Billie Lepczyk, professor of dance in the Department of Theatre and Cinema in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, has received the university's 2012 William E. Wine Award.
The William E. Wine Achievement Award was established in 1957 by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association in memory of William E. Wine, Class of 1904, who was a former rector of the board of visitors and alumni association president. Following a college-level selection process of candidates nominated by students, faculty, and alumni, each college may put forth one nominee. Three faculty members are selected to receive this teaching award by a committee representing all eight colleges at the university. Each Wine Award winner receives $2,000 and automatic induction into the Academy of Teaching Excellence.
A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1983, Lepczyk has established herself as an exceptional teacher-scholar. In addition to her academic background, she has had a dance career appearing on stage, television, and motion pictures.
“Billie’s passion for dance, heart for educating students, and sharing her expertise in both academic and community settings is exemplary,” said Kerry Redican, professor of health sciences in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. “She is recognized worldwide as an eminent dance educator and a pioneer in dance style analysis.” Her scholarship on dance style and movement analysis serves as required reading for dance majors at many institutions in the United States and throughout the world.
Creative Dance is among the 13 courses Lepczyk has developed and taught at Virginia Tech. This course is part of the university’s Liberal Education Curriculum. Lepczyk has been invited to give presentations and workshops on the creative dance curriculum at state, national, and international conferences. As a summer Fellow in the university’s Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, Lepczyk produced an educational CD ROM called Creative Dance.
In one of Lepczyk’s class evaluations, a student said, “I found it particularly exciting that the most important lesson in this class was to stay outside of the box.” Another noted, “I didn’t even realize my own creativity until this class, and I think it has helped me feel more comfortable brainstorming ideas for everything I do.”
Lepczyk’s average rating on Student Perception of Instruction evaluations is 3.78 out of a possible 4.0. She has developed 13 dance courses and a concentration in dance. She was instrumental in developing the Dance Company of Virginia Tech and the Contemporary Dance Ensemble.
Psycology alumnus Daniel I. Smith said, “Dr. Lepczyk gave us the structure to really look into ourselves and pull out the creativity that we all have inside us, but rarely get the chance to explore. This class has been a life-changing experience.”
Lepczyk received numerous recognitions, including National University Dance Educator of the Year in 2009 and two Certificate of Teaching Excellence awards.
Lepczyk has a master’s degree and an Ed.D. from Columbia University where she was a Teacher’s College Fellow. She is a Fellow of the International Council of Kinetography Laban and also the Research Consortium of the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance.