Jenny Phillips ′09
I chose Rhodes for its challenging academics, community involvement and the friendly, small-campus atmosphere. In all three aspects of college life, Rhodes exceeded my expectations.
Not only are my classes stimulating, the professors are completely invested in student learning and development. I′ve developed good relationships with faculty members, particularly Professors Kaltner, LaRosa and Smith, which adds much more significance to the learning experience. I feel very comfortable expressing my ideas inside and outside of class, and Rhodes professors encourage independent thinking. The classroom experience helps me understand the subject and learn more about myself. Small class sizes also help when applying for jobs and postgraduate scholarships: By the end of the semester, your professor will know you well enough to write personal and effective recommendations.
I love how every Rhodes class is centered around discussion. Not only am I able to get to know my peers, but I am also able to articulate my ideas and enhance my public speaking ability. Before coming to Rhodes, I was not comfortable talking in front of others, but now I feel confident with my communication skills and know that they will be essential for my future career.
Our beautiful new library makes me want to study. When it opened my freshman year, the Paul Barrett, Jr. library became the hub of campus and is a true testament to Rhodes’ commitment to an excellent academic atmosphere. It has everything a student could need, including a Starbucks, media center, books and ridiculously comfortable furniture! Classrooms in the library also make it easy to have group study meetings, etc.
I love walking across campus and seeing only familiar faces. Some might think liberal arts colleges are too small, but I think Rhodes is the perfect size. We have such a great sense of community where I can get to know lots of people really well. Our Honor System and Social Conduct Code focus on respect for the community, meaning that I can leave my computer in the library to grab some coffee, and it will be there when I get back. Although I′m in a sorority, it makes no difference if you are Greek at Rhodes. It is a great organization and I love being a part of it, but I have friends in many different groups on campus and love hanging out with everyone. Rhodes has more than 100 student organizations, so everyone can find a place here.
My involvement in community service completes my Rhodes experience. Both Rhodes and the Memphis community offer hundreds of service opportunities in which at least 80% of the student body participates. Freshman year, I knew there was no way I could do it all so I decided to focus on Springdale Elementary tutoring and Tex-Mex.
Going into college, I knew I wanted to study in Salamanca, Spain, and I am now realizing that dream! The Buckman Center for International Education helped me choose a program and makes it so easy to transfer credit back to Rhodes after my time in Spain comes to an end. Not only am I perfecting my Spanish, I′m discovering a new level of happiness and am loving meeting new people and being a part of a completely different culture. Through my program, I have the opportunity to participate in the Education Internship, in which I’ll help teach English to elementary students, which is what I want to do in life. My passion for education, service and Spanish blend perfectly in Salamanca and I can′t wait to use what I learn when I return to Rhodes.