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2023 Dunavant Faculty Professorships

Dunavant Professorships are endowed by a generous gift from William Dunavant in honor of Dr. Ralph Faudree who was dean of the college from 1995-2000. The College of Arts and Sciences awards one to four professorships annually. Awardees receive $5,000 per year for three years to support their research programs. Since 1999, over forty Dunavant Professorships have been awarded.


Katherine Lambert Pennington, Associate Professor, Department of AnthropologyKatherine Lambert-Pennington, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology

Dr. Lambert-Pennington is an Associate Professor at the Department of Anthropology and the Director of the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Memphis. She has a PhD in Cultural Anthropology with a certificate in African and African-American Studies from Duke University. She received a 2021-22 Fulbright-Fondazione CON IL SUD U.S. Scholar award to Italy to teach and conduct research on activism, environmental politics, and the possibilities of citizen-led development in southeastern Sicily. In the summer of 2023, she began doing pilot research on the impact of Italy’s renewable energy policies, especially related to solar energy, on urban, agricultural, environmental, and scientific actors in eastern Sicily.

Dr. Lambert-Pennington’s research interests include race and social inequality, social movements, identity production, community development, environmental, housing, food, and energy justice, participatory action research, and community-university partnerships. Additionally, she co-leads a participatory action inspired study abroad program each summer that brings students from the US to Sicily to work with Italian students and organizations on a community-led projects. She has been recognized for her commitment to engaged University of Memphis Alumni Association (Excellence in Engaged Scholarship Award, 2014) and the New England Resource Center for Higher Education and the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (The Ernest Lynton Award for Early Career Scholars, 2011). In 2022, she was awarded a Faudree University Professorship by the University of Memphis.


Dr. Roberto Triggiani, Distinguished University Professor, Department of Mathematical SciencesRoberto Triggiani, Distinguished University Professor, Department of Mathematical Sciences

Dr. Triggiani received his PhD from the University of Minnesota in 1973. He became a Full Professor of mathematics at the University of Florida in 1983 and moved to the University of Virginia in 1987. In August 2013, he joined the University of Memphis as a Distinguished University Professor.

He has authored more than 225 research papers and several research monographs in the area of partial differential equations, as they arise in applications of control and inverse theory in mechanics, acoustics, and fluids. They contain numerous original mathematical breakthroughs. A 1,100-page research monograph, authored jointly with Dr. Irena Lasiecka and published in the prestigious Encyclopedia of Mathematics and its Applications (Cambridge University Press, 2000), collects the authors' original research work over 20 years on optimal control of partial differential equations. It received the rare Feature Review by the American Mathematical Society. He was a ISI's Highly Cited Researcher in the original ISI list (one of the 250 most highly cited mathematicians worldwide for the period 1981-1999).

His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation for (so far) 44 uninterrupted years, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research for 30 years and the Army Research Office for 10 years. He has served as associate editor of numerous math journals and co-editor-in-chief of NonLinear Analysis B, 2012-18. He held an NSF Research Professorship at the University of California, Berkeley, in the spring semester of 2021 on mathematical problems in fluid dynamics, and in the summer of 2023 (reunion). Sample of recent invited main lectures include: MSRI Berkeley; Technical University of Warsaw, Poland; Henan Normal University, China; Donghua University, China; San Paulo State University, Brazil; South America Applied Math Seminar; Chapman University; Technical University of Lodz, Poland; etc. He was one of 4 main invited lecturers at the one-week summer school "Fluids under Control", Math Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague/University of Pittsburgh.