Elizabeth Struthers Malbon, professor of religion and culture in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, has received the university's 2014 Alumni Award for Excellence in Research.

Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Research is presented annually to as many as two Virginia Tech faculty members who have made outstanding research contributions. Alumni, students, faculty, and staff may nominate candidates. Each recipient is awarded $2,000.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1980, Malbon has devoted three decades of research and writing to understanding the Gospel of Mark. Her work has changed the academic discussion of this first-century Greek text regarded by scholars as the first to be written of the four Gospels that now comprise the Christian New Testament.

Malbon has published five authored books: three books of literary criticism of the Gospel of Mark, one narrative commentary on Mark’s Gospel for broader audiences, and a book on Early Christian iconography focused on the artistic representation and arrangement of biblical scenes on fourth-century carved stone coffins.

Her work has great significance not only for religious studies scholars but also for classicists, historians, and art historians.

Literary criticism applied to the Gospels as stories is at the core of Malbon’s scholarly work. Other areas of exploration include methodological reflection, including pedagogical reflection and feminist interpretation. She has written 29 invited entries for five reference works and 33 invited book reviews.

Malbon has received significant recognition for her work as a biblical scholar. A French translation of her third book was published in 2009, and another of her works was honored with a book review panel at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature that year and an invited address to the international Society for the Study of the New Testament in Berlin in 2010.

In addition to the books she has written and the five books she has co-edited or edited, Malbon has published 23 peer-reviewed articles in leading journals and 15 book chapters, as well as the republication of four journal articles in books edited by others.

Malbon is an elected member of the international Studiorum Novi Testamanti Societas (Society for the Study of the New Testament), the Catholic Biblical Association, and the Society for Values in Higher Education. She is an active member of the Society of Biblical Literature, serving as regional president, member of the national program committee and nominating committee, and chair or co-chair of two national program units and steering committee member of two others. 

She is a frequent presenter of papers to regional, national, and international meetings and she has received research fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

She has served on the editorial boards of four journals and five book series.

Malbon received her bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and Ph.D. from Florida State University.

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.

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