Beth M. Waggenspack, 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 emerita 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.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1984, Waggenspack has been recognized as one of the leading authorities on the rhetoric of First Ladies. She has also made significant contributions to the discipline of American public address, particularly in the area of women’s political rhetoric. In addition, she has authored more than 50 published articles, books, and book chapters and many more conference papers.

Waggenspack was an active member of the National Communication Association, the Eastern Communication Association, the Central States Communication Association, and the Midwest Basic Course Directors group. She also served on the editorial boards of the Quarterly Journal of Speech, the Basic Communication Course Annual, the Southern Communication Journal, and Communication Teacher.

At Virginia Tech, she served as associate department head, director of undergraduate programs, and director of the graduate program in the Department of Communication (now the School of Communication). She also served the College of Arts and Sciences as assistant dean for special projects.

Waggenspack further served on or chaired many university and college committees, including the University Graduate Curriculum Committee, the University Honors Advisory Committee, the Graduate Honors System Investigative Board, the University Core Committee, the Faculty Council, the Awards and Honors Committee, the Promotion and Tenure Committee, the Personnel Committee, the Honorifics Committee, and college-level graduate and undergraduate curriculum committees.

In the classroom, Waggenspack taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses on communication theory, persuasion, social movements, rhetoric, and communication and gender. In addition, she advised and mentored hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students, and she chaired or served on more than 50 graduate committees.

She received the Alumni Teaching Award, the Excellence in Undergraduate Advising Award of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and three college-level Certificates of Teaching Excellence. She was also inducted into the Virginia Tech Academy of Teaching Excellence.

Waggenspack received her bachelor’s degree from Muskingum College, a master’s degree from Texas Tech University, and a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University.