Willard R. Sparks Eminent Faculty Award Recipients

The Willard R. Sparks Eminent Faculty Award is the highest distinction given to a faculty member by the University. The award is given annually to one faculty member who has made outstanding and sustained contributions to scholarly-creative activity, teaching, and service, bringing honor and recognition to the University. The award is given by the University of Memphis Board of Visitors and includes a $20,000 cash prize and a commemorative crystal. A University committee composed of nine faculty members will screen nominations and identify three finalists. The recipient will then be chosen from among these finalists by a selection committee composed of three members of the Board of Visitors. The award will be presented to the recipient at the Spring Faculty Convocation.


2024    Sanjay Mishra, PhD | Professor, Department of Physics and Materials Science, College of Arts & Sciences

2023    Duane McKenna, PhD | Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts & Sciences

2022    Dr. Lan Wang, PhD | Dunavant Professor & Chair Department of Computer Science

2021    Beverly Bond, PhD | Professor of History, College of Arts & Sciences

2020    Dr. Irena Lasiecka | Distinguished Professor & Chair, Department of Mathematical Sciences

2019     Aram Goudsouzian, PhD | Distinguished Professor & Chair, Department of History

2018     Frank Andrasik |  Distinguished Professor and Chair, Psychology

2017     Abby Parrill-Baker | Professor, Chemistry / Associate Dean, Arts & Sciences

2016     Roy Van Arsdale | Professor, Earth Sciences

2015     Albert Okunade | Professor, Economics

2014     Kenneth Ward | Professor, Public Health

2013     Gladius Lewis | Professor, Mechanical Engineering

2012     Dipankar Dasgupta | Professor, Computer Science

2011     Thomas K. Fagan | Professor, Psychology

2010     Erno Lindner | Professor, Biomedical Engineering

2009     Robyn Cox | Professor, Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology

2008     Ralph Albanese | Chair, Foreign Languages & Literatures

2007     David Evans | Professor, Music

2006     Jerome A. Goldstein | Professor, Mathematical Sciences

2005     David L. Appleby | Professor, Communication

2004     Cyril F. Chang | Professor, Economics

2003     Linda A. Bennett | Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, A&S

2002     Robert A. Neimeyer | Professor, Psychology

2001     Richard H. Schelp | Professor, Mathematical Sciences

2000     Lily Afshar | Associate Professor, Music

1999     Arthur C. Graesser | Professor, Psychology

1998     Steven J. Ross | Professor, Communication

1997     Stanley P. Franklin | Professor, Mathematical Sciences

1996     Shelley White-Means | Professor, Economics

1995     William R. Shadish | Professor, Psychology

1994     Ralph J. Faudree | Professor, Mathematics

1993     Steven M. Ross | Professor, Counseling, Educational Psychology, & Research