Wendy L. Ward, PhD, ABPP, FAPA, is renowned as a professor of pediatric psychology and the director of interprofessional faculty development at the University of Arkansas. Her work focuses on building collaborative partnerships across disciplines within the University of Arkansas to develop programming that enriches professional education and practice throughout the organization. She initially pursued an education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earning a Bachelor of Arts in psychology in 1991 and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology in 1993. Dr. Ward subsequently obtained a PhD in clinical psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1996.
In 2003, Dr. Ward began her career at the University of Arkansas as an assistant professor of pediatric psychology, later working as an associate professor and gaining tenure in 2008. She has excelled with the aforementioned university as the director of psychological research and clinical services for the Child and Adolescent Bariatric Center since 2003 and the associate director of faculty wellness since 2012. A diplomate of the American Board of Child Clinical and Pediatric Psychology, Dr. Ward has found further success as the associate director of pediatric psychology for the Arkansas Children’s Hospital System since 2011. She has also led several workshops in clinical skills, professional wellness and leadership skill development.
Dr. Ward became involved in her profession because she was a psychologist by trade and specialized in integrated behavioral health. She worked in a professional environment that required the development of teamwork and collaboration skills. She also worked with people who had never worked on teams before, so that pulled for the desire to build faculty development programming. As a psychologist, being attuned to and sensitive to the dynamics on teams and the need for training to hone team skills was probably the genesis early on for her interest as to why she went into a faculty development route. The highlight of Dr. Ward’s career was the development of the cross college role. She was not only being successful in advocating for its existence, but successful in the role as it was designed.
In addition to her role in faculty development, Dr. Ward is active in parent and student community wellness outreach, and is the preceptor of the 12th Street Health and Wellness Center. A member of the editorial board of Children’s Health Care and the Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, she has maintained her involvement as an invited speaker at a variety of conferences and symposia. Attributing her success to effective mentoring, Dr. Ward hopes to continue developing her role both within the University of Arkansas and as a discrete part of academic faculty development plans in the years to come. She is proud of building interprofessional faculty development in all colleges and degrees to support the workforce, and she is very driven/focused.
Dr. Ward attributes her success to good mentors of her own; she had been mentored by people of multiple professions from physicians, pharmacists and others, who helped shape her commitment to taking care of the faculty and staff they have. They have helped support her own wellness and the need for it. They have also developed Dr. Ward to the point where she could give back to her institution. The proudest moment of her career thus far has been receiving the Chancellor’s Teaching Award in Teaching Excellence in Society and Health from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) both in 2014 and 2015.
Dr. Ward would like to be remembered for her personality, enthusiasm and optimism. Her mentor was Susan Keine at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.