Billie Lepczyk, a professor in the School of Performing Arts, has received the university’s 2018 Alumni Award for Research Excellence.

Established by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Research Excellence is presented annually to two Virginia Tech faculty members who have made outstanding research contributions.

During her time at Virginia Tech, Lepczyk has been the highest ranked individual abstract author on the Research Consortium Program, making Virginia Tech the highest ranked institution.

Her research includes the movement styles of classical ballet as well as such notable artists as Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, Twyla Tharp, and George Balanchine. Lepczyk’s primary research method is Laban movement analysis, a theory and system of observation that identifies qualities in the movement configuration. Through researching the dance score of “The Four Temperaments,” she identified the dynamics and spatial configurations that create Balanchine’s neoclassical ballet style.

In addition to a single-authored monograph, she serves as coeditor of five volumes of “Dance: Current Selected Research,” an international book series that provides one of the few venues for publishing research outside of conference proceedings.

Her research has been presented worldwide and has been cited in course packets along with those of philosophers Virgil Aldrich and Suzanne Langer. Students in her Creative Dance course have noted that, in addition to learning about dance, they have improved their confidence, enhanced their collaborative skills, and increased their respect for diversity.

Lepczyk serves on the Board of Trustees of the International Council of Kinetography Laban and, as a Fellow of the organization, has collaborated with colleagues to further develop the system of movement and dance notation known as Labanotation. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Dance Notation Bureau and the LABAN/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies.

Lepczyk was a recipient of the 2017 CLAHS Excellence in Research and Creative Scholarship Award. In 2016, she was named an ICAT Catalyst Fellow at Virginia Tech.

Written by Lindsey Grooms, Class of 2019