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Lynda M. Sagrestano, Ph.D., Director

Dr. SagrestanoDr. Lynda Sagrestano, Associate Professor of Psychology, Director of the Center for Research on Women (CROW), and affiliate faculty member in Women's and Gender Studies, embodies the University of Memphis' approach to engaged scholarship. She has built collaborative research partnerships which are marked by reciprocity and which lead to the production of new knowledge.

Her research is oriented toward applying psychological theory to understand and intervene on social problems and advance theory development, highlighting the role of contextual factors in health processes and outcomes, with the goal of taking a more integrated approach to prevention and intervention in the public health sector. She has developed numerous constructive relationships with local nonprofit organizations to address issues related to infant mortality, adolescent pregnancy, economic security for women, and the empowerment of girls.

Dr. Sagrestano is described as a "model for engagement" and as a highly respected mentor to faculty and students interested in pursuing engaged scholarship in the Mid-South and beyond. Dr. Sagrestano was recently elected a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Society for the Psychology of Women. She was a member of the inaugural class of PI Millionaires at the University of Memphis. She serves on the Board of Directors of the National Council for Research on Women.

 Lornette Stokes, B.S., Administrative Secretary

Lornette Stokes Mrs. Stokes oversees the sales and distribution of Center
publications, maintains the Center's national database, manages the Center's Resource Library, and assures compliance with campus policies and procedures. In 2005, Mrs. Stokes took an early retirement from the U.S. government with 26 ½ years service time. She moved to Chattanooga, TN to be with her husband full time as he worked in ministry. They were transferred to Memphis in July 2007 to pastor a church here. Mrs. Stokes received a B.S. from Alabama A & M University.

 Naketa M. Edney, M.A. Research Associate

Naketa EdneyNaketa received her M.A. in anthropology from the University
of Memphis in 2006.  Her primary research interests include infant mortality, maternal behaviors and birth outcomes, and health disparities.  She has taught undergraduate courses including Introduction to Anthropology and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Tennessee at Martin. In addition, she has worked with the Memphis and Shelby County Health Department's Office of Nursing analyzing maternal behaviors and birth outcomes.  Recently she completed certification to become a foster parent for at risk children. 

Teresa A. Diener, M.A., Project Coordinator

Teresa RawlingsTeresa received her B.L.S. in Gender Studies from the University of Memphis in 2004. She obtained her M.A. in Women’s Studies from the University of Memphis in 2006. Teresa dedicates much of her time to creating awareness of, and working to eradicate, violence against women through presentations to local groups, schools, and universities. She is a regular performer in Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues and has created two one-women-shows documenting her personal experiences with domestic violence. 



Ace Madjlesi, M.A., Research Associate

Ace A Mid-South native, Ace earned her BA in sociology and anthropology from Millsaps College in 2008 and completed her MA in anthropology at the University of Memphis in 2010.  Her research interests include reproductive health, disability, and urban infrastructures.  Ace has served as a community organizer for the disability rights and reproductive justice movements and sits on the community advisory council for the UT Boling Clinic for Developmental Disabilities.  

Center for Research on Women

University of Memphis
337 Clement Hall
Memphis, TN 38152


 Please Add the Center for Research on Women to Your List of Annual Charitable Gifts!

2011-2012 Annual Report

Our researchers are working on issues of vital importance to women and girls in Memphis, the region, and the nation.

Our research initiatives include:
  • Sexual harassment in middle and high school
  • Infant Mortality
  • Poverty
  • Teen pregnancy and sexual risk-taking
  • Violence against women
  • Child Care
  • HIV and Transportation
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Last Updated: 2/24/14