Update - The newsletter for the University of Memphis
December 2013
DECEMBER 2013 UPDATE HOME
More December Features:

New lab puts research under the microscope

So what’s your IQ?

School of Law continues award-winning ways

Profile: Dr. Tom Nenon

Alumni Association honors four with Enshrinement of 1912

Names in the news

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Names in the News

Arts and Sciences

Dr. Seth Abrutyn, assistant professor of sociology, had “Political Evolution, Entrepreneurship and Autonomy: Causes and Consequences of an ‘Axial’ Moment” published in Research in Political Sociology and “Teaching Sociological Theory for a New Century: Contending with the Time Crunch” published in The American Sociologist. His book Revisiting Institutionalism in Sociology: Putting the 'Institution' Back in Institutional Analysis is scheduled for publication by Routledge Publishing. Abrutyn’s article, “From Chiefdoms to States: Toward an Integrative Theory of the Evolution of Polity,” co-authored with Kirk Lawrence, and published in Sociological Perspectives, was awarded the Best Faculty Paper by the Evolution, Biology and Society Section of the American Sociological Association during its 2013 annual meeting.

Dr. Peter Brand, professor of history, received a $280,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support his ongoing project at the Great Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Karnak in Luxor, Egypt. This grant will supplement the recent grant he received from the American Research Council in Egypt for $66,000. Since 2004, Brand has attracted $696,000 in external grants for the Karnak Great Hypostyle Hall project, which is dedicated to recording the epigraphy of the great hall created by pharoahs Sety I, Ramesses II and their successors for the worship of Amun.

Dr. M. Shah Jahan, professor and chair of physics, presented an invited talk on “The Effects of Vitamin E on Free Radicals in Solids” at the Second Annual World Congress of Food Science and Technology in Hangzhou, China, Sept 23-25.

Dr. Wesley James, assistant professor of sociology, Dr. Satish Kedia, professor of social and behavioral sciences, and Dr. Chunrong Jia, assistant professor of environmental health science, published “Uneven Magnitude of Disparities in Cancer Risks from Air Toxics” in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Special Issue: Social and Economical Determinants of Health.

Dr. Mohamed Laradji, professor of physics, Dr. Sunil Kumar of the Indian Institute of Technology and others had their article “Shear-thinning and Isotropic-lamellar-columnar Transition in a Model for Living Polymers” published in the November issue of Soft Matters. The work was highlighted on the publication’s front cover. Laradji and Kumar have a long-term collaboration dating from 2003; they focus on theoretical and computational studies of a variety of soft materials including lbiomembranes and polymers. During the past nine years, they have published 11 peer-reviewed articles in journals such as Physical Review Letters, Soft Matter, Journal of Physical Chemistry and the Journal of Chemical Physics.

Drs. Robin Lennon-Dearing and Elena Delavega, assistant professors of social work, presented their most recent research at the North American Housing and HIV/AIDS Research Summit conference in Montreal in September. Their poster presentation, “Effects of Housing on Health and Wellbeing in HIV Positive Women,” is based on data from female clients receiving services at Friends For Life. Lennon-Dearing and Delavega currently have a manuscript of this research under review for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Also, Delavega has continued her work with the Pink Palace STEM Project and continued to expand her research on poverty by launching the Earned Income Tax Credit Project and the Ruby Payne project that was grant-funded for $57,994.

Dr. Jeni Loftus, associate professor of sociology, Brian Kelly and Sarah A. Mustillo had “Predictors of Entry into Age-Discordant Relationships” published in Deviant Behavior.

Dr. Carol Rambo, associate professor of sociology, had “From Chiefdoms to States: Toward an Integrative Theory of the Evolution of Polity” published in Handbook of Autoethnography.

Dr. Zandria Robinson, assistant professor of sociology, had the book This Ain’t Chicago: Race, Class And Regional Identity in the Post-Soul South accepted for publication in the New Directions in Southern Studies Series of the University of North Carolina Press.

Dr. Junmin Wang, assistant professor of sociology, had her book, “State-Market Interactions in China’s Reform Era: Local State Competition and Global Market Building in the Tobacco Industry,” published by Routledge Publishing. Wang, Doug Guthrie and Zhixing Xiao had “The Rise of SASAC: Asset Management, Ownership Concentration and Firm Performance in China’s Capital Markets” published in Management and Organization Review.

Communication and Fine Arts

Dr. Lily Afshar, professor of classical guitar, performed solo, chamber music and as soloist with orchestra at St. John Smith’s Square in London.

Education, Health and Human Sciences

Dr. Richard James, professor of counseling, educational psychology and research, co-presented two papers at the Crisis Intervention Team International Convention in Hartford. James and Michael Skirrus, master's student in clinical mental health counseling and Kristi Nobbman, master's student in school counseling, co-presented “Social Locations: Where Are They and Why They Are Important?" James also co-presented with Major Sam Cochran, instructor of criminal justice, Dr. Randy Dupont, professor of criminal justice and alumnus Dr. Tom Kirchberg on the Memphis Police Department De-escalation specialist training model. James also co-presented with alumnus Dr. Rick Myer two papers at the American Counselor Education and Supervision conference in Denver on “Training Counselors to Use Social Locations in Crisis Intervention” and “Using the Task Model in Crisis Intervention.” James, Skirrus and Kaitlin Duckett, doctoral student in counseling psychology, trained law enforcement officers from Bartlett, Germantown, Shelby County Sheriff's Office, Hernando and the Airport Authority in Advanced Verbal Crises Intervention Techniques at the Memphis Police Academy in October. 

Herff College of Engineering

Dr. Gary L. Bowlin, who holds a Herff Chair of Excellence in Biomedical Engineering, attended the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) North American Meeting in Atlanta in November where he gave two poster presentations: “Development of an Electrospun Poly-D-L-lactic acid (PDLA), Polydioxanone (PDO) and Chitin Whishers (CW) Compressed, Composite Membrane for Guided Bone Regeneration” and “Utilizing Platelet Rich Plasma and Galectins to Create Skeletal Muscle Replacements.”

Bowlin, who joined the U of M in August, recently received the VCU Inventor of the Year Award from Virginia Commonwealth University at an October event in Richmond, Va. He holds nine U.S. patents in the electrospinning/tissue scaffold technologies and is co-founding inventor of four companies: NanoMatrix Inc., TraumaCure Inc., St. Teresa Medical Inc. and St. Francis Veterinary Medical Inc. He also was recently elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering.

Dr. Joel Bumgardner, professor of biomedical engineering, attended the Tenth International Conference of the Asian Pacific Chitin Chitosan Symposium in Yonago, Japan, where he gave the invited talk “Chitosan Implant Coatings for Dental/Craniofacial and Orthopedic Applications.” (Co-authored by Dr. J. Amber Jennings, research assistant in biomedical engineering, and Dr. Warren O. Haggard, who holds a Herff Chair of Excellence in Biomedical Engineering.)

Dr. Amy Curry, associate professor of biomedical engineering, attended the Sixth International Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)/Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) Conference on Neural Engineering (NER) in San Diego in November where she was co-author of the poster presentation “Telemetry Controlled Simultaneous Microstimulation and Recording Device for Studying Cortical Plasticity.”

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