Provost Fellows announced for 2020-21 SEC Academic Leadership Development Program

Published: August 20, 2020
Updated: August 24, 2020
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Six Auburn University faculty members have been selected for the 2020-21 SEC Academic Leadership Development Program.

  • Duane Brandon, the Taylor Professor and director of the School of Accountancy in the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business
  • Paul Holley, professor in the McWhorter School of Building Science in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction and director of the Center for Construction, Innovation and Collaboration
  • Christopher “Chris” Lepczyk, professor of biology and wildlife conservation in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
  • Mallory Lucier-Greer, associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Families Studies in the College of Human Sciences
  • Elizabeth “Beth” Hiltbold Schwartz, associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Sciences and Mathematics
  • Bill Walton, professor in the School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences in the College of Agriculture and director of Auburn’s Shellfish Lab

“The Auburn Family is very proud of these six outstanding faculty members and congratulate them on their accomplishments,” said Bill Hardgrave, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Their dedication to achieving excellence in research and in the field enhances the university now and for future scholars and students.”

The SEC Academic Leadership Development Program seeks to identify, prepare and advance academic leaders for roles within SEC institutions and beyond. It has three components: a university-level development program designed by each institution for its own participants; two SEC-wide three-day workshops held on specified campuses for all program participants; and a competitive fellowship designed to provide administrative growth opportunities for former fellows.

Duane Brandon

Duane Brandon joined Auburn’s faculty in 2003. His research focuses on auditor judgment, audit quality and auditor liability. His work has appeared in Contemporary Accounting Research, Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, the Journal of Accounting & Public Policy and Behavioral Research in Accounting, among others. He has received multiple internal and external research grants, including a grant from the Center for Audit Quality, with Jennifer Mueller and James Long. With respect to teaching, Brandon has been recognized and honored for outstanding teaching in a number of ways, including receiving the Lowder Teaching Award in the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business, the McCartney Award twice, the Outstanding MAcc Teacher Award, the Outstanding Teaching Award in the School of Accountancy twice, and the Camp War Eagle Faculty Honoree twice. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Christopher Newport University and both a master’s degree in accounting and a doctorate from Virginia Tech.

Paul Holley

Paul Holley is beginning his 19th year at Auburn, following 14 years in the commercial construction industry. His current research interests are prefabrication in the built environment and mitigating the contamination impact of washwater from concrete construction. Holley’s wife, Jacque, also works at Auburn, in Development for the Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center. They have two children, a daughter who is a junior at the University of Alabama and a son at Auburn High School. Holley earned a bachelor’s degree in building construction from Auburn, an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a doctorate in education from Auburn. He also received a Management Development Program certificate from Harvard University.

Chris Lepczyk

Chris Lepczyk is an ecologist and conservation biologist with a focus on collecting data to aid in management and policy decisions related to nature. His passion for conserving nature stems from a lifelong interest in the environment and many years spent outdoors. Lepczyk began his faculty career at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as a visiting professor, after which he was an assistant and associate professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. In 2014, he moved to Auburn's School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. Lepczyk originally hails from the Midwest, where he grew up in Michigan before attending school at Hope College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and geology. Later, he earned a master’s degree in wildlife ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a dual doctorate in fisheries and wildlife, and ecology, evolutionary biology and behavior at Michigan State University.

Mallory Lucier-Greer

Mallory Lucier-Greer is an applied research scientist focused on the well-being of families, particularly military families, with a clinical background as a licensed marriage and family therapist. She currently teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on family stress and resilience and research methods. Her research has been funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force. Currently, she is the principal investigator of Military REACH, a DoD-USDA partnership grant that translates military family research into practical and accessible tools and resources for military policy makers and service providers, and she is the co-investigator for an Air Force project focused on evaluating their personal financial readiness program. Lucier-Greer is an award-winning educator and mentor with expertise facilitating student classroom and research engagement. She earned two bachelor’s degrees in psychology and speech communications from the University of Georgia, and both a master’s degree and a doctorate in human development and family studies from Auburn.

Beth Hiltbold Schwartz

Beth Hiltbold Schwartz joined Auburn’s Department of Biological Sciences in 2012. She is an immunologist, and her research program is centered around the interactions between bacteria and host immune cells. Schwartz’s work over the last 10 years has focused on the development and function of antigen presenting cells and how they respond to bacterial infection. More recently, her group has been focused on the contributions of microbiota to immune cell function in the gut and on the role of the immune response in sickness behavior. Schwartz’s major role in teaching at Auburn has been in immunology courses—Immunology, Immunology Lab and Perspectives in Immunology—that primarily serve large numbers of undergraduates in the college’s popular biomedical sciences major. Her first experience with administration began in 2019, when she took on the role of Undergraduate Program Officer in her department. Schwartz earned her bachelor’s degree from Auburn and her doctorate from Emory University.

Bill Walton

Working along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico at Auburn’s Shellfish Lab in Dauphin Island, Alabama, Bill Walton conducts applied research with local shellfish farmers, commercial and recreational shellfishermen, and national and local organizations. Before moving to the Gulf, Walton did similar work along the coast of Massachusetts. His interests include all aspects of marine invertebrate fisheries, restoration and aquaculture. Walton earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Tufts University, a master’s degree in ecology from Rutgers University and a doctorate in fisheries science from the University of Maryland.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.