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W&M Alumni Association honors exceptional faculty and staff

The 2010 winners of the annual Alumni Association awards were honored at a banquet at the William and Mary Alumni House on Sept. 16. This year’s winners of the Alumni Fellowship awards are Tuska Benes, Josh Erlich, Kay Jenkins, Elizabeth Mead and Lisa Szykman. The Coach of the Year award goes to not just one coach — but three who had outstanding campaigns last season — head football coach Jimmye Laycock ’70, men’s basketball coach Tony Shaver and former track and field coach Alex Gibby ’97. The 2010 Staff Service Award was presented to Spencer H. Milne, the director of marketing, promotions and ticket services for Tribe Athletics.
BenesAssociate professor of history, Tuska E. Benes, is breaking new ground in the study of German culture and state, and how the language itself reveals how the nation evolved into what it is today.
ErlichGravity is something that most of us take for granted. But not Josh Erlich, associate professor of physics at the College. He is one of thousands of researchers worldwide trying to determine a method of understanding all four of the known fundamental interactions: the strong and weak nuclear forces, electromagnetism and gravity.
JenkinsKay Jenkins, an associate professor of sociology, applies theories from her discipline to interpret religious movements, their stories and the people within them.
MeadAssociate professor of art and art history, Elizabeth Mead, takes inspiration from photographers, French mathematicians, abstract painters and philosophers. Her art has taken her everywhere from Tokyo to San Francisco, including a monastery in Pennsylvania and the wide vistas of Wyoming.
SzykmanLisa Szykman, associate professor of business, studies social marketing. That is, she examines tactics used in advertising that are intended to influence the consumer — sometimes, without the consumer even being aware of that influence.
LaycockUnder the guidance of head coach Jimmye Laycock ’70, Tribe football again reached impressive heights during the 2009 season, competing in the national semifinals for the second time and losing by a single point.
ShaverMen’s basketball coach Tony Shaver pushed his team to success, culminating in a 22-win season, which was the most games won since the than they had since 1949-50 season.
GibbyFormer track and field coach Alex Gibby ’97, is now taking up a new challenge at the University of Michigan. But while he served his alma mater, he led the Tribe to conference titles and the NCAA championships in cross country in each of his seven years. Last season, the cross country team was ranked in the national top 10 and finished fifth at the NCAAs. Three runners were named All-Americans as the team made their best showing since 1973.
MilneAs the director of marketing, promotions and ticket services for Tribe Athletics, Spencer Milne doesn’t need to travel with his teams — but he does. It is this the sort of story that comes up again and again when people talk about Milne and his contribution to Tribe Athletics.
Established in 1965 and first presented in 1968, the Alumni Fellowship Awards are given annually to five younger faculty members who are particularly outstanding as teachers and ensure that the high academic standards of the College are retained.  In 1993, the Class of 1968, in celebration of  its 25th Reunion, permanently endowed the award, which carries a $1,000 honorarium for each recipient.
In 1996, the Coach of the Year Award was established to recognize exceptional coaches at William and Mary.  In addition to their successes in competition, the award also seeks to honor the coach that mentors and motivates his or her players. Thanks to a generous gift by the late Mel Wright ’47 and Carol Wright Hardy ’49, the Coach of the Year award will continue in perpetuity to recognize the best in Tribe coaching.  The winner of the award receives a $1,000 honorarium as well as the Coach of the Year Crystal Vase.
The Faculty/Staff Service Award was created in 1995 by our Board of Directors to show appreciation to faculty or staff members who have displayed sustained involvement on behalf of the Alumni Association and alumni programs. The award is presented with a $1,000 honorarium at the banquet.
Founded in 1842, the William and Mary Alumni Association is a separately incorporated nonprofit organization that encourages alumni of the College of William and Mary to remain active partners in the life of the university. The Alumni Association’s programs nurture friendships, inspire pride and build an appreciation among alumni for William and Mary’s long tradition of achievement. For more information about the Alumni Association, visit