Pair of VIMS faculty selected for Plumeri Awards

Professors Deborah Bronk and Walker Smith of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science are among 20 exceptional William & Mary faculty members receiving prestigious Plumeri Awards for Faculty Excellence this year.

The awards, now in their third year, are given in recognition of faculty members’ exemplary achievements in teaching, research, and service.

Joseph J. Plumeri II

“William & Mary enjoys a great reputation for academic excellence, and the crux of that reputation is our outstanding faculty,” said William & Mary Provost Michael R. Halleran. “Their commitment to student learning, both in and out of the classroom, and dedication to scholarship, help ensure our students’ success. We are especially grateful to Joseph J. Plumeri II ’66 for his vision and generosity.”

The Plumeri Awards were made possible through a significant commitment from Plumeri in 2008. Plumeri said he wanted to “honor and support” faculty efforts at his alma mater and enhance faculty-student interaction. The awards are given to 20 William & Mary faculty members each year with the first awardees named in 2009. All recipients receive $10,000, which is used for research, summer salaries or other stipends associated with scholarly endeavor.

Deborah A. Bronk

VIMS professor Deborah Bronk in the lab at the Barrow Arctic Science Consortium.A leading expert on the marine nitrogen cycle, Professor Bronk consistently maintains support from the National Science Foundation, publishes prolifically, and has accepted significant leadership and advisory roles in her field nationally and internationally. Her wide-ranging, education-focused activities, and her expertise as a mentor and researcher, have attracted students from around the country to VIMS’ graduate program, and many of her students have won prestigious external awards and fellowships.

Walker O. Smith, Jr.

VIMS professor Walker Smith (L) deploys a glider into the icy waters of Antarctica's Ross Sea.An experienced polar oceanographer, Professor Smith has helped make the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) a leader in his field and has assisted in elevating its stature worldwide. He has involved students and colleagues alike in his research on the Antarctic and Southern Ocean as well as, most recently, coastal oceanography and oceanographic efforts in Southeast Asia. His high-profile, cutting-edge publications make him one of the most cited scientists at VIMS.

For brief biographies of each of the other 2011 Plumeri Awards recipients—listed below—visit the W&M website.