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Auburn University at Montgomery advance to full NCAA Division II membership
 
 

Auburn University at Montgomery advance to full NCAA Division II membership

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) notified AUM that it has advanced to full NCAA Division II membership, beginning with the 2019-20 academic year.
 
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Alumni Spotlight: Teva Stinson '19   Alumni Spotlight: Felix Toussaint '18
 
 

Alumni Spotlight: Teva Stinson '19

Stinson earns $10,000 scholarship
 
 
 
 

Alumni Spotlight: Felix Toussaint '18

Toussaint’s med school journey draws Twitter interest
 
 
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in this edition
Auburn University at Montgomery finalizes partnership with Southern Union State Community College
 
 

Auburn University at Montgomery finalizes partnership with Southern Union State Community College

A newly finalized partnership between AUM and SUSCC will create scholarship opportunities for transfer students and enable them to complete bachelor’s degrees through concurrent enrollment.
 
 
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Bourke and AUM Recognized as Alabama PLT Education Partner of the Year
 
 

Bourke and AUM Recognized as Alabama PLT Education Partner of the Year

Alabama Project Learning Tree (PLT) recently named Auburn University at Montgomery as the 2019 Alabama PLT Education Partner of the Year.
 
 
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Southern University Shreveport Louisiana (SUSLA) chancellor selected as Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army
 
 

Southern University Shreveport Louisiana (SUSLA) chancellor selected as Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army

Rodney A. Ellis '95
 
 
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Hodges Warehouse + Logistics named Service Provider of the Year
 
 

Hodges Warehouse + Logistics named Service Provider of the Year

Paul Hodges '85
 
 
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Muckler Recognized as One of Nurse Anesthesia’s Most Influential Educators
 
 

Muckler Recognized as One of Nurse Anesthesia’s Most Influential Educators

Virginia Chris Muckler '97
 
 
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Give People The Gifts They Need
 
 

Give People The Gifts They Need

Blog written by Eric Atkins '01
 
 
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Auburn University at Montgomery chancellor earns Great American Hero Award
 
 

Auburn University at Montgomery chancellor earns Great American Hero Award

Auburn University at Montgomery Chancellor Dr. Carl A. Stockton earned the highest honor presented by the Greater Alabama Council of the Boy Scouts of America’s Youth Leadership Development Program (YLDP).
 
 
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AUM ALUMNI IN THE NEWS
 
 

AUM ALUMNI IN THE NEWS

 
 
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UPCOMING ALUMNI EVENTS & TRAVEL:
 
 

UPCOMING ALUMNI EVENTS & TRAVEL:

 
 
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The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) notified AUM that it has advanced to full NCAA Division II membership, beginning with the 2019-20 academic year.

Auburn University at Montgomery advance to full NCAA Division II membership

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) notified Auburn University at Montgomery July 12 that it has advanced to full NCAA Division II membership, beginning with the 2019-20 academic year.

“Auburn University at Montgomery has a proud tradition in athletics, but we’re certainly excited by the possibilities that exist for us as full-fledged members of NCAA Division II and the Gulf South Conference,” AUM Chancellor Dr. Carl A. Stockton said. “We look forward to competing for championships, just as we did at the NAIA level. I would like to thank Director of Athletics Jessie Rosa and her staff for their diligence throughout this three-year process. Today’s milestone would not be possible without the dedication and support of our coaches, student-athletes, faculty, staff and alumni.”

As a result of the decision, AUM’s 11 varsity athletic programs are now eligible for conference and NCAA postseason competition beginning this fall. AUM student-athletes, coaches and teams are also eligible for NCAA regional and national awards based on athletic and/or academic performance.

“This is a day to celebrate not only for our athletics department but for the institution as a whole,” Rosa said. “This has truly been a campus-wide effort, including key collaboration from the Office of Financial Aid, Registrar’s Office, and Admissions, among other units. The support from our student-body, administration, donors, alumni, faculty and staff has been tremendous and we look to build upon that as active members of the NCAA.” 

Having been a provisional member of the Gulf South Conference (GSC) since the 2017-18 academic year, the Warhawks are now active members of the GSC.

“This is a cause for celebration for Warhawk Nation because it has been a collective effort involving so many units and individuals within our campus community,” added Stockton. “Earning NCAA Division II membership reflects our commitment to promoting a student-centered experience and excellence as our standard.”

The transition to NCAA Division II is a minimum three-year process, which began in the 2016-17 academic year. AUM’s status was reviewed at the completion of each academic year, with approval from the NCAA required to advance to the next phase of the process.

“I want to extend appreciation to my team of coaches, administrators and support staff,” Rosa added. “This has been an arduous process and their patience and commitment reaffirms that we have the right people leading our student-athletes. I especially want to thank our Assistant Director of Athletics Andree’ Houston for her involvement in this process. She has been a critical piece to a successful transition. Lastly, to the young men & women who we come to work for every day -- thank you for your commitment to the university through this process -- let’s go get some hardware!”

Before being accepted into the NCAA membership process, AUM won 25 national championships as a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

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Stinson earns $10,000 scholarship

Alumni Spotlight: Teva Stinson '19

Most college students dream about receiving a big scholarship that would help them cover their tuition and related expenses. Teva Stinson, a recent Auburn University at Montgomery graduate, turned this dream into a reality by earning a $10,000 scholarship from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).

“I did not expect it. I was on the phone when I opened my email and I just started screaming,” said Stinson, who became the Chancellor’s Scholar for the College of Business and earned the Outstanding Student Award for the School of Accountancy. Her achievements and on-campus involvement inspired her to pursue her Masters of Accountancy at AUM this fall.

She is the first AUM student to earn a scholarship from the PCAOB, a private sector non-profit corporation created through Congress’ passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The organization oversees audits of public companies and other issuers, protecting investors’ interests and ensuring preparation of accurate and independent audit reports. The PCAOB Scholars Program awards scholarship funds generated from the collection of monetary penalties paid by companies.

Stinson took time to discuss her scholarship, as well as the value of her internship experience with the Alabama Department of Revenue.

How does it feel to become the first AUM School of Accountancy student to earn a $10,000 merit-based scholarship from PCAOB?

“It's absolutely amazing. I did not expect it, especially now when I am going into my master's program. It just feels amazing. I hope that one day I'm able to give scholarships to the other students so that they can feel the same way.”

What's your day-to-day like in your internship and what has been its most valuable aspect?

“It is really wonderful. When I started my internship, I was extremely nervous but I was excited. First couple of days, you’re learning the rules and what exactly sales tax is. I have a mentor who is actually from the same place I am from and she is wonderful. She took things step-by-step in a very slow pace. We file sales tax for taxpayers if they come in, and answer questions. We also do auditing. I have had the pleasure of submitting my first audit and it was amazing. It’s real work and it’s great hands-on experience. I have always been more interested in auditing than just tax in general. So, gaining those skills was extremely valuable. Working with taxpayers and customer service — making people feel comfortable; I love that aspect because you never know you might be in their shoes one day.”

How do you think pursuing a Masters of Accountancy will factor into your career ambitions?

“It is a major factor for me because I want to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. Basically, that's one of the highest achievements you can have as an accountant. So, I want to be able to add a few more letters to my name and I know once I achieve that, I will be competent to a level where I can basically do anything in accounting. Having my own business later on is definitely a thought in my mind. Especially while working with the Department of Revenue, you kind of see some of the things that go into a business. I definitely know that whatever I do, I want to be able to help other people.”

What were your main reasons for choosing Auburn University at Montgomery?

“I came from a very small high school — Loachapoka High School — and I wanted to go somewhere that wasn’t too far from home. So, proximity was one of the big reasons. I love a lot of things about AUM, especially their scholarship opportunities and living arrangements. I'm extremely appreciative to AUM as a whole for all my opportunities that I've had and all the scholarships that I've earned to get to this point and I just look forward to seeing a lot of other students excel as well.”

Do have any advice for other students who want to apply for such scholarships?

“Go for it! You will never know if you will ever get anything until you put yourself out there. So, I would say, just go for it. Work hard while you're here in college because people who offer scholarships want to know that the money was actually going to someone who wants to be there, someone who is using it properly. Most of all, don't give up! It’s really hard but just keep pushing because in the end it’s going to pay off. I would suggest students to take their UNIV class seriously, especially the personality and the career tests because those will give you an outlook on things you're interested in that you might have not considered. Also, take advantage of the free tutoring. Set yourself up to be the best candidate.”

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Toussaint’s med school journey draws Twitter interest

Alumni Spotlight: Felix Toussaint '18

In the span of 54 characters and a string of celebratory emojis, recent Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) graduate Felix Toussaint became something of a social media celebrity on Twitter in mid-August.

His exuberant message – “I GOT ACCEPTED INTO MEDICAL SCHOOL!” – has been seen by more than 8 million people, liked more than 200,000 times and re-Tweeted more than 11,500 times since he shared it on the afternoon of August 15. Toussaint, who began classes at American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine on August 29, also has been embraced by a global community of health care professionals and medical school students since sharing his good news.

“This post and this thread got me all mushy,” wrote a family medicine practitioner in Glasgow, Scotland. “I remember when I got my letter of acceptance to medical school. Still never experienced that level of elation since! Hard work pays off when you really want something and when times get tough, you always go back to that feeling of gratitude.”

“I’m following you so I can see you graduate,” wrote another well-wisher. “I believe you’re going to do something great.”

Toussaint, who graduated from AUM in December after completing a double major in biology and chemistry, said he has been flooded with congratulatory and motivational direct messages from physicians, nurses, hospital administrators, and students who are well into the journey he has just begun.

“I now have a lot of doctor friends and mentors in health care administration who I’ve never even seen before,” Toussaint said. “People like to see uplifting news. When they ended up re-Tweeting it, it brought them back to their acceptance letter. A lot of people have offered me great advice.”

Toussaint, who aspires to be a neurosurgeon, considered a number of U.S. medical schools, but decided to explore American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUCSM) after meeting representatives at a national conference. AUCSM is an accredited, U.S. curriculum-based medical school located on the Dutch side of the island of Sint Maarten.

Soon after Tweeting the news of his acceptance into medical school, Toussaint followed up with a thank you message to Auburn University at Montgomery Chancellor Carl A. Stockton, Provost Mrinal Varma and Distinguished Research Professor of Biology and Environmental Science Ben Okeke for writing recommendation letters. Toussaint, who graduated from Prattville High School, said he initially planned to attend another university better known for its health care programs.

“We have this preconceived notion that if you want to be a banker, you have to hang around with bankers,” Toussaint said. “My mom told me to give AUM a try. While at AUM, I saw the vast opportunities available. I received a lot of one-on-one time with faculty and I got a lot more attention than if I would have attended [another university]. I had just as many opportunities to network with physicians through AUM’s Alumni Association.”

One facet that differentiated Auburn University at Montgomery, Toussaint said, were the opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in research.

“I started [research] my junior year,” he said. “If I could go back, I would have started my freshman year. It enhances your critical thinking skills. To have that experience is like no other. You fail more than you succeed. It’s kind of like Thomas Edison. He went through 10,000 inventions before the light bulb. You’re going to fail some, but your next idea might become the cure for cancer.”

Beyond what he experienced in the classroom and laboratory, Toussaint derived value from being involved in AUM’s student organizations. He was a founding member of the Black Student Union and served in the Student Government Association and as a member of the Orange Jacket Society.

 “For new students, take full advantage of the resources you have at AUM,” Toussaint said. “A lot of students who come to AUM are the first in their family to attend college, and AUM has the resources to help you succeed. I wouldn’t have been able to do everything I was doing if not for the help of faculty, staff and administration. Take the opportunities AUM gives you. It’s the foundation for making your dreams come true.”

Toussaint supplemented his campus involvement with work experience at a Publix pharmacy and by shadowing the only family medicine practitioner in Autaugaville, Dr. Lee Carter. That opportunity helped Toussaint settle on his plans to attend medical school.

“He would see a lot of patients who were on Medicare or Medicaid,” Toussaint said. “It was exciting to see how he gave such excellent care to each of those patients. We need great doctors, and there are certain regions where proper health care isn’t available. That’s why I want to become a physician, to be a voice for the voiceless.”

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A newly finalized partnership between AUM and SUSCC will create scholarship opportunities for transfer students and enable them to complete bachelor’s degrees through concurrent enrollment.

Auburn University at Montgomery finalizes partnership with Southern Union State Community College

The partnership took effect July 15 after Auburn University at Montgomery Chancellor Carl A. Stockton and Southern Union President Todd Shackett signed the agreement.

Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) will offer an unlimited number of transfer scholarships for Southern Union students who complete their associate in arts or associate in science degrees and earn admittance to AUM by May 1 each year. Transfer students with a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher will receive $2,500 per year, while students with a GPA between 3.0 and 3.49 will receive $1,000 per year.

AUM will also award one Presidential Scholarship each year to a Southern Union transfer student with a GPA of at least 3.5. The scholarship will cover full tuition and fees.

“We are delighted to partner with Southern Union State Community College, which has a proud tradition of serving students from East Alabama,” Stockton said. “This agreement creates a seamless experience through concurrent admission for students transferring to Auburn University at Montgomery and offers potential cost savings through a variety of scholarship opportunities. We look forward to welcoming more Southern Union graduates as members of the Warhawk Nation.”

The partnership agreement provides for a “holistic” admissions process that begins with students’ enrollment at Southern Union and continues through their graduation from AUM. Academic advisors from both institutions will work collaboratively to provide ongoing academic advising for Southern Union students who intend to transfer to AUM. Visits by Auburn University at Montgomery academic advisors to Southern Union will also help incoming students familiarize themselves with resources offered by AUM, including its Career Development Center, Learning Center and Warhawk Academic Success Center (WASC).

AUM will guarantee admission to Southern Union students in good standing who have completed up to 64 credit hours, earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 and the same minimum GPA in core curriculum, and earned “C” or higher in English Composition I and Composition II courses. Students transferring to AUM with 24 or more college credits and a GPA of 2.2 or less will be required to take AUM’s “UNIV 1000: Strategies for Success” course. The agreement also provides for “reverse transfer,” providing a pathway for students who transferred to AUM before completing associate’s degrees to complete the process.

The new partnership also provides reciprocal library privileges for students, faculty and staff, as well as admission to AUM athletic events and AUM Wellness Center access for Southern Union students.

Pictured (L to R): Dr. Carl A. Stockton, Chancellor; Todd Shackett, Southern Union Community College President

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Alabama Project Learning Tree (PLT) recently named Auburn University at Montgomery as the 2019 Alabama PLT Education Partner of the Year.

Bourke and AUM Recognized as Alabama PLT Education Partner of the Year

Alabama Project Learning Tree (PLT) recently named Auburn University at Montgomery as the 2019 Alabama PLT Education Partner of the Year. Through the continuous efforts of AUM Associate Professor Dr. Nicholas Bourke, College of Education students receive training in the PLT curriculum. “We are pleased to recognize Dr. Bourke and AUM for their efforts in preparing future educators,” shares Monica Ousley, an Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) science coordinator and PLT Steering Committee member. “With its application, PLT curriculum builds science content knowledge through integrated, cross-curricular instruction. Our collaboration with AUM is a win-win for AUM students and PLT.” 

Aligned with current academic standards, PLT develops students’ knowledge, skills, and appreciation of the environment. Lesson plans and activities incorporate into existing curriculum and provide an excellent way to integrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) into the classroom. “We offer the PLT curriculum to our College of Education students at Auburn University at Montgomery as the curriculum provides our students with engaging and motivating curriculum materials,” says Bourke. “The units of instruction help elementary students develop understanding of environmental content. Our AUM students report they use the PLT curriculum in their classrooms after graduating and find the materials meet their needs as classroom teachers. The PLT curriculum is research based and classroom tested, to the fact that our AUM graduates use the materials in their classrooms is not a surprise.”

For more information about Project Learning Tree, please visit www.plt.org.

Pictured (L to R):

Ashley Smith: Education Director, Alabama Forestry Foundation / Alabama Project Learning Tree Coordinator
Nicholas Bourke:  AUM Associate Professor, College of Education
Monica Ousley: AMSTI Science Coordinator Alabama State Department of Education

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Rodney A. Ellis '95

Southern University Shreveport Louisiana (SUSLA) chancellor selected as Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army

The U.S. Army appointed a Shreveport resident as a new Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA) during an investiture ceremony on August 12 in the Pentagon.

The Honorable Ryan D. McCarthy, Acting Secretary of the Army, selected Dr. Rodney A. Ellis to represent Northern Louisiana.

"Rodney, I am pleased to have you help me connect the Army to your community," McCarthy said.  "The Army is a huge organization which means I need a lot of good communicators to tell the Army story.  I ask that you visit every corner of your community to support recruiting efforts, and help diversify and build the force of the future."

"My entire life, I've always wanted to give back to my community," Ellis said. "As chancellor of Southern University at Shreveport, I get to utilize the expertise and knowledge I've gained over the past 25 years in higher education, to provide a valuable service to those looking to improve their lives for themselves and their families.

"This opportunity to serve as a CASA, with so many other incredible leaders throughout nation, provides another avenue in not only supporting my community, but my country," he said. "I am so honored to be selected as a CASA for Northern Louisiana, and help the soldiers and families of our proud United States military."

Ellis has a distinguished career in the higher education community college sector. As chancellor of Southern University at Shreveport, Ellis said he strives each day to make a specific impact in the African-American and minority communities. SUSLA is one of three campuses of the Southern University System. Ellis was also appointed to President Trump's Board of Advisors on HBCUs.

Ellis earned an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Alabama; a master's degree in judicial administration from Auburn University at Montgomery; and a doctorate degree in higher education administration from the University of Georgia. 

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Paul Hodges '85

Hodges Warehouse + Logistics named Service Provider of the Year

Hodges Warehouse + Logistics was named Service Provider of the Year at the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association’s (AAMA) third annual Supplier of the Year Awards ceremony. Hodges picked up its first automotive client over 10 years ago and was founded as a family-owned warehouse business. In the last eight years, the Montgomery-based company has grown from one truck and three trailers to 45 trucks and 230 trailers. Within its 750,000-plus square feet of space, Hodges now services six original equipment manufacturers.

“We are extremely honored to be recognized as the Service Provider of the Year by the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association,” said Lance Hunter, CEO of Hodges Warehouse + Logistics. “We have an incredibly dedicated team at Hodges.”

Vice President and shareholder, Paul Hodges, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Auburn University at Montgomery in 1985. Paul is also the former president of the AUM Alumni Association Board of Directors.

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Virginia Chris Muckler '97

Muckler Recognized as One of Nurse Anesthesia’s Most Influential Educators

Chris Muckler, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) and U.S. Air Force veteran received the Didactic Instructor of the Year award from the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) during the Annual Congress, August 9-13 in Chicago, Illinois.

Established in 1991, the Didactic Instructor of the Year Award is presented to an individual who has made significant contributions to the education of student nurse anesthetists in the classroom.

Muckler is an Associate Clinical Professor and the Interim Program Director at Duke University’s Nurse Anesthesia Program in Durham, North Carolina.

“It is a great honor to be selected as the recipient of the 2019 Didactic Instructor of the Year award. My role as teacher and student is vastly intertwined, more than I originally appreciated,” shared Muckler. “Despite extensive lesson plans and my best intentions, students have unintentionally taught me much needed, valuable lessons about teaching. Being receptive and valuing their direction was a prominent turning point. Many heartfelt thanks to mentors, colleagues, and most importantly, our students. Thank you.”

A leader in simulation teaching, Dr. Muckler developed a simulation program at Duke University that provides novel learning experiences for students. The program models best practice in simulation and includes evidence-based scenarios including crises, pediatrics, obstetric, interprofessional, and transgender simulated scenarios. Dr. Muckler is involved in local, national, and international simulation opportunities, although her most valued work is that of her students in the Simulation LiFE she created, a structured peer-to-peer teaching and learning program for third year students that aims to increase future nurse anesthesia educators.

In addition to providing simulation education, Dr. Muckler has provided input and oversight in over 40 Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) projects for nurse anesthesia students. Further, she educates senior students interested in becoming nurse anesthesia educators to participate as facilitators and educators for the first-year nurse anesthesia students at Duke University.

A CRNA for more than 17 years, Muckler earner her Doctor of Nursing practice degree from Duke University in Durham, N.C. and her master’s in nurse anesthesia from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. In addition, she received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Auburn University at Montgomery, AL, an associate degree in applied science from the Community College of the Air Force, and associate degrees in science and arts from Surry Community College from Dobson, N.C.

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Blog written by Eric Atkins '01

Give People The Gifts They Need

Blog written by Auburn University at Montgomery graduate, Eric Atkins, who earned a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2001 as well as an MBA in 2010.

This is a picture of one of my favorite human beings in his natural habitat. At times, he has been my professor, my advocate, my mentor, and my friend. This is Bob Evans, Professor of English at Auburn University Montgomery (AUM). If you attended AUM for any length of time over the past 30 years, I would be willing to bet you know Dr. Evans. He may have published some of your thoughts or writing (he’s published hundreds, if not thousands, of students), and if you were in a lot of his classes, you might have had the pleasure of going to dinner with Bob and his wife Ruth. I was in A LOT of Bob’s classes. Bob and Ruth’s kindness and affection for all of his students was indescribable, and I want to share one of my favorite stories about Bob to see how we can become better leaders. 

But first, a little backstory. My university career did not have a stellar beginning, which meant that when I was applying for graduate schools (because I really wanted to be a literature professor), I didn’t have a glowing CV or, honestly, much faith that I belonged at that next level. Bob and Ruth took me and several other students to dinner one night the summer before I was slated to leave for graduate school. We had a great time as always, and as we were leaving, he said he had something for me.

We walked to his car, and he popped the trunk to reveal several boxes of used literary research books. If you know Bob, the fact that he had all these books in his trunk won’t surprise you--he has an insatiable appetite for used books. To my surprise, however, he took all of those books, dozens of them, and put them in my car. All he said was, “I thought these might help you when you got to graduate school.” 

Twenty years ago, I thought this was just an amazing gift of knowledge. I had all of these books that would help me with research and writing for graduate seminars, and they did. I used the hell out of those books, and I still have a lot of them, although some I’ve given to others who needed them more than I did. What I’ve come to realize over the years, however, is the books really didn’t make much difference for me academically. After all, I had a great library at my disposal, and all of those books were certainly available there. But, those books made a huge impact on my success because they made me feel like I belonged. The gift that Dr. Bob gave me was, in fact, confidence, and while I have taken a different path to the one I was on at the time, I have always taken that confidence with me.

So, what does this mean for us as leaders? As leaders, it’s incumbent upon us to find the gifts that our people need from us. For some, it may be confidence. For others, it may be knowledge. The gifts your people need are unique to them and the moment in which they are living. The only way to discover what those gifts are is to really know the people (they’re people, not just employees) that work with you. Schedule some time to talk with them, and if you’re still not sure, be brave enough to ask them what they need. I assure you they will appreciate the attention and the gift, and you will appreciate the improvement you see in them.

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Auburn University at Montgomery Chancellor Dr. Carl A. Stockton earned the highest honor presented by the Greater Alabama Council of the Boy Scouts of America’s Youth Leadership Development Program (YLDP).

Auburn University at Montgomery chancellor earns Great American Hero Award

Auburn University at Montgomery Chancellor Dr. Carl A. Stockton earned the highest honor presented by the Greater Alabama Council of the Boy Scouts of America’s Youth Leadership Development Program (YLDP).

The Youth Leadership Development Program presented Stockton with its “Great American Hero” Award Monday, Sept. 16, at its opening ceremony for the 2019-2020 YLDP class at Thompson High School near Birmingham. Stockton has been active as a board member for the YLDP, which offers a nine-month leadership development program for high school juniors and seniors from 20 counties in North and Central Alabama.

Attorney and Auburn University Trustee Liz Huntley presented Stockton with the award. Auburn University Director of Athletics Allen Greene served as the keynote speaker for the event. The YLDP is founded on three fundamental pillars of leadership – character, faith and patriotism. Past recipients of the award include Congressional Medal of Honor winners Bennie Adkins, Melvin Morris and Leo Thorsness, NASA astronaut and fromer International Space Station Science Director Larry DeLucas, famed orthopedic surgeon James Andrews and NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this award,” said Stockton, who is in his second year of service as a YLDP board member. “Serving as a board member for the Youth Leadership Development Program has been an incredibly rewarding experience given the role the organization plays in identifying young people of good character and helping them unlock their potential as leaders. The young men and women who participate in this program represent the future of our state and nation.”

Since becoming Auburn University at Montgomery’s sixth chancellor in July 2016, Stockton has led the university to sustained enrollment growth and improvement in national and regional rankings. AUM posted its highest fall enrollment total in six years in the fall of 2018 and recently improved to 33rd among regional public universities in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” list for 2020. The university also earned placement on Princeton Review’s 2020 “Best in the Southeast” list and won the Montgomery Advertiser’s “Best of the Best” voting for top university in Alabama’s River Region for the second consecutive year.

In his 35 years in higher education, Stockton has raised more than $100 million in grants and capital support for the universities and programs he has served. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Florida and earned his doctorate at the University of Tennessee. He also has served as a board member for a variety of River Region and state non-profits, including Child Protect, the Children’s Advocacy Center, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and YMCA Metro. He has also served as a member of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100 and as a member of the Envision 2040 Strategic Planning Committee for the City of Montgomery.

AUM is among the more than 20 college and universities partners that collectively commit more than $2 million in scholarships to YLDP students each year. The students are selected for YLDP on the basis of character and behavior by their teachers, counselors and principals at 95 partner high schools. Over the course of the nine-month program, the students meet monthly and receive lessons in various leadership traits from college and university faculty, participate in leadership roles and activities and complete community service activities.

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AUM ALUMNI IN THE NEWS

Tinna Gallagher ‘00

Georgia College introduced their new head women’s soccer coach, Tinna Gallagher. Gallagher is a native Icelander who spent her college years playing soccer for Auburn University at Montgomery. She was a three-time All-Southern States Conference selection while earning first team honors her senior season. In addition, she also received the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Champion of Character Award.

Gallagher is the wife of John Milledge Academy Dean of High School, David Gallagher, who also serves as the coach for head boys’ varsity basketball. The two currently have a young daughter named Hazel and the Gallaghers are currently expecting a second girl to join the family, as Tinna is eight months pregnant. 

Jason Lloyd ‘96

Jason Lloyd has been named vice president of BlueCare Plus, the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee program serving individuals who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid services.

Lloyd oversees all aspects of BlueCare’s Dual Special Needs Program, including marketing, clinical quality, claims, benefits, and reporting. In addition, he manages external relationships with brokers, health care providers, the TennCare Division and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“We are fortunate to have someone with Jason’s considerable experience leading our dual special needs program,” said Pat Sullivan, vice president and chief operating officer for BlueCare Tennessee. “Since joining BlueCare Plus as director of operations in 2015, he has consistently excelled in finding and supporting ways to better serve the unique needs of these members, and we look forward to his continued efforts in this new role.”

Lloyd has more than two decades of health care industry experience, serving in multiple roles at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee for 18 of those years. During his time with the company, he has worked in areas such as benefits administration, fraud and abuse investigation, and compliance management.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Auburn University at Montgomery in 1996.

Rhonda Gatlin ‘78

Rhonda Gatlin's heart and soul is planted firmly in the south. Rhonda was born in Tampa, Florida, attended high school in Montgomery, Alabama, received her bachelor’s degree from Auburn University at Montgomery, and her master’s in literary arts from Lesley College. She stayed in the south to teach elementary children for 14 years. Rhonda moved to Boulder City, Nevada, in 1989 where she resides with her husband Chris. Rhonda's son Ryan Osbourn, granddaughter Jade Parker, and grandson Oliver Osbourn live in Alabama where she often visits.

In 2016, Gatlin received the American Graduate Champion award from Las Vegas Public Broadcasting System (PBS) for her active role in making a difference in students' lives. She then started her career as a children’s author, publishing two books: “Granny’s Cobbler a Counting Book” and “Aggie’s Purple Hands.” Both books take place in Alabama, and are a reflection of Gatlin’s childhood.

Rhonda retired after teaching an additional 25 years at Andrew J. Mitchell Elementary School in Boulder City, Nevada. She continues to make a difference with children through tutoring and reading aloud in elementary schools.

Tyrone D. Scott ‘96

Tyrone Scott received the Secretary of Defense Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Award on February 26, 2019 as well as the Civilian of the Quarter Award on February 27, 2019 for his 2018 GWOT deployment.

Scott graduated from Auburn University at Montgomery in 1996 with a Master of Political Science degree. Since, he has applied his training to serving as an Air Force Civilian Historian. His current assignment is the 81 Training Wing Historian at Keesler Air Force Base, MS. His duties include responding to historical queries, answering Freedom of Information Act requests, replying to congressional inquiries, and promoting the lineage and history of the U.S. Air Force. Scott also creates special studies and articles, presents lectures, participates in seminars, and conducts staff visits. Furthermore, he deploys to forward operating bases for contingency operations to write history reports for war fighting units.

Tyrone is married to Dr. JeongAh Scott.

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UPCOMING ALUMNI EVENTS & TRAVEL:

NOVEMBER 2019

Veteran’s Appreciation Week

Rolling out the R.E.D. with Jody Fuller

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 | 7:00 p.m.

AUM Taylor Center, room 230

To show solidarity and support for our deployed service members. Free & open to the public.

Details to follow.

 

DECEMBER 2019

Spotlight on New York City Holiday– fully booked

December 2-6, 2019

Experience America's most exciting metropolis as it shines during the holiday season. This New York City getaway is filled with shopping, sightseeing, endless entertainment and holiday cheer.

Highlights: 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Greenwich Village, Wall Street, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall, Broadway Show.

 

FEBRUARY 2020

Alumni Homecoming Celebration

Friday, February 28, 2020 | 6:30-9:00 p.m.

AUM Library Tower, 10th floor

Details to follow.

 

MARCH 2020

Reflections of Italy

March 11-20, 2020

Revel in the magic of Italy on this tour that explores the cities of Rome, Florence, Siena, Venice, Assisi, Perugia and Milan. Travel Italy and explore the scenery of the Tuscan countryside and medieval hill towns. Discover the masterpieces of the Renaissance in Florence and see hot glass transformed into exquisite art on Murano Island. Linger in romantic Venice and visit the magnificent Opera House La Scala in Milan.

Highlights: Rome, Colosseum, Assisi, Perugia, Siena, Florence, Chianti Winery & Cooking Class, Venice, Murano Island, Milan

For more information, click here.

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Class Notes

Steven Davis ’78 (Fine Arts)

Occupation: Illustrator

Employer: Technicolor

Message: I had the most influential art teachers at AUM, primarily with Charles Shannon and Philip Coley. After graduating AUM in 1978, I went directly to Technicolor as an illustrator for the schools on Maxwell Air Force Base. Since then, I've been painting away! Mostly oil portraits along with some landscapes and still-lifes. I'm lucky to be able to do what I love for all these years!

 

Will Lambert, Jr. ’79 (Business Administration)

Occupation: Retired

Message: I learned a lot about surviving and being productive in life at Auburn University in Montgomery. I had good relationships with many of my professors and teachers that as I look back on now, are pleasant memories that helped mold my character.

 

Pamela Martin ’79 (Accounting)

Occupation: Market Shoppes

Employer: Self-employed

Advice: Know that an accounting degree holds many possibilities beyond the traditional public or private accounting worlds. My AUM degree was the first step in my entrepreneurial journey.


Carolyn Clark ’82 (Criminal Justice)

Occupation: 40 years with Federal Government, retired

Employer: Office of Secretary of Defense

Advice: Be as broad as you can be in the degree.  Take electives that complement outside the field of study. The AUM experience gave me the friends, support and confidence I needed to get a Federal job and move around the world.  I moved up the ladder in the Federal Government with my degree.  I am also the co-founder of the Paralegal studies. Without my degree from AUM, I would not have been as successful as I am.  I went on to get a MS and A.B.D.

Message: You can never get too much education. A wise lady told me, "an education is something no one can take from you." When I complained that I worked full time and could not take a full load because I would not have time to eat, one of my professors told me, "eat on the run." It is all in what is important, and that is an education.

 

Laura Egwuatu ’86 (Psychology)

Occupation: Director of Nursing

Employer: Winder Health Care and Rehabilitation Center

Message: AUM prepared me for 25 years of successful healthcare management. I have improved my nursing skills, which enabled me to counsel staff, patients and families through illness, trauma and life adjustment skills improvement. I have worked as a Registered Nurse for 42 years, specializing in brain injury/cognitive impairment, stroke rehabilitation, on-job injuries and geriatrics.

 

Anita Scott Jones ’87 (Justice & Public Safety)

Occupation: Practice Manager for two health centers

Employer: Primary Health Solutions

Message: My experience at AUM helped me become the person I am today. I was taught discipline and accountability.

AUM gave me the best experience ever! Last year I had three heart attacks, the most recent on July 4, 2018. I flat-lined.  I now have a 3-lead ICD implant. The past 2 years have been memorable to say the least. In addition to the attacks, my father died this year, which was devastating for me. On a brighter note, I was able to graduate with my Doctorate in Educational Leadership. I now manage two health centers with 70 staff.  My blessing from God is my husband Lyndon Lorenzo Jones. We have been married 21 years and we enjoy traveling.

 

Susan Malone ’85 (Justice & Public Safety)

Occupation: Administrative Support Assistant III

Employer: State of Alabama

Advice: Seek out advice from counselors and instructors and learn what the job opportunities there are with the degree you are pursuing. Be aware of options as well as limitations that you may personally have as you go forward pursing that degree and possible career choices that can arise from your chosen career field. I received a great education that will always be with me. It is an experience and an opportunity that I will never forget.

 

Miriam Speakman ’82 (Business Management)

Occupation: Real Estate Broker & For Sale By Internet Realty, owner

Employer: Self- employed

Advice: Getting a management degree helps with all aspects of running your own business from the accounting end to marketing. Always listen to others’ ideas; sometimes the solution is right in front of you but they can help you see it.

Message: I started out running a tennis club in Naples, Florida when the owner said..."Hey why don't you get your real estate license and sell these golf course lots for me." I was hooked and the rest is history. After working for a developer, a few builders and doing general real estate, I was interviewing for another position with a builder and the owner said to me..."What's to stop you from opening up your own business?" He gave me the idea to come home and open my own company. In 2000, I opened up Fsbirealty.com (For Sale By Internet Realty).  It was exactly what I always wanted but didn't know it!


Jerry Blevins ’90 (Justice & Public Safety)

Occupation: Attorney

Message: I have been working as an attorney in a private practice of law located in Montgomery, Alabama for the past 25 years. AUM is a great school and offers a great education.

 

Mary Gambles Boone ’93 (Education)

Occupation: Educator

Employer: Montgomery Public Schools

Message: This summer, we unveiled a historical marker that tells the history of Reverend Richard C Boone and his work in the Montgomery beloved community, the State of Alabama and the United States. The marker is on the Rev Richard Boone Blvd. The National Park recognizes the Selma to Montgomery Historical Trail. Rev Boone was my beloved husband, who passed October 10, 2013.

 

Pamela Coleman ’96 (Education)

Occupation: 2nd Grade Teacher

Employer: Escambia County Board of Education

Advice: I have taught 1-8 grade during my teaching career and as you see, you need to be flexible with children of all ages. I have enjoyed my job and I love working with children, but teaching is a field to be patient and to love your students. I had excellent professors who prepared well me for my area of expertise.

Message: Auburn University at Montgomery is a great campus to attend; it is small and very easy to learn how to get around quickly. My daughter is an Auburn University graduate and she followed me in the education field. She is the second-generation graduate in my whole family.

 

Tommy Dukes ’96 (Physical Education)

Occupation: Principal

Employer: Conecuh County School District

Advice: To students: stay focused, the end is near. Have fun, just don’t forget the reason you’re there.

Message: My experience at AUM was one of the best any young student athlete could ever have. Going to school there was great because it was close to home and my parents/family could come watch me play almost every game.  I met so many good people whom to this day, we are still friends. THANK YOU my AUM FAMILY


Angela Harris ’01 (Nursing)

Occupation: Restorative Nurse Coordinator

Employer: Veterans Administration, Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System (CAVHCS)

Advice: Believe in yourself but work and study hard. Don’t allow yourself to drown. Seek help from your capable instructors who care about you and your future. When things get tough, remember you didn’t choose nursing, nursing chose you. Since graduating from AUM, I have had the pleasure of working both locally and nationally. AUM prepared me for the world and I walked into each assignment with the confidence gained from my tenure in the program. I was blessed to have wonderful, selfless instructors who believed in me when my faith faltered. I am now a master’s prepared nurse thanks to the AUM nursing experience that laid the ground work for collegiate and career excellence.

Message: Becoming a nurse is one of the most difficult yet rewarding fields one can pursue. I have been a travel ER nurse out West for a few years where I met and cared for a lot of interesting people. I am now at the local VA and have received national accolades for our Restorative program. While I am in no way finished with my life’s pursuits, I am forever grateful for the foundation gained at AUM’s nursing program.

 

Tangerla Jones ’09 (Justice & Public Safety)

Occupation: Academic Advisor & Adjunct Instructor

Employer: Troy University

Advice: Work to learn everything you can within your field. Sometimes you have to think outside the box. Have a sense of compassion for others and always keep current on trends in education as well as things going on within our local communities.

Message: AUM expounded upon the knowledge that I received at Alabama State University. The experience has enabled me to feed into the students that I serve day to day. Be true to yourself, and your profession. Be honest, kind, and ethical, even when it may seem hard to so. Be mindful of others and work to make a difference in the life of those you meet.

 

Cynn’e Marshall ’04 (Public Administration)

Occupation: Surgery

Employer: Baptist Health

Advice: Go for it! There are so many areas of specialities. Continuous change is needed to better improve care that is centered around the patient.

Message: Love everything about AUM from the convenience of campus, class size, professors, networking, staff, food court, on campus activities, alumni gatherings. Hope to see you at alumni activities.


Max Capouano ’12 (Biology)

Occupation: Primary Care Physician

Message: I have fond memories of AUM and consider my years there some of the best I can remember. My memories include working with Dr. Kim in the organic chemistry lab, learning how to remove the color from mouthwash with Dr. Arnold, and chilling in the ISL. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, fixing things around the house, and teaching medical students.

 

Preston Dent ’18 (Education)

Occupation: 10th Grade U.S. History Teacher, Assistant Football Coach, Head Baseball Coach

Employer: Andalusia City Schools

Advice: For those who are working a full time job/raising a family, AUM offers great opportunities in helping you achieve the goal of obtaining a top-level degree!

Message: AUM has wonderful professors, flexible scheduling, great online opportunities! Fully prepared for the education field! I played baseball at AUM in 2012-2013. The campus and student opportunities have grown tremendously, and show no signs of stopping! GO WARHAWKS!

 

Erica Diamond ’14 (Liberal Arts)

Occupation: Stay-at-home mom

Advice: Be yourself! There is nothing more freeing than that. The College of Liberal Arts helped me do that. I didn’t know I loved theatre or writing or acting before college. Follow your heart. When you realize you’re passionate about the arts, don’t let anyone tell you it’s worthless. Don’t just go to college to get a degree for a job. Find yourself. Do what makes you happy and lights a fire inside you.

Message: AUM will forever hold a very special place in my heart! ND changed my life. Nancy Anderson changed my life. The group of “theatre kids” that accepted me as their own for no reason, changed my life. AUM gave me my wonderful husband, and in turn, my wonderful child. AUM gave me all of my sorority sisters that are lifelong friends. Most importantly, it showed me who I was as a person -someone I never would have guessed I would be. True happiness.

 

Tyler Kennedy ’15 (Business Administration)

Employer: State of Alabama, Department of Revenue

Message: I recently married the love of his life, Kaitlin Kennedy. We met at AUM in 2012, and enjoyed getting to know each other throughout our time in college. Our fondest AUM memories include the opportunities we received through involvement in AUM’s student clubs and organizations.

 

Kaitlin Bullock Kennedy ’17 (Education)

Occupation: 2nd Grade Teacher

Message: I loved the opportunities I received through involvement in Student Clubs and Organizations. The skills that I developed as a leader in my sorority Zeta Tau Alpha, as well as other clubs on campus, are invaluable.

 

Savanna Sabb ’18 (Communication)

Occupation: News Producer

Employer: Alabama News Network

Advice: It’s all about connections don’t be afraid to ask for a recommendation or advice from someone in the job field that you want. Stay in contact with people that are going the same direction as you or the direction that you want to be. It was mainly my internship and hands on class projects that opened my eyes to what the real job force would be like.

Message: I just want to thank the communications department for being so supportive. Everyone there wanted to help me and I probably would not have my job if it wasn’t for a portfolio that I had to make for my journalism practicum class. I am very glad I saved my previous class assignments and took the classes that actually prepared me for the “real world.”

 

Rosanna Smith ’11 (Communication)

Occupation: Communications Director

Employer: Fresh Anointing House of Worship

Message: Following graduation in 2011, I began work at WSFA 12 News. With three powerful ingredients, hard work, dedication, and a smile, I worked my way up from news content specialist to a photojournalist, then earned a reporting position, and even was able to fill-in anchor. After eight absolutely amazing years and, two Associated Press awards later, I decided to make a career change. I recently accepted a position as a communications director for a church in Montgomery. I am excited to continue my career in the communications field and I’m forever grateful for the education I obtained at AUM to get me to this point. The professors, faculty and staff instilled in me a “standard of excellence.” It was that mindset that prepared me for where I am today.

 

Michelle Spell ’10 (Justice & Public Safety)

Occupation: Special Investigations Chief

Employer: State of Alabama Medicaid Agency

Advise: Take in all the information you obtain and be prepared to use it as opportunities to advance in your career arise.

Message: I enjoyed learning from professors who shared life lessons as well as their knowledge of their profession. AUM is a great educational institute of higher learning. I was afforded the opportunity to learn from the best and the belief I could make a difference in the world as an AUM graduate.

 

Joe Williams ’18 (Business Administration)

Occupation: Aviation & Defense Insurance Broker

Employer: JSL Aviation Insurance a Marsh & McLennan Agency

Advice: Consider becoming an underwriter at a big company for a couple years before becoming an insurance broker - but be courageous enough to "eat what you kill" once you make the switch. The technical skills gained as an underwriter absolutely translate to the brokerage side & it is extremely well-respected in the field. Consider specializing in something that really interests you - for me, it was aviation. Read or listen to some well-respected sales professionals such as Dale Carnegie & Zig Ziglar, in addition to your technical knowledge. The EMBA at AUM is extremely practical. Sure, you got a fair bit of super-technical knowledge, but it was geared for real people in the real market. For example - In the second interview for my current - & likely final position until retirement - the president of my organization asked what I planned to do in the first 5 years if they offered me the job. Well, they were excited to see the detailed 5-year plan I had printed on stock paper & handed them.

Message: Two things. Today's professional is always learning & your reputation is your brand.


We love to hear from our alumni! Share your updates, and your news may appear in the Class Notes section of the next AUM Alumni Newsletter: http://www.aum.edu/aum-alumni-news


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