Walter D. Ward has received the 2015 First Book Award by Phi Alpha Theta, an American honor society for undergraduate and graduate students and professors of history with over 350,000 members, including a chapter at NC State. The prize recognized Ward’s recent monograph, Mirage of the Saracen: Christians and Nomads in the Sinai Peninsula in Late Antiquity (University of California Press, 2014). Ward received his B.A. in 1999 and an M.A. in 2002, both in history from NC State. He earned a Ph.D. in history from UC Los Angeles in 2008 and joined the history faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2010. He was promoted to associate professor with tenure at UAB in 2015.