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Alumni Association Distinguished Research, Excellence in Engaged Scholarship and Creative Achievement Awards

Charles Blaha, Psychology, Social Sciences, Business & Law

Dr. Charles Blaha receives the Alumni Association Distinguished Research, Excellence in Engaged Scholarship and Creative Achievement AwardBlaha, a professor in the Department of Psychology since 2004, has served as director of the Division of Experimental Psychology since 2006. With more than 100 publications and $4.5 million in funded grants since arriving at the U of M, Blaha has been called a "pioneer."

His research has focused on the neural basis of autism and deep brain stimulation for treating neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease. Collaborating with scientists from around the world, Blaha has made tremendous advances in both basic and applied psychophysiological research.


Cary Holladay, English, Creative Arts

Dr. Cary Holladay receives the Alumni Association Distinguished Research, Excellence in Engaged Scholarship and Creative Achievement AwardHolladay, an associate professor in the Department of English, joined the faculty at the University of Memphis in 2002. She has published two novels, A Fight in the Doctor's Office and Mercury, and the short story collections The Quick-Change Artist, The Palace of Wasted Footsteps and The People Down South. Her stories have appeared in such publications as New Stories from the South, Epoch and The Georgia Review.

Holladay has received numerous honors, including the Goodheart Prize, the Paul Bowles Prize for Fiction, a Tennessee Arts Commission Fellowship, and an O. Henry Prize. She also directs the River City Writers Series. One reviewer has written of Holladay, "She is supremely gifted as a writer. Her stories are quirky, individual, idiosyncratic, alluring and vivid. They are unique … The effect is that her stories wedge themselves into my consciousness long after I have read them." Another reviewer characterizes her work as, "Southern without any clichés."


Abby Parrill, Chemistry, Science, Engineering & Mathematics

Dr. Abby Parrill receives the Alumni Association Distinguished Research, Excellence in Engaged Scholarship and Creative Achievement AwardParrill, a professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry, joined the University of Memphis faculty in 1998.

Her research accomplishments are demonstrated through the range of her publications, the extent to which her work is cited, the amount of external funding she has received, her work's significance to advances in cancer research and treatment, her visibility and respect in the field of chemistry, and her impact on graduate education at the U of M. As a cancer researcher, she has focused on understanding the structural characteristics of phospholipid growth factor receptors and their interactions with both endogenous (made in the body) and synthetic (from the environment) chemical compounds.

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