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Faculty and Department Kudos (Summer/Fall 2021)

Additional award, research and presentation information can be found on the CAS Accolades website.

Interdisciplinary Project

Dr. Jennifer Turchi (School of Public Health) and Dr. Tim McCuddy (Criminal Justice) are co-PIs of a 2022 CoRS grant to fund "Convening minds to address youth justice and youth violence in Memphis, TN," a day-long symposium that will bring together community stakeholders and UofM faculty who are working to address youth violence and youth justice in Memphis. Community organizations, including justice-impacted youth, and faculty will present their work and discuss collaborative opportunities. This effort is designed to help bridge the gap between academe and community to address the important issues facing youth in Memphis. Dr. Brenna Breshears (Counseling, Education Psychology & Research), Dr. Minhae Cho (Social Work) and Dr. Lindsey Feldman (Anthropology) are co-collaborators on this interdisciplinary project.


Department of Anthropology

Dr. Keri Brondo, professor and chair for the Department of Anthropology, was awarded $21,516 from Innovate Memphis for her project “Ethnographic Support for City Innovation.”

Congratulations to Dr. Micah Trapp on her chapter: “Grocery Auction Games: Distribution and Value in the Industrialized Food System” in Why Food Matters: Critical Debates in Food Studies. Check out the book link here: https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/why-food-matters-9781350011427

Congratulations to Dr. Lindsey Feldman who has been elected to the board for the Society for Visual Anthropology!

Department of Biology

Dr. Jennifer Mandel, associate professor for the Department of Biological Sciences, was awarded $19,748 from the National Science Foundation for her project “EAGER: Resolving the Evolutionary History of the Sunflower family in the Face of Rampant Gene and Genome Duplications.”

Dr. Duane McKenna, William Hill Professor in the Department of Biology, was awarded $506,597 from the National Science Foundation for his project “Investigating chemosensory evolution in longhorned beetles using a comparative phylogenomic framework that integrates genomic, morphological, and biochemical data.”

Dr. James Adelman, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, was co-author of the paper "Disease tolerance alters host competence in a wild songbird" published in Biology Letters.

Congratulations to Dr. Shawn Brown and colleagues for their new publication "Taxonomic Evaluation of a Bioherbicidal Isolate of Albifimbria verrucaria, Formerly Myrothecium verrucaria." J. Fungi 2021, 7, 694. In this study, the authors report that the candidate bioherbicide CABI-IMI 368023, previously identified as M. verrucaria, was found to be most consistently aligned with the other representatives of A. verrucaria when analyzed morphologically and genetically. You can read the paper at the link below and the Brown lab at https://www.microbialmemphis.com/

Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI)

Dr. Eunseo Choi, associate professor of the Center for Earthquake Research and Information, was awarded $52,128 from the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM) for his project “Viscoelastic numerical modeling of crustal deformation in the Korean  Peninsula after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake.”

Dr. Robert Smalley, research professor of the Center for Earthquake Research and Information, was awarded $9,550 from the United States Geological Survey for his project “GPS Array for MidAmerica - monitoring deformation in the New Madrid seismic zone.”

Dr. Mitchell Withers, associate research professor of the Center for Earthquake Research and Information, was awarded $201,159 from the United States Geological Survey for his project “Operation of the Mid-America Integrated Seismic Network 2020- 2024-CERI.”

Center for Information Assurance (CfIA)

Dr. Dipankar Dasgupta, Hill Professor in Cybersecurity and director in the Center for Information Assurance, was awarded $1,014,076 and $251,346 from the National Security Agency for his project “Cybersecurity education for Critical Infrastructure protection (in Community Development) through Regional Coalition” and “Developing application-specific shared-trust framework for accessing sensitive information.”

Department of Computer Science

Dr. Thomas Watson, assistant professor of the Department of Computer Science, was awarded $7,617 from the National Science Foundation for his project “CAREER: Structural Communication Complexity.”

Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Dr. Randolph Dupont, professor of the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, was awarded $45,000 from the City of Memphis Police Department (CMPD) for his project “City of Memphis Police CIS.”

Department of English

Dr. Evelyn Wright was quoted in a National Geographic article, "Why Learning A New Language is Good for the Whole Family." You can read the article on their Family website.

Department of History

July: Congratulations to Ms. Amanda Lee Savage, one of the twenty educators selected by the National Humanities Center to serve on their Teacher Advisory Council for 2021-22. Full Details

Institute for Intelligent Systems

Dr. Leah Windsor, research assistant professor for the Institute for Intelligent Systems, was awarded $450,000 from the National Sciences Foundation for her project “Multimodal Signaling and Communication Analysis of World Leaders.”

Department of Mathematical Sciences

Dr. Bentuo Zheng, professor for the Department of Mathematical Sciences, was awarded $8,400 from the Simons Foundation for his project “The Geometry of Banach Spaces.”

Roberto Triggiani, as an MSRI Research Professor, gave a 60-minute presentation at the Spring Semester "Mathematics of Fluids", held at The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, University of California, Berkeley, on May 27, 2021. The title of his presentation was: Uniform boundary stabilization of 3D Navier-Stokes equations and 2D-3D Boussinesq systems by finite dimensional, localized, static, boundary feedback controllers in Besov spaces of low regularity".

Roberto Triggiani  was one of 5 main speakers at the IV Miniworkshop on Partial Differential Equations, held at the Department of Mathematics, IBILCE/UNESP/Sao Jose do Rio Preto/Brazil, on March 18, 2021. The title of his 50 minute presentation was:" Uniform boundary stabilization of 3D Navier-Stokes equations and 2D-3D Boussinesq systems by finite dimensional, localized, boundary feedback controllers in Besov spaces of low regularity".

George Anastassiou was an one hour keynote speaker in "Online International Conference on Applied Analysis and Mathematical Modelling" (ICAAMM 2021), Biruni University, Istanbul, Turkey, June 11-13, 2021. Title of lecture: "Iyengar -Hilfer Fractional Inequalities".

Department of Political Science

Congratulations to Dr. Kris-Stella Trump! Her article “Lessons for COVID-19 Vaccination from Eight Federal Government Direct Communication Evaluations” (co-authored with Heather Barry Kappes, Mattie Tomal, Rekha Balu, Russ Burnett, Nuole Chen, Rebecca Johnson, Jessica Leight, Saad B. Omer, Elana Safran, Mary Steffel, David Yokum, and Pompa Debroy) has been accepted for publication in Behavioral Science & Policy.

Department of Psychology

Dr. Kristoffer Berlin, associate professor, Clinical (Child and Family) Psychology, was awarded $14,433 from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville with the National Institutes of Health for his project “Translating basic habituation research to childhood obesity treatment.”

Dr. Kathryn Howell, associate professor, Clinical (Child and Family) director of Child and Family Studies Research, was awarded $182,110 and $57,429 from the University of Notre Dame with the National Institutes of Health for her projects “Pregnant Moms' Program” and $12,500 from the Mental Research Institute for her project “Examining pandemic-related stress among IPV-exposed mother-infant dyads.”

Dr. Mark LeDoux, research professor for the Department of Psychology, was awarded $414,665 from the National Institutes of Health for his project “The Pathobiology and Treatment of the UBTF E210K Neuroregression Syndrome.”

Dr. Philip Pavlik, associate professor of the Department of Psychology and affiliate of the Institute for Intelligent Systems, was awarded $431,594 from the U.S. Department of Education for his project “Using Adaptive Practice to Improve Recall and Understanding in Postsecondary  Anatomy and Physiology.”

Dr. Kathryn Howell, associate professor of the Department of Psychology and director of Child and Family Studies Research, was awarded $112,500 from The Urban Child Institute for her project “Promoting Health and Well-being in Children and Families: Expansion of a Prenatal  Intervention Program.”

Department of Public and Nonprofit Administration

Dr. Elizabeth Gillespie, assistant professor in the Department of Public and Nonprofit Administration, was awarded $4,567 from the Assisi Foundation of Memphis for her project “Empowering "Chief Everything Officers" to Fundraise Effectively.”

Public Safety Institute

Dr. Abby Parrill-Baker, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and professor for the Department of Chemistry, was awarded $525,000 from the Memphis and Shelby Crime Commission for her project “Public Safety Institute.”

School of Social Work

Dr. Susan Neely-Barnes, professor, director and chair for the School of Social Work, was awarded $466,762 from the Health Resources and Services Administration for her project “INTEGRATE (INterprofessional TEams GRounded in Apprenticeship, Telehealth, and Evidence).”

Dr. Melissa Hirschi, assistant professor for the Department of Social Work, was awarded $544,268 and $299,829 from the Health Resources and Services Administration for her projects “Peers Engaging and Empowering Recovery (PEER)” and “Memphis Opioid Workforce Paraprofessional Expansion Program.”

Dr. Elena Delavega, professor of the Department of Social Work, was awarded $60,000 from Church Health Center of Memphis for her project “Improving Behavioral Healthcare for the Latinx Community in Memphis.” 

Dr. Susan Elswick, associate professor of the Department of Social Work, was awarded $195,000 from The Urban Child Institute for her project “School Mental Health Access to Resources through Teletherapy (SMART) Research, Training, and Treatment Center.”

Dr. Susan NeelyBarnes, professor, director, and chair of the Department of Social Work, was awarded $615,768 from Health Resources and Services Administration for her project “Memphis Social Work Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (MSW-SDS).”

Department of World Languages and Literatures

Dr. Vania Barraza edited the special issue “El género ilimitado: márgenes, rupturas y transgresiones en el cine luso-hispánico” for the Journal of Gender and Sexuality Studies / Revista De Estudios De Género y Sexualidades, vol. 47.1 (2021) 1-182. https://doi.org/10.14321/jgendsexustud.47.1.fm

Dr. Robert Kelz’s chapter "The Schlichter Siblings and their Artistic Triumphs in South America. With Reflections on Ruth Weiss and her Advocacy for Civil Rights in South Africa and Rhodesia," has been accepted for publication in Festschrift für Ruth Weiss, ed. Frederick Lubich (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2022).  In addition, Dr. Kelz’s article "Hope in Foreboding Times: The 1932 Goethe Year in Argentina," was accepted for publication in Goethe Yearbook Vol. 29 (2022).

Dr. Diana Ruggiero, Dr. Brianna Butera, and Jonathan Jones-Edwards (UofM WLL MA Grad) served as panelists for “Deciphering Dialects: When Words Vary Amongst Spanish Speaking Populations,” a virtual panel hosted by the Office of Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity at UT Health Science Center on Wednesday, September 22nd for National Hispanic Heritage Month. Professors, physicians, researchers, students and more gathered to learn about important dialectal differences that can occur in clinical encounters which could be a matter of life or death as well as practical strategies for interacting with Spanish-speaking patients.

Dr. Will Thompson presented “Fictional Portrayals of the French Creoles of the Illinois Country” at the annual history conference of the Foundation for Restoration of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, on September 18.

Dr. Robert Kelz published “Instrument or Inspiration? Commemorating the 1949 Goethe Year in Argentina” in Goethe Yearbook Vol. 28 (2021): 263-284.

Dr. Iván Ortega-Santos presented “Is there variation in the reliability of theoretical syntax data across languages?” at the 30th Colloquium on Generative Grammar, organized by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. 

Dr. Fatima Nogueira, Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, is this year’s recipient of the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Research Award in the Humanities (formally announced at college’s faculty meeting on August 19).

Dr. Vania Barraza Toledo, Professor of Spanish, has obtained a grant from the University of Memphis Campus Community Fund in the amount of $2,500 for the upcoming Hispanic Film Festival.

Our M.A. in Spanish is listed as number nine for “Best 15 Masters in Spanish Programs in 2021 by the bestvalueschools.org website.

Past Kudos