Faculty appointed to distinguished, designated professorships

The William & Mary Board of Visitors recently appointed several faculty members to distinguished and designated professorships during the board’s April meeting in Williamsburg.

Robert VinsonThree professors -- Susan Grover, Elizabeth Harbron and Robert Vinson – were awarded with University Professorships for Teaching Excellence. The professorships are presented to recognize excellence in teaching and to encourage faculty exchange on topics related to teaching development. Awardees are selected based on demonstrated excellence in teaching, commitment to students and the ability to instill interest and challenge students. They must also take an active role in improving education by contributing to curriculum or teaching development.

Elizabeth Harbron“W&M is blessed in having many distinguished scholars with a deep commitment to teaching, and I am delighted that we can recognize three of our very best with the University Professorship for Teaching Excellence,” said William & Mary Provost Michael Halleran. “Each one of these faculty—from three very different fields—demonstrates an enviable ability to engage, challenge and inspire their students.”

Susan GroverGrover, an associate professor of law, joined the William & Mary faculty in 1988. She specializes in civil procedure, civil rights law, employment discrimination law, law and society and women and the law. Harbron, an associate professor of chemistry, specializes in physical organic chemistry, photochemistry, conjugated polymers and single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy. A professor of history and Africana Studies, Vinson’s research interests include Southern Africa, African Diaspora, African American and British Caribbean history.

The Board also awarded several other professorships at its meeting, including the Margaret Hamilton Professorships, the William and Mary Student Professorship and the Term Distinguished Associate Professorships.

The Margaret Hamilton Professorships were presented to Professor of French and Francophone Studies Maryse Fauvel and Professor of Economics and Director of the Schroeder Center for Healthcare Policy Jennifer Mellor. The professorships recognize “excellence in research or creative activity and a demonstrated commitment to teaching in mid-career faculty.” Awardees must be tenured associate professors or full professors who have been so for no more than five years.

The William and Mary Student Professorship (Class of 2014 professor) went to Associate Professor of Law Laura Heymann. Created and funded by students, this professorship aims to help retain the College’s best faculty members. Awardees demonstrate high standards in teaching, scholarship and service, and they make a difference in the lives of students.

The Term Distinguished Associate Professorships are presented to “recognize and reward excellence in research or creative activity and a demonstrated commitment to teaching.” Awardees must be tenured associate professors or faculty members who will likely achieve that position. This year’s recipients are: Mary Fabrizio, Moses G. Nunnally Term Distinguished Associate Professor of Marine Science; Vassiliki Panoussi, Robert and Sara Boyd Term Distinguished Associate Professor of Classical Studies; Diane Shakes, Class of 1964 Term Distinguished Associate Professor of Biology; Jeremy D. Stoddard, Sallie Gertrude Smoot Spears Term Distinguished Associate Professor of Education; and Haining Wang, Wilson and Martha Claiborne Stephens Term Distinguished Associate Professor of Computer Science.