Memorial for College of Education Professor Tasia Smith set for Friday

College of Education Assistant Professor Tasia Smith died Dec. 5, 2018. Her memorial will be held Friday from noon to 12 p.m. at the EMU Redwood Room (Courtesy University Communications).

The University of Oregon community will memorialize College of Education assistant professor Tasia Smith Friday who died unexpectedly over winter break. The service will be held in the EMU Redwood Room from noon to 2 p.m.

Smith died on Dec. 5, 2018 from natural causes, according to the UO’s news site, Around the O, at a hospital in Springfield. She was 32 years old.

She was an Evergreen Assistant Professor and studied obesity as a part of UO's Health Promotion and Obesity Prevention Initiative.

“This is a terrible tragedy, to lose someone like Tasia who was starting what surely was a very promising academic career,” said Provost and Senior Vice President Jayanth Banavar. “She was a wonderful person, a skilled researcher and cared deeply about helping others. This is a very big loss for her students, for the College of Education and for the entire UO community.”

Smith was hired at UO in September of 2016 after her year-long predoctoral internship at the University of Illinois.

In September 2017, Around the O published that Smith and her colleague’s work studying obesity “garners national attention,” when her research article “Don’t blame food stamps for obesity in America” was published online at The Conversation ran in publications such as The San Francisco Chronicle and Medical Xpress. Her work has been published extensively throughout her career in numerous publications, such as Women & Health, International Journal of Eating Disorders, and American Journal of Health Education.

Smith was born in Laurinburg, North Carolina, and received both her bachelors and masters degrees from the University of North Carolina. She continued on to the University of Florida to obtain her doctorate degree in counseling psychology. 

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