2013 Alumni Association Distinguished Research, Excellence in Engaged Scholarship and Creative Achievement Awards

The University of Memphis has recognized three Arts & Sciences professors with its 2013 Alumni Association Distinguished Research Award. Each accepted the award during a May luncheon.

The professors and their categories are: Dr. Santosh Kumar, associate professor of computer science, Distinguished Research in Science, Engineering and Mathematics; Dr. Guy Mittleman, professor of psychology, Distinguished Research in Social Sciences, Business and Law; and Dr. Lynda Sagrestano, associate professor of psychology and director of the Center for Research on Women, Excellence in Engaged Scholarship.

Dr. Santosh Kumar

Dr. Santosh KumarKumar was named one of America's ten most brilliant scientists under the age of 38 byPopular Science magazine in 2010. While at the U of M, Kumar and his multidisciplinary colleagues at 10 universities have developed the AutoSense wearable sensor system with $8 million in research grants from National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. AutoSense is being used across the nation in scientific research for automated assessment of stress, smoking, drinking and illicit drug use. Kumar's current research focuses on the development of mobile health (mHealth) systems for real-time monitoring of physical, psychological, and behavioral health.

Dr. Guy Mittleman

Mittleman, holder of a University of Memphis Dunavant Professorship, is widely recognized for outstanding research on animal models for drug and alcohol addiction and on neural abnormalities associated with autism spectrum disorders. One reviewer observed that "the excellence he displayed early in his training has continued nonstop." Since joining the faculty at the U of M, Mittleman has produced more than 60 peer-reviewed publications and has received more than $15 million in external funding. His research funding has been nearly continuous since 1992. Viewed as a "very talented and productive researcher," his contributions to behavioral neuroscience are described as "creative and profound." Mittleman is a Fellow of the American Psychological Society.

Dr. Lynda Sagrestano

Sagrestano embodies the U of M's approach to engaged scholarship. She has built collaborative research partnerships which are marked by reciprocity and that lead to the production of new knowledge. Her research is oriented toward applying psychological theory to understand and intervene on social problems and advance theory development, highlighting the role of contextual factors in health processes and outcomes. The goal is to take a more integrated approach to prevention and intervention in public health. Sagrestano has developed many constructive relationships with local nonprofit organizations to address issues related to infant mortality, adolescent pregnancy, economic security for women, and the empowerment of girls. She is described as a "model for engagement" and as a highly respected mentor to faculty and students. Sagrestano was a member of the inaugural class of PI Millionaires at the U of M, serves on the board of directors of the National Council for Research on Women, and is an affiliate faculty member in Women's and Gender Studies.