Contact: Gabrielle Maxey
July 30, 2014 - The University of Memphis will award 654 degrees at its summer Commencement
Sunday, Aug. 10, at 3 p.m. at FedExForum. That total includes 62 doctorates.
The featured speaker will be 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.