For release: April 15, 2010
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901/678-2843
Faculty Convocation at the University of Memphis, which recognizes professors and
others who have made significant contributions to the University, has been a springtime
event on campus for 22 years. This year, however, the colorful event will take place
in Downtown Memphis.
Dressed in the academic regalia of their various alma maters from around the nation
and the world, the faculty will process, beginning about 1:45 p.m., from Jefferson
along Main and Madison streets and across Front Street on their way to the University’s
new law school at 1 North Front Street.
There they will form a distinguished audience for the public dedication of the new
law school at 2 p.m., followed immediately by the Convocation, which will take place
in the Wade Auditorium on the first floor of the former U.S. Customs House.
Dr. Ernö Lindner, a distinguished professor of biomedical engineering, will receive
the $20,000 Willard R. Sparks Eminent Faculty Award. He will be among a group of 15
members of the U of M community who will be honored for their contributions to the
mission of the University.
Dr. Ernö Lindner
The Sparks Eminent Faculty Award recognizes exceptional and sustained contributions
to scholarly-creative achievement, teaching and service, and for bringing recognition
to the University. A recipient must have been employed at the University for at least
five years to be considered for the award.
Lindner, a native of Hungary, is the R. Eugene Smith Professor of Biomedical Engineering.
He has assembled an outstanding laboratory research group and has compiled an impressive
record of achievements in the fields of chemical sensors and biomedical engineering.
His research is associated with such diverse aims as the early diagnosis of heart
attacks and the precise delivery of the potent anesthetic drug propofol.
His research is supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, and he
works closely with research partners from the University, the city, the nation, and
the world. Among them are the UT Health Science Center, Le Bonheur Children’s Medical
Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Woods Hole Marine Biology Laboratory, and scientists
in Hungary, Switzerland, Finland, and Japan.
His colleagues know him as the “model of the ideal academic.” He launches many of
his students into distinguished careers in engineering and science. His work is cited
in scientific papers hundreds of times a year. Last year he was honored with the U
of M Alumni Association Distinguished Research Award for achievement in the sciences,
engineering, and mathematics.
This year’s Allen J. Hammond Presidential Service Award winneris Mr. Tony Poteet, assistant vice president of campus planning and design for the
Mr. Tony Poteet
The Hammond Award is not presented every year; it is reserved for special recognition
of people who have rendered special and significant service to the University. Originally
called the Presidential Award for Exceptional Service, the name was later changed
to honor the late Allen J. Hammond, long-time director of student financial aid for
Poteet’s impact on the University is very visible, even to the casual observer. He
was the guiding force behind the recently-completed University Center, and he has
been equally as instrumental in the construction of a new residential complex that
will open this fall. He has also been involved in the building of the FedExPark baseball
stadium, the Frank Flautt Golf Center, and the facilities for the Confucius Institute.
When the former U.S. Customs House in Downtown Memphis was renovated to become the
home of the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, Poteet went to great lengths to ensure
that the building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, retained its
historic character and significance, while converting it into a classroom facility
unsurpassed in academic amenities and technological feature.
After earning his B.S. degree in engineering technology from the U of M in 1983, Poteet
began his professional career as assistant to the director of Physical Plant and Planning
at the University. He has also served as manager for Facilities Planning and Design.
In 1995 he earned a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the U of M,
and he became a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners in 1997.
Other award categories and their honorees who will be recognized at Convocation are:
Thomas W. Briggs Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award
Dr. Donald Franceschetti, physics, College of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Irvin Tankersley, accountancy, Fogelman College of Business and Economics
Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award
Dr. Julia Heath, economics, Fogelman College of Business and Economics
Dr. Marian Levy, public health, School of Public Health
Prof. Andrew McClurg, law, Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law
Dr. Anna Bess Sorin, biology, College of Arts and Sciences
Alumni Association Distinguished Advising Award
Ms. Tracy Robinson, distance education, University College
Ms. Dorothy “Dot” Hale, distance education, University College
Alumni Association Distinguished Research and Achievement Award
Dr. Jack Cooper, music, Distinguished Achievement in Creative Arts
Dr. Charles Crawford, history, Distinguished Research in the Humanities
Dr. Danielle McNamara, psychology, Distinguished Research in the Social Sciences,
Business and Law
Dr. Robert Kozma, mathematics, Distinguished Research in Science, Engineering and
Prof. Michael Hagge, architecture, Excellence in Engaged Scholarship