2020 Winners

Meet this year's honorees.

About

Learn more about these prestigious honors.

Past Recipients

Meet the previous honorees.

2020
Recipient Videos

Kerry Inger, Gerald and Emily Leischuck Endowed Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching

Inger teaches graduate and undergraduate courses widely considered to be some of the most rigorous in the School of Accountancy’s highly ranked programs. In addition to frequent recognition as one of the college’s most exceptional teachers, Inger also has a passion for engaging students in service-learning projects and study abroad programs.

Christopher Lepczyk, Gerald and Emily Leischuck Endowed Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching

Selected for his innovative instruction, commitment to mentorship, and advising impact, Lepczyk is known for inspiring his students to have an appreciation and understanding of wildlife management and conservation. His commitment to academic research excellence has enabled him to creatively blend lectures with thoughtful discussions and hands-on learning experiences.

Steven Brown, Award for Excellence in Faculty Outreach

For more than 20 years, Brown has devoted considerable time and effort to outreach programming. Through his nationally recognized traveling exhibit, “Alabama Justice: The Faces and Cases that Changed a Nation,” he has fostered civic education among countless Alabamians through his efforts to bring the display to them. Following its tour around the state, the Alabama Supreme Court unanimously requested the exhibit be placed on permanent displayed at the State Judicial Building.

Bruce Gladden, Creative Research and Scholarship Award

An internationally recognized scholar, Gladden is a leading authority on exercise energetics, lactate metabolism, and the role of metabolic processes in skeletal muscles during exercise. During his 30-year career in the School of Kinesiology, Gladden has authored more than 100 scholarly publications that have yielded nearly 6,700 citations.

Kenneth Noe, Creative Research and Scholarship Award

Noe is one of the most recognized scholars of Appalachian and Civil War history. His groundbreaking 1994 book, Southwest Virginia’s Railroad, has been cited in more than 3,000 scholarly publications. Every major work on Civil War-era Appalachian history during the past 35 years has referenced Noe’s acclaimed research.

View 2020 Ceremony
2020 Awards
Alumni Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award

The Alumni Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award recognizes the outstanding teaching of undergraduates. Department heads, deans, alumni, and students nominate faculty, and a committee of retired faculty selects the recipients.

James Birdsong

Lecturer and Program Coordinator, Department of Aviation, College of Liberal Arts

James Birdsong

Birdsong is an exceptional teacher and scholar with a profound ability to recognize students’ needs and develop techniques that nurture individual learning. His innovative teaching methods and delivery include meaningful classroom discussions, student-focused presentations, stimulating assignments, and the use of a wide range of technology. Students who begin his class unsure of their ability to succeed leave with renewed hope, confidence, and determination. His combination of talent, background, and personality contribute to his effectiveness as an educator. Birdsong is a leading force in developing, updating, and revising courses in aviation philosophy and practice. He currently serves as Auburn’s principal investigator for the FAA’s Technical Training and Human Performance Center of Excellence (TTHP COE), which has resulted in over $900,000 in research grants awarded to Auburn University. In 2015, Birdsong started the Auburn Aviation resident summer camp program, which quickly became one of Auburn’s most popular summer youth programs.

Kerry Inger

Associate Professor, School of Accountancy, Harbert College of Business

Kerry Inger

With numerous instructional accomplishments and recognitions, Inger is regarded as one of the most exceptional faculty members in the School of Accountancy. She is currently ranked 17th globally for accounting education research over the past six years. Inger’s research focuses on the intersection of financial accounting and corporate taxation. Her work has been published in The Journal of the American Taxation Association, The Journal of Management Accounting Research, Issues in Accounting Education, Tax Notes, and Strategic Management and cited by popular press outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, CFO Magazine, Bloomberg, and Politico.

Jennifer W. Stone

Department of Mathematics and Statistics, College of Science and Mathematics

Jennifer W. Stone

Widely recognized as a supremely talented educator in mathematics, Stone is responsible for all aspects of teaching undergraduate math at Auburn. Her infectious enthusiasm for the subject and genuine care for student learning make her an effective instructor. To help students succeed in lower-level math courses, Stone has created several highly innovative programs around campus, including "Plainsmen's Prep," a popular program offered through the Office of Academic Support. The program provides additional preparation and enhances math placement for incoming students the summer before they transition to Auburn. Plainsmen's Prep includes learning activities to help students gain mastery of content, make peer connections, and develop academic success skills. Recently, Stone initiated another summer bridge program, "Get Set for Calculus," in the College of Sciences and Mathematics. She is also the lead math contact and instructor for the Auburn First Dual Enrollment program, where she supports high-school students' engagement in Auburn math courses.

Distinguished Graduate Faculty Lectureship

The Distinguished Graduate Faculty Lectureship Award recognizes a faculty member based on excellence in research. It is co-sponsored by the Auburn Alumni Association and the Graduate School.

Jeffrey Suhling

Quina Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering

Jeffrey Suhling

A member of the Department of Mechanical Engineering since 1985, Suhling has been a tremendous researcher, leader, teacher, and administrator at Auburn University. An active researcher in electronics packaging, Suhling co-established the NSF Center for Advanced Vehicle and Extreme Environment Electronics, or CAVE3, in 1998 and served as the center’s director from 2002-2008. In addition to his research, Suhling has been a prolific advocate of graduate education. Over his career, he has advised over 100 graduate students, including 45 Ph.D. students, and has served on over 250 graduate student committees. In 2008, Suhling was appointed department chair of mechanical engineering, the largest program at Auburn with more than 1,300 undergraduate students, 200 graduate students, and 50 faculty. In addition to his leadership, Suhling has received numerous teaching awards, including the Outstanding Mechanical Engineering Faculty Member, College of Engineering Birdsong Superior Teaching Award, and the College of Engineering Senior Research Award

President's Outstanding Collaborative Units Award

Created in 2011, the award recognizes existing faculty collaborations among two or more departments, divisions, offices, or programs within the university. To be considered, the work of the collaborative units must have advanced the excellence, impact, and reputation of representing units and the university as a whole.

Creed to Succeed Initiative

Office of Academic Assessment, Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, Institutional Research, Office of the Registrar, Office of Information Technology, Provost Communications and Marketing, and University Career Center

Several people posing on steps

An initiative that exemplifies effective and impactful collaboration, Creed to Succeed is Auburn’s premier graduating senior data collection course. Through a series of university requirements, Creed to Succeed gathers valuable data on core curriculum student learning, campus engagement, student experiences, and career outcomes. Through the help of an infrastructure assembled by several units across campus, data is captured from approximately 98% of graduating seniors each semester and disseminated to colleges and units regularly. As a result, Auburn is poised to take on the challenge of quantifiably improving student experiences, placing the university among national leaders in the effective use of data to improve student success.

Departmental Award for Excellence in Education

Created in 2013, the Departmental Award for Excellence in Education recognizes the efforts of departmental faculty for their commitment to improving education at both the undergraduate and graduate level. On behalf of the Office of the Provost, the Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning and the University Senate Teaching Effectiveness Committee administer this award.

Department of Art and Art History, College of Liberal Arts
Several people posing for a picture

With a long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching, the art and art history department has led multiple initiatives to connect students to professional opportunities in urban and cultural centers. By offering high-impact student experiences and creating a competitive visiting artist and scholar’s residency program, the department seeks to build greater reciprocity and more fluid boundaries between the University and the broader art world. All too often, access to careers in the arts is limited to those from affluent backgrounds. With this initiative, students with diverse experiences and skills can obtain professional experience in the broader art world.

Provost Award for Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring

Established in 2012, this award recognizes faculty who demonstrate a strong commitment to undergraduate research, whose efforts support Auburn students interested in careers in research and creative works, and who have demonstrated outstanding services to students.

Angela Calderón

Associate Professor, Department of Drug Discovery and Development, Harrison School of Pharmacy

Angela Calderón

Calderón is a leader in her college’s efforts to provide meaningful research experiences for undergraduate students entering the allied health professions or continuing to professional or graduate school. She cultivates responsible conduct in research, provides an environment to foster ingenuity and innovation, and helps students develop technical skills. Calderón’s commitment to motivating underrepresented students to build credentials in health sciences and STEM, fields in which women and students from underserved communities have found it difficult to thrive, is particularly inspiring. Within her research group, 62% have been female, and 15% have been minority undergraduate students. Her willingness to provide opportunities to students with less than stellar academic standing and to shepherd these students into productive professional careers is a clear demonstration of undergraduate research’s role as a high-impact practice. Since coming to Auburn in 2008, Calderón has mentored countless undergraduate researchers. Her undergraduate students demonstrate excellence in research endeavors through publications in over a dozen journals and book chapters, several Honors College theses, and many more presentations. Altogether, her undergraduate students have netted 22 regional and national awards recognizing their research contributions.

Creative Research and Scholarship Award

The Creative Research and Scholarship Award recognizes faculty members who have distinguished themselves through research, scholarly works, and creative contributions. This award recognizes two categories: sciences, medical sciences, engineering, and agriculture; and fine arts, liberal arts, architecture and design, business, and social and human sciences.

Sciences, Medical Sciences, Engineering and Agriculture
Bruce Gladden

Humana-Germany-Sherman Distinguished Professor, School of Kinesiology, College of Education

Bruce Gladden

An internationally recognized scholar, Gladden is a leading authority on exercise energetics, lactate metabolism, and the role of metabolic processes in skeletal muscle during exercise. During his 30-year career in the School of Kinesiology, Gladden has authored 111 scholarly publications that have yielded nearly 6,700 citations. Gladden has also authored chapters in the American Physiological Society’s Handbook of Physiology and Comprehensive Physiology and has received multiple regional, national, and international awards for his research. Gladden’s work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, and he has mentored 17 doctoral students to successful careers in industry and academia.

Fine Arts, Liberal Arts, Architecture & Design, Business, Social and Human Sciences
Kenneth W. Noe

Draughon Professor of Southern History, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts

Kenneth W. Noe

Noe is one of the most recognized scholars of Appalachian and Civil War history. He has written or edited eight acclaimed books, including this year’s The Howling Storm: Weather, Climate, and the American Civil War. During his four-decade academic career, Noe has mentored over a dozen graduate students. He has been honored with numerous book awards, outstanding publication reviews, endowed professor chairs, and other faculty awards. His groundbreaking 1994 book, Southwest Virginia’s Railroad, has been cited in over 3,000 scholarly publications. Every major work on Civil War-era Appalachian history during the past 25 years has referenced Noe’s acclaimed research.

Auburn University Award for Excellence in Faculty Outreach

The Award for Excellence in Faculty Outreach honors the engagement of exemplary faculty members and demonstrates the tremendous impact outreach has on our community, state, nation, and beyond.

Steven Brown

Department of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts

Steven Brown

For more than 20 years, Brown has devoted considerable time and effort to outreach programming. His impressive and well-documented outreach scholarship record contributes to his innovative teaching, meaningful research, and impactful service to Auburn and beyond. Through his nationally recognized traveling exhibit, “Alabama Justice: The Faces and Cases that Changed a Nation,” Brown has fostered civic education among countless Alabamians through his efforts to bring the display to them. The exhibit debuted in the RBD Library at Auburn in 2019 and has since traveled to the Vulcan Park and Museum in Birmingham, the Heflin-Torbert State Judicial Building in Montgomery, the Mobile Government Plaza, the Tuscaloosa Public Library, and the National Park Services’ George Washington Carver Museum in Tuskegee, as well as many public libraries around the state. Following its tour in 2021, the Alabama Supreme Court unanimously requested the exhibit be placed on permeant display at the State Judicial Building in Montgomery. Brown’s other significant outreach efforts include his involvement with the National Association of Election Officials, certification training for election and voter registration officials, OLLI and Elderhostel, and seniors’ education programs.

Gerald and Emily Leischuck Endowed Presidential Awards for Excellence in Teaching

Gerald and Emily Leischuck, 1964 graduates and retired Auburn University administrators, created the Endowed Presidential Awards for Excellence in Teaching in 2005. This award recognizes two full-time, tenured faculty members who have demonstrated effective and innovative teaching methods, along with a continued commitment to student success through advising and mentoring.

Kerry Inger

Associate Professor, School of Accountancy, Harbert College of Business

Kerry Inger

As one of the most prolific faculty members in the Harbert College of Business, Inger teaches graduate and undergraduate courses that are widely considered to be some of the most rigorous in the School of Accountancy’s highly ranked programs. Inger holds numerous instructional accomplishments and is frequently recognized as one of the college’s most exceptional teachers. In addition to engaging in study abroad trips, Inger also encourages her students to serve others by organizing volunteer income tax preparation for low-income families in Auburn and communities throughout Alabama. As a part of this program, in 2019 alone, Auburn students prepared 341 tax returns, securing families over $650,000 in tax refunds and saving them more than $135,000 in commercial tax preparation fees. Her commitment to instruction is frequently recognized. She was selected by a committee of alumni, students, and faculty to receive the college’s McCartney Teaching Award and named Outstanding Professor by School of Accountancy students multiple times.

Christopher Lepczyk

Professor, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences

Christopher Lepczyk

Selected for his innovative instruction, mentorship, and advising of students in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Lepczyk is known for inspiring his students to have a profound appreciation and understanding of wildlife biology and conservation. By cultivating learning opportunities that demand critical thinking, Lepczyk empowers students’ intellectual growth and enables them to comprehend the value of their work and contributions to their professional fields. His commitment to academic research excellence has enabled him to creatively blend lectures with thoughtful discussions and hands-on learning experiences. Students in his courses develop a profound understanding of scholarly advancements across the fields of forestry, wildlife, and ecology. Through his commitment to supporting students as they pursue scholarly endeavors after leaving Auburn, many have transitioned to prestigious masters and doctoral programs.

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