Update - The newsletter for the University of Memphis
More May Features:

Lindner Receives Highest Honor
The U of M Steps into India
Study Abroad a Perfect Cup of Tea
AUSP Lends Helping Hand
Distinguished Teaching Award
Two Honored with Briggs Award
Research/Creative Awards go to 5
Going the Distance
Taking Note
Poteet Honored with Award
Green Fee
Rushing School of Music Director


May 2010 Briefs

The popular “The Delta. Everything Southern!” conference is returning to the University of Memphis June 3 at the Fogelman Executive Center. The conference begins at 8:15 a.m. and has an impressive list of experts on the history, life and culture of the Delta. Past conferences have sold out in advance. New this year is online registration: visit http://www.memphis.edu
for registration information and other details.

The U of M Moot Court travel team finished second in the National Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition in Boston last month. After winning the Southern Regional Championship, team members LaChina Algers and Joseph McKinney advanced to the national competition.

For More Information:
303 Administration Building
Memphis, TN 38152
Phone: 901/678-3811
Fax: 901/678-3607
e-mail: grussll@memphis.edu

Four recognized at Convocation with Alumni Association’;s Distinguished Teaching Award

Four professors have been chosen to receive the 2010 University of Memphis Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award. Each accepted a $2,000 award during the University’s annual Faculty Convocation in April at the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.

The honored teachers were Dr. Julia Heath, professor of economics; Dr. Marian Levy, associate professor and director of the Master of Public Health program; Andrew McClurg, professor of law; and Dr. Anna Bess Sorin, a biology instructor.

Heath serves as director of the Center for Economic Education at the U of M. She received her PhD in economics from the University of South Carolina in 1986. Heath teaches both undergraduate and graduate classes, primarily micro theory, principles and the economics of sports and labor. She has won several teaching awards at the U of M, including the Thomas W. Briggs Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award, and has been recognized at the national level with the Kenneth Elzinga Award, the top teaching award in the economics profession.

Heath brings energy and creativity to every course she teaches. She focuses on the “everydayness” of economics and shows students how their world is informed by economics. Through hands-on demonstrations and meaningful questions, Heath leads her students to their own discovery of difficult economic concepts. Students appreciate her “vibrant personality” and “unrivaled approachability” which, in the words of one student, make Heath a “one in a million professor.”

The recipients of the 2010 University of Memphis Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Awards are: (from left)   Dr. Julia A. Heath, Dr. Marian Levy and Dr. Anna Bess Sorin. Not pictured is award-winner Andrew Jay McClurg.   (Photo by Lindsey Lissau)
The recipients of the 2010 University of Memphis Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Awards are: (from left) Dr. Julia A. Heath, Dr. Marian Levy and Dr. Anna Bess Sorin. Not pictured is award-winner Andrew Jay McClurg. (Photo by Lindsey Lissau)

A registered dietitian, Levy has spearheaded numerous initiatives to reduce child obesity, promote health equity and increase access to health care. She received her doctorate in public health from UCLA, specializing in behavioral sciences and health education.

Levy captivates students with her passion for her profession. Her students describe her as kind, approachable and always willing to go the extra mile in order to mentor them and help them grow professionally. Many former students seek out Levy for advice as they make career and life choices.

In February she received the Ruby R. Wharton Outstanding Woman Award in the area of race relations. Her research interests include the promotion of schoolbased health, cultural competence, Latino health and community-based participatory research. Levy is most noted for her focus in ensuring that the Hispanic community has a gateway to suitable, quality health care.

McClurg is a nationally and internationally known teacher and scholar of tort law, products liability, privacy law and firearms policy.

He is recognized as a gifted teacher by his students, who affectionately refer to him as “tort man.” His teaching evaluations are phenomenally positive, and he makes class enjoyable and fun without sacrificing intellectual rigor. Students refer to him as “challenging, wellorganized, entertaining,” as well as “caring and committed.” Several students noted that McClurg will go out of his way to help students, including scheduling extra classes to ensure that they understand the material.

McClurg’s strength as a teacher is also acknowledged by his colleagues, who often seek him out for advice about teaching. Last year, McClurg received the Excellence in Legal Education Award from the U of M Law Alumni Board, given annually to a professor who has excelled in three areas: classroom teaching and instruction; service to the profession, the community, the law school and the University; and research, scholarship and publication.

Sorin is coordinator of undergraduate advising, as well as an instructor, for the Department of Biology. She received her MS and PhD from the University of Michigan, specializing in animal biology, evolutionary biology and molecular ecology.

Sorin came to the U of M for a post-doctoral position in molecular ecology and microbiology and molecular cell sciences. She teaches the introductory biology course to non-biology majors. These classes have some of the largest enrollments in the department, yet Sorin is praised as an engaging educator and caring mentor.

Students describe her as intensely passionate about biology, very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and approachable. Sorin strives to have students appreciate why and how biology is relevant to their daily lives and the many topics society wrestles with, including obesity, flu pandemics, cancer, HIV/AIDS and DNA technologies.

Sorin was a recipient of the 2009 Thomas W. Briggs Foundation’s Excellence in Teaching Award.

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Last Updated: 1/23/12