Dr. Bennett is a Professor of Anthropology and the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research, College of Arts and Sciences. After receiving her MA from Indiana University (1966) and PhD from American University (1976), she became a research faculty member at the Center for Family Research, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, George Washington University Medical Center. She joined the Department of Anthropology faculty at The University of Memphis in 1986. Professor Bennett has conducted fieldwork in the former Yugoslavia, especially Croatia, and in the United States in the areas of medical anthropology (particularly studies on alcohol use and alcohol-related problems) and ethnicity. She is co-author of The Alcoholic Family (1987), co-editor of The American Experience with Alcohol: Contrasting Cultural Perspectives (1985), and author of Russian-English Language Guide for Adopting Families (1997, 2003).
Dr. Bennett has been an active leader in anthropology, having served as president of the Society for Applied Anthropology, the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology, and the Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists. She is currently an at-large member of the Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association. Bennett is founder and chair of the Consortium of Practicing and Applied Anthropology (COPAA) Programs http://www.copaa.info/. In recent years, she has been particularly interested in the place of applied and engaged scholarship, especially in urban universities such as The University of Memphis.