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Auburn University Faculty Awards

Auburn University Faculty Awards

The 2009 Gerald and Emily Leischuck Endowed Presidential Awards for Excellence in Teaching

These awards honor two full-time, tenured faculty members who have demonstrated effective and innovative teaching methods and a continuing commitment to student success through advising and mentoring inside and outside the classroom.

Sushil Bhavnani
Professor - Mechanical Engineering
Samuel Ginn College of Engineering

Photo of Sushil Bhavnani

A winner of at least eight Auburn University awards for outstanding teaching, Sushil H. Bhavnani received his doctorate at Iowa State in 1987. His research interests include the cooling of microelectronics and development of sustainable energy systems. He is the recipient of the 2008 Clock Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Committee on Heat Transfer in Electronics Equipment for sustained contributions to the area of electronics packaging. An associate editor of theĀ IEEE Transactions on Components and Packaging TechnologiesĀ since 2001, Bhavnani is a Fellow of the ASME and a member of Sigma Xi and Pi Tau Sigma honor societies. He has earned an Auburn University Alumni Professorship, the College of Engineering William F. Walker Merit Teaching Award for Excellence, the Mechanical Engineering Outstanding Faculty Member Award, the College of Engineering William F. Walker Superior Teaching Award for Excellence, the College of Engineering Fred H. Pumphrey Teaching Award, the College of Engineering Birdsong Merit Teaching Award, and the Auburn University Mortar Board Favorite Educator Award. Bhavnani directs Auburn University's student teams in solar-electric vehicle and solar-powered house competitions. The Sol of Auburn team is currently building TIGER - Transportation Integrating Green Energy Resources - a two-person biofuel/solar hybrid commuter vehicle. The Auburn University Student Government Association has also recognized him as Faculty Member of the Year.

Mary Mendonca
Alumni Professor - Biological Sciences
College of Sciences and Mathematics

Photo of Mary Mendonca

Mary Mendonca was raised in the projects of Newark, N.J., and attended Rutgers University-Newark where she was inspired by a great teacher and mentor to pursue basic research in biology. She received a master of science degree from the University of Central Florida where her research interest was on green sea turtle ecology in the lagoons surrounding the Kennedy Space Center, and her doctorate from the University of California-Berkeley for research in reproductive endocrinology of reptiles. She also earned two post-doctoral fellowships, one at the University of Western Australia studying the physiological ecology of desert lizards, the other at the University of Texas-Austin for research on the neuroendocrinology of reproductive behavior in snakes. Mendonca came to Auburn 17 years ago and established a laboratory to research the reproductive and stress physiology and ecoimmunology of a number of model organisms (bats, birds, reptiles, and amphibians). She teaches in Human Anatomy and Physiology in the Department of Biology as well as the Human Odyssey program in the Honors College. More than 190 undergraduates have conducted biological research in her laboratory, with almost half going on to professional or graduate schools.