She was recognized for this honor following Lee’s spring commencement on May 4.
Dirksen is one of five professors in Lee’s history to be awarded this title.
Dirksen currently serves as vice president for Academic Affairs at Lee where she has been on faculty since 1968. Prior to becoming vice president in 1999, Dirksen served as a member of the English department faculty, department chair, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and associate academic dean.
The university conferred Dirksen's promotion in rank while celebrating her 15 years as vice president, the longest tenure of a chief academic officer in Lee history.
While at Lee, Dirksen has received the Excellence in Scholarship and the Excellence in Teaching awards.
In 1998, she was given the Distinguished Educator Faculty Award at the Church of God General Assembly in San Antonio. In September 2002, Dirksen was named Honorary Professor of Henan University, and in 2009, she was named Honorary Professor of Sias University, both in the People’s Republic of China.
In addition to her work at Lee, Dirksen also serves on the World Missions Board of the Church of God.
In July, Dirksen will begin a new role at Lee, serving as the director for the Center for Teaching Excellence.
A native of Bisbee, Ariz., Dirksen holds a doctorate in linguistics from the University of Arizona.
She is married to Murl Dirksen and they have one daughter.