Anita Marie Puckett

Anita Puckett

Title: Associate Professor of Appalachian Studies (Retired)
Company: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Location: Blacksburg, Virginia, United States

Anita Marie Puckett, retired associate professor of Appalachian studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in linguistic and cultural anthropology.

Dr. Puckett is a retired associate professor of Appalachian Studies at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where she spent close to 30 years teaching and researching the culture, economics, and language of the Appalachian Mountain region. She graduated with honors from the University of Kentucky in 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and earned her Master of Arts in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1973. Initially specializing in Old English, Dr. Puckett changed her focus to linguistic anthropology after connecting with her family’s Appalachian heritage and spending several years as an instructor and research assistant in the English and Anthropology departments at the University of Kentucky. In 1980, she was awarded a second Master of Arts in linguistic anthropology by the University of Kentucky, and in 1993, she completed a Doctor of Philosophy in linguistic anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. 

From 1979 until 1984, Dr. Puckett was an assistant English instructor at the University of Texas at Austin, and through 1985, she taught at the Rio Grande Campus of Austin Community College. She was an associate professor of humanities at Southeast Community College from 1987 through 1994, and joined the faculty at Virginia Polytechnic Instititute and State University in 1993, becoming director of the Appalachian Studies program a decade later. Since 2003, she served as director of the school’s Center for Ulster Migrations, Cultures, and Societies, and in 2008, she became a faculty affiliate of its Center for Human-Computer Interaction, positions she held until her retirement from academia in 2021. Dr. Puckett is extensively published, has been a visiting professor at the University of Ulster Institute for Ulster Scots Studies and was a longtime Appalachian Teaching Fellow of the Appalachian Regional Commission. In recognition of her work in preserving and promoting the region’s history and culture, Dr. Puckett has been the recipient of honors including a 2017 Distinguished Friend of Appalachia Award from the East Tennessee Center for Study and Services of Appalachia, Outreach Awards and a Land Grant Award from Virginia Polytechnic Insitute and State University, among others. Dr. Puckett is a fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology and past president of the Appalachian Studies Association, the American Anthropological Association, and the American Ethnological Society, and remains active in community social and environmental justice projects in her retirement.

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