Ann Kilkelly, a professor of theatre arts and women’s and gender studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and a senior fellow in the Institute for Creativity, Arts and Technology at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of professor emerita by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.
The emerita title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive an emeritus certificate from the university.
A member of the university community since 1991, Kilkelly developed and led the university’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program from 1991 to 1995. Under her leadership, the unit received a University Exemplary Program Award.
Her applied research in dance earned Kilkelly national and international recognition, including a prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities Award for “Tapping the Margins,” two Smithsonian senior research fellowships at the Museum of American History, and a Tap Preservation Award from the American Tap Dance Foundation.
Kilkelly’s solo performances in tap — such as those on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, at the New York Tap City Festival, and in other prestigious theatres in New York City — received favorable reviews in numerous publications, including The New York Times.
Kilkelly’s practice-based historical and vernacular dance work earned her roles as a faculty member and performer at the Swannanoa Gathering in North Carolina and the Augusta Heritage Festival in Georgia.
At Virginia Tech, Kilkelly provided leadership to the founding of the Virginia Tech Women’s Center in 1994. She also served as a member of the Coordinating Council of Women’s Concerns, a multicultural fellow in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and a member of the university’s Commission on Equal Opportunity and Diversity.
Kilkelly delivered graduate seminars in theatre and in women’s and gender studies and taught generations of Virginia Tech students dance forms and theatrical text analysis. Her work was recognized with several Virginia Tech honors, including the College of Arts and Sciences Service Award, the Diggs Teaching Scholars Award, and Faculty Woman of the Year.
She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and her master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Utah.