Auburn University Faculty Awards

Auburn University Faculty Awards

The 2012 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.

Andrew Freear, Wiatt Professor, Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture
Raymond J. Harbert College of Business

A.A. — Architectural Association
Bachelor of Architecture — Polytechnic of Central London

Portrait image of Andrew Freear

"Every day I have proud moments - giving students an opportunity to do remarkable things and then seeing them taking that opportunity way beyond anything I would ever have dreamed. It happens every day and I hope for many more of those moments."

Andrew Freear is the Wiatt Professor and director of Auburn University's Rural Studio in Newbern, Ala. Rural Studio is a hands-on architectural pedagogy that teaches students to design and build charity homes and community projects, improving living conditions for citizens of west Alabama. Freear has practiced extensively as an architect in England and the U.S., and taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. He has lectured across the U.S., Europe, and Australia and has served as a member of the Lions Park development committee in Greensboro, Ala., the Perry Lakes Board of Marion, Ala., and the Newbern Volunteer Fire Department. Freear was also made an Honorary Citizen of Marion, Ala. for his work on the Perry Lakes Park Project. In 2006, Freear was honored with The Ralph Erskine Nordic Foundation Award, which aspires to promote urban planning and architecture that is functional, economical, and beautiful, and which is to the advantage of underprivileged and deprived groups in any society. He is the first American-based architect to win the award.

Lawrence Wit, Associate Dean and Professor
College of Sciences and Mathematics

Ph.D. — University of Missouri
M.S. — Western Illinois University
B.S — Wheaton College

Portrait image of Lawrence Wit

"As a teacher, there are not many obvious tangible edifices to my life's work. Yet, periodically, I hear from former students who indicate that they still remember Mammalian Physiology. They tell me how the content of the course continues to help them in their professions. More importantly, though, they tell me that the course helped them learn about themselves, equipping them to think synthetically and critically. There could not be a higher compliment."

Lawrence Wit began his academic career at Auburn in 1976 when he was hired as an assistant professor of zoology and entomology in the College of Agriculture. He joined the College of Sciences and Mathematics in 1990 as interim associate dean for academic affairs, and in 1992 was named associate dean. For 22 years, his responsibilities have included coordinating COSAM's academic programs, teaching classes, assisting with student organizations, and working closely with students and advisors. Wit was also instrumental in creating the COSAM Leaders, an exemplary group of students who serve the college as its official ambassadors. He is most well-known for his Mammalian Physiology class. His teaching methods and class content have brought critical acclaim to both Auburn's biomedical sciences students and the university's premedical program. He said it was while attending graduate school in 1967 that he discovered the delight of teaching college students. He was awarded a graduate teaching assistantship and began teaching freshman biology labs. He said he was hooked and that he has never looked back at medicine or regretted his choice of profession.