Lifetime Achievement Award

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. MooreJane 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.

Ed Lee SpencerEdward 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.

Jim VossCol. 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.

Walt WoltoszWalter 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.

Previous Award Winners

2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 and Prior

Young Alumni Achievement

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

Joel ShumakerLt. 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.

Previous Award Winners

2015 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011


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

Ellen Behrend

Ellen Behrend

Clinical Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine


Virginia Davis

Virginia Davis

Chemical Engineering
Samuel Ginn College of Engineering


Lisa Samuelson

Lisa Samuelson

Tree Physiology
School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences

Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Mathematics and Statistics
College of Sciences & Mathematics

Valentina Hartarska

Valentina Hartarska

Agriculture Economics
College of Agriculture

Current Alumni Professors

Art Chappelka
Forestry and Wildlife

Daniel Kim
Mechanical Engineering

Yu Lin

Nannan Liu
Entomology and Plant Pathology

Haroldo Toro
Veterinary Pathobiology

D. Allen Davis
Fisheries & Allied Aquacultures

Henry Kinnucan
Ag. Econ & Rural Sociology

Margaret Ross
Educational Found., Leadership & Technology

Herbert Jack Rotfeld

Chris Correia

Drew Hamilton
Computer Science and Software Engineering

Jay M. Khodadadi
Mechanical Engineering

Tin-Man Lau
Industrial Design

Kenneth W. Noe

Frank Bartol | Email
Anatomy, Physiology & Pharmacology

Curtis M. Jolly | Email
Agricultural Economics & Rural Sociology

Mary T. Mendonca | Email
Biological Sciences

Subhash C. Sinha | Email
Mechanical Engineering

Wei Wang | Email
Industrial Design

Mark G. Steltenpohl | Email
Geology & Geography

Susan Brinson
Communication & Journalism

Steve Duke
Chemical Engineering

M. Daniel Givens

John W. Saye, Jr.
Curriculum & Teaching

Joey Shaw
Agronomy and Soils

Henry Fadamiro
Entomology and Plant Pathology

Narendra K. Govil
Mathematics and Statistics

Aleksandr Simonian
Mechanical Engineering

Bill Trimble

Daowei Zhang
Forestry and Wildlife Sciences

Chantel Acevedo*
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.


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.

Previous Recipients

Rosephanye Dunn-Powell
College of Liberal Arts

Jared Russell
College of Education

Dr. Carla Jackson Bell
College of Architecture Design and Construction

Nels Madsen



Shirley Scott-Harris


Cal Clark
Political Science

Curtis M. Jolly
Agricultural Economics

Juan E. Gilbert
Computer Science & Software Engineering


William Powell

Vivian M. Larkin
Rehabilitation and
Special Education

Overtoun Jenda
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

Brian Connelly

Brian Connelly

Business Management
Harbert College of Business


Stephen Schmidt

Stephen Schmidt

Animal Sciences
College of Agriculture


Rod Turochy

Rod Turochy

Civil Engineering
Samuel Ginn College of Engineering

Previous Recipients


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


Stuart Wentworth:Engineering

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

1999–1987 Recipients (pdf)

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