CRESH winner Sneha Sharma in center with Psychology Graduate StudentsDaniel Gabriel on the left and Dr. Nick Simon on the right

Community Involvement

An analyses of Radiation Data Collected by Astronauts Onboard the International Space Station

Dr. Firouzeh Sabri in the Department of Physics and Materials Science has been working on a project that analyses radiation data collected by astronauts on board the International Space Station in collaboration with the Institute for Research In Schools, based in London UK. This is a global initiative to help understand the effects of radiation on the health of our astronauts. She is one of the researchers that was given access to the radiation data. The project is called: "The Tim Pix Project." In an effort to include students from high schools, Dr. Sabri is working with local high school students enrolled in AP physics/ honors physics courses. South Gibson High school in Medina, TN was the first school to start working with her on this project. During a visit to the school in Spring 2017, the students presented their research poster to Dr. Sabri and Physics Major Kelli Wehner.

South Gibson High School presents research

Department of Anthropology

Engaged Scholarship in Anthropology Research

The Department of Anthropology in the College of Arts & Sciences is a recognized campus and community leader in engaged scholarship. Examples include:

  • Anthropology's mission expressly promotes engaged scholarship. Currently, our faculty collaborates with more than 50 organizations on projects that empower campus and public partners to share an equitable role in research.
  • Anthropology's Tenure and Promotion Guidelines recognize and reward engaged scholarship, and tenure track hires are expected to advance engaged research.
  • The MA in Applied Anthropology focuses on the application of engaged scholarship. The practicum requirement involves collaboration with agencies on engaged research to advance community development and/or community health.
  • The Anthropology Student Club features engaged community service activities.
  • Most of our faculty serves on the advisory boards of community organizations and subcommittees (e.g. United Housing, United Way of the Mid-South, MIFA, Latino Memphis, South Memphis Alliance, Memphis Teen Vision, Shelby County Health Department, Memphis March of Dimes). Dozens of community, state, and federal organizations benefit from engaged collaborations with Anthropology faculty.

Visit the Department of Anthropology website for more information about Engaged Scholarship in Anthropology Research.

Department of Biological Sciences

National Lab Day 2017 A Big Success!!! National Lab Day is a volunteer initiative to form local communities of support around science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers and to connect them with STEM professionals who will share their expertise as well as their excitement and passion for their disciplines. Over 100 5th graders from Grahamwood Elementary and the Campus School took part in the Department of Biological Sciences National Lab day. The McKenna, Mandel, Bowers, and Abell Labs along with the Herbarium and Dr. Koonz's General Biology Lab were open for activities. The Bowers Lab taught about bird watching, the McKenna Lab tours included learning about insect biodiversity and the Mandel Lab extracted DNA from a strawberry! See Photo Below. Visit the Department website for more information about community involvement.

Department of Biological Sciences participate in National Lab Day

CH Nash Museum at Chucalissa

Guided tours and special programs are available with a reservation. To arrange a group tour, email Chucalissa@Memphis.edu or telephone 901.785.3160.

Family programs and craft activities are offered during the summer and change weekly. For a detailed description of programs and crafts, please see our online brochure or visit the Chucalissa website

The C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa charges a minimal admission fee which goes directly back into the upkeep and maintenance of the facilities. Thank you for supporting Chucalissa! The fee schedule for Chucalissa can be found on their website.

CfIA Hosts Successful GenCyber Boot Camps

The Center for Information Assurance (CfIA) hosted its annual GenCyber Boot Camps for two consecutive weeks in June. More than 80 middle school and high school students came to the University of Memphis to learn more about cyber safety and best practices. Campers came from 24 different schools in the Mid-South and a few from other parts of the country.

Students engaged in activities such as digital fingerprinting, online safety and privacy. The main theme was to teach the Cyber Security First principles, which were illustrated with real-world examples by security experts. There also were week-long group projects where students were asked to develop cyber security-related stories/games. Each group presented its projects to a panel of industry professionals on the last day of the camp. Students also toured different campus facilities.

GenCyber Boot Camp for Middle and High School Students

Among the security professionals who shared their experiences with the campers were Karen Bell, UofM systems analyst; Dr. Dipankar Dasgupta, CfIA director and GenCyber program director; FBI agent Tim Marsh; Dr. Lan Wang, chair of the Department of Computer Science; Meka Egwuekwe, CodeCrew director; and James Cotter of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. Dr. Jada Meeks, director of ESU (Empowering Students Universally) Scholars, spoke to the high school campers on the importance of early preparation for college. "I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with the instructors and other students," said student Maddie Dowd. "I found everyone very welcoming. I have already used my new-found knowledge at a volunteer youth science camp at which I am teaching this summer."

Learn more about the Center for Information Assurance at their website.

College Research Experience for Students in High School (MemphisCRESH)

CRESH winner Sneha Sharma in center with Psychology Graduate StudentsDaniel Gabriel on the left and Dr. Nick Simon on the rightDr. Nick Simon hosted a summer student through the UofM CRESH (College Research Experience for Students in High School) program. The student (Sneha Sharma) won second place in the CRESH poster competition with her poster titled "Modeling Addiction Vulnerability with a Rat Risky Decision-making Task." Sneha is pictured with Grad student Daniel Gabriel (left) and Dr. Simon (right). (full photo at top of page)

From cancer research, to solar energy, to materials for space applications, previous scholars had the opportunity to work alongside undergraduate and graduate students and contributed to the scientific advancement of the research group that they were affiliated with.Find out more about the CRESH Program at the website.

Department of Social Work

UofM Social Work Students Provide Free Tax Prep Services to Low-Income Families

  • Social Work Students Help 1,835 Working Families Secure $2.2 Million in Refunds
  • University of Memphis Student Effort Saves Families over $725,000 in Commercial Tax Prep Fees

This tax season, 37 University of Memphis students from the Department of Social Work and Fogelman College of Business & Economics served at free tax preparation sites throughout Memphis to help prepare 1,835 tax returns.

The SaveFirst volunteers provided an alternative to commercial preparers and served nearly 2,000 families, helping them claim more than $2.2 million in refunds and save over $725,000 in commercial preparation fees. The primary tax sites were Binghampton Development Corporation, Soulsville Town Center, Ed Rice Community Center, Church Health Center and Orange Mound Community Center. In a record year, UofM students were part of a coalition of 100 volunteers in Memphis who provided free tax preparation to low-income working families.

The SaveFirst initiative strives to ensure that low-income families receive the full Earned Income Tax Credit and other credits they are entitled to and encourage long-term financial planning and asset building. With more than 58 percent of EITC recipients in Memphis paying a commercial preparer to complete their taxes, Memphis families lose $32 million each year to commercial tax preparation costs. Free tax preparation offers immediate economic relief when individuals do not have to pay commercial preparers.
"The Earned Income Tax Credit is a concrete way in which we can help families living in poverty claim money which belongs to them," said Dr. Elena Delavega, associate professor of Social Work. "Social work has an important role to play in communicating information about this program and increasing participation among low-income families."

Strengthening Communities Initiative, Engaged Scholarship, and SUAPP

The School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy (SUAPP) provides valuable services to cities and enable the institution and the urban citizens to improve their core knowledge and expertise leading to future development of theories and discoveries that advance our nation.

Since 1999, the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy (SUAPP) at the University of Memphis has produced important discoveries through collaboration with institutions, agencies, and organizations and by defining the questions and best practices of research methodologies and data analysis. Engaged scholarship has become the hallmark of SUAPP’s work.

For more information on the Strengthening Communities Initiative, Engaged Scholarship, and the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy, visit the SUAPP website.