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.
Robin Looft-Wilson Associate Professor of Kinesiology & Health Sciences
Since coming to William & Mary in 2004, Professor Looft-Wilson has impressed students and faculty with her effective teaching methods and outstanding research work. Her research on cardiovascular physiology, exercise physiology and epigenetics has garnered grants from the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association. Looft-Wilson was instrumental in the Kinesiology Department’s recent curricula remodeling, creating new courses such as Cardiovascular Physiology and Physiology of Aging. The popularity of these courses extends well beyond the department, appealing to many pre-medical students. She also works with students in her research laboratory, training undergraduates as assistants to her own research work. This practice, along with her leadership of a departmental scientific journal club, reveals that her dedication to her students continues outside the classroom. Looft-Wilson previously has been honored with the American Physiological Society’s Research Career Enhancement Award, the Alumni Fellowship Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Gatorade Young Investigator Award. At William & Mary, she also has been named as a Dean’s Distinguished Lecturer and a Coco Faculty Fellow. Looft-Wilson received her doctorate in physiology and biophysics from the University of Iowa School of Medicine. She also served as a postdoctoral fellow at the Yale University School of Medicine.
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