The Brightest of CAS



Congratulations to the graduating cohort! We wish you all the best!


Jordan Goss, Nadine McLean, Hannah Early, Hannah Clevenger, Brandi Newton, Megan Wilkinson and Rebecca Johnson* (*graduates in 2019).

Two wins for our graduate students last week! Prabin Shrestha (doctoral student, Wong lab), participated in the Statistics Research Day in the Mathematics Department and won the best presentation award. Elyan Shor (doctoral candidate, Freeman lab) received an Animal Behavior Society student research grant for her proposal: Seasonal and Neuroendocrine Regulation of Immune Function and Glucocorticoids in the Siberian Hamster (Phodopus sungorus). Congratulations Prabin and Elyan!

Adam Ramsey, graduate student in the Mandel Lab has published the following article on Science Trends. "How In Situ Hybridization Helped Revolutionize Healthcare" Congrats Adam! 

Congratulations to Elyan Shor who has been selected to receive the 2018 Bill A. Simco Graduate Research Scholarship. In March of 2014, the Department of Biological Sciences presented the first Bill A. Simco Graduate Research Scholarship, established to honor Dr. Simco's the many years of service to the Department and the University of Memphis. Elyan is a Ph.D. candidate in the lab of Dr. David Freeman.

Check out Deepthi Raghu's award-winning 3Minute Thesis (3MT) video! Deepthi won 2nd place in the competition AND the People's Choice Award. The 3MT completion was started at the University of Queensland to develop academic, presentation, and research communication skills. 

Check out Adam Ramsey's 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) video! Adam competed in today's 3MT competition, a research competition started by the University of Queensland to develop academic, presentation, and research communication skills. 

Congratulations (a bit late) to Rebecca Bingham who successfully defended her Master's thesis on Monday April 2nd! Rebecca did her thesis work under the direction of Dr. Michael Kennedy.

Raven Davis, an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Keith Bowers' lab, has received the 2018 College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Award for Outstanding Undergraduate. This award recognizes an undergraduate student who has displayed outstanding academic achievement, as well as demonstrating leadership, character, scholarship, and service to departmental and campus activities. Raven, who is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Biology, is using molecular tools to identify the sex of avian offspring, which cannot be determined by external morphology in young birds, to analyze sex-ratio variation. She has successfully applied markers that had never before been tested within three species of the Southeastern US: the Carolina wren, Carolina chickadee, and prothonotary warbler. The Dean presents a plaque and check to the recipient at the Honors Assembly, which will take place on Sunday, April 22. Congratulations Raven!!!

Congratulations to Denita Weeks who successfully defended her dissertation today. Dr. Weeks' dissertation work, performed in the lab of Dr. Matthew Parris, examined the possibility of using agricultural biopesticides in the form of common soil-dwelling bacteria to control amphibian fungal infections. To read more about the work in Dr. Parris' lab, visit #gotigersgo

Congratulations to Alex Mueller who successfully defended his Masters thesis yesterday. Alex, who did his thesis work under the direction of Dr. Keith Bowers, examined the effects of environmental temperature on the post-hatching development of the Carolina chickadee, Carolina wren, and the Prothonotary warbler (Protonotaria citrea). To read more about the work in Dr. Bowers' lab, visit #gotigersgo

Biological Sciences

The Ecological Research Center has announced that Kelly Miller (Ph.D. student with Dr. Keith Bowers) has received the 2018 Grant-in-Aid of Research Award for her proposal "Parental Investment in Relation to Mate Quality: An Experimental Test". Runners-up (in alphabetical order) included Kathryn Parsley (Dr. Sabel), Brittany Pope (Dr. Kennedy) and Adam Ramsey (Dr. Mandel). This year's proposals crossed a broad spectrum of ecological topics and were very competitive according to the external reviewers. Congratulations Kelly!

Computer Science

Six Computer Science PhD students have been accepted to the 2018 CRAWomen Grad Cohort Workshop. Congratulations to Eiman Aldhahri, Laqin Fan, Zannatul Firdous, Sambriddhi Mainali, Diem-Trang Pham and Alina Zaman, who will attend the workshop on April 13-14 in San Francisco. CRA is fully funding two of the students and partially funding the remaining four. The CRA-Women Grad Cohort aims to increase the ranks of senior women in computing-related studies and research by building and mentoring nationwide communities of women through their graduate studies.


Dr. Jessica Swan's English 4532 class visited the Newcomer International Center in the spring semester. A note from Dr. Swan--"As excited educators, we spent the class period learning about what the school does for English Language Learners, all of whom are recent arrivals to the USA and many of whom have little to no formal education. Ms. Hannah Horch, the Program Advisor, was our gracious host. Our visit is just another example of how University of Memphis students are driven by doing." (photo on left)


Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland joined Dr. Swan's English 1020 class in the spring to discuss how students can use their voices to address the issues they have been researching all semester. He inspired us to believe in the value of service, hard work and collaboration. (photo on right)

Political Science

Political Science Senior Molly Stout presented her paper ""A Bloody Economy: How Unstable Economies Led to Civil War After the Fall of the U.S.S.R." at the Midwest Political Science Association convention last week in Chicago.

Shelby County Commissioners Reginald Milton and Van Turner visiting our State and Local Government class.February


HunterHunter Franks was selected for the Summer Mentoring and Research Training: Methods in Neuroscience of Drug Abuse (SMART-MIND) program at the University of Texas, El Paso.
He will spend the entire summer performing research with the UTEP neuroscience faculty, participating in professional development workshops and will present his findings at a research symposium in August. He will also receive a generous stipend and housing throughout the summer.

Hunter is an undergraduate honors student who works in Dr. Nick Simon's lab.


Congratulations to winners in the recent student research forum.



Undergraduate, Social and Behavioral Sciences:
1st place: Nick Paige from Dr. Deranda Lester's lab
2nd place: Sarah Cassidy and Bre'Anna Free from Dr. Mollie Anderson's lab.





Graduate, Social and Behavioral Sciences:

1st place: Zade Holloway from Dr. Deranda Lester's lab
2nd place: Daniel Gabriel from Dr. Nick Simon's lab

Hard working, smart students. Very deserving of these awards.


Social Work

The Master of Social Work (MSW) program at the University of Memphis has been ranked # 88 by U.S. News & World Report. There are 285 accredited and candidacy MSW programs in the United States according to the Council on Social Work Education. The new ranking places the University of Memphis MSW program second in the State of Tennessee, tied for first in the Mid-South region, and in the top third of MSW programs nationally. Dr. Neely-Barnes, chair of the Department of Social Work, explained, "We have known for many years that the University of Memphis has an excellent MSW program with outstanding faculty and students. We are pleased to receive recognition for our tradition of excellence."

Congratulations to the following University of Memphis faculty and students who are 2018 National Association of Social Workers – Tennessee Chapter award winners. Rodques Jones, University of Memphis MSW student, is the MSW Student of the Year. Kelcey Johnson, field instructor for the BA in social work program, is the Public Citizen of the Year. Belinda Hardy, field instructor for the MSW program, is the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Lee Harris, FedEx Professor of Law, is the Public Official of the Year. The awards will be given on March 20, 2018 at the Tennessee State Capitol during Social Work Day on the Hill.