Joseph L. Scarpaci, professor of geography in the College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the "professor emeritus" title by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board of visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the university.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1989, Scarpaci is an internationally recognized scholar in the fields of urban and social geography, comparative social policy, historic preservation, international development, and Latin America. He has written and edited numerous scholarly works, including several books, numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and book reviews.

In 1998, Scarpaci received the Choice Outstanding Book Award from the American Library Association for his book, Havana: Two Faces of the Antillean Metropolis. He received the Carol O. Sauer Distinguished Scholarship Award from the Conference of Latinamericanist Geographers in 2004.

His expertise has resulted in many invitations to lecture in the United States and abroad on such topics as globalization, and heritage tourism, Cuban civil society, and historic preservation in Havana.

As a repeat recipient of the Fulbright Award, Scarpaci continues to develop ways of implementing historical preservation in Latin America. Most recently, he assisted Chile in its historical preservation with his Senior Research Fulbright Fellowship in fall of 2008. In 1983-84 he received the Fulbright Doctoral Dissertation Award, which gave him the opportunity to do his dissertation in Santiago, Chile. In 2006, he was a Senior Fulbright Specialist in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Scarpaci received his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, a master’s degree from Pennsylvania State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Florida.