Walter Gilbert Award

As a part of its Homecoming festivities, each year Auburn honors an outstanding alumnus with the Walter Gilbert Award.  The award is given to former athletes who have distinguished themselves after graduating from Auburn. The honorees of the Walter Gilbert Award are chosen based on how well the skills, knowledge and experiences they learned at Auburn have been invested back into the communities they now serve.
 Last year’s recipient, Robert Kenneth Johns was raised in Mobile, and attended Auburn on a football scholarship.  Johns was a lineman on the Auburn Football teams of 1953 through 1956, including three Gator Bowl teams.  Johns played under the legendary Coach Ralph (Shug) Jordan, and was a part of three Gator Bowl teams.  His teammates included Vince Dooley, Dave Middleton, Morris Savage, and Lloyd Nix (all past Walter Gilbert Award recipients).

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Her Chance to Make a Difference

Ashley Gayles is  a senior at Auburn University dual degreeing in Social Work and Adult Psychology. She moved to Auburn from North Carolina following in her father’s footsteps. She knew this transition would be difficult but little did she know it would be so fulfilling.

 Now after being her for four years she calls this her second home. She feels likes she finally fits in and has found her purpose thanks to AU. Her story is about her recently completed Social Work practicum with Therapeutic Foster Care in Auburn. Watch as she gives insight into the program.

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Ride or Die

The Auburn cycling team, the Flyers, was re-established on campus in 2001. Bill Fiser, a senior in software engineering, became a member of the Flyers last year. He had previously cycled and was interested in becoming involved with the cycling club at Auburn.

The flyers are dedicated to their sport. Practices are three times a week at 6 am! Three times a week isn’t enough according to Fiser. “To keep up and compete in races, you pretty much have to ride everyday,” he says. Fiser would know because he place second  in the Florida State University Criterium and FSU Time Trial.  He also finished in the top 10 overall in his category last season in the Southeastern Collegiate Cycling Conference.

The Auburn Flyers also had two members qualify for nationals last season and are coached by Chad Rodekohr.  With members so dedicated, the flyers are sure to keep cycling towards success!

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To Serve Those That Serve Our Country

Kathryn Clark is a junior at Auburn University majoring in nursing. However, her career path is unlike most of the other nursing students on campus. Clark currently serves in Auburn’s Air Force ROTC. She plans to use her degree to become a flight nurse in the Air Force.

Clark is part of a family tradition of serving our country. Both of her parents served the United States in the Air Force and Clark has decided to follow suit. While Clark commits multiple days a week to physical training and classes for ROTC she has also dedicated herself to other activities on campus. In 2006 Clark helped start a pro-life club on Auburn’s campus. Her dedication and passion for important issues is contagious and has enabled her club to grow.

Clark attributes much of what she has learned thus far in college to ROTC. Through learning time-management and organizational skills Clark has been able to get involved, take on leadership roles and maintain an outstanding academic record.

Clark has devoted four years of service to the Air Force after she earns her degree. During these four years she will most likely be deployed to either Iraq or Afghanistan. But Clark is not afraid. She says she strongly believes in giving back to the United States. “The reason why I do all of this is because I want to serve those that serve our country,” Clark says.

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Auburn Student Does Radio

Elena Bahar has found her place in the city of Auburn. A senior at Auburn University, Bahar is studying communication as well as working at Mix 96.7 as the traffic control assistant. This may sound like a large load for a student expecting to graduate in December, but Bahar loves her job and finds comfort in the people who work there.

“Working with people who make you laugh and who you enjoy being with makes the job that much more fun,” said Bahar. “We’re always laughing, telling jokes and having a great time.”

Bahar is also good at her job. This makes it easier to work and go to school at the same time because she doesn’t get stressed. She started working at the radio station as an intern at the beginning of May. After her internship, she was offered a job helping make sure commercials are properly aired. She also works as a receptionist.

Her passion lies in the behind-the-scenes of the radio business and would love to take her talents to other cities after she graduates. Her persistence in finding an internship in the field she is interested in working should be an encouragement to other students looking for internships. She recommends being specific and picky when looking for an internship. It could lead to a job that you love.

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Painted Fools: The Start of a Unique Auburn Tradition

Auburn spirit can be considered wide-spread throughout campus, especially during the fall months. Avid fans will often times participate in extreme measures to display their Auburn pride. The campus organization known as the Painted Fools, paint themselves and others in order to spread the Auburn spirit amongst fans at home football games and other major Auburn sporting events. The group consists of about 20 Auburn students whose goal is to “instill school spirit” and show people that Auburn has the best fans and most school spirit of all universities.

The organization holds weekly meetings with a very laid back atmosphere and encourages anybody who is interested in promoting Auburn spirit to attend. On game days, it has a consistent tailgate spot located on the corner of Roosevelt and Donahue and right next to the Auburn cheerleaders. For several hours prior to the start of the game, they have face painting for anyone willing to sport orange and blue on their cheeks, although their main participants are mostly children. During the actual game, their enthusiasm is contagious. They get Auburn fans excited by doing Auburn cheers and showing off their painted chests. At the end of the game , they always follow the crowds to Toomer’s Corner to toilet paper the trees in honor of a good win.

The Painted Fools have started a new way of showing their Auburn spirit and motivating others to cheer on the tigers in various sporting events. Hopefully there will always be crazy and devoted Auburn fans to continue this tradition for many years to come.

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Journalism Student

To be a successful journalist, one must pay close attention and listen well while conducting an interview.

Amy Gordon is one of the best journalists, and therefore listeners, around. She doesn’t let her hearing impairment get in the way of her success.

She has quite an impressive resume. Her involvement on campus started strong her freshman year with the Honors College. Since then, her Auburn experience has included serving as 2006 summer editor of The Plainsman.

Gordon landed a prestigious internship with The Birmingham News. This past summer, her experience allowed her to work everywhere except for the sports section.

As a journalist, she tries to stay under the radar and not draw attention to herself. As a person, she is just the same (only more impressive) as everyone she meets.

Although one ear has zero hearing and the other allows for 60 percent, you might never know about her hearing impairment.

Gordon hasn’t let this be the focus of who she is, and she certainly does not let if affect her career.

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War Eagle Girl

Amanda Cummings is a senior in elementary education at Auburn University. She serves as a member of War Eagle Girls and Plainsmen. WEGP is the official hosts and hotstesses of Auburn. It is comprised of 12 women and 12 men with Miss Auburn as an honorary member.

Cummings has been a member for two years now and is still so excited about serving the university. Her favorite part of being a member is that she is able to travel to many different places with the AU football team as well as to other interesting places with the organization.

Look for her out on the football field. She will be there in her navy blue suit cheering on the Auburn Tigers.

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Amanda Thomas of the Auburn Alumni Association

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manda Thomas graduated from Auburn University in 1991 with a BA in Public Relations. She then got her MA in Written Business Communication from Emerson College in Boston in 1992.She is now the Director of Marketing, Communication and Membership for the Auburn Alumni Association. The association currently has about 47,000 members, and Amanda’s responsibility’s include advertising and marketing for the Alumni Association as well as all services the are provided by the Office of Alumni Affairs.

She is also in charge of affinity partnerships for the association as well as the alumni tent during football season.

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Mentor For All

Julie Huff serves as a mentor to teachers, wives, working mothers, and most importantly students.
Huff has been a part of the Auburn family for more than 10 years. She attended Auburn both as an undergraduate and graduate student. The focus of her studying has been in communications and public relations.

About a year after working outside of Auburn, she was offered a teaching position in the department of communication and journalism and immediately jumped at the offer.

Since then, Huff has moved into the Office of Admissions as the Special Projects Advisor III. She also teaches communication and public relations classes when she is needed by the department. “I get the best of both worlds,” she said. “I love teaching, but I also get to do what I want professionally.”

Huff has recently had to take some time off from work and teaching due to a recent addition to her family. She and her husband just had their second son, Garrett. She says taking time off from work has definitely been hard, but she has enjoyed being able to spend the time with her family.

Huff’s experiences in life are a great resource for students to consider when making decisions in their own. She says that learning to just let life happen is one of the best, yet hardest lessons that she has learned. She says that she came out of college thinking that she never wanted to have kids and that she especially wasn’t going to live in Auburn. She always thought that she wanted the jet setting lifestyle that came with a corporate pr job, living in Atlanta. “But look at where I am today….”

One thing is for certain though, she does not regret choosing to have a family. “I love my boys, they are the absolute loves of my life,” she said. “I am definitely not where I intended to be, but I am where I know I am supposed to be.”

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