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W&M faculty selected for prestigious Plumeri Awards

Twenty faculty members of the College of William & Mary have been selected to receive Plumeri Awards for Faculty Excellence in recognition of their exemplary achievements in regard to teaching, research and service.

"The College is well known for its accomplished faculty," says William & Mary Provost Michael Halleran. "To distinguish oneself among this group of peers, as recipients of the 2010 Plumeri Awards have done, speaks volumes to their talent and work ethic. They are truly deserving of this recognition."

PlumeriIn the spring of 2008, Joseph J. Plumeri II '66 made a significant commitment to his alma mater to "honor and support" its faculty's efforts through creation of the Plumeri Awards for Faculty Excellence. These awards, which include a $10,000 prize for each recipient, are to be given to 20 William & Mary faculty members every year for a decade, beginning in 2009. The funds are to be applied toward research, summer salaries, or other stipends associated with scholarly endeavor, with the ultimate intention of enhancing faculty interaction with students and, in Mr. Plumeri's own words, empowering the College's professors to continue to "work passionately to challenge the minds of our exceptional students."

Brief biographies of each of the 2010 Plumeri Awards recipients appear below:

Jayne W. Barnard, James G. Cutler Professor of Law and Herbert V. Kelly Sr. Chair for Teaching Excellence

Paula C. Blank, Margaret L. Hamilton Professor of English

Randy M. Chambers, Cornelia B. Talbot Term Distinguished Professor of Biology

Paul S. Davies, Professor of Philosophy

Gary C. DeFotis, Professor of Chemistry

Susan V. Donaldson, National Endowment for the Humanities Professor of English

James G. Dwyer, Class of 2010 Professor of Law

Maryse Fauvel, Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures

Carl T. Friedrichs, Professor of Marine Science

Paul D. Heideman, Professor of Biology

Lu Ann Homza, Professor of History

Steven A. Kuehl, Professor of Marine Science

Robert J. Latour, Moses D. Nunnally Term Distinguished Associate Professor of Marine Science

Lawrence M. Leemis, Professor of Mathematics and University Professor for Teaching Excellence

Charles R. McAdams III, Associate Professor of Education

Alan J. Meese, Ball Professor of Law

Jennifer M. Mellor, Class of 1955 Term Distinguished Associate Professor of Economics

Jennifer Bickham Mendez, Associate Professor of Sociology

Jeffrey K. Nelson, Associate Professor of Physics

John P. Swaddle, Arts & Sciences Term Distinguished Associate Professor of Biology

2010 Recipients

Jayne W. Barnard
James G. Cutler Professor of Law and Herbert V. Kelly Sr. Chair for Teaching Excellence

An expert in corporate and securities law, Professor Barnard was named a Leader in the Law by the Virginia Lawyers Weekly in 2009 and is a past recipient of the Law School's Spong and Marshall awards. In nominating her for a Plumeri Award, Law School Dean Davison Douglas remarked that Barnard's creative and lively manner make her an effective teacher and successful scholar - with "a wonderful nose for important, interesting, but overlooked research topics." Her more recent work addresses the vulnerability of the elderly to investment fraud, the reasons why men are more likely than women to fall prey to investment scams, and the use of victim-impact testimony in economic crime cases - the last of which she first proposed in 2001, led to enactment of the Crime Victims Rights Act, and recently came to the fore during the sentencing of Ponzi-schemer Bernard Madoff. At Marshall-Wythe since 1985, Barnard organizes faculty workshops promoting enrichment of the law student learning experience in her role as the Kelly Chair. She holds a juris doctorate from the University of Chicago Law School.

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Paula C. Blank
Margaret L. Hamilton Professor of English

Possessing an impressive record of scholarship about Renaissance England, Professor Blank's work focuses on the methods of literary studies and linguistics. Her interdisciplinary approach has led to two successful books published by major presses, with the first, Broken English: Dialects and the Politics of Language in Renaissance Writings (Routledge, 1992), establishing her reputation as a premier scholar of Early Modern English. Blank is a talented teacher who shares her rich knowledge of Shakespeare and Renaissance writings with her students. In addition to staffing the department's courses in these areas, she has developed new interdisciplinary co-taught courses on literature, film and sexuality. Within the English Department, Blank is a longstanding member and former chair of both the Personnel and Undergraduate Program committees. She has also served on the Modern Language Association's executive committee and on the advisory board for the Publications of the Modern Language Association, one of the most important journals in literary studies today. Blank holds a doctorate in English from Harvard University.

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Randy M. Chambers
Cornelia B. Talbot Term Distinguished Professor of Biology

Director of the Keck Environmental Field Laboratory since arriving at William & Mary in 2001, Professor Chambers is a wetlands ecology specialist who is perhaps best known in the College community (and beyond) for his expertise on diamondback terrapins. He teaches and researches across multiple disciplines (marine science, geology, environmental science and biology), and has co-authored many published journal articles - primarily in nutrient dynamics, invasive species, and turtle ecology in wetlands - with the numerous undergraduate and graduate students he has mentored. During his Watershed Dynamics, Wetland Ecosystems, and ever-popular Introduction to Environmental Science and Policy (ENSP) courses, Chambers is known to move students back and forth between the classroom and Lake Matoaka in an effort to bring lessons to life. He has served on the ENSP program's executive committee since its launch and is currently its acting director. He is active in the local community, where he has consulted with planners and regulators, served on committees, and taught programs to school-age children. Chambers holds a doctorate in environmental sciences from the University of Virginia.

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Paul S. Davies
Professor of Philosophy

In the past year alone, Professor Davies has published or has forthcoming three articles in major presses and has published his second book, Subjects of the World: Darwin's Rhetoric and the Study of Agency in Nature (University of Chicago, 2009), which challenges traditional humanist thinking, drawing on the history of science and contemporary psychology and neuroscience as avenues for understanding human nature. The upper-level courses that he teaches are interdisciplinary, integrating psychology, evolutionary psychology, neuroscience and philosophy - making them demanding both from a teaching and a student standpoint. In 2008, Davies directed the highly successful William & Mary Colloquium in Philosophy, "The Study of the Human Self," which also included interdisciplinary perspectives. He has served on National Endowment for the Humanities panels for full-year fellowships and collaborative research, and refereed book manuscripts for several professional journals. Davies has served on honors committees for several departments at the College and given talks to the Christopher Wren Association for Lifelong Learning. He holds a doctorate from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

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Gary C. DeFotis
Professor of Chemistry

A physical chemist who has amassed a substantial record in both research and mentoring students, DeFotis has supervised the undergraduate honors research and senior research of more than 100 students and has co-published numerous scientific papers with students. His areas of specialization include magnetochemistry, magnetic phase transitions, mixed magnetic systems, lower dimensional magnetic systems, and spin glasses. His two large papers on solid oxygen -  "Transformation Characteristics and Orientation Relations Among the Phases of Solid Oxygen" (Journal of Chemical Physics, 1979) and "Magnetism of Solid Oxygen" (Physical Review, 1981) - have been widely cited. He has also undertaken research on unusual pentacoordinate Fe(III) bisdithiocarbamate and bisdiselenocarbamate systems and developed a significant body of work in the area of mixed magnetic systems. He was recognized with the 1998 Outstanding Faculty Award of the Commonwealth of Virginia; the 1997 American Chemical Society Award for Research at an Undergraduate Institution; and the 1989 Dreyfus Mentorship/Fellowship, the first given to a faculty member at a public institution. DeFotis holds a doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of Chicago.

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Susan V. Donaldson
National Endowment for the Humanities Professor of English

A devoted teacher in the English and American Studies departments, a leading scholar on the literature of the American South, and a highly accomplished writer and editor, Professor Donaldson is the author of Competing Voices: The American Novel, 1865-1914 (Twayne, 1998), which was named an Outstanding Academic Book by Choice magazine. She has also authored more than 40 essays or book chapters and given more than 100 lectures and conference papers, including many she delivered on American literature to universities in Central and Eastern Europe when she held a Senior Fulbright Lectureship at the University of Bonn in Germany. Donaldson has served as an associate editor and advisory board member for The Faulkner Journal, as an advisory board member of the Eudora Welty Review, andfor two years as president of the Eudora Welty Society. The recipient of multiple teaching awards, she will begin a three-year stint as chair of the English Department this August 2010. Donaldson holds a doctorate in American civilization from Brown University.

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James G. Dwyer
Class of 2010 Professor of Law

Known for his highly original views on children's rights, Professor Dwyer's exceptional performance in the classroom is accompanied by an extraordinary body of scholarship - impressive for its quality, quantity and impact. As the author of compelling books, articles and law symposium pieces during the last 15 years that have helped firmly establish him as one of the nation's most prominent - and distinctive - family law scholars, Dwyer contends that our legal system has not taken the moral and legal rights of children seriously and as a consequence has failed them. Dwyer maintains a rigorous teaching schedule of both large courses, which include Family Law and Trusts and Estates, as well as smaller courses, including Youth Law, and Law and Social Justice. In addition to holding faculty appointments at the College and other institutions, Dwyer has served as a practicing attorney, and as a law guardian and assigned counsel for the New York State Family Court. He holds a juris doctorate from Yale Law School and a doctorate in moral and political philosophy from Stanford University.

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Maryse Fauvel
Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures

Professor Fauvel has emerged as an internationally recognized author and scholar in French studies who is also well regarded for her teaching and service at William & Mary. In her 2007 monograph, Scènes d'intérieur: Six romanciers des années 1980-1990, Fauvel analyzes the writings of French-language authors of the late 20th century in the context of political and cultural debates raging during that period. She has also co-authored a two-volume multimedia work, A vous de voir (Paris, Casteilla, 2010), which offers critical analyses of 24 Francophone films as well as scholarly guidance in cinematic analysis and filmmaking. A teacher known for her accessibility, extensive lesson plan preparation, and deep and meaningful classroom discussions, students have given feedback that Fauvel's courses make them think critically about the materials presented in class and help shape who they become upon graduation. Fauvel was elected to the Modern Language Association's executive committee and, subsequently, to its delegate assembly, a post she will hold until 2012. She earned a doctorate in French studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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Carl T. Friedrichs
Professor of Marine Science

Possessing the unusual ability to work across the traditional disciplines of marine, earth and environmental sciences, Professor Friedrichs demonstrates an impeccable level of rigor and lucid grasp of the first principles of the scientific fields involved, particularly physical oceanography, sedimentary geology, sediment transport, coastal morphodynamics, and marine ecology. He has authored or co-authored an impressive 71 peer-reviewed publications and has been the lead investigator on 22 federally funded research grants. In the classroom, Friedrichs has proven himself an exceptional communicator who possesses the ability to make complex ideas and concepts understandable to students with minimal backgrounds in the subject matter at hand. He has been involved at a high level in many national and international panels, working groups and steering committees. For example, he served on the National Science Foundation's Coastal Ocean Processes Scientific Steering Committee from 2002 to 2008, and has been on the steering committee for Physics of Estuaries and Coastal Seas International Biennial Conference Series since 1996. He holds a doctorate in oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program.

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Paul D. Heideman
Professor of Biology

Professor Heideman is internationally known for his work on the seasonality of reproduction in mammals, which combines evolutionary theories and reproductive biology and has implications for understanding brain function and the evolution of brain pathways. Praised as a "talented synthesizer and integrator," effective teacher, and devoted mentor, his courses range from introductory-level biology to Animal Physiology to graduate colloquia. He directs the ALSAM Foundation Scholars Program at the College, served as department chair from 2004 to 2009, and is currently the lead investigator and co-lead on National Science Foundation and Department of Education grants (respectively) that focus on recruiting, developing and preparing science and mathematics teachers for high-needs schools. In his 15-plus years at William & Mary, Heideman has developed two novel learning tools to improve student performance called "minute sketches" and "folded lists"; he is currently preparing descriptions of these tools for publication and notes that students often utilize them the rest of their educational careers. Heideman holds a doctorate in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

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Lu Ann Homza
Professor of History

A researcher who is as comfortable exploring famous works of high Renaissance culture as she is studying obscure local court records, Professor Homza has attained international recognition as a scholar of Spanish history. She has published two books: Religious Authority in the Spanish Renaissance (Johns Hopkins, 2000), which Choice magazine named an Outstanding Academic Book of the Year; and The Spanish Inquisition, 1478-1614: An Anthology of Sources (Hackett, 2006), which is the first primary source reader in English on the Spanish Inquisition. She has also had substantial articles appear in publications such as Renaissance Quarterly, the leading academic journal in Renaissance history. Known by undergraduates as one of the toughest teachers, Homza nonetheless garners high marks from her students and has effectively involved undergraduates in research projects, with a majority of the honors theses she supervises receiving highest honors. In 2009 and 2010 she received a Quality Enhancement Plan-Mellon Foundation Grant from the College's Charles Center to take undergraduates to Pamplona, Spain, for archival research. She holds a doctorate from the University of Chicago.

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Steven A. Kuehl
Professor of Marine Science
A leading marine geologist and a professor in the Department of Physical Sciences at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), Professor Kuehl's work in sediment dynamics has taken him from the nearby Chesapeake Bay to the waters of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. His research, which involves both VIMS graduate students and William & Mary undergraduate geology students, has received international attention and support from the National Science Foundation, where Kuehl has provided key leadership with the MARGINS Source-to-Sink (S2S) and COOP programs. Currently head of the Academic Council at VIMS, Kuehl recently chaired the building committee for VIMS's new Andrews Hall and previously chaired his department, which is now highly collaborative and interdisciplinary largely because of his leadership. Prior to coming to VIMS in 1993, Kuehl's positions included summer appointments as a visiting scholar at the NASA Space Technology Laboratory. He holds a doctorate in geological oceanography from North Carolina State University.

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Robert J. Latour
Moses D. Nunnally Term Distinguished Associate Professor of Marine Science

Distinguished as a hard-working, devoted scientist, Latour has built a nationally recognized research program at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science that is highly relevant to the societal needs of fisheries science and management. He has used his background in biomathematics and statistics to make novel inferences from tagging data, notably in development of diagnostic procedures, estimation of mortality rates, and characterization of fish habitat utilization. His bold quantitative contributions, coupled with his leadership, have guided a large field, laboratory and modeling program focused on multi-species interactions in fish communities and the impacts of these relationships on management. Latour routinely receives outstanding student reviews for all of his courses and has developed a reputation as an excellent instructor. He is also a devoted mentor, having advised four master's and four doctoral students on a wide array of fisheries ecology research topics. Latour has made significant technical contributions to several working groups of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, most notably as chairman of the Atlantic Menhaden Technical Committee. He holds a doctorate in biomathematics from North Carolina State University.

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Lawrence M. Leemis
Professor of Mathematics and University Professor for Teaching Excellence

Appointed University Professor for Teaching Excellence at William & Mary in 2008, Professor Leemis teaches undergraduate classes in probability, statistics and operations research, as well as graduate courses in the Computational Operations Research program - an interdisciplinary master's program shared by the Mathematics and Computer Science departments. He has also supervised doctoral students in the Applied Science Department; research published with two of those students won an international award in 2006. Leemis has authored three textbooks for upper-division undergraduate and graduate mathematics, and has served as co-principal investigator for several National Science Foundation grants, including one that runs through 2014 entitled "SCORE: Scientific Computing and Operations Research Education." A former department chair, Leemis has served on nearly every major departmental committee and on numerous other committees at William & Mary beyond his department. He came to the College in 1992 from a tenured position at the University of Oklahoma, where he received multiple teaching awards. He holds a doctorate in operations research from the Purdue University School of Industrial Engineering.

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Charles R. McAdams III
Associate Professor of Education

At William & Mary since 1994, Professor McAdams coordinates the School Psychology and Counselor Education program at the School of Education, where he teaches master's and doctoral students. Highly regarded for his expertise in marriage, family and community counseling, his nationally acclaimed scholarship focuses on difficult issues in counseling practice and education, including aggressive and suicidal clients. A Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and Accredited Clinical Supervisor, McAdams co-directs the New Horizons Family Counseling Center based at the College. In 2009 the Williamsburg Community Health Foundation awarded him a grant for developing an integrated model of parent training and family and group counseling to serve families with aggressive children and teens who are referred by public schools. McAdams developed and taught the first study-abroad program for William & Mary freshmen (at St. Andrew's University, Scotland). He holds a doctorate in counselor education from North Carolina State University and a certificate in developmental/clinical practice from Harvard University.

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Alan J. Meese
Ball Professor of Law

A former clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia and for Judge Frank Easterbrook of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Professor Meese has taught at the Marshall-Wythe School of Law since 1995 and is one of America's leading antitrust scholars. Consulted frequently by national news outlets, he has authored more than 25 scholarly articles on antitrust and other topics. In 2004, he was appointed senior adviser to the Antitrust Modernization Commission, which presented a report to the President and Congress recommending various changes to the Federal Antitrust Laws. At Marshall-Wythe, students benefit from Meese's dual economics and law background, and appreciate his combination of intellectual rigor and humor in the classroom. A former Cabell Research Professorship recipient, he serves on the university-wide Planning Steering Committee and the executive committee of the Faculty Assembly, of which he is a past president. A 1986 alumnus, Professor Meese was first in his class at William & Mary and holds a juris doctorate from the University of Chicago Law School, where he graduated Order of the Coif and was a John M. Olin Fellow in Law and Economics.

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Jennifer M. Mellor
Class of 1955 Term Distinguished Associate Professor of Economics

Appointed in 2009 as the new director of the College's Schroeder Center for Health Policy, Professor Mellor has written several book chapters and produced more than 20 refereed articles in top quality journals, including the Journal of Health Economics, the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, and the Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law. She has been invited to speak on many occasions at national conferences and meetings, was interviewed by a major news network regarding healthcare reform, and spoke on healthcare reform at a conference at Virginia Commonwealth University. Mellor teaches a wide range of courses from the introductory to the graduate level, including a highly successful freshman seminar on the economics of bad behavior, an upper-level health economics class, and a graduate course in health policy. She has been a reviewer for the Centers for Disease Control and the National Science Foundation, and has chaired the Committee on Academic Status in addition to holding numerous other committee assignments at the College. She holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Maryland.

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Jennifer Bickham Mendez
Associate Professor of Sociology

Known for her innovative approach to teaching, research and service, Professor Mendez has led students into communities for fully engaged research. With a focus on the complex and contradictory inner-workings of globalization, Mendez investigates how these functions both exacerbate inequalities and generate opportunities for the empowerment of organizations, groups and individuals. Her book, From the Revolution to the Maquiladoras: Gender, Labor and Globalization in Nicaragua (Duke, 2005), was awarded the annual book award from the Political Economy of the World System Section of the American Sociological Association, and received an honorable mention from the Global Division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Mendez has allowed her students to be engaged in local service programs, and during spring break in 2009 and 2010, she traveled with students to the United States-Mexico border to participate in faculty-guided research projects. Mendez, a recipient of the President's Award for Service to the Community for her work with Williamsburg's Spanish speaking residents, earned a doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Davis.

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Jeffrey K. Nelson
Associate Professor of Physics

Professor Nelson came to William & Mary in 2004 from the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Illinois, where he was an applications physicist. Using his background, he has built a world-class research program at William & Mary in neutrino physics - one of the most groundbreaking areas of particle physics in at least a decade. In recent years, he and students have built large, state-of-the-art detectors for use in the MINERνA neutrino experiment taking place at Fermilab. Marked by versatility and clarity in the classroom, Nelson is a skilled mentor who has contributed substantially to undergraduate physics research at William & Mary. He also shares his talent with middle and high school teachers through a summer research experience he started in 2005. The Jefferson Lab is yet another of many beneficiaries of Nelson's expertise - which has led to 180 published articles, international conference presentations, and external funding from the National Science Foundation, Fermilab, and other sources. Nelson holds a doctorate in physics from the University of Minnesota, where he taught prior to coming to William & Mary.

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John P. Swaddle
Arts & Sciences Term Distinguished Associate Professor of Biology

Professor Swaddle is an enthusiastic scholar and devoted mentor who often oversees research of nearly 20 students (primarily undergraduates) every semester. An expert in evolutionary behavioral ecology, many of his experiments and professional publications focus on the behavior of birds and their importance to ecological and evolutionary processes, as well as to human health, economics and culture. Co-author of Asymmetry, Developmental Stability and Evolution (Oxford, 1997), he has helped secure significant outside funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the College's Environmental Science and Policy program, which Swaddle directs, and the National Science Foundation (NSF). A 2004 NSF grant helped him and colleagues form the Institute for Integrative Bird Behavior Studies at William & Mary. Swaddle has provided key leadership for the College's biomathematics program, summertime Research Experience for Undergraduates, and biomathematics internship program with Thomas Nelson Community College. Swaddle currently holds his second term professorship at William & Mary and has received international honors for his work. He earned his doctorate in behavioral ecology from the University of Bristol, United Kingdom, where he previously taught.

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