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Dr. Rudd, center, was given glowing remarks by his former employer: “President Rudd is a very dynamic person who we recruited to lead the College of Social and Behavioral Science at the University of Utah,” says the school’s president, Dr. David W. Pershing. “He was instrumental in increasing the external research funding profile of the college and in bringing a stronger focus on veterans issues to the college and the University overall.”

fight in combat and come back and don’t make it, by taking their lives,” continues Jobes. “It is heartbreaking to see these folks struggle as they do. David is a patriot. It is hard not to feel strongly about men and women in service — or veterans — who are taking their lives at record rates.” President Rudd says he decided on psychology for his career path after becoming close to two professors at Princeton, including the renowned social psychologist Dr. John Darley. “While I was in graduate school, I got involved in a treatment program for high-risk adolescents — the majority of them had made suicide attempts,” Rudd says. “It was a family-therapy program for suicidal adolescents, which intrigued me. After I got out of school, I started working with high-risk soldiers. That was before the Gulf War, but once the war started, even though it was a short war, there still were a range of post-war issues. Chief among them was Gulf War syndrome. I became involved in differentiating a kind of psychiatric and physical consequence that was unique to Gulf War syndrome. A lot of the people had post-trauma problems and suicide risk, and I have continued that work ever since.” A recent suicide prevention clinical trial Rudd conducted with soldiers at Fort Carson in Colorado “should make a major splash nationally,” Jobes says. Rudd says the program that he and his collaborators have developed is “arguably the most effective treatment to date for suicide attempters, and I would argue the most effective brief treatment to date without question.” W W W. M E M P H I S . E D U

RESEARCH, STUDENT PROGRAMS TAKE CENTER STAGE Very high on Rudd’s to-do list is growing the University’s research capacity to more than $100 million over the next decade. The 170,000-square-foot BioHub is a piece of that puzzle. “From a research perspective, we have some great faculty expertise in terms of knowledge creation,” Rudd says. “But we have not had the facilities that we need to move forward. Part of what has limited our research capacity has been infrastructure. When we talk about infrastructure, we are really talking about facilities — and we are talking about people as a part of that.” Rudd says he also wants to grow such student programs as First Scholars, the Helen Hardin Honors Program and Emerging Leaders. “These programs connect our students to campus and connect them to people, meaning faculty, staff and other students,” he points out. “If we do those two things well, not only do our students perform better, they have a better educational experience. We will retain them at higher rates, and we will help them graduate at higher rates.” The city’s reputation for entrepreneurship is not lost on Rudd, either. “Memphis is the home of entrepreneurship. Think about all the great businesses that have been developed here: FedEx, Holiday Inn, AutoZone, the list goes on and on. Our opportunity to partner with those entities and to embrace entrepreneurship and innovation through our Crews Center for Entrepreneurship is a unique one. We will embrace that.” FA L L 2 014

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Profile for University of Memphis

Fall2014  

University of Memphis Fall Magazine

Fall2014  

University of Memphis Fall Magazine