Memorial for COE professor Tasia Smith set for Jan. 18 in EMU

Tasia Smith

A memorial service for Tasia Smith, University of Oregon Evergreen Assistant Professor of counseling psychology and human services, will be held Friday, Jan. 18, in the Redwood Room at the Erb Memorial Union.

Smith died unexpectedly on Dec. 5, 2018, in Eugene from natural causes. She was 32.

She came to UO in 2016 shortly after completing her doctorate in counseling psychology at the University of Florida. Smith was one of four young scholars hired as part of the university's Health Promotion and Obesity Prevention Initiative, which is part of the UO Prevention Science Institute in the College of Education.

The initiative was started to help address the nation's obesity epidemic, especially prevalent among young people, through collaborative efforts of researchers from different disciplines.

Smith’s research focused on the prevention and reduction of obesity and obesity-related health disparities among underserved populations. Her work examined the social factors involved in health and mental health conditions and their role in physical health outcomes. She also designed, implemented and evaluated community-based health promotion programs.

In a project done with churches in northern Florida, Smith found that regular use of health care services was associated with healthier eating and higher perceived health status among 180 African-American women battling issues related to hypertension and weight. The study was published in the journal Women & Health.

The memorial service for Smith will be from noon to 2 p.m. Smith is survived by her parents, five brothers and two sisters.