Jacqueline Bixler of Blacksburg, professor of Spanish in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been appointed an Alumni Distinguished Professor by the university's Board of Visitors.

The rank of Alumni Distinguished Professor is reserved for select faculty who have made long-term and outstanding contributions to the instructional program of the university, thus influencing the lives of generations of alumni.

Bixler, a faculty member at Virginia Tech since 1980, has been continually lauded as a superb teacher and scholar. She has earned international recognition from her peers and the overwhelming gratitude and affection of her students and colleagues. Bixler has been the recipient of the university's prestigious Alumni Award for Teaching excellence, the Diggs Teaching Scholar Award, and four Certificates of Teaching Excellence. She is also a member of the Academy of Teaching Excellence.

Innovative in her approach to teaching, Bixler successfully coaches students to move beyond their self-imposed limitations. Her success in working with students regardless of major has led many students in other disciplines to double major or minor in Spanish, adding language to their crowded schedules because she has turned them onto the richness of Spanish language, culture, and literature. Recently, Bixler became coordinator of the master's program in area studies, expanding the number of students enrolled in this option and formalizing the program structure.

Bixler has earned international respect for her scholarly work in Latin American theatre. She is particularly known for her work on Emilio Carballido, Mexico's leading playwright of the 20th century. Bixler's interest in Latin American theatre is not simply an academic interest pursued though publication. She organizes visits and events where scholars, playwrights, and sometimes students interact, and she has introduced the work of new playwrights, such as Sabina Berman of Mexico and Eduardo Rovner of Argentina, to North American scholars through her books, articles, and conference presentations.

Bixler received her Ph.D. and master's degree from the University of Kansas and her bachelor's degree from Ohio University. She is a member of several professional organizations including the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, the Asociacion Mexicana de Investigacion Teatral, Golden Key national Honor Society, Sigma Delta Pi (Spanish Honorary Society), and Phi Beta Delta (Society for International Education).

The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences embraces the arts, humanities, social and human sciences, and education. The College nurtures intellect and spirit, enlightens decision-making, inspires positive change, and improves the quality of life for people of all ages. It is home to the departments of Apparel, Housing & Resource Management; Communication; Educational Leadership and Policy Studies; English; Foreign Languages and Literatures; History; Human Development; Interdisciplinary Studies; International Studies; Music; Philosophy; Political Science; ROTC; Science and Technology in Society; Sociology; Teaching and Learning; and Theatre Arts.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become the largest university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech's eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities, and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top 30 research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg, and other campus centers in northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 170 academic degree programs.

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