Alex Dileo (Rhodes Community Liaison), a senior Political Science major and Gender and Sexuality Studies minor, has learned about the importance of intentional community through her academic study of community-based responses to forms of oppression and her service work with Memphis nonprofits that serve survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. In both her research and her service experiences, Alex has seen how instances of violence can be ameliorated, and in many cases prevented, through holistic solutions that promote dialogue, resource sharing, and love for all people. As a Summer Service Fellow and then a coordinator of the program, Alex has worked with Caritas Village and other organizations that strive to provide holistic care for underserved populations. As a member of the Ruka intentional community, Alex will be able to put her experience into practice in her daily life to promote healing and connection between people. At Rhodes, Alex is involved in a variety of activities, from her RSAP work in Career Services, her work as a Senator on Rhodes Student Government, the V-Day Leadership Team and Rhodes’ Sexual Assault Task Force. In these diverse roles, Alex connects with Rhodes faculty, staff and students in pursuit of common goals. These relationships will only be strengthened by Alex’s role as the Rhodes Community Liaison as she helps to strengthen the connections between Rhodes, Binghampton and the Ruka House.
Eilidh Jenness (Documentarian) is a junior Urban Studies and English double major who intends on studying place-based health initiatives in Memphis and beyond after graduation. In the Memphis community, Eilidh serves as the Executive Director of The Bridge, the city’s student-organized street newspaper. Over the last year, Eilidh also worked as a resident assistant on the Rhodes campus, where she had the opportunity to refine community-focused communication and interpersonal skills she’ll be able to use while living in the Ruka intentional community. Through participating in the Ruka fellowship as the Documentarian, Eilidh will manage the Ruka’s budget and blog to ensure that the intentional community spends funds appropriately and maintains a reflective record of their time together. Eilidh’s academic and extracurricular interests will nicely complement her time as part of the Ruka community; she’s also interested in beekeeping and wishes to maintain a hive on the property that would engage with sustainability and community involvement efforts.
Catherine Miller (Sustainability Coordinator), a senior Environmental Science major and Political Science minor, will use her knowledge of environmental justice issues and experiences working with environmentally based initiatives to increase awareness about sustainable living practices within the Ruka House. It would be an understatement to say that Catherine loves food. Call it a passion, an obsession, maybe even a gluttonous vice, but food and all its many social, cultural, and political intricacies absolutely fascinates her. Through her volunteer experiences in community gardens, Catherine discovered the importance of fortifying a sustainable food system. Catherine’s efforts as the Rhodes Garden Fellow allowed her to put ideals into action; she managed the Evergreen Community Farmers Market, helped plant, maintain, and harvest the Rhodes Community Garden, and wrote grant proposals to fund future sustainable agriculture projects on Rhodes’ campus. As a Resident Assistant, Catherine learned to facilitate discussions about important issues through engaging programs. Her role as a Kinney Coordinator allows her to connect students with volunteer opportunities and raise awareness about ecological issues affecting the global community. Catherine’s research on school nutrition policies not only demonstrated the connections between hunger, poverty, and educational achievement, but inspired her to pursue a career in food justice. To foster greater environmental understanding and appreciation, Catherine hopes to implement and showcase sustainable living practices within the Ruka House.
Hayley Rosenfield (Publicist), a senior English major, will use her experience in videography and filmmaking to inform the Memphis and Rhodes communities of Ruka events. In a film production course, she honed abilities not just in filming, but also in editing footage in Adobe Premier Pro and Adobe InDesign, which she will use to craft short promo videos and posters for Ruka events. Beyond the technical abilities necessary to shooting and editing video, as New Member Educator for Alpha Omicron Pi, she learned how to plan, communicate, and promote events to chapter members in an effective and entertaining way, geared to draw a crowd. She will work in tandem with the Memphis and Rhodes Community Liaisons to ensure projects are completed to their liking and on deadline. As a writer for The Bridge, she writes articles on deadline and corresponds with section editors to make the instructed article changes – skills she will bring to her duties as publicist. By using these creative abilities and working in cooperation with the Liaisons, she will ensure members of the Rhodes and Memphis communities feel well-informed of and welcomed to Ruka events.
Megan Singer (Memphis Community Liaison) Megan Singer (Memphis Community Liaison) is a senior Political Economy major and French minor. Her specific interests center around food policy, which she looks forward to incorporating in her time at the Ruka. As a transfer student, Megan has primarily spent her Rhodes years getting involved in the campus community. Her participation in the Peer Advocate Center and Social Regulations Council have shown her the impact that individual students can have to contribute toward their desired community, and she looks to the Ruka to take this to the next level. In her role as the Memphis Community Liaison, Megan plans to utilize her experience from various on-campus activities to reach out to organizations in the greater Memphis area. As a native Memphian, she has developed awareness for issues that affect the various demographics of the city, particularly the propensity for insufficient access to healthy diets. By continuing to support organizations such as Caritas and Memphis famer’s markets, she hopes that the Ruka will play a part in both personal and city growth to implement ideals of food safety. Furthermore, Megan has familiarity working with professionals through her position as a Career Services student worker and her upcoming summer plans to intern in Belgium. Both of these experiences have (and will continue to) built her professional identity, a key component to maintaining relationships with various organizations in Memphis. Between her leadership roles on campus and the expansion to the greater Memphis area, Megan hopes that her placement in the role of the Memphis Community Liaison will foster a stronger connection between Ruka, Rhodes, and Memphis at large.