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.

Catherine Phipps, Associate Professor Department of HistoryCatherine Phipps, Associate Professor, Department of History

Dr. Phipps is Associate Professor in the History Department at the University of Memphis, specializing in nineteenth-century Japanese history, maritime empires, and historical geography. She earned her Ph.D. at Duke University in 2006 and has received research and project awards including Fulbright IIE and Japan Foundation grants as well as a visiting scholarship at the Center for Japan Research, L’École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) in Paris. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on Japan, East Asia, and global history. She served as Director of International and Global Studies at the university from 2018-2023 and was a board member of the national Association for Asian Studies and chair of its Council of Conferences from 2021-2023.

Her first book, Empires on the Waterfront: Japan’s Ports and Power, 1858-1899 was published in 2015 by the Harvard University Asia Center. She is the editor of Meiji Japan in Global History (Routledge, 2022) and has published numerous book chapters, reviews, and articles. Most recently, her article, Mobility in an Age of Imperialism, Nation-Building, and Revolution: Kawata Masazō’s Late-Nineteenth-Century Pacific World,” appeared in the March 2023 issue of the Journal of World History. She is currently working on two book projects: one placing Japan in global history and another examining how the port city of Osaka’s vibrant local shipping industry navigated new demands with the nineteenth-century intrusion by Western empires. The latter project, in part, sheds light on the centuries-long, localized process of re-engineering (and culturally re-inventing) Japan’s harborscape as regional ports morphed into industrialized hubs, steering the Japanese empire’s commercial and financial power into the 20th century.

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 UofM 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.