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VOL. 130 | NO. 141 | Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Charles Hughes to Head Rhodes’ Memphis Center

By Kate Simone

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Dr. Charles L. Hughes has been named director of Rhodes College’s Memphis Center, an academic hub focused on the human experience of the Memphis and Mid-South region. He will be teaching classes on Memphis history and culture, coordinating student projects and developing programs, and also will be continuing his own research on the area.


Hometown: Wausau, Wis.

Experience: I have a Ph.D. in U.S. History from the University of Wisconsin. I was previously a post-doctoral fellow at Rhodes College and an assistant professor of history at Oklahoma State University. I’m the author of “Country Soul: Making Music and Making Race in the American South.”

Family: Married, with a dog and two cats

Favorite quote: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” – William Faulkner

Favorite movie: “This Is Spinal Tap”

The sports team(s) you root for: Pittsburgh Pirates, Memphis Grizzlies, Rhodes Lynx

What’s playing on your stereo right now? D’Angelo and the Vanguard, “Black Messiah”

Activities you enjoy outside of work: Making and listening to music, reading, watching movies, hanging out with friends

What talent do you wish you had? I wish I was better in the kitchen. I’m a decent assistant, but my talents are pretty limited.

Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? Beyond my parents and spouse, my greatest mentor is Dr. Craig Werner, a professor at the University of Wisconsin. I worked with Craig extensively throughout both my undergraduate and graduate education, and he has incalculably contributed to my understanding of what it means to be a good scholar, teacher and citizen.

What attracted you to Rhodes? Rhodes College is not only a great institution of higher learning, but it’s crucially connected to Memphis. I can think of no better place to continue my work, and I’m excited to build and strengthen the college’s partnerships in this great city.

What are your goals in your new position? I hope to enrich the experience of Rhodes students and community members through classes, programs and partnerships. As a college, we have no greater asset than our home city, and the Memphis Center offers us the great privilege of building our relationships throughout Memphis.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? Professionally, I am most proud of the work that I’ve been able to do with students, both in and out of the classroom.

What do you most enjoy about your work? I absolutely love working with students, so I’m thrilled to return to Rhodes, where the student experience is the top priority and there’s such a broad definition of what constitutes a well-rounded college education.

If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? I’d encourage them to explore their talents and passions to the fullest, and to remain open to new people, ideas, and possibilities throughout their lives. As the great country singer/songwriter Kacey Musgraves recently said, “Follow your arrow wherever it points.”

Dr. Elizabeth Thomas has been promoted to executive director of the Memphis Center at Rhodes College. Thomas is Plough Chair and director of urban studies and an associate professor of psychology.


Douglas F. Halijan, a partner at Burch, Porter & Johnson PLLC, has been named the Distinguished Adjunct Professor of the Year by the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. The annual award is presented by the law school’s graduating class to one adjunct faculty member to honor outstanding teaching and service. Halijan has taught classes in intellectual property and trade secrets law at the law school since 2005.

Inferno has hired Nicole Hinson as an account executive and Jesse Lorencz as an art director. Hinson previously held various marketing positions with ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Memphis Grizzlies. Lorencz worked with a wide variety of clients at Phire Group in Ann Arbor, Mich., for two years before joining inferno.

Ashley Kumpe has joined One Grower Publishing as art director. Kumpe previously served as niche design team leader with The Commercial Appeal. In her new role, she is responsible for layout and design of all One Grower magazines, including Cotton Farming, Rice Farming and Peanut Grower, as well as the Corn South and Soybean South supplements.


Richard Marsh has joined Fifth Third Bank’s Memphis office as commercial relationship manager. Marsh, a 25-year commercial banking veteran, will serve as part of a team of commercial bankers for the West Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas regions focusing on middle-market clients.

Shelly Sing has joined The Barnett Group as a client relations manager. Sing, who is licensed in both health and life insurance, works with clients to provide support and plan analysis, as well as to integrate technology services to human resources professionals. She has held HR positions at UT Medical Group Gastroenterology Center, Gastro One, First Choice Realty, Austin Realty Group and the Business Equipment Center.

Brandon D. Pettes has been named to the Neighborhood Christian Center board of directors. Pettes is an attorney at Glankler Brown PLLC, where he concentrates his practice in the area of business and commercial litigation.

Ayla Heartsong, owner of Adapt Your Home Construction Services in Holly Springs, has earned the Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist designation, identifying her as a small-business owner with the skills and knowledge needed to remodel or modify a home to meet the unique needs of the older population, disabled homeowners or their visitors. The CAPS program was created by the National Association of Home Builders in partnership with the AARP and NAHB Research Center.

PROPERTY SALES 57 94 2,713
MORTGAGES 16 37 1,820
BUILDING PERMITS 303 621 6,322
BANKRUPTCIES 138 138 1,115