Virginia Fowler, professor of English 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 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 1977, Fowler made significant contributions to the fields of African American literature, literary pedagogy, women writers, and the works of Henry James, Nikki Giovanni, and Gloria Naylor. She authored five books and more than two dozen essays and chapters and presented many papers and invited lectures.

At Virginia Tech, Fowler mentored a generation of faculty members in the Department of English, especially women and minority faculty. She served as director of undergraduate studies in English; director of literature and language; director of literature, language, and culture; associate department head; and director of graduate studies, in addition to serving on or chairing 72 departmental committees and 75 college or university-level committees.

In the classroom, Fowler taught a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate courses and served on many master’s degree committees.

In her career, she received many professional honors and awards, including the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Diversity Award and the Academy of Faculty Service.

Fowler received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.