Virginia Tech faculty, staff, graduate assistants, students, friends, and family members gathered recently at a retirement reception for Rosary Lalik to recognize and celebrate her 26-year career at the university.

Lalik, an expert in literacy studies, relocated to the northern Virginia campus from Blacksburg in 2000 and has served as director of education programs for the last four years. During the reception, held at the Northern Virginia Center, Karen Akers, center director, and faculty members Bill Glenn, Gabriella Belli, Jim Egenrieder, and Monique Felder (an alumna in education) spoke of their admiration for Lalik.

“You cannot spend time with Rosary without knowing that you are in the presence of someone special: her steady devotion to her faculty, staff, and students, her commitment to celebrating the good, her integrity, her charm, and most of all, the simple fact that she has never forgotten that all this scholarship, collegiality, and community is dedicated to improving the lives and prospects of children,” Akers said.

Attending the event via Polycom from Blacksburg were Sue Magliaro, Daisy Stewart, and Mark Sanders. Magliaro, associate dean for professional education in the university’s School of Education, announced that she has nominated Lalik for a professor emeriti designation. The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors will vote on this nomination during an upcoming meeting.

Among the 70 guests at Northern Virginia Center were Alice Boljonis and Kathy Hinchman, who traveled to northern Virginia from Syracuse to celebrate this special occasion with their long time colleague and friend. The three women have remained close since their days as doctoral students at the Syracuse University in the early 1980s and have collaborated on writing academic papers.

Lalik was presented with a glass bowl etched with her name and the Virginia Tech logo, and a bound memory book which included photos, letters, and remembrances from former and current students and faculty. In the memory book, Bill Glenn, who is serving as interim director of education programs, wrote about Lalik’s qualities as a wonderful human being, an excellent scholar, an outstanding teacher, and a strong leader. An excerpt from Glenn's entry reads: “Rosary is an outstanding teacher. Her work to inspire and teach her students is legendary across the School of Education.”


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