The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes recipients for outstanding achievements in their professional lives, personal integrity and stature, and service to the university. It was established in 2001 to honor extraordinary accomplishments by members of the Auburn family. Recipients of Lifetime Achievement Awards are selected by a committee of Auburn administrators, trustees, faculty and alumni.
This year’s recipients are Jane B. Moore, retired faculty member of Auburn University; Edward Lee "Ed Lee" Spencer '52, chairman of the board of AuburnBank; Col. James Shelton "Jim" Voss '72, NASA astronaut; and Walter Stanley "Walt" Woltosz '69, owner of Simulations Plus Inc.
This year's Lifetime Achievement Award recipients and the Young Alumni Award recipient will be honored at a dinner and induction ceremony on March 12, 2016, at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center.
A Press Release is available for download.
2016 Lifetime Achievement Award Winners
Jane B. Moore
Jane B. Moore made significant professional contributions to Auburn University over a 28-year career on the faculty of the College of Education and the Department of Health and Human Performance (now the School of Kinesiology). Her service to Auburn has been recognized with the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award and the Pamela Wells Sheffield Award, which recognizes Auburn women exemplifying grace, character and a community-minded spirit. Moore collaborated with other researchers within Auburn University's Motor Behavior Laboratory, making scholarly contributions to advance the understanding about how children move and learn to move. She was the first woman to serve on the Auburn University Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics. In 2003, she became the first woman at Auburn to have an athletic facility named solely in her honor when the Auburn Softball Complex was renamed Jane B. Moore Field in recognition of her dedication and service to athletics at Auburn University. Active in community service, Moore is an annual member of the Auburn Alumni Association.
Edward Lee "Ed Lee" Spencer Class of 1952
Ed Lee Spencer was the first Fulbright Scholarship recipient from Auburn University. After completing his studies, he worked at Spencer Lumber Co., then expanded his interest in construction by establishing Lee Electrical Supply, Spencer Heating and Air and Auburn Millwork. In 1975, Spencer joined AuburnBank's Board of Directors and, in 1985, became chairman of the board. In 1990, he was named president and CEO of AuburnBank and currently is again serving as chairman of the board. Under his leadership, the bank added branches in other cities in Alabama and moved from $25 million in total assets to more than $668 million by the end of 2007. In 1991, U.S. Banker magazine named AuburnBank among the nation's top 200 community banks, the only bank in Alabama to receive this recognition. In 2011, Spencer was inducted into the Alabama Business Hall of Fame. Active in community service, where he has been a longtime advocate of affordable housing for moderate-income families, Spencer and his wife, the former Ruth Priester, have three grown children. He is a life member of the Auburn Alumni Association.
Col. James Shelton "Jim" Voss Class of 1972
Jim Voss went to work at NASA's Johnson Space Center in 1984 and was selected as an astronaut in 1987, training for space shuttle flights as well as training in Russia as a backup crew member to the Mir Space Station. Beginning in 1991, Voss began 10 years of shuttle space flights, including 163 days as a member of the Expedition 2 crew on the International Space Station. Since his retirement from NASA in 2003, Voss has been a professor and associate dean of engineering at Auburn, vice president for space exploration systems at the Transformational Space Corp., vice president of engineering for SpaceDev and director of advanced programs at Sierra Nevada Corp. In 2009, Voss joined the faculty of the University of Colorado as a full-time Scholar in Residence. He was inducted into the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame in 2001. Voss is married to the former Suzan Curry '71, a member of the Dean's Leadership Council in the Auburn College of Science and Mathematics. The couple has one daughter. Jim and Suzan Voss are joint life members of the Auburn Alumni Association.
Walter Stanley "Walt" Woltosz Class of 1969
Walt Woltosz developed his first augmentative communication system for persons with severe communication disabilities after his mother-in-law was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease). That first iteration, which is still on display at the Smithsonian Institute two decades later, led him in 1981 to establish Words+, a company that offered many firsts for communication needs for the severely disabled. Renowned astrophysicist Sir Stephen Hawking wrote "A Brief History of Time" using Woltosz's technology in 1988. In the late 1990s, Woltosz turned his inventor's eye to the development of simulation and modeling software for drug discovery and development, and today his products are used by the world's top 15 pharmaceutical firms to analyze new products. Woltosz serves on the Auburn Alumni Engineering Council, is chairman of the council's research committee, serves on the Auburn University Foundation Board and funded the Woltosz Engineering Research Laboratory in the Shelby Center for Engineering Technology. Woltosz and his wife, Virginia, have homes in Auburn and in California. He is a life member of the Auburn Alumni Association.
Young Alumni Achievement Award
The Young Alumni Achievement Award, sponsored by the Office of Alumni Affairs, has been created to recognize extraordinary accomplishments by members of the Auburn family. One recipient will be recognized each year for significant achievement in his/her professional life and/or for distinguished community service. The award will be presented as part of the annual Lifetime Achievement Awards Banquet and Ceremony held in March.
2016 Young Alumni Achievement Award Winner
Lt. William Joel "Joel" Shumaker Class of 2005
School of Nursing
Joel Shumaker served in the U.S. Navy as a Navy Hospital Corpsman and enrolled in the School of Nursing in 2003. After graduating in 2005, Shumaker worked as a registered nurse with the Navy as he rapidly moved up the ranks, being promoted to charge nurse, department head and division officer in three years. In June 2013, Lieutenant Shumaker was deployed to Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, Africa, the only enduring U.S. military base on the African continent. At Camp Lemonnier, Shumaker was one of only four nurses caring for more than 6,200 qualified beneficiaries from all four branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. Also while at Camp Lemonnier, Shumaker served the surrounding communities by making multiple weekly trips to a local orphanage and to shelters for street children. Shumaker served as department head of the maternal/infant unit at the Naval Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, before transitioning to Navy Reserves in December 2014. He currently manages 41 in-patient beds in the medical/surgical/oncology specialties at St. Vincent's East Hospital in Birmingham. Shumaker has three daughters and is a life member of the Auburn Alumni Association.
Alumni Professor Award
Twenty-five, five-year non-renewable Alumni Professorships are sponsored by the Auburn Alumni Association, with funds endowed from annual giving. The Alumni Writer-in-Residence, a creative writer from the English faculty, is the only ongoing appointment. The Professorships carry an annual $3,500 salary supplement. The Vice President for Academic Affairs/Provost calls for nominations from department heads through deans. The awards are presented on the basis of research, publishing, and teaching.
2014 Alumni Professors
College of Veterinary Medicine
Samuel Ginn College of Engineering
School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences
Mathematics and Statistics
College of Sciences & Mathematics
College of Agriculture
Current Alumni Professors
Forestry and Wildlife
Entomology and Plant Pathology
D. Allen Davis
Fisheries & Allied Aquacultures
Ag. Econ & Rural Sociology
Educational Found., Leadership & Technology
Herbert Jack Rotfeld
Computer Science and Software Engineering
Jay M. Khodadadi
Kenneth W. Noe
Communication & Journalism
M. Daniel Givens
John W. Saye, Jr.
Curriculum & Teaching
Agronomy and Soils
Entomology and Plant Pathology
Narendra K. Govil
Mathematics and Statistics
Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
English - Alumni Writer-in-Residence
*Alumni Writer-in-Residence (may be renewed at the end of five years)
The Distinguished Graduate Faculty Lectureship
Jointly sponsored by the Auburn Alumni Association and the AU Graduate School, the Distinguished Graduate Faculty Lectureship Award carries with it a $2,000 award from the Alumni Association. The recipients are nominated by deans, department heads, etc. and chosen by the Graduate Faculty Council on the basis of excellence in research.
The 2014 Distinguished Graduate Faculty Lectureship Recipient
Paula R. Backscheider, Philpott-Stevens Eminent Scholar, specializes in Restoration and eighteenth-century literature, feminist criticism, and cultural studies. She is the author of several books including Daniel Defoe: His Life (winner of the British Council Prize), Spectacular Politics, Reflections on Biography, and Eighteenth-Century Women Poets and their Poetry: Inventing Agency, Inventing Genre (winner of the Modern Language Association Lowell Prize). Two of her books have been selected for the Choice Outstanding Academic Book award. She has published articles in PMLA, Theatre Journal, ELH, and many other journals.
A former president of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, she has held ACLS, NEH, and Guggenheim Fellowships and is one of the few American members of the Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Edinburgh. Her most recent book is Elizabeth Singer Rowe and the Development of the English Novel. An award-winning teacher, she is dedicated to discussion courses and creating an atmosphere in which students can be themselves and feel free to take risks.
Dr. S. D. Worley
Dr. Gary Gruenhage
Dr. Chris Newland
Minority Achievement Award
Thank you for your support of our great faculty and staff. This award honors an individual of any race or ethnic background whose efforts have attracted minority students to AU and/or whose efforts have contributed to the success, retention and graduation rates of minority students at AU. Additionally, this award honors an individual who has contributed to improved race relations and fostered a sense of community within the university. The recipient will be presented $1,000 and a plaque.
2014 Minority Achievement Award Winner
Robin Sabino | Website
English, College of Liberal Arts
Robin Sabino is a Professor at in the English Department at Auburn University where she directs the Department’s Undergraduate Studies Program. She is also the Director of the Africana Studies Program in the College of Liberal Arts. Her research focuses on language contact, variation and change. Ongoing projects include exploration of variationist models, multilingualism, continued development self-instructional materials for Tsalagi, and a descriptive study of monophthongization in Apalachicola, FL. Recent publications include Language Contact in the Danish West Indies: Giving Jack His Jacket (Brill 2012) and “The A-curve and Personally Patterned Variation: More Tools for Investigating Language Variation and Change” (American Speech).
The Auburn Alumni Association recognizes one Minority Achievement Award recipient each year.
College of Liberal Arts
College of Education
Dr. Carla Jackson Bell
College of Architecture Design and Construction
Curtis M. Jolly
Juan E. Gilbert
Computer Science & Software Engineering
Vivian M. Larkin
Rehabilitation andSpecial Education
Discrete and Statistical Sciences
Dennis W. Weatherby
Minority Engineering Program
Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award
This 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.Recipients are honored each year and each receive an honorarium award of $1,000 and a plaque.
2014 Award Recipients
Harbert College of Business
College of Agriculture
Samuel Ginn College of Engineering
Christy L. Bratcher: Agriculture
Sang-Eun Byun: Human Sciences
Jill Crystal: Liberal Arts
Robert S. Boyd: Sciences and Mathematics
Shelly McKee: Agriculture
Karla Simmons: Human Sciences
Sridhar Krishnamurti: Liberal Arts
Veena Chattaraman: Human Sciences
Jung Won Hur: Education
Wheeler Foshee: Horticulture
Theresa McCormick: Education
Carolyn Robinson: Horticulture
Shari Park-Gates: Consumer Affairs
Ted Becker: Political Science
Kelly Bryant: Graphic Design
Joey Shaw: Agronomy & Soils
Ed Williams: Communication & Journalism
Mark Byrne: Chemical Engineering
Elizabeth Brestan Knight: Psychology
Phillip Zenor: Mathematics & Statistics
Brian Gibson: Aviation Managemen
Sheri Brock: Health & Human Performance
Paula Peek: Consumer Affairs
Jack B. Brown: Mathematics & Statistics
William J. Moar: Entomology & Plant Pathology
Christine Sundermann: Biological Sciences
Roger Lien: Poultry Science
Pamela V. Ulrich: Consumer Affairs
James E. Brown: Horticulture
Steven P. Brown: Political Science
Margaret Fitch-Hauser: Communication & Journalism
Susan Hubbard: Nutrition & Food Science
Nels Madsen: Mechanical Engineering
Gary Waters: Finance
Louise Katainen: Foreign Languages & Literatures
Russell B. Muntifering: Animal & Dairy Sciences
Marilyn Read: Consumer Affairs
Douglas Robinson: Science & Mathematics
David Williams: Horticulture
Clarence D. Brown, Jr.: Rehabilitation & Special Education
Wayne E. Clark: Entomology & Plant Pathology
Lenda Jo Anderson Connell: Consumer Affairs
William Hardy, Jr.: Agricultural Economics
Kelley D. Jolley: Philosophy
Mary T. Mendonca: Biological Sciences