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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2004 / 09 

Joseph L. Scarpaci receives Alumni Award for Excellence in International Programs

September 17, 2004

Joseph L. Scarpaci, of Blacksburg, professor in the Department of Geography in the College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech, has received the university’s 2004 Alumni Award for Excellence in International Affairs.

Established in 1976 by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in International Affairs is presented each year to recognize leadership among faculty members, administrators and staff members who have made contributions that have had a significant and lasting impact upon the advancement of Virginia Tech’s expanding international mission. The selection is made by a subcommittee drawn from the ranks of the University Council on International Programs along with a representative of the Alumni Association.

Scarpaci has demonstrated unparalleled excellence in supporting and enhancing international programs and curricula at Virginia Tech. In particular, his long-term dedication to providing rewarding study-abroad experiences in Latin America is highly worthy of recognition.

His endeavors have combined a blend of classroom activities and intensive fieldwork experiences that have enriched the education of students and adults from Virginia Tech throughout the United States.

Scarpaci’s Study Abroad Program in Cuba is now the longest-running program of its kind in the United States. The program has been widely acclaimed by prestigious organizations such as the American Geographical Society, Word Affairs Council of Philadelphia, and the Association for Collegiate Schools of Planning.

Scarpaci earned a bachelor's in geography from Rutgers University, a master's in geography from Penn State, and a Ph.D. from the University of Florida in geography, specializing in minor health services administration.

He is a member of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) and former chair of the Medical Geography Specialty Group and the Medical Geography Group of AAG, as well as a member of the Association for the Study of Cuban Economy, the Latin American Studies Association, and the Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers (CLAG). He has received GLAG’s Carl O. Sauer Award for Distinguished Scholarship for lifetime career achievement and the College of Architecture and Urban Studies Award for Excellence in Teaching and Award for Creative Achievement. He was a Fulbright Scholar to Chile and twice to Colombia.

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 research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 170 academic degree programs.