Auburn University Faculty Awards

Auburn University Faculty Awards

2012 Alumni Undergraduate Teaching Awards

These awards are presented on the basis of outstanding teaching of undergraduates from nominations made by department heads, deans, alumni and students. A committee of retired faculty selects the recipients.

Bob Boyd, Professor, Biological Sciences
College of Sciences and Mathematics

Ph.D. — University of California, Davis
M.S., B.S. — California State Polytechnic University
A.A. — Mount San Antonio College

Portrait photograph of Bob Boyd

"Being a part of the education of bright and energetic young people is very satisfying. Helping them to achieve their goals while at the university is wonderful, but coming across them later in their careers and finding that they still remember me and the courses that I teach is extremely gratifying. These experiences help me see that I can make a difference in students' lives."

Bob Boyd came to Auburn in 1988 and has taught at all levels, from freshman courses in biology to graduate courses in conservation biology and plant-animal interactions. His research interests include the management of rare and endangered plants, as well as the ecology and evolution of metal hyperaccumulator plants. In 2001, an insect species was named for him - Melanotrichus boydi, or "Boyd's Black-Haired Bug." The discovery came from the master's thesis work of one of his graduate students. Boyd was involved in the creation of the campus student group, the Society for Conservation Biology, which provides support for majors that involve conservation. He also serves as faculty advisor for the group. His teaching and mentoring efforts have been recognized through the Alumni Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award, COSAM Dean's Award for Outstanding Teaching, COSAM Outstanding Faculty Advising Award, and an Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award. Boyd was also named Learning Community Coordinator of the Year in 2012. He said he considers his parents, who were both teachers, his most valuable role models.

Shelly R. McKee, Associate Professor, Poultry Science
College of Agriculture

Ph.D., M.S., B.S. — Texas A&M University

Portrait photograph of Shelly R. McKee

"My greatest inspiration was my grandfather. He was a USDA inspector in a poultry plant, and when I was young he often took me with him and explained the operations in the plant. Because of his influence, I love the poultry industry. He also taught me simple life skills. I will always be grateful for the big and small things he did, but most of all, for the love and support he provided."

Texas native Shelly McKee's first teaching experience came when she worked as a teaching assistant while pursuing her Ph.D. at Texas A&M. She was responsible for lecturing and for preparing and teaching laboratory exercises in poultry processing and products. Because of the number of students enrolled in the course, there were three labs per week with 15-25 students per lab. She said this experience fostered her love of teaching. McKee took her first academic position as an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1997. She developed and taught egg processing and products and product development courses in the Department of Food Science, as well as poultry processing for the Midwest Poultry Consortium. In 2002, McKee accepted a position at Auburn University in the Department of Poultry Science. She was promoted to associate professor and continued research in characterizing food quality and safety of poultry meats from farm-to-fork. She also developed new courses in poultry meat further processing and products and advanced poultry further processing. McKee said that one of the best parts of being at Auburn University is mentoring graduate students.

Karla Simmons, Assistant Professor, Consumer and Design Sciences
College of Human Sciences

Ph.D. — North Carolina State University
M.S., B.S. — Auburn University

Portrait photograph of Karla Simmons

"This award is validation that I am where I am supposed to be, doing what I am supposed to do, and having some impact on the people (mostly young women) I teach. I want my students to not only be as prepared for the workplace as possible but also to be the kind of people who will also have an impact on someone else."

Karla Simmons is a two-time Auburn University graduate. Before receiving her Ph.D. in apparel technology from North Carolina State University, she taught at Central Alabama Community College in Alexander City, Ala. She spent three years teaching apparel production and design at the University of Missouri-Columbia before returning to Auburn to teach apparel design and production management in the Department of Consumer and Design Sciences. Simmons has received the SGA Outstanding Faculty Member award for her college and the Women's Philanthropy Board Faculty Award; was named Camp War Eagle Faculty Honoree; and was this season's first speaker in the All-Star Lecture Series. Her academic interests include technical design, CAD, and apparel production management. Simmons is considered an expert in the field of 3-D body scanning technology, and her research has been presented internationally in England, Korea, Egypt, Australia, and Hong Kong. Recent research projects include the Freshman 15, a longitudinal study of body weight and shape patterns in college students; classification and fit preference of men’s body shapes; different technical aspects of the 3-D body scanner; and using avatars with fourth-grade children to see the influence on obesity.