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MARCH 2010 UPDATE HOME
More March Features:

Campus School is Among Best
Recycling Initiative Gains Steam
U of M Effort to Clean Memphis
U of M's 'Blue' Patrol Turns Green
DAA Gala: Year of the Tiger
Skloot's Book is Best-Seller
AUSP Joins Effort in Caribbean
Magnani Discovers Fault Line
Web Exclusive: Campus School

VIEW UPDATE ARCHIVE

March 2010 Briefs

Boom-a-lacka, boom-a-lacka... This was the beginning of the 1920-1921 Lady Tigresses cheer that started every game that season. Read more

Green Thumb: A variety of plants identified by NASA as top air cleaners are part of a campus study in reductions in heating and cooling costs. Read more

The University of Memphis's Graduate Program in City and Regional Planning in the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy has appointed Dr. Jeffrey S. Lowe as associate director of its newly-established Mid-Sized Cities Policy Research Institute.

The Assisi Foundation of Memphis has awarded a $500,000 renewable grant this year toward a $2.5 million conditional pledge over five years to the U of M to assist the School of Public Health, formed in July 2009, in obtaining its national accreditation.

For More Information:
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Phone: 901/678-3811
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e-mail: grussll@memphis.edu

Skloot's book climbing NYT's best-seller chart

By Sara Hoover

Rebecca Skloot
Rebecca Skloot

Skloot will be in Memphis on Wednesday, March 31, at Davis-Kidd Bookstore at 6 p.m. for a reading.

Rebecca Skloot, assistant professor of English in the College of Arts & Sciences, has landed on The New York Times best-seller list for seven straight weeks with her debut book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Crown Publishing). At press time, the book was third on the Times’ nonfiction list, and 26th on Amazon’s best-seller list.

The book is about the Lacks family, innovations in science and bioethics. Henrietta Lacks was an impoverished, black tobacco farmer, whose tumor-filled cervical cells were taken without her consent in 1951. Six months later, she died. Her cells, known as HeLa, are considered the foundation of modern science and provided breakthroughs in the polio vaccine, chemotherapy, cloning and in vitro fertilization. They also launched a multibillion-dollar industry, being the only human cells to survive indefinitely in a laboratory. Skloot, director of the River City Writers Series, is on a four-month book tour and has been featured on NPR and in The New York Times Book Review, Washington Post Book World, Time and Vogue.

“I knew two years ago that this would be a best seller,” said Richard Bausch, Moss Chair of Excellence in the English department. “Two reasons: the subject is important and is obviously strong material; it would sell well enough even in the hands of an ordinary writer. In the hands of a gifted writer like Becca, it simply could not miss best-sellerdom — tremendous subject wedded to wonderful writing. Also, she came in here and lighted this place up. She worked herself to near exhaustion for the students here and for the program. We had a terrific year of visits from Pulitzer Prize winners and literary best sellers, and publications from students. And she attracted very talented students — they came here because she was here. She’s a blazing talent.”

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