Four noted professors were recognized with the 2013 University of Memphis Alumni Association
Distinguished Teaching Award. Each accepted the award during a May luncheon.
The honored teachers were Leigh Ann Breckenridge, clinical assistant professor in
the Loewenberg School of Nursing; Dr. Carrie Brown, assistant professor in the Department
of Journalism; Dr. Shawn Jones, assistant professor in the Department of Marketing
and Supply Chain Management; and Dr. Ross Sackett, an instructor in the Department
(left to right) Anita Vaughn, Leigh Ann Breckenridge, Dr. Shirley Raines, and Dr.
Breckenridge has been teaching nursing for more than 20 years, and exhibits a true
passion for the discipline and for nursing students. Knowing that nurses very much
contribute to an individual’s medical experience, she works with students to help
them grasp complex yet key concepts and to develop trusting relationships with patients.
Her goal is to mentor compassion and respect in her students for each individual.
Breckenridge encourages students to be leaders and lifelong learners in their profession.
If Breckenridge can help remove some of those barriers or encourage students, she
will. Purchasing a Kroger card for a student eat or spending extra time with them
so they can grasp a concept is what brings her joy. Her passion includes educating
individuals about Asperger’s Syndrome, childhood obesity and breastfeeding.
(left to right) Anita Vaughn, Carrie Brown, Dr. Shirley Raines, and Dr. David Rudd
Brown is an outstanding teacher and is engaged in research on changing newsrooms,
social media, entrepreneurial journalism, and all things digital. She has created
a graduate certificate in entrepreneurial journalism in partnership with LaunchYourCity,
a local resource for entrepreneurs. She has also developed two new courses in social
media in which students connect with their colleagues across the country and internationally,
including a global Twitter scavenger hunt with participants from as far away as Egypt.
Brown was recently awarded a fellowship at the City University of New York to study
the skills needed for the journalism jobs of today and for the future. She has served
as the director of The Teen Appeal, the citywide high school newspaper, and continues to serve as an adviser to the
program staff. Brown’s research has been published by Electronic News, the International Symposium of Online Journalism, and Harvard's NiemanLab and she has served as a featured speaker and panelist at a variety of conferences.
Her professional journalism background includes stints as a reporter, editor and national
(left to right) Anita Vaughn, Shawn Jones, Dr. Shirley Raines, and Dr. David Rudd
Prior to arriving at the U of M, Jones attained the rank of major in the U.S. Air
Force. Among his accomplishments, he led 152 airmen supporting a dozen F-16 aircraft
deployed to multiple locations in Qatar, Iraq and the Horn of Africa while supporting
Operation Iraqi Freedom. His achievements were recognized with the Lt. Gen. Leo Marquez
Award in 2003 as the top officer in a group of 381 aircraft maintenance officers in
Air Combat Command. Jones is recognized as an outstanding teacher and for his ability
to connect with students. He is eager to serve as a mentor in and outside of the classroom.
Students also praise his passion to help them build great careers. They recognize
that he truly cares about their long-term success. Jones is a previous recipient of
the U of M Marketing and Supply Chain Management Outstanding Teaching Award. He also
serves as faculty adviser to the Supply Chain Management Student Association and the
club ice hockey team.
(left to right) Anita Vaughn, Ross Sackett, Dr. Shirley Raines, and Dr. David Rudd
Sackett is an evolutionary anthropologist in Interdisciplinary Studies and also teaches
courses in the Department of Anthropology. The son of a Paleolithic archeologist,
his early experiences excavating Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal archeological sites in
southern France began a lifelong fascination with human origins and the evolution
of society and cultural activity systems. He has conducted archeological and ethnographic
fieldwork in the U.S., physiological and nutritional research among the Yukpa Indians
of Venezuela, and with his wife, Dr. Ruthbeth Finerman, has spent more than three
decades investigating the household adaptations of the Saraguro Indians in the highlands
of Ecuador. Sackett says his greatest academic challenge – and satisfaction – has
been teaching human beginnings to students of diverse backgrounds, most without prior
exposure to the evolutionary sciences or anthropology. He enjoys punctuating his evolution
lectures with physical “full-body” demonstrations; years later many students still
recall his notorious re-enactments of early mammalian and primate locomotion patterns.
He also serves as undergraduate advising coordinator in the Department of Anthropology.