a Welcome Back Concert during orientation week, which provides a fun and laid-back atmosphere for students to listen to music and catch up with friends. Throughout this semester, we have hosted pub quiz nights every other week at the Lynx Lair, where students can win DVDs and cash prizes, and offered a midterm study break with chocolate fondue fountains and Guitar Hero. We also plan larger events, including the fall Homecoming formal and Rites of Spring, a two-day concert series that has been held at Rhodes every spring semester for over 30 years. College is about learning, but it is also about having fun. RAB is a great way for Rhodes to offer the whole package.

Is Memphis a good location for events?
Memphis is actually an ideal location to book venues and work with concert promoters because it’s a music city. It’s pretty easy to get an artist to come to Memphis, even if it’s off their tour path, because they know there will be a lot of interest and it’s a central location. We have also held events at some really unique places, like the Memphis Yacht Club on the Mississippi River and the Gibson Guitar Factory.

What else are you involved in at Rhodes?
I love working with and meeting new people, and many of my involvements at Rhodes have been great opportunities to do so. In my sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi, I have been philanthropy chair and vice president of communications. For the past three years, I have served as a Peer Assistant during orientation week, where I had the opportunity to show a group of new students the ropes and be an anchor for them for their first semester of college. I am also a member of Rhodes College Diplomats and an intern in the admissions office, so I work closely with prospective students and their families by giving tours, coordinating visits, and helping with open house activities.

It sounds like you have done a lot with student services! Is that something you’re interested in pursuing at all?
Apparently it’s a talent of mine! But I am actually interested in working in health care and have applied to three physician assistant schools. I have a long-standing love for science, and I became particularly inspired after going on a medical mission trip to Peru with Operation Smile in high school. It’s interesting, though, because I think that all of my experiences in working with people, whether they are new students, my sorority sisters, or RAB members, will help me be a better health care provider. Those interpersonal skills are essential in establishing rapport with patients, calming people down or trying to make a diagnosis. A career in health care would be incredibly gratifying for me, because it would allow me to combine my passions for science and working with people.

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