Barbara Ellen Smith, professor of women’s and gender studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of professor emerita by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive an emeritus certificate from the university.

A member of the university community since 2005, Smith made significant contributions to the fields of women’s and gender studies, sociology, geography, and Appalachian studies, publishing four books and numerous academic articles and book chapters.

In the classroom, Smith taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses. She mentored and advised both undergraduate and graduate students and was honored with the ASPECT Outstanding Faculty Award, the Department of Sociology Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award, and the Department of Sociology Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award.

Smith served as director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and played an important role in the transition of women’s and gender studies to the Department of Sociology.

She received her bachelor’s degree from Antioch College and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Brandeis University.

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