Marlene M. Preston, associate professor of communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of associate 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 1993, Preston has made significant contributions in the discipline of teaching communication and is recognized as an authority in instructional development and innovation in oral and written communication.

Preston taught undergraduate courses ranging from communication skills and virtual public speaking to interpersonal communication and international perspectives on communication. In addition, she served the Department of Communication in several administrative capacities, including assistant department head, director of undergraduate programs, director of communication skills, director of CommLab, and director of public speaking.

Throughout her career, she received several professional awards, including the Grand Award for Innovation from the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education for Course Design, the Program of Excellence Award from the Basic Course Division of the National Communication Association, and two Communication Centers Section Service Awards of the National Communication Association.

At Virginia Tech, Preston received several additional awards, including an Award for Excellence in Career Advising, the 2015 University XCaliber Award for Technology, the 2013 Alumni Award for Teaching Excellence, and a Certificate of Teaching Excellence. She also was inducted into the Virginia Tech Academy of Faculty Service and the Academy of Teaching Excellence.

For 12 years, Preston served in various part-time positions in the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (formerly the Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching), including assistant director, coordinator of the University Writing Program, Faculty Fellow, and program coordinator.

Preston earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Bowling Green State University and a doctoral degree from Virginia Tech.