Anthony Kwame Harrison, an associate professor in the  Department of Sociology, was named the Gloria D. Smith Professor of Black Studies by Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands and Executive Vice President and Provost Thanassis Rikakis.  The professorship, in honor of the late Gloria D. Smith, a counselor and advocate of minority students on campus before her retirement, is awarded for a period of two years to an outstanding faculty member who contributes significantly to the growth and development of minority students, student athletes, and scholarly pursuits. Harrison has held the title since 2014. A member of the Virginia Tech community since 2003, Harrison’s research in popular music studies and ethnography has enhanced the visibility of the Africana Studies program at Virginia Tech.

His engagement with students garnered him the university’s Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2015, and he has demonstrated a deep commitment to recruitment and mentoring of students.  Harrison earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Syracuse University.