Carolyn Rhodes, Professor Emerita of English and Women's Studies, Dies
March 29, 2019
Carolyn Rhodes, Professor Emerita of English and Women's Studies at Old Dominion University, died March 24. She was 93.
Rhodes, a native of Birmingham, Ala., earned two bachelor's degrees in psychology and English from the University of Alabama and a master's in Psychology from Columbia University. After her first husband's death, Rhodes returned to graduate school, earning both a master's and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Kentucky in 1965. Upon completing her Ph.D., Rhodes was offered a faculty position at Old Dominion.
Some of the highlights of Rhodes's career at the University include being selected as a Fulbright lecturer for American literature at Babes-Bolyai University in Romania and at Peking University in Beijing. She also co-founded the University's Women's Caucus, Friends of Women's Studies and the Feminist Education Trust Fund. The Women's Caucus recognized Rhodes "as the person making the greatest contribution to advancing the status of women at ODU during the first decade of the Caucus." She served as principal investigator for the Women's Studies Pilot Grant funded by the National Endowment of the Humanities, which established the University's Women's Studies program as the first in Virginia.
During her career, Rhodes was selected as a recipient of the Higgins Teaching Fellowship; worked at the Veterans Administration in Lexington, Ky., administering psychometric tests; served as an editorial assistant for Railway Age Magazine; and worked as an instructor of English language orientation for Indonesian students. She also received numerous honors, including recognition as a Woman of Distinction by the YWCA of Southampton Roads, "Teacher of the Year" by Delta Sigma Lambda and election to lifetime membership by the Kentucky Psychological Association.
Also, as avid birdwatchers, Rhodes and her husband traveled the world. She was an invaluable mentor and editor whose contributions have been widely acknowledged.
Preceded in death by her husband, Rhodes is survived by her daughter, Babette Meyers; son, Richard Meyers; granddaughter, Ruby; and stepsons, Stanley Rhodes and Lloyd Rhodes. Memorial donations can be made to the Norfolk Botanical Garden or the Carolyn Rhodes Undergraduate Scholarship at Old Dominion University.