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Anthropology Professor Receives Lynton Award for Engaged Scholarship

For release: August 2, 2011
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901/678-2843

Dr. Katherine Lambert-Pennington
Dr. Katherine Lambert-Pennington
Dr. Katherine Lambert-Pennington, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Memphis, has been selected to receive the 2011 Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement for Early Career Faculty.  Presented by the New England Resource Center for Higher Education, the award recognizes young faculty members who are taking their community-engaged teaching, research, and service in fundamentally new directions.

Lambert-Pennington focuses on identity, social inequality, power, community-building, and social justice in the United States and Australia. She is involved in two projects that illustrate engaged scholarship – the South Memphis Revitalization Action Planning Project (SoMe RAPP) and the Vance Avenue Collaborative (VAC). She also is on the on the administrative team that coordinates the Strengthening Communities Grant Initiative, which provides funding and support to faculty involved in University/community partnerships.

Both SoMe RAP and VAC draw on multi-disciplinary teams of students and faculty from the U of M, in collaboration with local residents and institutional leaders, to produce redevelopment plans for these neighborhoods, plans that are driven by local voices and visions. Through these projects, the teams and community advisory committees have reached more than 1,000 residents through interviews, door-to-door surveys, and community meetings.

In South Memphis, this work has resulted in the Memphis City Council adopting a comprehensive revitalization plan for the area. The team helped create and launch the South Memphis Farmers Market in a neighborhood that lacks a full-service grocery store. VAC is working with community stakeholders to address issues such as youth entrepreneurship and job readiness, homeless women with children, and economic development.

Lambert-Pennington and Dr. Ken Reardon, director of the U of M’s Graduate Program in City and Regional Planning, are partners with the city of Memphis in a Choice Neighborhood Grant awarded in April. Their team will be conducting research with neighborhood stakeholders to identify the area’s key assets and challenges and assist residents in developing strategies to build on these assets and address the challenges.

“I am very honored to be recognized in this way,” said Lambert-Pennington. “It is a privilege to work in with such a great team – colleagues, students, community partners, and residents in both South Memphis and Vance. Not only do these projects provide an exciting bridge from the classroom to the community for students through research activities and experiential learning, but they also demonstrate how community members and University faculty and students can combine their skills and assets to create stakeholder-led change in local neighborhoods.”

A graduate of Miami University of Ohio, Lambert-Pennington earned her M.A. degree in anthropology from the University of Tennessee and her Ph.D. in anthropology and a certificate in African and African-American Studies from Duke University.

The Lynton Award will be presented in October at the Conference of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities.

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