More than 450 women in higher education attended this year's Faculty Women of Color in the Academy Conference that was held at Virginia Tech April 2-3.

This year’s conference honored the legacy of the late Zenobia Lawrence Hikes, vice president for Student Affairs at Virginia Tech from 2005 through 2008. In her three years at the university, Hikes made numerous contributions to the quality of student life on campus, including the establishment of Hokie Camp. She is especially remembered for her leadership following the tragic events of April 16, 2007.

Hikes died in October 2008 at the age of 53. The conference honored Hikes by giving the first Faculty Women of Color in the Academy award in her name to Lucinda Roy, Alumni Distinguished Professor in Creative Writing at Virginia Tech. Hikes' daughter, Amber, attended to present the award.

Nikki Giovanni
Nikki Giovanni, University Distinguished Professor of English, speaks at the FWCA dinner on April 2.
Michelle Deramo
Michelle Deramo, director of Diversity Education & Programs in the Office for Inclusion and Diversity, speaks at the conference.
The student a cappella group, Soulstice, performs.
The student a cappella group, Soulstice, performs.