Jacqueline E. Bixler, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Spanish in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and alumna Lori Wagner, manager of Advanced Fibers and Composites for Honeywell International and former member of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors, will deliver the keynote addresses at Virginia Tech's 2010 fall University and Graduate School Commencement ceremonies to be held Friday, Dec. 17.
Bixler will address undergraduate students at the University Ceremony which begins at 11 a.m., and Wagner will speak at the Graduate School Ceremony which begins at 3 p.m., both at Cassell Coliseum. Approximately 2,500 students will be honored for completing their academic degrees at the end of the summer and fall terms at the two events.
Those seeking more information on the ceremonies should visit the Fall 2010 Commencement website.
University Commencement Speaker: Jacqueline E. Bixler
After receiving her master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas of 1980, Jacqueline E. Bixler, came to Virginia Tech where she has taught in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures for 30 years.
She now holds the rank of Alumni Distinguished Professor. As a winner of the Alumni Excellence in Teaching Award, Bixler is a member of Virginia Tech’s Academy of Teaching Excellence. She teaches upper-level courses on grammar and translation as well as Latin American literature, film and culture.
A frequent traveler to Mexico since the 1970s, Bixler shares her passion for the country each summer with groups of Virginia Tech students.
Bixler’s scholarly focus is Mexican literature and culture, particularly theater. She is the author or editor of six books published in the United States and Mexico and has also published numerous essays on Mexican, Argentine, and Chilean theater in edited collections and peer-reviewed journals. Bixler currently serves as associate editor of the Latin American Theatre Review and organized and hosted the VII Latin American Theatre Today conference at Virginia Tech in 2008.
Bixler is a member of the Association of Theatre in Higher Education, American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, Modern Language Association, and the South Atlantic Language Association. She received her bachelor’s degree from Ohio University.
Graduate Commencement Speaker: Lori Wagner
Lori Wagner completed her four-year appointment to the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors June 30, just one of many contributions she has made to the university since earning both her doctorate and bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering, in 1987 and 1982, respectively.
She is currently manager of Advanced Fibers and Composites for Honeywell International, a company she joined in 1986.
Putting action to her commitment to give back to the university for providing a “top-notch teaching and mentoring environment,” she has established a record of exemplary service. She has served on the College of Engineering Advisory Committee and the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity Advisory Council. She currently serves on the college’s Committee of 100 and the Chemical Engineering Advisory Board, of which she is a founding member. She has cultivated Virginia Tech’s partnership with Honeywell International through philanthropic support and recruitment efforts that have made Honeywell one of the top employers of Virginia Tech graduates.
In recognition of her efforts, the College of Engineering awarded her its Distinguished Alumni Award and Distinguished Service Award. Prior to that, she was recognized as a Virginia Tech Outstanding Woman Graduate in 1996. At AlliedSignal, later acquired by Honeywell, she was twice awarded its Special Achievement Award. The Richmond Engineering Council named her Engineer of the Year in 2007.
Wagner lives with her husband, also a Virginia Tech alumnus, and daughters in Richmond, where she competes in sailboat racing.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.