Alumni Distinguished Professor of Spanish
Jacqueline Bixler, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Spanish at Virginia Tech, has taught at Virginia Tech since receiving her Ph.D. in 1980 from the University of Kansas. She currently serves as Chair of the Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures and as Editor of Latin American Theatre Review.
Dr. Bixler specializes in Latin American theater, particularly that of Mexico, where she often travels to study the intersections of history, politics, and performance. She is the author or co-editor of seven books and 70 articles devoted to Latin American theater. She has published on specific playwrights as well as broader topics such as gender, adaptation and the politics of memory. She has delivered over 60 conference presentations and lectures in Latin America, Europe, and the U.S. In 2008, she organized the Latin American Theatre Today conference/festival, which brought to Virginia Tech nearly 200 scholars, directors, playwrights, and actors from Latin America and the U.S.
Dr. Bixler has been the recipient of four Certificates of Teaching Excellence, the Diggs Teaching Scholar Award, and the Alumni Award for Teaching Excellence. A member of the Academy of Teaching Excellence, she is also one of Virginia Tech’s 10 Alumni Distinguished Professors. As someone who learned Spanish “the hard way,” she fosters an active classroom that includes dialogue, role-playing, and a generous dose of humor. In addition to grammar and conversation, she teaches courses on translation, Mexican cinema, and Latin American culture and literature. For Dr. Bixler, the ultimate goal is not merely linguistic competence, but also the cultural competence and awareness that students need to truly communicate. An active promoter of study abroad since her first trip to Mexico in 1973, she eventually created a program in Xalapa, where she spent several summers contaminating groups of Hokies with her love of Mexico. Now in her 36th year at Virginia Tech, Dr. Bixler intends to continue to teach and to share her passion for all things Hispanic well into the future.
“My ultimate goal for the students] is not merely linguistic competence, but also the cultural competence and awareness that students need to truly communicate.”