Joan Hirt, professor of educational leadership and policy 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.

Hirt has been at Virginia Tech since 1994, beginning with two years as a visiting associate professor before transitioning into a tenure-track position as an associate professor. She earned the rank of professor in 2009.

In 2014, Hirt served as interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. She also served as interim director of the School of Education and program leader of the higher education program.

Her research has resulted in more than 50 journal articles, book chapters, and other publications on student affairs and higher education administration. In addition, Hirt has served as co-editor of the International Journal of Applied Educational Studies and has been a member of the editorial board of the Journal of College Student Development. She has held leadership positions in the American College Personnel Association and the Association for the Study of Higher Education.

In the classroom, Hirt has taught a variety of graduate courses in higher education administration. She has advised many students completing their master’s degree and doctoral dissertations and helped them develop careers as senior administrators and faculty members at various colleges and universities.

Hirt has been nationally recognized for her many contributions to education. She received the Robert H. Shaffer Award for Excellence in Graduate Education from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, the Betty L. Harrah Journal Manuscript of the Year Award from the Association of College and University Housing Officers International, and the Thomas M. Magoon Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Maryland.

Her community service work includes serving as a long-time chair and member of the Free Clinic of the New River Valley Board of Directors.

Hirt received a bachelor’s degree in Russian studies from Bucknell University; a master’s degree in counseling and personnel services from the University of Maryland, College Park; and a doctorate in higher education policy and administration from the University of Arizona.