August 2014 Commencement

The University of Memphis awarded 654 degrees at its summer Commencement Sunday, Aug. 10, at 3:00 pm at FedEx Forum. That total includes 62 doctorates.

The featured speaker was Dr. Kenneth Ward, recipient of the 2014 Willard R. Sparks Eminent Faculty Award and professor and director of the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the School of Public Health.

Ward's research applies behavioral science to prevent and treat chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis. His reputation and accomplishments place him among the top researchers in tobacco use prevention and cessation. Ward is a founder and the current intervention director of the Syrian Center for Tobacco Studies, which has made important contributions to global tobacco control. He and his collaborators published the first controlled trial of a smoking intervention study conducted in a developing country. He also was an invited speaker at the First International Conference on Waterpipe Smoking in Abu Dhabi, where he delivered two keynote presentations and a workshop. Another focus of Ward's research has been the prevention of childhood obesity, particularly among underserved and low-income populations.

He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Health Behavior and the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and was awarded the Faudree Professorship in 2010. Ward also is former director of the U of M's Center for Community Health.