Daphene R. McFerren
Daphene R. McFerren is the Director of the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social
Change at the University of Memphis. McFerren is a 1984 graduate of Yale College and
a 1989 graduate of Harvard Law School. Prior to joining the Hooks Institute, McFerren
practiced law in the Washington, DC area and was an attorney for the United States
Department of Justice and counsel to former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno from
December 1999 to January 2001.
In 1995, McFerren was awarded a summer stipend grant from the National Endowment for
the Humanities (NEH). The NEH summer grant funded, in part, McFerren’s efforts to
collect primary source materials on the Fayette County, TN, civil rights movement.
She is the daughter of John and Viola McFerren, two leaders of that movement. The
collected materials were donated to the University of Memphis Libraries, Special Collections,
where they are now available to the public.
From June 2006 to May 2007, McFerren was a Visiting Scholar at the Hooks Institute
and was responsible for creating the symposium “The Fayette County, Tennessee, Civil Rights Movement: How African-Americans Changed
Themselves, Their Community, and Their Nation by Demanding the Right to Vote." In addition, McFerren worked with a team that included Robert Hamburger, Producer,
New Jersey City University faculty and students, and the University of Memphis, among
others, to produce the documentary titled Freedom’s Front Line: Fayette County, Tennessee. This documentary recounts how, beginning in 1959, African Americans struggled to
gain the right to vote in Fayette County and how their efforts evolved into a sustained
civil rights movement.
Assistant Director position opening, for more information Click Here
Esra Ozdenerol, Ph.D.
Esra Ozdenerol is the Associate Director of the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social
Change at the University of Memphis. She also serves as Associate Professor in the
Department of Earth Sciences and Director of the Graduate Certificate in Geographic
Information Systems (GIS) at the University of Memphis in addition to her position
as Adjunct Professor of Preventive Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health
Science Center in Memphis, TN. Ozdenerol holds a degree in Geography from Louisiana
State University in Baton Rouge, LA, and has been with the University of Memphis since
2003, where she teaches GIS and its applications to health disparities.
In 2009, Ozdenerol was awarded a research grant to create a GIS-mapping website that
will disseminate information about pivotal civil rights events and their locations
in West Tennessee. The GIS-mapping website will have electronic visualizations, such
as animated maps, that allow exploration of recreated landscapes, hyperlinked stories,
photographs, and video interviews of those involves in the Civil Rights Movement.
Ardella M. Jeffries
Ardella Jeffries is the Administrative Associate of the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute
for Social Change. Jeffries received a Bachelor of Professional Studies Degree with
a concentration in Health Services Administration from the University of Memphis in
2007. She also received an Associate of Applied Science Degree from Northwest Mississippi
Community College. Ardella was formerly an Administrative Assistant in the College
of Arts & Sciences at the University of Memphis in Memphis, TN.
Felecia Malone Graduate Assistant
Felecia Malone began working as a Graduate Assistant with the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute
for Social Change in August 2012. She will be a candidate for a Master of Public Health
Degree with a concentration in Epidemiology from the University of Memphis in 2014.
She also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biological Sciences from Clark Atlanta
Jennifer Amido Graduate Assistant
Jennifer began working as a Graduate Assistant with the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute
in August 2012. Jennifer is currently pursing her Master's Degree in Public Administration.
Jennifer is an MPA candidate of May 2013. Jennifer received a Bachelors degree in
International Studies as well as in Spanish from the University of Memphis.
Eugene Tee is a Graduate Assistant with the School of Accountancy. He is assisting the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute with accounting and financial statements for 10 hours a week starting February 2013. He is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Accounting and CPA certification. Eugene
is a MSc candidate in 2014. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry
and Biology from Campbell University.