William & Mary

Nancy Schoenberger Wins Plumeri Award

An international leader in the field of neuroscience, one of the country’s foremost legal thinkers on children’s rights and family law, and an internationally renowned ethnomusicologist whose latest work focuses on the music of Oman are among this year’s recipients of the Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence at William & Mary.

The award, established with a generous gift from Joseph J. Plumeri II ’66, D.P.S. ’11, recognizes 20 faculty members each year for exemplary achievements in teaching, research and service. Faculty members have used the award to enhance their research and teaching and to support travel to scholarly conferences.

“The Plumeri Awards are a vital, tangible affirmation of those who make William & Mary one of the world’s great liberal arts universities, rooted in the liberal arts and based on the close interaction of students and faculty,” said Provost Michael R. Halleran. “To achieve this type of experience for all students, we need resources that allow faculty to expand their work freely, as well as to increase the involvement of students in that work. The Plumeri Awards do exactly that.”

Now in its sixth year, 120 William & Mary and Virginia Institute of Marine Science faculty members have received Plumeri Awards since 2009, the inaugural year for the honor. All recipients receive $10,000, which can be used during the course of two years for research, summer salaries or other stipends associated with scholarly endeavor.

“Invariably, recipients of Plumeri Awards express what a significant difference their awards make in their teaching and research. That difference can be felt across campus and beyond,” Halleran said.

“I congratulate the 2014 recipients, and I also thank Mr. Plumeri, on behalf of the entire College, for once again extending this generous support to our wonderful faculty members,” Halleran said.

Nancy Schoenberger, Department of English

Professor Schoenberger has enriched William & Mary as a writer, scholar and teacher for nearly 25 years. The author or co-author of seven books, including three poetry books and two scholarly biographies, Schoenberger has won several prestigious awards for her writing. She often presents or conducts readings publicly. Schoenberger’s biography of Anglo-Irish writer and heiress Lady Caroline Blackwood, Dangerous Muse, was widely acclaimed here and in the United Kingdom. Her 2010 book, Furious Love, which was written with her husband, Sam Kashner, is the most comprehensive book on the controversial marriage between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and makes the case that Burton was a serious and gifted writer as well as an actor.  A New York Times best-seller, the book was featured on “Good Morning America” and NPR’s “With Good Reason” among others. She is finishing her eighth book, which deals with film director John Ford and his relationship to John Wayne, and she’s working on a fourth book of poems based on the 1888 Whitechapel murders. Schoenberger’s giftedness and commitment are equally impressive in the classroom. Her teaching garners some of the English department’s highest evaluations and includes workshops in poetry and screenwriting. William & Mary’s Creative Writing program has grown considerably under her leadership, while her chairmanship of the Patrick Hayes Writers Series has brought many distinguished guest authors to the College. Schoenberger earned a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Columbia University and a master’s in English literature from Louisiana State University.