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College of Liberal Arts faculty were recognized by the Auburn University Alumni Association with three awards for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence and two Alumni Professorships.

The Undergraduate Teaching Excellence award is given to teachers who are exceptional in their quality of teaching; knowledge of subject; interest in students and availability to them; impact on the nominator's personal educational experience; and influence within Auburn University. Teachers are nominated by students, alumni and colleagues. This year, all three of the recipients were nominated by former students and they are all from the College of Liberal Arts. The 2016 Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award recipients are Billy Ferris, media studies; Alan Meyer, history; and Ric Smith, communication and journalism.

Each year, the provost calls for nominations from department heads through the deans for Alumni Professorships. The professorships are five-year, non-renewable awards, sponsored by the Auburn Alumni Association with funds from the association’s professorship endowment. These awards are presented on the basis of research, publishing and teaching. The professorships carry an annual monetary supplement for five years. Among the 2016-20 winners is George Plasketes, from the School of Communication and Journalism. Plasketes is a professor and associate director for media studies. He earned a Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University, and his teaching concentrates on the intersection of popular culture, music and mass media.

The Alumni Association has one ongoing Alumni Professorship, which is the Department of English’s Writer-in-Residence. Auburn’s new Writer-in-Residence, Anton Disclafani, is an award-winning author. She is an assistant professor of English. DiSclafani received her bachelor’s degree from Emory University, and her Master of Fine Arts from Washington University in St. Louis, where she was previously a Writer-in-Residence.

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