Dixie Watts Reaves, associate professor of agricultural and applied economics, received double honors at the Fourth Annual Faculty/Staff Awards Ceremony this month at Virginia Tech.

Her commitment to students was highlighted in a rare instance of a faculty member receiving two awards during the ceremony. She received both the 2003 Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 2003 Alumni Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising.

Students and faculty admire Reaves for her patience, willingness and compassion both inside the classroom and out, according to letters from colleagues and students supporting her nomination. As an academic adviser, she personally calls each student applicant who expresses an interest in agricultural economics before he or she has even arrived at the university. Reaves also learns each student by name when she conducts the student summer orientation.

"Dr. Reaves represents what should be recognized in these awards -- excellence in teaching, excellence in the service of teaching, and excellence in teaching to future Virginia Tech students," said L. Leon Geyer, department head of agricultural and applied economics.

In addition to teaching a variety of classes and giving presentations at conferences nationwide, Reaves has been instrumental to the department, its service activities, and a variety of student organizations. She has helped develop the internship program in her department and added three courses to the agricultural and applied economics curriculum.

She has also served at the conference for the Virginia Council of Farmer Cooperatives and has played an active role in Governor's School for Agriculture. She served as a coordinator and a faculty member for that innovative four-week residential summer program held at Virginia Tech for high school students from across the state.

Additionally, Reaves is actively involved with Sigma Alpha professional agricultural sorority, the National Agri-marketing Association Team, Ag Econ/NAMA Club, and Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS).

"Dixie Reaves lives to teach, encourage, support and help students in any way possible," said colleague David Kenyon.

A native of Lunenburg County, she earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from Virginia Tech, and her doctorate from Duke University.

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