Willard R. Sparks Eminent Faculty Award Previous 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.

Previous Recipients


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