The College of Arts and Sciences' Distinguished Research Award (CASDRA) was initiated
in 1993-94 upon the recommendation of the College Council for Research and Graduate
Studies. Awards may be given in four areas: Natural Sciences and Mathematical Sciences;
Humanities; Social Sciences; and Engaged Scholarship, which was initiated in 2005.
Faculty members may receive the CASDRA only one time.
In recognition for outstanding research achievements, each recipient receives $500.00
toward research expenses, a plaque, and recognition at our August faculty meeting.
We are very pleased today to acknowledge three of our faculty members for their outstanding
research performance. Dr. Charles Crawford, Department of History is receiving the
CASDRA in the area of the Humanities; Dr. Anna Kaminska, Department of Mathematical
Sciences, is receiving it in the area of Natural Sciences and Mathematical Sciences;
and Dr. Dorothy Norris-Tirrell, Division of Public and Nonprofit Administration is
receiving it in the area of Engaged Scholarship.
Charles Crawford, History
Dr. Charles Crawford, Professor, Department of History, completed his Ph.D. in History
in 1968 at the University of Mississippi, and joined the faculty at Memphis State
University in 1962. In 1983 he became Full Professor of History. He earlier served
as a teacher and Department Chair at Lewisville High School in Arkansas and while
a graduate student was a Tutor for the Football Team at the University of Mississippi.
Dr. Crawford is acknowledged as the "preeminent historian of Memphis and the Mid-South"
by Dr. David Jackson, Professor of History at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical
University. As his colleague Dr. Douglas Cupples in his nomination letter attests,
"It may be in the area of oral history research that Charles Crawford has made his
most lasting contributions to our university and the community it serves."
He was appointed as Director of the Oral History Research Office by the President
of the University in 1967. Among the many letters of recommendation in support of
Dr. Crawford's nomination for the CASDRA, several were received from former students
of his who are now history professors across the Mid-South and beyond.
Dr. Judy LeForge, for example, faculty member at Union University, writes, "Of his
numerous books and journal articles, perhaps two of his most noteworthy are: Tennessee:
Land, History, and Government (1984) and ‘Tennessee: Three Different Divisions, One
Unique State’ (2005). While the former represents the first, thorough Tennessee history
textbook for secondary schools, the latter sheds much needed light on the Volunteer
state’s three grand divisions.”
Department Chair Janann Sherman notes that Dr. Crawford is project director “of the
World War II Veterans Oral History Project, a major research undertaking funded by
the Military Order of World Wars and The Assisi Foundation of Memphis, to record interviews
with several hundred area World War II veterans. These and all other oral history
interview records are archived at the McWherter Library and will remain accessible
to scholars conducting historical research."
Anna Kaminska, Mathematical Sciences
Dr. Anna Kaminska, Professor, Department of Mathematical Sciences, received her Ph.D.
in Mathematics in 1978 and her Doctor Habilitatus in 1986 from the A. Mickiewicz University
Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, in Poznan, Poland.
Before joining the faculty at Memphis State University as an Assistant Professor in
1988, Dr. Kaminska was on the faculty at the A. Mickiewicz University as an Associate
Professor and served as a Visiting Professor at the University of Sciences in Montpellier,
France, and a Fulbright Scholar at Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan. Dr. Kaminska
became Full Professor of Mathematics in 1997.
One of her many honors is the Faudree Professorship which she received in 2007. Dr.
Kaminska’s accomplishments in research are demonstrated through the range of her publications
and areas of expertise in mathematical sciences, in her visibility and respect in
the field of mathematics throughout the world, and in her impact on graduate education
at the University of Memphis.
In his nomination letter, Department of Mathematics Chair James Jamison writes, "Dr.
Kaminska is one of the truly outstanding experts in the area of Orlicz and Lorentz
Function spaces…Dr. Kaminska's reputation in this field of research is truly international…She
has more than 70 publications…"
According to Dr. Mieczyslaw Mastylo, Institute of Mathematics of the Policy Academic
of Sciences, "Dr. Kaminska is a very active member of the world of mathematicians
participating in many prestigious international conferences…"
Dr. Joseph Diestel, Director of the Banach Center, Kent State University, notes that
Dr. Kaminska's work is very broad ranging, theoretically and in terms of individual
and collaborative work. "It's noteworthy that Anna has published joint papers with
many fine mathematicians…The point is that very strong mathematicians find it advantageous
to discuss problems and work with Professor Kaminska. There's little that can be said
of a scientific life that is more laudatory than that."
Dorothy Norris-Tirrell, Public and Nonprofit Administration
Dr. Dorothy Norris-Tirrell, Associate Professor, Division of Public and Nonprofit Administration, completed
her Ph.D. in Public Administration at Florida International University in 1992 and
joined our faculty in 1993 after serving as Visiting Assistant Professor at Florida
Dr. Norris-Tirrell’s work provides a model of university engagement with the community.
Since coming to the University, she has built a program of study in nonprofit administration
at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
To support these programs and her research activities, she built long-lasting relationships
with numerous nonprofit organizations, connecting the university to the community
with substantial benefits to both. Her work has strengthened local nonprofits while
providing invaluable experience to University of Memphis students. Dr. Norris-Tirrell’s
work has had significant practical results and important contributions to her discipline.
Dr. Robert Montjoy, Professor at the University of New Orleans, summarizes the connectedness
of Dr. Norris-Tirrell’s work: “Her record truly exemplifies the seamless and mutually
supporting connection among the three university missions that should be the hallmark
Her work has offered important benefits to the community through improving outcome
measures used by nonprofit organizations, training community volunteers to serve as
board members, and bringing together nonprofit leaders both in person and through
a quarterly newsletter.
She has received over $450,000 in external funding to support these projects. And
her research has resulted in a rich publication record: co-author of a book entitled
Immigration and Its Impact on American Cities (1996, Greenwood Press); 13 refereed
journal article and chapters, 17 technical reports including one in 2006 entitled
Community-Higher Education Collaboration: Exploring the Community perspective (to
the Annie E. Casey Foundation/Association of Community-Higher Education Partnerships).
In her nomination letter, Dr. Joy Clay summarizes Dr. Norris-Tirrell’s accomplishments
as an engaged scholar: She “embodies the mission of the urban university with a strong
commitment to strengthening the Mid-South community through her scholarship teaching,