Auburn University Faculty Awards

Alumni Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Awards

Recognizes the outstanding teaching of undergraduates from nominations made by department heads, deans, alumni, and students. A committee of retired faulty selects the recipients.

Billy Ferris

Portrait of Billy Ferris

Billy Ferris, Student Media Advisor and Adjunct Instructor

School of Communication and Journalism, College of Liberal Arts

MA, Communication; 2010 – Auburn University

BA, Radio, Television and Film; 2006 – Auburn University

“My reward for teaching is seeing my students succeed both in class and after they graduate. That said, this award is important to me because I was nominated by a student who took several classes with me. The fact that he thought enough of me to take time to nominate me for an award makes me very proud of the work I do.”

Billy Ferris is an advisor for the Auburn Student Media Group and an adjunct instructor in the School of Communication and Journalism. He was born in Boston and grew up in Atlanta. Ferris received an undergraduate degree in radio, television and film, as well as a master’s degree in communication from Auburn University. While he was a student, he served as station manager of Eagle Eye TV. Between degrees, Ferris worked in the media as a television sports reporter and later decided to go into education because his favorite part of the job was teaching interns how to produce content. During graduate school, he served as a graduate teaching assistant where he fell in love with classroom teaching. Upon completing his master’s, Ferris became

an instructor in the School of Communication and Journalism at Auburn. He continues to teach a variety of communication and media studies courses while also advising students in student media.

Ric Smith

Portrait of Ric Smith

Ric Smith, Lecturer

School of Communication and Journalism, College of Liberal Arts

MEd, 1994 – Auburn University

MA, 1985 – Auburn University

BA, 1982 – University of South Carolina

“I am continually inspired by the dedicated faculty and staff in the School of Communication and Journalism. I see the exceptional work they do day in and day out, and I am encouraged to stretch myself.”

Ric Smith is a lecturer in the School of Communication and Journalism where he teaches media courses and  directs the internship program. He is also the executive producer of the Chattahoochee Heritage Project. In 2009, Smith was recognized as a College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Faculty Member. His professional experience includes serving as general manager of WMXA-FM and working as a field reporter/producer for ABC Radio Sports, ESPN Radio, WSFA-TV, and other media outlets. He also worked as an information manager for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, and the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. Smith is now the stadium announcer for Auburn University Football, the SEC Football Championship, and the SEC Baseball Tournament. Smith’s book, Every Day Is an Audition: Thoughts on Life, Love, and Faith for College and Beyond, is published by Deep River Books. Together, he and his wife, Carole, have a son, Harry.

Alan Meyer

Portrait of Alan D. Meyer

Alan D. Meyer, Associate Professor

Department of History, College of Liberal Arts

PhD, American History and History of Technology; 2009 – University of Delaware

MA, History; 2000 – University of Delaware

BA, History; 1989 – Western Michigan University

“Receiving this award reminds me of my original goal: to connect with undergraduate students in a way that makes history meaningful and relevant to the world in which we live.”

Alan D. Meyer joined the faculty at Auburn University in 2009. A Michigan native, Meyer completed his undergraduate degree in history at Western Michigan University and spent eight years in active duty with the U.S. Army. Meyer returned to graduate school at the University of Delaware, where he completed his PhD in American history and history of technology. Prior to Auburn, he worked for several years in Washington, DC, as a civilian historian for the US Air Force. His first book, Weekend Pilots: Technology, Masculinity, and Private Aviation in Postwar America, explores the intertwined relationships among technology, individual skill, and the construction of a gendered community identity. Meyer is a longtime private pilot, a Smithsonian Research Fellow with the National Air and Space Museum, and continues to serve in the US Army Reserve, where he holds the rank of Colonel. Meyer has also received the provost’s office Research and Travel Grant, University of Delaware in 2008; Melvin Kranzberg Dissertation Fellowship, Society for the History of Technology in 2005; and Guggenheim Predoctoral Fellowship, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in 2004-05. Meyer and his wife, Evelyn Causey, have a son, Harrison, and a daughter, Virginia.

Last updated: 03/06/2017