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Safety First: Meet Campus Safety Officer, Mike Wood

We all know the campus safety officers around campus, who keep us safe from harm and make sure we follow the rules. While some interactions with campus safety can be problematic when rules are broken, all in all these men and women are working for the students’ benefit. I realized that the student body knows very little about the lives of our campus safety officers, so I interviewed Michael Wood to discover more about the interesting person behind our campus’ safety. Lots of students know Mike from his great work around campus, but I wanted to find out more. Mike describes his work as a campus safety officer, his past before Rhodes College, and some of his favorite hobbies.
How long have you worked at Rhodes as a campus safety officer?
I started work at Rhodes College part time back in March of 2007.
What did you do before you worked at Rhodes?
I graduated from Mississippi Delta Community College in 1996 with an Associates of Applied Science degree in Architecture with a major in Drafting.  I transferred to the University of Southern Mississippi and stayed there for a year and my major was Construction Engineering.  I left college behind me in 1997 and moved to Memphis and took on a construction job at daytime, and I wrote songs and played music at night around town.  I moved to Nashville in 2000 and performed many shows while I was there.  While in Nashville, I was able to perform on stage with numerous professional songwriters.  One of the most famous is a guy that wrote a hit song for Montgomery Gentry.  The song was called “Speed,” and it was a top 5 hit on the Country chart.  I performed on stage next to this guy.  Wow… After nearly starving to death in Nashville, I moved back to Memphis and went to work for an electrical engineer.  While I was working as an engineer, I decided to go back to school.  I looked for about a year before I decided to go into paralegal studies at Southwest.  I started school in January of 2007 at Southwest Tennessee Community College.  Currently, I am taking my last two legal classes.  I heard about an opening here at Rhodes in the campus safety department shortly after starting school, and I jumped on it.  And, thank God, I have been here ever since and I love working here at Rhodes College. 
What is the most interesting thing you have had to deal with at Rhodes?
Ok.  Here I go… The most interesting thing I have had to deal with here at Rhodes is the students.  The students are from all walks of life.  Students come to Rhodes from all over the world with many backgrounds.  I love culture, and I love hearing the wonderful stories the students bring from around the world.  I certainly don’t share the same religion, sex preference, nationality, or political views as most students here, but I love being open to listening to the stories and life experiences of those who care to share them.  The most interesting story I have found is how two people can have completely different views on whatever it is we are talking about and still feel like close family and still respect each other.  That is one of the things that I love the most about Rhodes students-the openness and willingness to hear and learn about other peoples lives. 
What is your favorite thing about being a campus safety officer?
My favorite thing about being a campus safety officer is that I get to see the students at their “not so good moments”- and then getting to remind them about it later. 
What is your least favorite thing about being a campus safety officer?
Seriously. I love Rhodes…and even sometimes the students too…… sometimes. 
What are some of your hobbies?
I write songs, play guitar, piano, and sing.. I sing a lot..  I also have two dogs that I am madly in love with.  I spend a lot of time with my dogs at the parks around town.  We tend to mix up the parks try to go to several parks in one week. 
Where are you from and what brought you to Memphis?
I was born here in Memphis, but I was raised in North Mississippi.  I spent most of my childhood days in Clarksdale Mississippi. 
What is your favorite thing to do in Memphis?
I love to cruise on the water.  I took the Mississippi River Cruise back over the summer, and I fell in love with Memphis all over again.  If you have never been on the cruise, I would recommend it for anyone.  Be prepared for the skyline to take your breath away.  I also love Harbour Town.  I spend a lot of time at the park North of the Memphis Bridge.  This is one of my most favorite spots in Memphis. 

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