BLACKSBURG, Va., July 9, 2008 – Fred D’Aguiar, professor of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, has been reappointed as the Gloria D. Smith Professor of Africana Studies by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors at the board’s quarterly meeting June 20.
The Gloria D. Smith Professorship in Africana Studies was established in 1995 by former Virginia Tech President Paul Torgersen with funds from the Athletic Association. The professorship, named 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. The honoree also oversees the Gloria D. Smith Speaker Series and makes at least one university-wide presentation during his/her tenure.
A contemporary Caribbean writer of international renown, D’Aguiar is a novelist, playwright, poet, and essayist. His publications include critically acclaimed works such as An English Sampler: Selected and New Poems, Dear Future, A Jamaican Airman Foresees His Death, and Feeding the Ghosts. His work has been produced for television, film, and radio, and has been translated into many languages.
D’Aguiar came to Virginia Tech from the University of Miami where he directed a very successful master of fine arts program in creative writing. He chairs the English department’s Diversity Committee and co-chairs the Creative Writing Committee and the Creative Writing Graduate Faculty group. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kent, England.