Close menu Resources for... William & Mary
W&M menu close William & Mary

2023 Plumeri Award Winners

A one-column table featuring 2023 Plumeri Award winners.
Nicholas Balascio

Associate Professor of Geology


Professor Balascio teaches and conducts research in the field of climate science. He is a specialist in paleoclimatology and has worked to investigate how recent climate changes due to global warming compare to past centuries and millennia by interpreting clues in geologic archives. He is an authority on Arctic paleoclimatology, and he reconstructs past environmental conditions by analyzing geochemical properties of lake sediment records. Balascio has conducted field work to remote sites in Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Norway, and his recent projects investigate the impact of climate and environmental change on ancient cultures. Working with archaeologists, these projects examine how environmental factors may have shaped patterns of early human migration and the rise and fall of ancient societies, including Viking Age settlements of the North Atlantic and the earliest human settlements of northern Greenland. He has applied similar approaches to explore historic human impacts on environments in Chesapeake Bay’s watershed and the natural and human controls on forest fires in the eastern United States. Balascio has published 34 peer-reviewed articles and supported his research with more than $1.2 million in external grants, including five awards from the National Science Foundation. In 2020, he was a recipient of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award in the Rising Star category, and was a U.S. Fulbright Scholar for the 2022-2023 academic year in residence at the University of Bergen, Norway. Balascio received a B.S. from Union College, an M.S. from Northern Arizona University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He was a Lamont Postdoctoral Fellow at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University prior to joining the faculty at William & Mary.

Dawn Edmiston Ed.D. ’20
Dawn Edmiston

Clinical Professor of Marketing

For more than two decades, Professor Edmiston has sought to develop innovative teaching methods that leverage technology and an entrepreneurial mindset to advance student learning outcomes in higher education. Her research interests include digital marketing and integrated marketing communication, and she is the co-author of the book Marketing Management (Cognella, 2022). 

Professor Edmiston served as the 2021 Fulbright Scholar at Tallinn University in Estonia, where she taught courses on international marketing and networked consumer culture. She is passionate about the internationalization of higher education and launched the Global Business Minor program at William & Mary in 2017. Her teaching efforts have been recognized with numerous awards to include the Marketing Management Association Master Teacher Award and the Society of Marketing Advances Innovations in Teaching Award, as well as undergraduate and graduate teaching honors at William & Mary. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Marketing Education and previously was the special issues editor for the Marketing Education Review and the Journal for Advancement of Marketing Education. 

Prior to Professor Edmiston’s career in academia, she held marketing management roles with Discovery Channel, PricewaterhouseCoopers Management Consulting Services and IBM. Her educational background includes doctorate degrees in management and education, from the University of Maryland and William & Mary, respectively. In addition, she holds an MBA from Columbia Business School, where she was also a Chazen international exchange student at London Business School.

Tess Ellis

Head Coach, Field Hockey

Tess Ellis

Tess Ellis was promoted to head coach of William & Mary’s Field Hockey team prior to the 2013 season. She has been honored as the Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year four times, including two of the last three seasons, and led the Tribe to a CAA Championship and an NCAA Tournament berth during the record-breaking 2018 campaign.

Ellis began her 29th season at W&M in the fall of 2022 after serving four stints with the Tribe since 1993. She rejoined the coaching staff as an assistant in 2010 and was promoted to Associate Head Coach in May 2011.

From 2000-2003, Ellis served as the head coach of the U.S. Field Hockey Association's Under-21 and Under-23 National teams. She coached the U.S. team in the 2001 Junior World Cup and served as an assistant coach with the National Senior team. During her time with the national Olympic program, she helped Head Coach Tracey Belbin develop the first Olympic residency program in Virginia Beach. Her duties with the program included daily training programs for both field players and goalies.

As an internationally experienced player, coach and clinician, Ellis has been afforded many opportunities to travel the globe advancing the sport of field hockey. Other accomplishments over the years include training and traveling with the U.S. Olympic Team leading to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, as well as coaching many junior travel teams. She has also served in a coaching and directors’ role for many U.S. development camps and in the USFHA Futures program.

Ellis was a member of the Australian National Indoor team for eight years and was on the Australia National Under-21 squad.

Marjorie Friedrichs
Marjorie Friedrichs

Research Professor of Marine Science

During her time at William & Mary, Professor Friedrichs has developed an internationally recognized research program examining how physical and biogeochemical processes interact in coastal waters. By combining numerical modeling and analysis of in situ data, she and her team at VIMS strive to better understand how human impacts, such as global warming and urbanization, affect estuarine ecosystem dynamics. She has also developed a forecasting system for hypoxia, harmful algal blooms, and acidification in the Chesapeake Bay, and an annual hypoxia report card to track progress toward attaining water quality standards. Through her ongoing collaborative work with policymakers and members of the fisheries and aquaculture industry, she aims to ensure her science is relevant for Chesapeake Bay stakeholders. To support this research, Professor Friedrichs has raised $15.5 million in grants from federal agencies such as NSF, NOAA, NASA, and EPA. In 2018, she was recognized as the inaugural recipient of the VIMS Faculty Excellence in Mentoring Award. Her students have received some of the most esteemed awards on campus, including the Thatcher Prize. Since joining W&M in 2006, she has published 75 journal articles, including 38 in the last five years. In 2020, Professor Friedrichs received the Chesapeake Research Symposium’s “Chesapeake Guardian Award” for “...having made significant and selfless contributions to the research, management, and policy maker communities in Chesapeake Bay.” Friedrichs received a B.A. in Physics from Middlebury College, an M.S. from the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography, and a Ph.D. in Oceanography from Old Dominion University.

Rebecca Green
Rebecca Green

Associate Professor of Law

Rebecca Green is an Associate Professor of Law at William & Mary Law School where she teaches courses in election law, redistricting & GIS, privacy law, contract law and alternative dispute resolution. Professor Green co-directs the Election Law Program, a joint project of the Law School and the National Center for State Courts that provides resources for judges on election law topics. Professor Green’s research interests focus on the intersection of privacy law and elections, most recently in scholarship on election observation, election surveillance, candidate privacy, and redistricting transparency. Professor Green earned her B.A. from Connecticut College, an M.A. from Harvard University, and is a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School. Professor Green received the 2016 Walter Williams Jr. Memorial Teaching Award in 2016, awarded annually to one professor by the graduating class. Since January 2021, Professor Green has served as one of three university ombuds at William & Mary, assisting faculty and staff with workplace conflict resolution.

Heartley B. Huber
Heartley Huber

Associate Professor of Special Education

Professor Huber’s research focuses on the social and behavioral needs of students with autism and development disabilities and social supports to improve students’ inclusive experiences in school and beyond. She is particularly interested in the role of peers to improve social participation and build relationships for middle and high school students with autism and has teamed up with researchers across the country to learn more about the roles of different school-based practitioners in social and behavioral interventions for students with disabilities. Huber’s commitment to improving lifelong success and inclusion for individuals with disabilities prompted her to launch a campus-based job training program for young adults with developmental disabilities in 2019. To date, the Next Move@W&M Program has served over 35 young adults with developmental disabilities, offering employment training, job coaching and paid work experiences across campus. Her research has generated 19 published journal articles and book chapters, over 40 conference presentations and more than 1,000 citations of her work. Prior to earning her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University, she worked with students with autism, intellectual disability and emotional behavior disorders as a teacher and behavior analyst.

Betsy Konefal
Betsy Konefal

Associate Professor of History

Professor Konefal’s research and teaching focus on Latin American history and movements for rights and justice.  She is the author of For Every Indio Who Falls: A History of Maya Activism in Guatemala, which chronicles Maya mobilization in a context of revolutionary insurgency and genocidal counterinsurgency in the 1970s and 1980s.  She’s now writing a book called The Nun and the Volcano, which documents projects and trajectories of nuns and priests, their students and people they worked with in Guatemala’s highlands in the 1960s. Konefal has authored articles in the Hispanic American Historical Review, Peace Studies Journal, Social Justice, and Humanity, and has published in edited volumes on Liberation Theology, Latin American social movements, gender, ethnicity and revolution, and historical memory.  She holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.I.A. from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, and has received fellowships from Fulbright, the U.S. Institute of Peace, Fulbright Hays, AAUW, the Mellon Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts.  Most recently she’s been appointed the 2022-23 Central American Visiting Scholar of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University. Konefal has traveled with W&M students to Guatemala and Argentina for human rights-focused research and study and partnered with the National Security Archive to offer internships where students use declassified documents to contribute to legal cases and collective memories of the past.  Named a 2021-2023 Glauber Fellow, Konefal works with student research fellows, in collaboration with Guatemala’s oldest human rights organization, the Mutual Support Group (GAM).

Molly Swetnam-Burland
Molly Swetnam-Burland

Professor of Classical Studies

Molly Swetnam-Burland is a specialist in Roman material culture and social history (Ph.D., University of Michigan), with particular interests in the cities of Pompeii and Rome. She has research interests in Latin epigraphy, the working lives of the enslaved and freed members of the emperor’s household, in domestic religion, and in the cult of Isis in Italy. She has published widely, including a monograph, two edited volumes, and many articles in peer-reviewed journals.  She is also involved in outreach, a frequent speaker at the Virginia Junior Classical League and Latin Governor's Academy.  She won a teaching award for excellence in higher education in 2020 from the Society of Classical Studies.

Andrew Wargo
Andrew Wargo

Associate Professor of Aquatic Health Sciences; Postdoctoral Program Coordinator

Dr. Wargo’s academic program focuses on the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases. Some of the topics he and his lab group have explored include virulence evolution, pathogen emergence, transmission, co-infection, vaccination, selective breeding, farming practices, drug resistance and pollution impacts on infectious diseases. A major goal of this work is to understand the processes that drive disease severity and harness this information to improve long-term disease management. This involves an integrative approach that combines laboratory experiments, field studies, statistical analyses and mathematical modeling. Much of this work is focused on infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus, a major pathogen in salmonid aquaculture and conservation. His group has also studied emergent infectious diseases in American eels and salmonids. Although this work is inherently focused on the fascinating questions specific to each of these systems, they are also used as models to address foundational questions about infectious disease biology in wildlife, domesticated animals and humans.

Since arriving at VIMS in 2012, Dr. Wargo helped develop a cutting-edge facility for freshwater pathogen research and implemented new courses in epidemiology. He has also received over $5,000,000 in research funding from agencies such as NIH, NSF, USDA and NOAA, as well as collaborated with leading experts in academia, government, and industry. This work has resulted in over 30 peer-reviewed publications. He was an establishing member of the VIMS Dive-In committee and acted as the inaugural Postdoc Program Coordinator. He looks forward to continuing to work alongside talented individuals to train the next generation of scientists; enhance compassion, diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM; and tackle pertinent scientific challenges.

Douglas D. Young
Douglas Young

Associate Professor of Chemistry; Chair of the Undergraduate Research Committee; Chair of the Committee on Academic Status; Pre-Health Professions Advisor

Professor Young’s research focuses on the interface of chemistry and biology, developing novel chemical tools to address biological questions. Specifically, Professor Young and his students work to develop new methodologies for bioconjugation reactions, which involve incorporating unnatural amino acids into proteins to afford new chemical functionality not normally present in these biological macromolecules. These bioconjugates represent unique therapeutics and diagnostics that have widespread application toward numerous disease states.

His work also investigates the synthesis and testing of new antibiotics, a high priority in healthcare as more and more microorganisms are developing antibiotic resistance. This research has engaged over 70 undergraduates in his 12 years at W&M and resulted in more than 30 W&M peer-reviewed publications and 71 total publications in his career. In addition to his official duties as a research mentor and instructor, Prof. Young displays true passion for the student experience. He has enthusiastically kept the annual Chemistry Magic Show alive and well since he began at William & Mary, has been a STEM panel moderator for the Day for Admitted Students, a Homecoming Parade judge in 2017 and the winner of the William & Mary Raft Debate in 2018. The student Chemistry Club, which Dr. Young advises, has been recognized as an outstanding student chapter by the American Chemical Society. His outstanding achievements have been recognized by the W&M Award for Faculty Governance (2020), being named the Charles Center's Lambert Faculty Scholar (2019), the W&M Alumni Fellowship Award (2017), and the prestigious Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (2017), a nationwide honor given to only six to eight faculty each year for exceptional research with undergraduate students and a strong commitment to teaching. Professor Young received a B.S. in chemistry and biology from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, a Ph.D. in bioorganic chemistry from North Carolina State University, and completed an NIH Ruth Kirchstein Postdoctoral Fellowship at The Scripps Research Institute before joining William & Mary in 2011.