Plumeri recipients represent a distinguished list

It's an impressive list - one that includes 20 individuals who are among the best and brightest faculty at the College of William and Mary. Now, they are also the inaugural recipients of the Plumeri Awards for Faculty Excellence.

PlumeriThe 2009 awards, announced last spring, are named for alumnus and former Board of Visitor member Joseph J. Plumeri ('66). A longtime supporter of the College, Plumeri served on the William & Mary Board of Visitors from 2000-08 and is chairman and CEO of the Willis Group, a leading global insurance broker. Over the next decade, W&M's provost will select up to 20 faculty each year to receive the Plumeri Awards, which provides $10,000 to each recipient for research opportunities, summer salaries, materials, professional development or other expenses associated with research or teaching.

"This first group of Plumeri recipients represents a distinguished list of William & Mary faculty," said Provost P. Geoffrey Feiss, who selected the 2009 recipients following nominations from their deans. "All of these individuals are exemplary teachers and respected researchers. Each would be a valued member of any university faculty in America. We are very pleased that we can recognize and support their important work."

Below is a list of the 2009 Plumeri Award winners in alphabetical order and biography information compiled and provided in the provost's memo naming the 20 recipients:

Todd Averett, Associate Professor of Physics

Elizabeth A. Canuel, Professor of Marine Science, VIMS

Francie Cate-Arries, Professor of Modern Languages and Literature

Tun-jen  Cheng, Class of 1935 Professor of Government

Nancy Combs, Associate Professor of Law, Marshall-Wythe School of Law

Dan Cristol, Professor of Biology

Neal Devins, Ernest W. Goodrich Professor of Law and Director of the Institute for Bill of Rights Law, Marshall-Wythe School of Law

Dave Douglas, Arthur B. Hanson Professor of Law and Director of the Election Law Program, Marshall-Wythe School of Law

Emmett Duffy, Loretta and Lewis Glucksman Professor of Marine Science, VIMS

Martin Gallivan, Associate Professor of Anthropology

Rob Hicks, Associate Professor of Economics

Kris Lane, Professor of History and International Studies

Chi-Kwong Li, Ferguson Professor of Mathematics

Adam Potkay, Professor of English

Suzanne Raitt, Professor of English and Director of the Women’s Studies Program

Kimberly Reece, Professor of Marine Sciences, VIMS

Leiba Rodman, Professor of Mathematics

Margaret Saha, Chancellor Professor of Biology

Martin Schmidt, Professor of Economics

Shiwei Zhang, Professor of Physics



Todd Averett, Associate Professor of Physics.  Professor Averett is an exceptionally talented, young experimental physicist who studies the internal workings of the neutron. He is also an outstanding teacher in a department that prides itself on great teaching.  Averett conducts the bulk of his research at the Jefferson Lab where he is the lead scientist on four major experiments funded to the tune of millions of dollars.  He was a U.S. Department of Energy Outstanding Junior Investigator from 1999-2005 and is seen as one of the critical scientists for the now-funded, doubling of the electron beam energy at JLab.  He came to the College in 1998 with a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia and three years as a post-doctoral fellow at CalTech. (Back to the top)

Elizabeth A. Canuel, Professor of Marine Science, VIMS.  Professor Canuel is a master teacher, an internationally known research scientist, and an exemplary college citizen.  Among other recognitions in her dozen years at the College are the Alumni Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching in 2001, the Class of 1964 Endowed Associate Professorship in 2002, the Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award in 2006, and the two-time recipient of the Dean's Prize for the Advancement of Women in Marine Science.  She has received the highly prestigious NSF CAREER Award and has authored over forty papers in her short career.  She has been a PI on grants in excess of $3M and is the 2008 plenary speaker for the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography. She received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. (Back to the top)

Francie Cate-Arries, Professor of Modern Languages and Literature.  Professor Cate-Arries has been at the College for over twenty years.  She is a charismatic teacher, winning one of the highly competitive SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Awards last year which puts her among the best professors in the Commonwealth.  Her recent book, Spanish Culture behind Barbed Wire: Memory and Representation of the French Concentration Camps, 1939-1945, was first runner-up for the Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize for the outstanding book published in the field of Latin American and Spanish literature and cultures in 2006.  She is a leader in developing study aboard programs centered on student research including her popular Summer in Cadiz program.  Her Ph.D. is from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. (Back to the top)

Tun-jen  Cheng, Class of 1935 Professor of Government.  Professor Cheng is a world-recognized scholar in understanding modern Chinese political theory and history.  On at least one occasion, we have had to work to keep him from being stolen away by the East/West Center in Honolulu, a congressionally created think-tank in Honolulu that is the coin of the realm in east-west relations.  A popular and generous teacher, he has been a visiting scholar in Japan and Taiwan and an East Asian Fellow of the Luce Foundation.  Editor of several major journals, he holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from UC-Berkeley. (Back to the top)

Nancy Combs, Associate Professor of Law, Marshall-Wythe School of Law.  First in her class at  Boalt Hall (UC-Berkeley's law school) in 1994, Professor Combs went to clerk for Justice Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court.  Subsequent to that, she earned a certificate in International Law at the Hague and the Ph.D. at the University of Leiden in 2004.  She is the author of two books in international law: the first on restorative justice with Stanford Press and the second, forthcoming in 2009, on fact-finding in international trials for genocide and ethnic-cleansing with Cambridge.  Both of her books are highly cited and widely recognized already.  She is an excellent teacher as well, receiving a 2008 Alumni Fellowship Award at the College. (Back to the top)
    
Dan Cristol, Professor of Biology.  Professor Cristol, in his twelfth year career at the College, has distinguished himself as a leader and a scholar of the first order.  He has received the Alumni Fellowship Award in 2003, the Phi Beta Kappa Award for the Advancement of Scholarship, and was a 2007 SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Award recipient.  Following receipt of his Ph.D. in Biology from Indiana in 1993, he was an NSF-NATO Post-Doctoral Fellow at Oxford and a post-doctoral fellow at UC-Davis.  Early in his career, he held a prestigious NSF CAREER Award and since has had significant funding from the NSF and DuPont.  In addition to extensive publications in his field of research, he publishes a popular, weekly column on bird behavior in the Virginia Gazette.  For the past several years, he has been the Faculty Director of the Murray Scholars, our premier merit-based undergraduate scholarship program. (Back to the top)

Neal Devins, Ernest W. Goodrich Professor of Law and Director of the Institute for Bill of Rights Law, Marshall-Wythe School of Law.  Neal Devins is one of the nation's leading scholars on the intersection of the Supreme Court and politics.  An editor at Duke University and UNC Presses and a former visiting professor of law at Cardoza Law School, he earned his J.D. in 1982 from Vanderbilt University.   He has edited at least ten books on constitutional law with Duke, Johns Hopkins, Oxford, and Stanford among other publishers.  He organizes the annual Supreme Court Preview, a signature event at the Marshall-Wythe School of Law that routinely involves former Solicitor Generals of the United States as well as high profile federal appeals court judges. (Back to the top)

Dave Douglas, Arthur B. Hanson Professor of Law and Director of the Election Law Program, Marshall-Wythe School of Law.  Called "an institution in himself" by his dean, Professor Douglas is one of, if not the, top teacher at W&M's Law School.  He holds five degrees from Yale, including an M.Phil, an M.A. in Religion, the Ph.D. in History, and a J.D. (fortunately, he also has an A.B. from Princeton).  He is the author or editor of seven books with such top-line academic presses as UNC, Duke, Oxford, and Cambridge.  He has received a SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Award and the Phi Beta Kappa Award for the Advancement of Scholarship. (Back to the top)

Emmett Duffy, Loretta and Lewis Glucksman Professor of Marine Science, VIMS.  Professor Duffy is one of the leading scholars in the world in the field of marine ecology and biodiversity.  He is, in addition to his appointment at VIMS, a research associate at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and routinely invited as a plenary speaker to international conferences and the prestigious Gordon Conferences.  He was the Cheryl Beth Silverman Memorial Lecturer to the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia in 2007 and the Aldo Leopold Fellow on 2006.  With a Ph.D. in Marine Science from UNC, he held NSF and Smithsonian Institution postdoctoral fellowships before coming to VIMS in 1999.  The coin of the realm in science publication is to publish in either Science or Nature.  In 2006, Professor Duffy did both. (Back to the top)

Martin Gallivan, Associate Professor of Anthropology.  Professor Gallivan is a rising young star in the important and contested field of pre- and contact period archeology in Virginia and the Chesapeake region.  After completing his Ph.D. at UVa and following a stint as Associate Director of the College's Center for Archeological Research, he joined the faculty in 2001.  He quickly was brought into and recognized the significance of the site on the northern banks of the York River that is now acknowledged, primarily through the patient and painstaking work of Professor Gallivan and his students, as the site of Werewocomoco, the Powhatan capital and, in fact, a center of political power on a par with the Iroquois Confederacy.  His first book, James River Chiefdoms, was nominated for the Library of Virginia Literary Award and he was named, in 2007, as the Archeological Society of Virginia's Professional Archeologist of the Year.  (Back to the top)

Rob Hicks, Associate Professor of Economics.  Professor Hicks has followed an unusual path joining the Economics faculty in 2002 from VIMS where he taught resource and fisheries economics.  He was brought in under the auspices of the Mellon Foundation-funded Program in Environmental Science and Policy and he has become a mainstay of that program providing key courses in environmental economics and receiving an Alumni Fellowship for Distinguished Teaching in 2006.  He has served as a visiting professor in Spain, and at both the University of Bonn and Leibnitz University in Germany.  His ground-breaking book with two faculty co-authors and a W&M undergraduate student entitled Greening Aid: Understanding the Environmental Impact of Development Assistance at Oxford has led to nearly $2M in funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates and the Hewlett Foundations. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. (Back to the top)

Kris Lane, Professor of History and International Studies.  Professor Lane came to W&M in 1997 after completing his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota.  From 2004 to 2007, he served as the David and Carolyn B. Wakefield Distinguished Associate Professor of History and was promoted to Professor of History in 2008.  A 2002 Alumni Fellow and the 2004 Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award winner at the College, he has served as well as a Visiting Professor at the National University of Colombia in Bogatá.  He is the author of five books on piracy and colonial history in Latin America and the Caribbean, one of which is a ground-breaking textbook on the Atlantic World. (Back to the top)

Chi-Kwong Li, Ferguson Professor of Mathematics.  Professor Li came to the College in 1988 after completing his Ph.D. at the University of Hong Kong where he now also holds a position as honorary professor.  A distinguished teacher, he has received the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award, the SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Award in 2004, and the Simon Prize for Teaching in the Department of Mathematics in 2008. He is the author of more than 230 refereed articles and has received support for his research from the NSF, NATO, American Mathematical Society, and the Chinese NSF.  He is the editor or co-editor of five professional journals and has served as the vice-president of the International Linear Algebra Society. (Back to the top)

Adam Potkay, Professor of English.  A student of eighteenth century British and transatlantic literature, Professor Potkay's scholarship ranges from the classical to the Biblical to the Renaissance.  Earning his Ph.D. in 1990 from Rutgers University, he joined the faculty in 1992.  He has been honored as an Alumni Fellow, with the Phi Beta Kappa Award for the Advancement of Scholarship in 1997, as the Margaret L. Hamilton Term Professor of English from 2005-2008, and as an NEH Fellow in 2006.  He is the author of four books and editor of four others with, among others, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Cornell, and Cambridge University Presses. (Back to the top)

Suzanne Raitt, Professor of English and Director of the Women's Studies Program.  The College was fortunate to hire Professor Raitt from the University of Michigan in 2000.  She holds the Ph.D. from Jesus College, Cambridge, held a prestigious NEH Fellowship, and was the Margaret L. Hamilton professor of English from 2002-2005.  She is the author of three books in modern British literature and the editor of five others.  She has a new book forthcoming at Oxford. (Back to the top)

Kimberly Reece, Professor of Marine Sciences, VIMS.  Professor Reece is an internationally recognized researcher in the field of shellfish phylogenetics and in the development of detection of marine disease agents.  Her Ph.D. is from Cornell in 1988 and she has served in various teaching and research roles at VIMS since 1990.  Her work has received more than $4.4M in external funding and she is the author of more than seventy refereed articles and book chapters.  In 2006, she was the plenary speaker at the International Conference on Shellfish Restoration. (Back to the top)

Leiba Rodman, Professor of Mathematics.  Professor Rodman holds the Ph.D. from Tel-Aviv University.  He came to W&M in 1988 following appointments at Tel-Aviv University and Arizona State University.  Rodman is an internationally recognized researcher in operator theory, differential and integral equations, harmonic analysis, and control theory. His research has been steadily supported by the NSF and has resulted in prolific publications including nearly 300 refereed articles as well as seven books and seven edited volumes.  Several of his books are standard reference works for researchers in his fields of study. (Back to the top)

Margaret Saha, Chancellor Professor of Biology.  Professor Saha defines the gold standard for involving undergraduates in research.  In the past two years alone, she has had eight students co-author published papers and nineteen co-author professional presentations.  After receiving her second Ph.D., in Biology from UVa (she already held one in history) in 1991, she joined the W&M faculty in 1993 following two years as a post-doctoral fellow at UVa.   Among her accolades are the Alumni Society Fellowship Award and the Phi Beta Kappa Award for Advancement of Scholarship, both in 1998, and the SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Award in 2006.  She was the Class of 2005 and the Class of 2008 Professor and was named a Chancellor Professor in 2008.  Author of more than thirty-five refereed articles, her most notable contribution to research at the college has been her serving as the lead PI and éminence grise on our three successive HHMI grants which have touched literally hundreds of students and dozens of faculty in the dozen years that she has headed up this program. (Back to the top)

Martin Schmidt, Professor of Economics.  Professor Schmidt was hired from Portland State University in 2004 where he had been on the faculty since receiving his Ph.D. from Colorado State University in 1994.  He publishes in macroeconomics and in sports economics.  He is the author of more than thirty refereed papers, a prodigious rate of publication in economics, and is the author of The Wages of Wins: Taking Measure of the Many Myths in Modern Sports at Stanford University Press.  This book was cited by Princeton University as one of the "Noteworthy Books in Industrial Relations and Labor Economics" in 2006. (Back to the top)

Shiwei Zhang, Professor of Physics.  Following his Ph.D. in Physics at Cornell in 1993 and postdoctoral fellowships at Los Alamos National Lab and Ohio State University, Professor Zhang joined the W&M faculty in 1996.  Since that time, he has held visiting faculty appointments at UC-Santa Barbara, the University of Illinois, and at the International Institute for Advanced Studies in Italy.  From 2002-2005, he held the Sally Gertrude Smoot Spears Distinguished Term Professorship of Physics at the College.  Early in his career he held one of the prestigious NSF CAREER Awards and, since that time, has been a PI or co-PI on grants worth in excess of $10M.  He is the author of more than forty papers in his field of computational condensed matter physics in which he is an internationally recognized leader in quantum Monte Carlo calculations to predict material properties. (Back to the top)