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Joe Liro, of Austin,Texas, is a linguist, teacher, writer, and traveler.  And a gardener, herbalist, cook, photographer, and poet.

Joe is a Professor of Russian at Austin Community College (Austin, Texas).  That is his classroom role.  He also teaches in the Omsk Institute of Law (Siberia) “America and Americans Today” program and has taught in the Drake University (Des Moines) program in World Languages and Cultures and the Drake Virtual Language Studies program.  Those are his on-line roles.   Over the years he also taught Russian at the University of Texas at Austin, at summer professional development institutes at Bryn Mawr College, and at two high schools in Austin.  Under a USIA teacher exchange program, he also taught American history and civics in a Lyceum in Mogilev, in southeastern Belarus.  Joe is retired from his day job as director of admissions in a graduate school. 

He holds degrees and diplomas from the US Air Force Academy, the University of Colorado, the University of  Texas at Austin,  the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, and Moscow State University.  He has worked and studied and traveled widely in the (then) Soviet Union, Russia, Poland, and Belarus.  

For three years, he represented the Washington-based American Council of Teachers of Russian as that agency’s country director in Belarus.  There he managed exchange programs for the USIA and the US Department of State, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Soros Foundation; and served as a consultant to the Belarusian Ministry of Education as that agency initiated post-Soviet educational reforms. 

Joe is married to Judith Reagan Liro, an Episcopal priest.  They have two grown children and four grandchildren.

  1. Hi Joe,

    I enjoyed your inspiring garden article in the Austin American-Statesman on Saturday. You are indeed a Renaissance man. Now I need to read your interesting blog.

    My tomato crop was bountiful this year (unlike last year). I also try to keep some basil and rosemary around, although I no longer have the garden plot since we downsized some years ago.

    Good to catch up with you. Come up and see us in Georgetown. It’s quiet and quaint along with a number of lunch options!

    Claude Proctor

    Claude O. Proctor, Ph.D., Linguist
    Russian-English Translation Domains:
    Air Forces, Ground Forces, Naval Forces,
    Strategic Missile Forces, Aerospace Operations
    P.O. Box 1131
    Georgetown, TX 78627

    Be dressed for action, lamps lit.
    Luke 12:35

  2. Monica Kurtz permalink


    It was wonderful to run into you today! Thanks for sharing your blog with me. I have enjoyed reading several of your posts. I should have been studying, but you are more interesting. 70? Really? I would have never guessed it.

    Take care,

  3. Dora permalink

    Hi Joe,

    I recently took a pink pencil out – a miracle survival from series of evacuations – and saw your name on it! Wonderful to find your blog and read about your life after UT. Happy annyversary and best to you and Judith!

    I will be in Austin in October and try to look you up.


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