Dr. Steven Leath outside Samford Hall
Auburn Inspires Me.

"As Auburn's president, I am continuously inspired by the creative power of our faculty and their genius for innovation. I’m inspired by their collegial and collaborative spirit, a spirit that is not afraid of pushing boundaries and asking why. They, like Auburn, are not satisfied with the status quo, and their endeavors to connect their research and scholarship efforts with the broader innovation landscape are changing lives and communities. Auburn faculty are making a transformative mark on our future—and that is inspiring."

President Steven Leath

Award Information 2018 Honorees
The 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 to recognize two full-time, tenured faculty members who have demonstrated effective and innovative teaching methods, along with a continuing commitment to student success through advising and mentoring.

Kelly Bryant
Kelly Bryant

Professor of Graphic Design, School of Industrial and Graphic Design, College of Architecture, Design, and Construction

As a graphic design educator, Kelly Bryant teaches publication design with a strong emphasis in typography. She also instructs in the areas of branding, illustration, and drawing. As a design educator for 30 years, she has received several teaching awards including the Silver Medal Award in Art Education from the Auburn Chapter of Tau Sigma Delta, the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Auburn Chapter of Mortar Board and the Auburn University Alumni Undergraduate Teaching Award. Bryant is a practicing designer and artist whose work explores the beauty of typography. Her research has focused on integrating traditional forms of tactile art making with computer technology in the form of publication, identity and poster design. This research has been recognized nationally and internationally through exhibitions, books and awards. The international design magazine Uppercase 35 has a feature article on Bryant's current research titled, "Kelly Bryant: Collages and Paintings inspired by Playful Typographic Details."

James Long
James Long

Harbert College Advisory Council Professor, School of Accountancy, Harbert College of Business

James H. Long is a two-time Auburn graduate, earning a BSBA in 2001 and a MAcc in 2002. He began his professional accounting career in Atlanta as an auditor with Gifford, Hillegass & Ingwersen, LLP and subsequently worked as an internal audit manager with National Vision, Inc. before returning to academia to pursue a PhD at Virginia Tech. After completing his doctorate in 2009, Long joined the faculty in the Auburn University School of Accountancy, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate accounting courses, conducts research on the impact of task timing on judgment and decision-making in the accounting domain and develops educational accounting cases. He currently serves as the Director of International Programs in the School of Accountancy and recently completed a semester abroad as a Fulbright Scholar in Hungary. Long enjoys traveling internationally for business and pleasure, and frequently leads study abroad programs for students in the Harbert College of Business. He is also an Auburn sports fanatic and can often be found yelling, "War Eagle!" at various athletic events.

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.

Kyes Stevens
Kyes Stevens

Director of the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project and Instructor in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction

Kyes Stevens is the founder and director of the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project, or APAEP. With its start in 2001, she designed and built an innovative and sustainable program for education on the inside. Stevens was awarded a fellowship from the NEA to teach poetry at the Talladega Federal Prison in 2001 and grew APAEP from that experience. She was a co-recipient of the first Lillian E. Smith Writer in Service Award, the recipient of the Auburn University Women of Distinction Award in 2010 and also the Auburn University Young Alumni Achievement Award in 2012. Additionally, she was the 2014 Alabama State Council on the Arts Literary Arts Fellowship recipient and, in 2016, was recognized as an AL.com Woman Who Shapes the State and a 2016 Southerner of the Year by Southern Living. Stevens works with peers from the country to develop strategies for arts and higher education in prison programs, including multiple visits to the White House. She seeks to bolster others in their efforts to develop programming, working as a consultant and advisor to institutions of higher education.

Creative Research and Scholarship Awards

The Creative Research and Scholarship Award recognizes faculty members who have distinguished themselves through research, scholarly works and creative contributions among the categories of fine arts, liberal arts, architecture & design, business, social/human sciences and sciences, biomedical sciences, engineering and agriculture.

Shiwen Mao
Shiwen Mao

Samuel Ginn Endowed Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering

Shiwen Mao is the Samuel Ginn Endowed Professor and director of the Wireless Engineering Research and Education Center. He received his PhD in electrical and computer engineering from The New York University Tandon School of Engineering in 2004 and joined Auburn University as an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2006. Mao received the National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award in 2010 and has three service awards from the IEEE Communications Society. His interests include wireless networks, multimedia communications and smart grid.

Cathleen Giustino
Cathleen Giustino

Professor of History, College of Liberal Arts

Cathleen Giustino is the Mills Carter Professor of History and a 2017 Carnegie Fellow. She earned her BA from Grinnell College and her PhD from the University of Chicago. She is the author of Tearing Down Prague's Jewish Town: Ghetto Clearance and the Legacy of Middle-Class Ethnic Politics around 1900 and co-editor of Socialist Escapes: Breaks from Ideology and the Everyday in Eastern Europe, 1945-1989. Her current book project examines state uses of architecture, art and antiques seized from groups targeted for ethnic cleansing in Central Europe during and after World War II. Giustino has held prestigious awards from Fulbright, the American Council of Learned Societies, the International Research Exchange Board, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the American Philosophical Society and the TEMA Erasmus Mundus European Master’s Programme, for which she was a Visiting Professor at Prague’s Charles University. She also holds the College of Liberal Arts Award for Excellence in the Teaching of the Humanities, the Panhellenic Outstanding Professor Award and the Favorite Educator Award from the Mortar Board National Senior Honorary.

David Ketchen
David Ketchen

Harbert Eminent Scholar and Professor of Management, Harbert College of Business

Dave Ketchen serves as a Harbert Eminent Scholar and Professor of Management. Driven by the desire to understand why some companies succeed and others fail, his research on strategic management and entrepreneurship has attracted more than 30,000 citations according to Google Scholar. He has published more than 160 articles in scholarly journals and his research has been published in The Wall Street Journal and Forbes Magazine. In 2012, Ketchen was awarded the Smeal Graduate Distinguished Achievement Award by the Smeal College of Business at the Pennsylvania State University at 45 years of age. He was the first academic to receive this lifetime achievement award.

Research and Economic Development Advisory Board Advancement of Research and Scholarship Achievement Award

Created to recognize high quality, competitive research and scholarly activity, the Advancement of Research and Scholarship Award recognizes exceptional efforts to advance Auburn’s research and scholarship mission

Pradeep Lall
Pradeep Lall

MacFarlane Endowed Professor

Pradeep Lall is the MacFarlane Endowed Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and director of the NSF-CAVE3 Electronics Research Center at Auburn University. He holds joint courtesy appointments in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Finance, and is also a member of the technical and governing council of NextFlex Manufacturing Institute. Lall is a fellow of the ASME, IEEE and the Alabama Academy of Science. He is recipient of the IEEE Sustained Outstanding Technical Contributions Award, National Science Foundation’s Alex Schwarzkopf Prize for Technology Innovation, Alabama Academy of Science’s Wright A. Gardner Award, IEEE Exceptional Technical Achievement Award, ASME-EPPD Applied Mechanics Award, SMTA’s Member of Technical Distinction Award, Auburn University’s Creative Research and Scholarship Award, SEC Faculty Achievement Award, Two Samuel Ginn College of Engineering Senior Faculty Research Awards, three Motorola Outstanding Innovation Awards, five Motorola Engineering Awards and more than twenty-five “Best Paper” awards at national and international conferences. Lall is the author and co-author of two books, 14 book chapters and more than 500 journal and conference papers in the field of electronics reliability, safety, energy efficiency and survivability.

Provost Award for Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring

Established in 2012, the 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 service to students.

Virginia Davis
Virginia Davis

Alumni Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering

Virginia A. Davis has mentored more than thirty undergraduate researchers since joining Auburn’s Department of Chemical Engineering in 2005. Many of these mentees have become leaders in industry, earned prestigious fellowships and/or received advanced degrees in engineering law or medicine. Davis’ research group focuses on how to make solid materials with controlled microstructure from nanomaterial dispersions and polymer melts. Applications include optical coatings, MEMS, 3D printed structures, light-weight composites, antimicrobial surfaces and substrates for growing beneficial algae. She has five patents and more than 50 publications, which have collectively been cited more than 3500 times. Her national awards include a 2010 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and invitations to several National Academy of Engineering symposia. Davis’ Auburn University awards include Excellence in Faculty Outreach in 2015, an Alumni Professorship in 2014, the Auburn Engineering Alumni Council Awards for Senior and Junior Faculty Research in 2013 and 2009, the Faculty Women of Distinction Award in 2012 and the Mark A. Spencer Creative Mentorship Award in 2011.

Departmental Award for Excellence in Education

The Auburn University Departmental Award for Excellence in Education was created in 2013 and is administered on behalf of the Office of the Provost through the university’s Biggio Center and the University Senate Teaching Effectiveness Committee. The award recognizes the efforts of departmental faculty for their commitment to improving education at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

A computer generated image of a globe and language books



Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
Traci O'Brien (Chair)

The Department of Foreign Languages has a strong culture of teaching and learning. With this award, they plan to expand access to quality foreign language instruction and immersion for Auburn students by developing a micro-study away program in which students speak only in the target language. The department will also support area high school teachers with pedagogical workshops and foreign language teachers statewide by hosting a language assessment workshop open to secondary and higher education institutions. In addition to raising Auburn’s visibility and supporting our charge as a land-grant institution, both initiatives would have a valuable impact on foreign language education in Alabama and could, in turn, impact enrollment by strengthening our relationships with secondary schools.

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.

Aubie getting a shot
Pharmacy Health Services (PHS) and Auburn University Human Resources

Since its establishment by the Harrison School of Pharmacy (HSOP) in 2000, the Auburn University Pharmaceutical Care Center (AUPCC) has become a model in higher education for establishing the first free-standing, university-based pharmaceutical care center in the nation. Collaborating with the Office of Human Resources, the AUPCC created a health and wellness program to conduct health risk assessments systematically, provide biometric screenings, encourage patient-specific medical monitoring for preventative care, perform point-of-care testing and promote or offer vaccines. The interdepartmental collaboration serves as an internal consultant for the Auburn University health care plan and provides direct patient care to the Auburn University family. HSOP replicated the AUPCC in Montgomery in 2008, assisting Alabama’s state and local government employees who are insured by the State Employees Insurance Board.

New Alumni Professors

The Alumni Professorship program recognizes tenured faculty members with direct responsibilities in two or more of the institutional missions of instruction, research and outreach. Faculty selected to receive a professorship must have demonstrated exceptionally meritorious performance, distinctive competence and potential for continued high productivity and excellence.

Dennis DeVries
Dennis DeVries

Professor and Assistant Director for Research Programs, School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences, College of Agriculture

Dennis DeVries grew up in Chicago and northern Indiana. He earned his BS degree from Purdue University and his MS and PhD degrees from The Ohio State University, and joined Auburn University as an assistant professor immediately after graduation. His area of expertise is in aquatic ecology, and his research is at the interface of basic ecology and applied fisheries management and aquatic resource conservation. DeVries has maintained a continuously funded research program, having received more than $10 million in contracts and grants from diverse funding sources while at Auburn, leading to more than 85 peer-reviewed publications and one edited book. He is also actively involved with graduate student mentoring, with 36 completed and eight current mentorees. Moreover, he has been active in teaching, as well as with service to the university and professional societies.

Peter Hastie
Peter Hastie

Professor of Kinesiology, College of Education

Peter Hastie is a Wayne T. Smith Distinguished Professor in the School of Kinesiology. His work focuses on school settings where he examines the effectiveness of particular curriculum models aimed at developing competent and literate sports players within physical education. He has two goals of his research; First, is to test the efficacy of the models in promoting highly engaged, highly enthusiastic learners. The second goal is to assess whether students become more confident in their abilities and seek opportunities outside of school to live physically active and healthy lives. In addition to this main research focus, Hastie's research is not limited to schools in the United States, but in fact it has been involved on the ground with projects in the European Union, Russia and Australia. Many of these projects have involved doctoral students completing their dissertation work in their home countries which has helped expose the mission and visibility of Auburn University across the globe.

John Rapp
John Rapp

Professor of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts

John Rapp is the director of the Applied Behavior Analysis program at Auburn University. He is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, a licensed behavior analyst in Alabama and a professor in the Department of Psychology. Rapp is also the primary investigator and project director for the Alabama Psychiatric Medication Review Team with the Alabama Department of Human Resources. He received his PhD in Behavior Analysis from The University of Florida in 2003. Rapp currently serves on the editorial boards of Behavioral Interventions, Behavior Modification, Education and Treatment of Children, Research in Autism Spectrum Disorder and The European Journal of Behavior Analysis. He is co-author on more than 100 articles that are published in peer-reviewed journals. Recently, he and his graduate students have begun to extend behavior-analytic interventions to nontraditional populations, such as foster care youth and detained adolescents.

Benson Akingbemi
Benson Akingbemi

Professor of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine

Benson Akingbemi joined the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine faculty in 2004, became an associate professor in 2009 and attained full professorship in 2014. Akingbemi is part of the anatomy instruction team and currently directs the small animal anatomy course. His research interests include environmental toxicology, male reproduction, and endocrine disruptor biology. Akingbemi’s research has been funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health (NIH). Results of his work identified chemical exposure effects in animal models that are relevant to risk assessment of the population. Akingbemi has served on national and international review panels, including at the National Science Foundation and several study sections at the NIH. His work was cited by The Faculty of 1000 in 2010, 2012 and 2014. Recently, he was appointed to the Research Advisory Core Committee of the Endocrine Society for a three-year term (2017-2020).

Yaoqi Zhang
Yaoqi Zhang

Professor of Forest Economics and Management, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences

Yaoqi Zhang is a professor in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. He received his PhD from the University of Helsinki, Finland in forest economics and policy in 2001 and joined Auburn University’s faculty in 2003 after two years of postdoctoral work at the University of Toronto and the University of Alberta in Canada. Zhang was promoted to associate professor in 2008 and professor in 2013. He maintains active international research and teaching presence, as the recipient of the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship and a host to both Fulbright and Borlaug Scholars. Zhang is currently leading a National Science Foundation project to understand the coupled ecosystems and societies of the Mongolian Plateau. He currently serves as co-editor of World Forest Series, associate editor of Small-Scale Forestry and on the editorial board of Forests, Forest Ideas, for the Journal of Subtropical Natural Resource and Environment. Zhang would like forests to be seen more as an essential part of nature for society’s well-being.

Alumni Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award

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

Melanie Duffey
Melanie Duffey

Assistant Professor of Interior Design, College of Human Sciences

Melanie Duffey is an assistant professor in the Interior Design program in the Department of Consumer and Design Sciences at Auburn University, which is ranked #9 in the nation by DesignIntelligence. At Auburn, she is the Internship Coordinator and serves as the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and International Interior Design Association (IIDA) faculty adviser for the respective student chapters, where the chapter was nominated and received the national ASID Student Chapter of the Year award in 2018 under her advisement. Duffey teaches primarily undergraduate studios and lecture courses in the upper levels, focusing on advanced design skills and industry-partnerships where students get exposure to real-world parameters of a project and scenarios that are often difficult to simulate inside the classroom. Her research and scholarly articles focus on student and practitioners perceptions of the internship experience, and the exploration of interdisciplinary collaboration within design disciplines.

James Long
James Long

Harbert College Advisory Council Professor, School of Accountancy, Harbert College of Business

James H. Long is a two-time Auburn graduate, earning a BSBA in 2001 and a MAcc in 2002. He began his professional accounting career in Atlanta as an auditor with Gifford, Hillegass & Ingwersen, LLP and subsequently worked as an internal audit manager with National Vision, Inc. before returning to academia to pursue a PhD at Virginia Tech. After completing his doctorate in 2009, Long joined the faculty in the Auburn University School of Accountancy, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate accounting courses, conducts research on the impact of task timing on judgment and decision-making in the accounting domain and develops educational accounting cases. He currently serves as the Director of International Programs in the School of Accountancy and recently completed a semester abroad as a Fulbright Scholar in Hungary. Long enjoys traveling internationally for business and pleasure, and frequently leads study abroad programs for students in the Harbert College of Business. He is also an Auburn sports fanatic and can often be found yelling, "War Eagle!" at various athletic events.

Matthew Hall
Matthew Hall

Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, College of Architecture, Design and Construction

Matthew Hall is an assistant professor in the Auburn University College of Architecture, Design and Construction, director of the Scandinavian Study Abroad Program and a principal and designer at Obstructures with an emphasis on object and architectural design. His research focuses on the impact of material culture and the inherently problematic nature of design. Currently, his work is concentrated on the Swedish architects Sigurd Lewerentz and Bernt Nyberg. He was curator and designer for the 2015 and 2016 exhibitions “Endangered Architecture: the work of Bernt Nyberg,” at the Skissernas Museum in Lund Sweden and “Sigurd Lewerentz: Context, Fragments & Influence” at the Klippan Arthall during the fifty-year anniversary of Lewerentz’s seminal work: The Church of St. Peter. Hall recently guest edited a feature issue of A+U #564 on the work of Bernt Nyberg and he lectures internationally on topics of architectural theory and criticism.

Distinguished Graduate Faculty Lectureship

The Distinguished Graduate Faculty Lectureship Award is jointly sponsored by the Auburn Alumni Association and the Graduate School and is awarded to a faculty member on the basis of excellence in research.

Rex Dunham
Rex Dunham

Professor and Associate Dean for Research, School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences, College of Agriculture

Rex Dunham has been a faculty member at Auburn University since 1981. Two events that ultimately sent him to Auburn were the building of a farm pond by his parents when he was 6 and finding a fish hybridization job as an undergraduate at the University of Illinois. He served as program leader for the Genetic Enhancement and Breeding Program for the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management in the Philippines, scientific director for Eagle Aquaculture and president of the International Association of Genetics in Aquaculture. Dunham teaches two courses in Fish Genetics, graduated 76 MS students and 34 PhDs, obtained $21 million in grants and published 375 scholarly works, including authoring two books. His research team was the first to demonstrate that selection works in catfish, release genetically improved fish in the United States, make the first transgenic fish in the United States, accomplish reversible sterilization and had the first targeted gene insertion in the non-coding region of a fish. Dunham’s research genetically transformed the national catfish industry twice, the last resulting in the transformation of the United States channel catfish industry into a majority hybrid catfish industry.