Janet Rankin, professor of human nutrition, foods, and exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life 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 in recognition of exemplary service to the university. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive a copy of the resolution and a certificate of appreciation.

Rankin joined the university community in 1982 as an assistant professor of health, physical education, and recreation. Over the next 36 years, she held various positions at Virginia Tech, including acting department head and interim director of the university’s Institute for Biomedical and Public Health Sciences. In 2008, the institute merged with the Fralin Biotechnology Center to become the Fralin Life Science Institute.

Her research focused on optimal nutritional strategies to reduce inflammation and other health complications related to athletic training and obesity. Rankin authored or co-authored more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and reviews. She presented at more than 20 professional meetings, including international meetings in China and Argentina. She has served as an expert member on national panels including those organized by NASA and the National Institutes of Health.

In 2012, Rankin was elected president of the American College of Sports Medicine, the largest organization of its kind in the world and received a Citation award from the organization in 2018.

In the classroom, Rankin taught and lectured in both undergraduate and graduate courses. She directed the work of more than 30 master’s degree and doctoral degree students.

Rankin earned her bachelor’s degree from Duke University and her Ph.D. from the University of California at Davis.

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