2020 Dunavant Faculty Professorships

Esra Ozdenerol, Earth Sciences

Exra Ozdenerol, Professor, Department of Earth SciencesEsra Ozdenerol has been a Professor of Geographic Information Systems in the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Memphis since 2003. She is affiliated with the Departments of Preventive Medicine and Health Outcome Policy of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and the director of the GIS Certificate Program at the University of Memphis. She directs the Spatial Analysis and Geographic Education Laboratory in the Department of Earth Sciences. Dr. Ozdenerol was the associate director of Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change of the University of Memphis from 2010 till 2013. She obtained her doctorate degree in Geography in 2000 and her master of Landscape Architecture degree in 1996 from the Louisiana State University. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Architecture and Agricultural Engineering from the University of Ankara, Turkey. Before joining the University of Memphis, she was an assistant professor of architecture of the Florida International University in Miami from 2000 to 2003. Dr. Ozdenerol specializes in geographic information systems and has served as a technical consultant to various public, government, and international agencies. Her current research interests entail use of the geospatial technologies (including geographic information, remote sensing, cartographic and geostatistical analyses) in a diverse range of public and environmental health issues and gender inequalities. Her latest publications involve studies about the spatial health and gender inequalities. 

Ozdenerol's research interests include Geographic Information Systems, spatial analytical methods, medical geography, landscape ecology, landscape change, and community participation GIS. My students and I apply combined field, laboratory, GIS and remote sensing, and computer modeling techniques. She teaches GIS courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

She was recently featured in the Virtual Series: FedEx Institute of Technology COVID-19 Lightning Talks for Medical Geography, GIS, and COVID-19. Watch Now | View & Download | Email Contact

Dr. Dursun Peksen, Professor, Department of Political Science

Dr. Dursun PeksenDr. Peksen (PhD, University of Missouri, 2008) joined the Department of Political Science in 2012.

Dr. Peksen's teaching and research focus on foreign policy analysis, human rights, political violence, international political economy, security studies, introduction to political research, and research design and data analysis.

He has published over 50 journal articles and book chapters. His work on economic sanctions, human rights and military interventions has been included in several policy reports published under the United Nations and European Union.

Peksen recently was awarded the 2020 Alumni Association Distinguished Research in Social Sciences.

Read more about Dr. Peksen's research and teaching on his faculty profile page.


Emily Thrush, English

Dr. Emily Thrush, Department of EnglishEmily A. Thrush is a professor of Applied Linguistics and Professional Writing. Her research interests include international and intercultural issues in professional communication, writing for digital media, and issues in second language reading and writing.

She has conducted workshops on teaching ESL as an Academic Specialist for the U.S. State Department in Lebanon, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Brazil, trained teachers in China for the Foreign Experts Bureau, and spent a year in Mexico as a Senior Fulbright Scholar.

She is the co-author of several books in the McGraw-Hill Interactions/Mosaics series. In 2012, she was presented with the University Alumni Association award for Distinguished Research in the Humanities.

Learn more about Dr. Thrush on her faculty profile page.