Ward has been on the faculty of IUPUI since 1985 with joint appointments in the School of Liberal Arts and Dentistry. He is a professor of anthropology and has served as associate dean of student affairs in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI since 2003.
Ward is the recipient of several awards, including the Indiana University Frederic Bachman Lieber Award for Outstanding Teaching, and the IUPUI Alfred Bynum Award for Outstanding Mentoring and IUPUI Center for Research and Learning Mentoring Award.
Ward earned a doctorate in biological anthropology from the University of Colorado. He holds a master's degree from the University of Colorado and a bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Colorado.