The College of Arts and Sciences' Distinguished Research Award (CASDRA) was initiated
in 1993-94. Awards may be given in four areas: Natural Sciences and Mathematical Sciences;
Humanities; Social Sciences; and Engaged Scholarship.
In recognition for outstanding research achievements, each recipient receives $500.00
toward research expenses, a plaque, and recognition at our August faculty meeting.
We are very pleased today to acknowledge two of our faculty members for their outstanding
research performance. Dr. Aram Goudsouzian, Department of History, is receiving the CASDRA in the area of the Humanities and
Dr. Santosh Kumar, Department of Computer Science, is receiving the award in the area of Natural Sciences
and Mathematical Sciences.
Dr. Aram Goudsouzian, Professor of History, is receiving the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished
Research Award in the area of the Humanities. He completed his Ph.D. in History at
Purdue University in 2002 and joined the faculty here at the University of Memphis
in 2004 after holding positions at Hamilton College, Suffolk University, University
of Massachusetts, Boston, and Indiana University/ Purdue University at Columbus.
Professor Goudsouzian describes his research area as being focused on modern American
culture and politics, with a particular emphasis on African American history. These
scholarly interests are clear by the titles of his books. Three have been published
already: Sidney Poitier: Man, Actor, Icon; The Hurricane of 1938; and King of the
Court: Bill Russell and the Basketball Revolution. The Sidney Poitier book was reviewed
in the New York Times Book Review and the Washington Post Book Review and was a finalist
for the Theatre Library Association Award. A fourth book entitled The Long Road to
Freedom: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Meredith March Again Fear is under review
now. In addition to these book publications, Professor Goudsouzian has over a dozen
refereed articles and chapters, and he has received many awards and grants to support
his research. He received the College of Arts and Sciences' Early Career Research
Award in 2008.
Professor Goudsouzian was nominated by Dr. Janann Sherman, Chair of the Department
of History, who writes "A young, prolific scholar in his prime, Dr. Goudsouzian's
scholarship has drawn numerous local and national accolades, thereby highlighting
our university's ongoing research mission and exemplifying all of the qualities that
characterize the honors of this award." She points out that his work has received
positive attention from the national media. For example, ESPN praised his work on
the Bill Russell book as being "authoritative [and] incredibly well-researched."
Among the letters written by colleagues from other universities, one professor at
Brown University writes, "First let me say that his career has been not just stellar
but meteoric. A glance at his vita shows not just an enormous quantity of work….It
is all very fine." In commenting on the King of the Court book, he continues, "Goudsouzian
gives us a sophisticated analysis of the place of basketball in American life, and
more particularly, he shows how law, business, and media shaped the game....Using
the career of Bill Russell, Goudsouzian shows us how basketball was emblematic of
vast changes in American society. As he implies, the story begins with racial integration—a
mighty achievement—but it isn't over yet…"
Dr. Santosh Kumar, Associate Professor of Computer Science, is receiving the College of Arts and Sciences
Distinguished Research Award in the area of the Natural Sciences and Mathematical
Sciences. He completed his Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering at Ohio State
University in 2006. Professor Kumar joined the faculty at the University of Memphis
that year. He describes his work as seeking "to establish a scientific foundation
for mobile health systems. Mobile health has the potential to simultaneously reduce
the cost of health care and improve our health by providing continuous monitoring…"
Nominator Professor Stan Franklin describes Professor Kumar's research productivity
and accomplishments in this way: "In only five years he has published 27 papers in
highly respected and selective venues….He has been awarded almost $6,000,000 in research
grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.
Santosh's research prowess has not gone unnoticed. In 2010 he was selected as a "Brilliant
Ten," (the Top Ten Scientists in the U.S. under the age of 38) by Popular Science
Magazine. He also received the Faudree Professorship in 2011-12 and the College of
Arts and Sciences' Early Career Research Award in 2008.
From among highly laudatory external letters, a colleague at Arizona State University
describes Professor Kumar in this way: he "has shown that it is possible for a researcher
to conduct high quality research in both theory and systems…Over the years, he work
has retained its high-quality and depth, but has significantly expanded in its societal
J. Gayle Beck, Lillian and Morrie Moss Chair of Excellence, Department of Psychology
also praises Professor Kumar with these remarks: "From our first meeting, it was clear
to me that Dr. Kumar was not a typical scientist. He has excelled in highly creative
ways within his field…Dr. Kumar's work has essentially laid the foundation for a new
field known as mHealth. MHealth refers to the development of sensitive physiological
measures that can be used while people are functioning in their natural environment…."