Every year as part of our annual August faculty meeting tradition, the College of Arts and Sciences confers the Early Career Research Award (ECRA) to a select group of faculty members who are in the early stages of developing their research programs.

In recognition for their research achievements, each recipient of the ECRA receives $250 that can be applied toward research-related expenses, a plaque, and recognition at our August faculty meeting.

This year we are very pleased to announce that three faculty members are receiving an Early Career Research Award: Dr. Xiaohua Huang, Department of Chemistry; Dr. Carey Mickalites, Department of English; and Dr. Sharon Stanley, Department of Political Science


Dr. Xiaohua HuangDr. Xiaohua Huang, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, completed her Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2006 at Georgia Institute of Technology. She held a postdoctoral fellowship at Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology before joining our faculty in 2010.

Dr. Huang's research is at the interface of analytical chemistry and cancer biology. In her letter of nomination, Dr. Abby Parrill, Chair of the Department of Chemistry, writes, "In addition to phenomenally exciting research directions, Dr. Huang displays all the drive, motivation, and personality characteristics of much more mature and highly successful scientists…." Professor Huang has already received several honors and awards, including a 2011 Oak Ridge Associated Universities' Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award and an American Association for Cancer Research-Women in Cancer Research Brigid G. Leventhal Scholar recognition in 2007.

Over 30 of Professor Huang's articles have been published in refereed journals such as Journal of the American Cancer Society, Chemical Society Review, and Nanomedicine, in addition to many chapters. Currently she is the principal investigator on four grants and has one pending. Dr. Yongmei Wang, Professor of Chemistry, University of Memphis, notes the importance of one of Professor Huang's research areas: one that combines "chemotherapy with photothermal therapy for cancer treatment. …This novel approach is exciting and will surely attract tremendous interest from investigators in the nanomedicine field."

Carey MickalitesDr. Carey Mickalites, Assistant Professor, Department of English, completed his Ph.D. in English at Michigan State University in 2005 and joined the University of Memphis faculty in 2007 after serving as Visiting Assistant Professor at Michigan State University for a year.

Professor Mickalites' research spans twentieth century British fiction, literary modernism, and cultural studies. In his letter of nomination Dr. Theron Britt describes Dr. Mickalites as "an exceptionally strong researcher" in addition to being a great teacher. Professor Britt writes, "Dr. Mickalites' research is part of a promising trend in literary studies that spans twentieth century British fiction, literary modernism, and cultural studies and can be included in what has been called 'the new economic criticism'….His research has taken a clear and focused path leading to the publication of his book, Modernism and Market Fantasy: British Fictions of Capital, 1920-1939." This book is due to be published in September of this year.

In addition to his book, Professor Mickalites has had refereed articles published in journals such as Criticism, Studies in the Novel, Arizona Quarterly, and Journal of Modern Literature. Professor Verner Mitchell has very laudatory comments on Dr. Mickalites' work: "I am honored to write in support of the finest young literary modernist I know." He continues by writing that Dr. Mickalites "has that remarkable investigative thoroughness and persistence that creates and distinguishes the most exceptional scholars." His forthcoming book, according to Professor Mitchell, "is most impressive. Rigorous in its analysis of literary texts while eschewing the privileged language of academe, the work is widely accessible, both to scholars and to the serious reader outside the academy."


Dr. Sharon StanleyDr. Sharon Stanley, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, completed her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2006 and joined the faculty at the University of Memphis that same year.

In the letter of nomination by Professor Matthias Kaelberer, Chair of the Department of Political Science, she is described as "having made immensely important and original contributions to scholarship in political theory, in particular on the Enlightenment and the emergence of modern cynicism. In addition, she has been as superb teacher…." Her research, Professor Kaelberer continues, "challenges conventional interpretations of the relationship between democracy and cynicism."

Professor Stanley's book The French Enlightenment and the Emergence of Modern Cynicism was published by Cambridge University Press earlier this year. In addition, she has three refereed journal articles in journals such as Political Theory and Polity and three invited book articles. Professor Stanley has received a Faculty Research Grant.

Professor Harvey Lomax writes that Dr. Stanley "has published in the best refereed journals…in the field. She writes with unusual facility and verve. Her book on modern skepticism, accepted by Cambridge University Press, is likely to remain a standard work of reference for generations. She already has a growing national and international reputation."

Another letter from a colleague at the University of Houston also writes in enthusiastic support of Dr. Stanley's nomination: "Her soon-to-be published book project represents a major contribution to debates in political theory, the historiography of the enlightenment, and eighteenth century French literature."