THE RUKA 2010-2011
Catherine, a senior Economics and Mathematics bridge major from Pegram, TN contributes a practical perspective to issues. Mathematics courses, such as Calculus, Real Analysis and Differential Equations, provide the opportunity for numerical problem solving, and Economics courses provide the opportunity to search for practical solutions to problems with local, national, and international impact. Her study and travel in India and Bangladesh this year have raised her awareness of global concerns and offered an opportunity for critical reflection on global solutions. These experiences are formative to her plans after graduation. Catherine is viewed by her friends and fellow community members as dependable, a voice of reason, and generally fantastic! She offers her gift of encouragement to the community as our trusty 1/2 marathon coach– waking us up when we really want to sleep and cheering us through every mile.
“Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams.”
Jami serves as the community ambassador. The ambassador is responsible for ensuring the sustainability of the community project at Rhodes. The ambassador will talk with Deans, Professors, and future community members about the continuation of this project. She will be responsible for preparing proposals and investigating housing options for next year’s community. She will also arrange community meetings with potential new members and develop the plan for selection of new members (with the input of the whole community). The ambassador will be responsible for organizing the promotion of community events at the house and at Caritas. In addition, the ambassador will be responsible for preparing invitations and scheduling monthly meals with professors and community leaders.
Shelby, senior psychology major and Education minor from Germantown, TN has experience assessing conflict . Her Education courses have provided an opportunity for her to understand deeply the processes of goal setting and problem solving. Shelby’s undergraduate research presentation at URCAS this past spring in the area of sexuality and gender studies demonsrates her desire to integrate practical and theoretical knowledge. Shelby is currently working as an intern at the local children’s hospital. We love Shelby’s compassionate nature and always positive spirit. She makes us kinder people. Shelby is also the community animal lover– welcoming our newest community member, Sam the Dog into the mix. . . . and the occasional baby squirrel.
Shelby serves as the Community Chef. The Chef will organize and decide the menu for weekly community meals and monthly meals with professors and community leaders. Specifically, the Chef is responsible for maintaining the inventory for community groceries, preparing grocery lists for community members, staying within the budget allocated from Rhodes for organic and local produce, ensuring that local and organic produce is being purchased, overseeing the pickling, canning, freezing and preserving process for excess vegetables and fruits, arranging for semesterly fasts, and overseeing the weekly grocery purchases for the community.
Leigh is a Religious Studies major and Music minor from Nashville, TN. Leigh has taken classes that specifically address divergent worldview formations. Courses like Memphis Music and Religion, Islam, and Reformations have facilitated the construction of a valuable perspective on varying practices in different communities and religious lives. She has also taken classes on the environment, such as Global Environmental Change, instilling in her a passion for sustainable living. Her experiences with the Church Health Center, Youth World, a service-based summer of service in Quito, Ecuador, and work with Memphis Literacy Corps demonstrate her strong commitment to intentionally empathetic relationship. Furthering her desire to pursue ministerial studies after graduation she has recently received a competitive fellowship from the Fund for Theological Education. Leigh is a gift to her fellow community with her gifts of music and affirmation, supplying the community with song, encouragement, and the occasional fantastic back massage.
Leigh serves the Ruka as our Token Environmentalist. The Token Environmentalist is responsible for taking care of the green aspects of the home. She oversees and takes responsibility for recycling, and oversees the monthly utility bill, making sure the Ruka meets their goals for sustainable living. She makes sure community members are using energy saving techniques in simple and practical ways to help protect the environment. It is her sole responsibility to investigate new ways to make the community more sustainable. Leigh oversees care of our composting and is responsible for maintaining the overall health of our garden. She works closely with the Chef and shares the responsibility of pickling, canning, preserving and freezing our veggies and fruits. Additionally, the Environmentalist seeks out opportunities for the community to visit other farms and gardens, working closely with the Ambassador to secure funding for participation in these opportunities. Lastly, she is entirely responsible for maintaining the community’s relationship with the Binghamton community garden and for sending community members to the garden whenever possible, beginning in the spring semester.
“It’s time to take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!”
- Sarah is a senior Economics and International Studies bridge major from Dallas, TX. The classroom inspiration and motivation for her participation in this community emerges from her close study of development and poverty. Some of the specific academic experiences that have rally pushed her to formulate ideas in these areas, and to open her perspectives include a course on Social Justice and Human Rights, taken while she was studying abroad in Seville, Spain, last fall; her Developmental Economics class at Rhodes, taken in the spring of her junior year; and her experience working with a community in Granada, Nicaragua through a Buckman Internship this past summer. These experiences, and the opportunity for their sustained development through life in community, are at the core of postgraduate endeavors. Sarah’s fellow community members appreciate the tenacious attitude and way she moves through life. When a challenge is at hand, Sarah is the first to stand up and remind us that we can overcome.
- Sarah serves as community
- The Chaplain is responsible for the spiritual welfare and morale of the community. Organizing reflection groups, meetings, optional prayer times, the Chaplain’s duty is to create obvious and frequent opportunities to develop and refresh one’s spiritual or emotional life. In addition, the Chaplain will organize the semesterly events that are open to the Rhodes community and will be in charge of making sure that all bases are covered for the events to run smoothly. She will also prepare brief weekly reflections to be read at each community meeting. Additionally, she organizes communal participation in semesterly service projects, and works with the Scribe to carefully choose a date when all members can participate. Lastly, she will work closely with Onie to ensure that our obligations to Caritas and Binghamton are being met, and is in charge of keeping the community up to date on the events at Caritas.
“Do you see that I am your friend? Can you see that I will always be your friend?”
-Wind in His Hair, from Dances with Wolves
Maggie is a senior English major and Education minor from Peachtree City, GA. Maggie’s course work in these areas has been intentionally integrated from the start and drove her to spend time in the Memphis City School system, opening her eyes to the needs of the Memphis community. Her passion to understand processes of teaching, learning, and educational reform prompted her to participate in the Breakthrough Collaborative in the Summer 2009 and study abroad in Chile in the Spring of 2010. As a Buckman Scholar, she gained firsthand experience teaching about world history and cultures using the inspiration of the World Cup 2010. Maggie’s expertise in writing and editing will contribute directly to the community’s weblog; she will be able to serve as editor and teacher to other community members in this area. As well, a passion for painting, developed in her course at Rhodes College, has inspired Maggie to appreciate and continue to create artwork, a gift that she will use to serve those at Caritas Village. Maggie brings kindness and compassion to the Ruka that inspire her fellow community members to stretch their capacity to love one another. Maggie’s artistic skill and contagious joy enliven the community and create a welcoming environment for all of our guests.
Maggie serves as the community scribe. The Scribe is the community’s post-it-note. Taking notes during most meetings, the Scribe is in charge of keeping people to their commitments. In addition to typing a clean minutes the Scribe organizes a public community calendar which will be used by every member in order to schedule their private events so as to not conflict with community biznazz. The community blog is also a small responsibility to keep up with for the Scribe as she will kindly remind those who may have forgotten to create a post. Additionally, the Scribe is responsible for putting all community business together in a schedule format before the weekly meeting–community members will tell the Scribe about the specifics that they want to discuss at the meeting.