Campus News

K.A.S. Wickrama named Athletic Association Professor in Family and Consumer Sciences

Kandauda A.S. Wickrama (Credit: Cal Powell/UGA)

Athens, Ga. – Kandauda A.S. Wickrama, a professor of human development and family science, has been named a University of Georgia Athletic Association Professor in Family and Consumer Sciences.

Wickrama, a College of Family and Consumer Sciences professor whose research focuses on the social determinants of health and health inequality across the course of life, has secured millions of dollars in grants to research and support investigation in marriage and health, adolescent mental health and rural families at risk. He is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

“I’m very grateful for the college administration and the department and the Georgia Athletic Association for this endowed professorship,” Wickrama said. “It will be very good support for my research program.”

Wickrama, who earned his doctorate in sociology from Iowa State University, has been a faculty member at UGA since 2011.

His research includes an investigation of tsunami-affected adolescents in Sri Lanka as well as a study of African-Americans’ cardiovascular risk in Florida. Wickrama has authored or co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles since 1990.

Wickrama’s other research interests include racial and ethnic inequalities in mental and physical health of children and adults, international development and health and the application of advanced statistical methods to social epidemiology.

He has twice earned the Reuben Hill Research and Theory Award from the National Council on Family Relations and received the Best Paper Award from the Rural Sociological Society in 2013.

He also received the Career Achievement in Research Award from Iowa State University in 2009.

The term of the Athletic Association Professorship is between three and five years, with deans determining selection and appointment of a faculty member. The Athletic Association Professor is to be engaged in teaching, research and public service or a combination of these duties.

“It is my pleasure to honor Dr. Wickrama, who has made invaluable contributions to the science and methodology of understanding multiple family and community influences upon health, mental health and well-being,” said Emilie Smith, incoming department head in human development and family science. “Given his lifelong contributions, a substantial proportion of them at UGA, we are pleased to award him the UGA Athletic Association Professorship.”

Wickrama’s appointment is effective Aug. 15.