Spotlight on Rhoda Pickett, MLA ’15

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 9:30am
image upload by lreese

After spending 22 years as a reporter for the Mobile Press-Register newspaper, Rhoda Pickett ’15 launched a solo career as a freelance writer. While the Hattiesburg, Miss. native stays busy working for clients throughout the Gulf Coast region, Pickett decided to return to school to broaden her education and round out her professional experience.

Pickett expects to graduate from Spring Hill College in May of 2015 with a Master of Liberal Arts degree with a literature concentration. She recently took a few moments from her schedule to talk about her graduate school experience.

SHC: What made you decide to attend Spring Hill for graduate school?

RP: I chose Spring Hill College because I knew that a Jesuit institution would give me the sound academic foundation I would need for the future. In addition, the campus reminded me of one of my alma maters, Spelman College.   

SHC: Favorite professors and/or classes and why?

RP: Dr. Michael Kaffer and Fr. Michael Williams. I have had Dr. Kaffer for most of my English literature courses and find him to be extremely knowledgeable and well versed in literature. I’ve only had Fr. Williams for one class and was pleased with the discussions that he encouraged and the wealth of material that he provided.

SHC: What is the most important thing that you learned at Spring Hill?

RP: There are several things, but the requirement in each of my classes to give one presentation or several presentations is one I consider most practical. I have been giving speeches since I was in junior high school. I am pleased that professors require student presentations because – whether the undergraduates appreciate it now or not – they will spend the rest of their lives doing some form of public speaking, whether as a keynote speaker or leading talks or facilitating discussions at professional conferences, neighborhood association meetings, civic or social clubs, church committees, family reunions or political events. Spring Hill curriculum requirements form a good foundation for future leadership.

SHC: What makes Spring Hill stand out or apart from other colleges?

RP: At Spring Hill you don’t get lost in the crowd. After reentering after a several-years hiatus, my advisor remembered my name and his willingness to answer my questions and give advice was very encouraging and helpful to me.

SHC: Advice to Spring Hill graduate students new to SHC and Mobile?

RP: Don’t panic. The professors are willing to work with you, so don’t be afraid to ask questions if you have a concern or problem.


Pickett is a member of many community organizations, including the League of Women Voters of Mobile, Spring Hill Presbyterian Church, and Leadership Mobile. She was the recipient of the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama Communications Award in October 2010.


For more information about Spring Hill College’s graduate degree programs, visit