William & Mary

Plumeri Award Impact: Kris Lane

William & Mary History Professor Kris Lane has seen research funds become more and more difficult to come by in recent years. But since 2009, with the help of the Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence, he’s conducted research trips to countries like Spain, Ecuador and the United Kingdom, just to name a few.

Kris Lane“The Plumeri Award has been essential to advancing my projects on the history of mining in Latin America, and I am certain that I would not have been able to fund this work – certainly not with such freedom of movement to so many places — any other way,” Lane said.

Lane was one of 20 inaugural recipients of the Plumeri Award — and its $10,000 stipend — in 2009. The award recognizes William & Mary faculty for contributions to teaching, research and service. Lane said the research trips he was able to take allowed him to collect “a wealth” of videos and images to incorporate into classes he teaches on the history of Latin America and the comparative history of mining in the Americas.

With support from other sources, Lane was able to bring students along for some of the trips.

“I feel it is essential to my credibility as a teacher to show students firsthand the kind of work I do in the field,” he said. “My Ecuador students got to see this literally on site, but my students in the classroom also appreciate the chance to join me on my many voyages of discovery.”

Lane, who joined the College’s History Department in 1997, was also able to use Plumeri Award funding to have professional maps made for his latest book, Colour of Paradise: The Emerald in the Age of Gunpowder Empires (Yale University Press-London: 2010).   

“I understand that junior and mid-career colleagues have more urgent needs, but I can’t express how grateful I am for this line of funding that came at exactly the right time,” he said.