2015 Dunavant Professorships

Dr. Robert Cohen

Dr. Robert CohenDr. Robert Cohen is a Professor of developmental psychology interested in children’s social development, with a focus on children’s peer relations. Children’s ability to successfully navigate peer social contexts has been established as critical for both current and long-term adjustment. Dr. Cohen’s contribution to this field is a program of research with elementary school-aged children investigating a variety of topics including: aggression and victimization, both face-to-face and cyber; friendship and antipathy relationships; peer group standing based on liking and popularity; children’s understanding of respect and the association of being respected to peer functioning; and the association of peer relations to children’s emotional competence. For the past 15 years, he has collaborated with colleagues at Central China Normal University in Wuhan, China to explore the role of culture on the development and impact of children’s peer relations. Dr. Cohen and his students have published over 100 refereed journal articles and delivered over 150 refereed conference presentations/posters. He serves as a member of the editorial boards of Social Development and Journal of Educational Psychology, and has been a reviewer on NIH Study Sections.

Dr. Cohen takes a great deal of pride in the research accomplishments of students at the University of Memphis with whom he has worked. To date, he has served on 16 undergraduate Honors Thesis Committees (Chairperson for 5); 87 Masters Thesis Committees (Chairperson for 35); and 75 Doctoral Dissertation Committees (Chairperson for 21). Dr. Cohen has twice been a finalist for the Distinguished Teaching Award, and he has served as Coordinator of Graduate Programs for the Department of Psychology since 2006.

Dr. James E. Fickle

Dr. James E. FickleDr. James E. Fickle is a specialist in United States forest history and is currently a professor of history at The University of Memphis in Memphis, Tennessee, and Visiting Professor of Forest and Environmental History at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He has written numerous books and articles dealing with the subject of Southern forest history, His books have been very favorably reviewed in the professional journals, and his articles have won academic prizes in their field. He is a frequent reviewer for academic journals and often speaks at historical and forestry meetings across the country. His most recent book is a book entitled Green Gold; The Rise, Decline, and Restoration of Alabama’s Forest Products Industries which was published in 2014. He has also completed a history of the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory for the U.S. Forest Service and the Forest History Society. He has also received a grant from the U.S. Forest Service to write a history of bottomland hardwood research in the South, and has been conducting interviews and visiting archival depositories across the nation in connection with this project. He is also serving as the consultant for the production of a state forest history in Alaska, and has recently been a member of the organizing board of the new U.S. Forest Service history museum in Missoula, Montana.

Fickle teaches courses in U.S. business and economic history, labor/working class history, and environmental history. His publications and research interests have centered around the forest products industries, with books and articles on labor in that industry, trade associations and organizational structure, and the historical development of the profession of forestry. In the labor area He is particularly interested in biracial unions and organizational efforts. He has a strong interest in conservation, land use, and land and resource management, which combines his recreational interests as a backpacker, camper, climber, and rafter with his academic specialties.

His publications include "Geen Gold: The Rise, Decline, and Restoration of Alabama’s Forest Products Industries" (University of Alabama Press, 2014); "Timber: A Photographic History of Mississippi Forestry" (University Press of Mississippi, 2004); "Mississippi Forests and Forestry" (University Press of Mississippi, 2001); and "The New South" and the “New Competition”: Trade Association Development in the Southern Pine Industry" (University of Illinois Press, 1980).

DR. Yongmei Wang

Dr. Yongmei WangDr. Yongmei Wang is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Memphis. She received her B.S. at the University of Science and Technology in China and completed her Ph.D. at the University of Notre Dame. She joined the faculty member in the Chemistry Department in 2003. While at Memphis, Dr. Wang has developed an active research program that focuses on the computational/theoretical studies of macromolecules and nanoparticles. The research activities in her group were supported by National Science Foundation, Petroleum Research Fund, National Institutes of Health and other agencies. Dr. Wang has brought in close to $3 million dollars of external funding to this campus serving as PI or co-PI on grants. She is an internationally recognized research scholar and has given many invited talks at international conferences held in Slovak, Germany, Netherland, Korea and China. Most recently, she was invited as a guest lecturer at Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) in Korea and gave a one-week lecture on the topic of separation and characterization of macromolecules and nanoparticles, a field where her computational studies have made important contributions.

Dr. Wang is also a great mentor to graduate and undergraduate students participated in her research program. Her undergraduate students have won many awards including the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship award. Some of her former graduate students and postdoc now hold professorship positions at universities in US and in China. In addition, Dr. Wang enjoys teaching to graduate, undergraduate and middle school students about chemistry.