The University of Memphis Alumni Association has announced the recipients of its 2010
awards for Distinguished Research and Creative Achievement. Each accepted a $2,000
award during the University’s annual Faculty Convocation in April at the Cecil C.
Humphreys School of Law.
Dr. Jack T. Cooper was recognized for distinguished achievement in the creative arts;
Dr. Charles W. Crawford received the award for the humanities; Dr. Danielle S. McNamara
was honored for social sciences, business and law; Dr. Robert Kozma represented science,
engineering and math; and Michael Hagge was recognized for engaged scholarship.
Cooper, professor and director of jazz studies and studio music in the Rudi E. Scheidt
School of Music, is a highly regarded musician who plays saxophone, clarinet, flute
and piccolo. He is also a critically acclaimed composer and arranger. Cooper has performed
with such artists as The Manhattan Transfer, Macy Gray, the Temptations, Glenn Campbell,
Oscar Peterson and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra.
Cooper is musical director and founder of the Jazz Orchestra of the Delta. He wrote
and arranged all of the music for the group’s 2003 CD, Big Band Reflections of Cole Porter, as well as conducting and producing all nine tracks. His latest CD, The Chamber Wind Music of Jack Cooper, was released in December.
The University of Memphis Alumni Association’s awards for Distinguished
Research and Creative Achievement were presented to: (from left) Dr. Danielle
McNamara, Dr. Robert Kozma, Michael D. Hagge and Dr. Charles Crawford. Not pictured
is award-winner Jack Cooper. (Photo by Lindsey Lissau)
As a music educator, Cooper has conducted many honor bands and performed and presented
clinics and master classes throughout the U.S. and abroad. He directs the Southern
Comfort Orchestra, which has served as showpiece and recruiting tool for the University
by performing at the International Association of Jazz Educators Conference and the
Tennessee Music Educators Association, and recording two critically acclaimed CDs.
Crawford was appointed director of the Oral History Research Office in 1967, five
years after joining the University. Although his general areas of interest in research
and teaching include both American and European history, he specializes in the history
of the Southern region of the United States, more specifically the state of Tennessee
and the city of Memphis. Since his appointment, Crawford has been instrumental in
helping to create a collection of thousands of interview memoirs, which are now archived
at the McWherter Library.
His book on the history of the state of Tennessee was the first genuinely thorough
textbook on Tennessee history for secondary school students. “Tennessee history as
an academic discipline is all the richer because Charles
Crawford has dedicated much of his professional life to the telling of our story,”
said Carole Bucy, professor of history at Volunteer State Community College. Crawford
currently is project director of the World War II Veterans Oral History Project, which
records interviews with hundreds of area World War II veterans.
Kozma’s research activities span an amazing range of highly interdisciplinary topics.
They include artificial intelligence, computational intelligence, mathematics of complex
random processes, digital signal processing, nonlinear physics, computational neuroscience
and cognitive modeling, as well as mathematical finance. He is among the world leaders
in groundbreaking work in computational neurodynamics with neuroscientist Walter Freeman
at the University of California, Berkeley.
In Kozma’s research, the human brain is indirectly being used to construct control
systems that have the possibility of learning and reacting to their environment. A
notable accomplishment was his involvement in the successful design of the operating
system for the NASA Mars Rover. The mathematics professor serves as general chair
of the IEEE/INNS International Joint Conference on Neural Networks, a prominent international
conference in neural networks and intelligent signal processing.
McNamara joined the U of M in 2002 and was promoted to professor in 2008. Last year,
she was appointed director of the Institute for Intelligent Systems, an interdisciplinary
enterprise of researchers and students from the fields of computer science, mathematics,
cognitive psychology, physics, neuroscience, education, linguistics, English, philosophy,
engineering and business.
McNamara has made substantial contributions toward the understanding of cognitive
processes involved in memory, knowledge acquisition, reading and writing. Her research
has a decidedly applied quality with the development and testing of educational technologies
such as iSTART, an intelligent tutoring system helping high school and college students
read more efficiently. McNamara has displayed a successful melding of basic fundamental
research on cognitive processes with the application of this research across very
McNamara has acquired more than $10.5 million in funding over her career, securing
$5.5 million as a principal investigator and nearly $1 million as a co-principal investigator
at the U of M.
Hagge is associate professor and chair of the Department of Architecture. Under his
guidance, the department has become nationally recognized for its work in community
engagement and sustainable design.
Among projects Hagge has been involved in are: a unique plan to develop community
revitalization strategies for Henning, Tenn., an economically disadvantaged community
in Lauderdale County; “Ordinary to Extraordinary: Learning and Leading Green,” a collaborative
effort with BRIDGES USA to expand community awareness of sustainable design and environmental
issues while helping middle school students improve their math and science test scores;
and a plan to revitalize East Broadway Street, an old commercial district of West
“Perhaps the most important thing Michael Hagge has been able to achieve is the expectation
among faculty, students and University colleagues that studying and teaching architecture
is fundamentally an exercise in solving real world problems that are important to
how cities grow and develop,” said Ann Coulter, a Chattanooga architect.