Dr. Lynda Sagrestano, Associate Professor of Psychology, Director of the Center for
Research on Women (CROW), and affiliate faculty member in Women's and Gender Studies,
embodies the University of Memphis' approach to engaged scholarship. She has built
collaborative research partnerships which are marked by reciprocity and which lead
to the production of new knowledge.
Her research is oriented toward applying psychological theory to understand and intervene
on social problems and advance theory development, highlighting the role of contextual
factors in health processes and outcomes, with the goal of taking a more integrated
approach to prevention and intervention in the public health sector. She has developed
numerous constructive relationships with local nonprofit organizations to address
issues related to infant mortality, adolescent pregnancy, economic security for women,
and the empowerment of girls.
Dr. Sagrestano is described as a "model for engagement" and as a highly respected
mentor to faculty and students interested in pursuing engaged scholarship in the Mid-South
and beyond. Dr. Sagrestano was recently elected a Fellow of the American Psychological
Association and the Society for the Psychology of Women. She was a member of the inaugural
class of PI Millionaires at the University of Memphis. She serves on the Board of
Directors of the National Council for Research on Women.
Lornette Stokes, B.S., Administrative Secretary
Mrs. Stokes oversees the sales and distribution of Center
publications, maintains the Center's national database, manages the Center's Resource
Library, and assures compliance with campus policies and procedures. In 2005, Mrs.
Stokes took an early retirement from the U.S. government with 26 ½ years service time.
She moved to Chattanooga, TN to be with her husband full time as he worked in ministry.
They were transferred to Memphis in July 2007 to pastor a church here. Mrs. Stokes
received a B.S. from Alabama A & M University.
Naketa M. Edney, M.A. Research Associate
Naketa received her M.A. in anthropology from the University
of Memphis in 2006. Her primary research interests include infant mortality, maternal
behaviors and birth outcomes, and health disparities. She has taught undergraduate
courses including Introduction to Anthropology and Cultural Anthropology at the University
of Tennessee at Martin. In addition, she has worked with the Memphis and Shelby County
Health Department's Office of Nursing analyzing maternal behaviors and birth outcomes.
Recently she completed certification to become a foster parent for at risk children.
Teresa A. Diener, M.A., Project Coordinator
Teresa received her B.L.S. in Gender Studies from the University of Memphis in 2004.
She obtained her M.A. in Women’s Studies from the University of Memphis in 2006. Teresa
dedicates much of her time to creating awareness of, and working to eradicate, violence
against women through presentations to local groups, schools, and universities. She
is a regular performer in Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues and has created two one-women-shows documenting her personal experiences with domestic
Ace Madjlesi, M.A., Research Associate
A Mid-South native, Ace earned her BA in sociology and anthropology from Millsaps
College in 2008 and completed her MA in anthropology at the University of Memphis
in 2010. Her research interests include reproductive health, disability, and urban
infrastructures. Ace has served as a community organizer for the disability rights
and reproductive justice movements and sits on the community advisory council for
the UT Boling Clinic for Developmental Disabilities.