Dr. Mark Williams, dean of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, was invested Feb. 20 in the M. Joycelyn Elders, M.D. Chair in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.
Dr. Williams, whose career in public health spans over 30 years, was one of the first to study the epidemiology and prevention of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in drug users and was an original contributor to the development of community-based prevention interventions with this population.
“This is an honor for me,” said Dr. Williams. “I would like to welcome Dr. Elders. It is a great honor to have Dr. Elders here today, she has been a hero of mine ever since she served in President Clinton’s administration.”
An endowed chair is among the highest academic honors a university can bestow on a faculty member and is established with gifts of at least $1 million, which are invested and the proceeds used to support the educational, research and clinical activities of the chair holder. Those named to a chair are among the most highly regarded scientists, physicians and professors in their fields.
“My passion is research. I started my research with HIV and injection drug use almost 30 years ago in Texas,” said Dr. Williams. “The people I admire and have always admired in our research are the people who are willing quite literally at certain places to put their lives on the line to try and help people prevent disease.”
Dr. Williams received his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa in 1976 and his Master of Arts degree from the University of Nebraska in 1979. He received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1983 from the University of Iowa.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on February 28