Alumni News


Isbell receives Academy of General Dentistry’s Distinguished Service Award

Gordon Isbell, chemistry '76, received the 2015 Distinguished Service Award by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).


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Alumna Spotlight: Iris Hill

Iris Hill is an actress, singer and dancer who has been featured in print ads and commercials for companies such as Apple, Wells Fargo, the NFL, Purina and Virgin America.


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COSAM graduate receives Distinguished Dissertation Award

Justin Havird, a 2014 doctoral graduate of the Department of Biological Sciences, has been selected as a winner of the Graduate School’s Distinguished Dissertation Awards.


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COSAM alumni perform as Dancing Stars of East Alabama

Dr. Rian Anglin, molecular biology ’03 and pediatrician at Pediatric Associates of Auburn, and Dr. Glen Puckett, zoology/entomology ’01 and veterinarian and partner at Moores Mill Animal Hospital, recently participated in the fifth annual fundraising event, Dancing Stars of East Alabama.


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BP Executive and COSAM alumna to give keynote at SWSM Symposium

As the executive vice president of Response and Environmental Restoration for BP’s Gulf Coast Restoration Organization, Laura Folse, geology ’80, leads the operations, scientific, and technological programs within the multi-billion dollar cleanup and restoration effort BP initiated in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident. Folse is active with the Auburn University Department of Geosciences’ Advisory Board, and on May 7, she will come to campus as the 2015 Marie W. Wooten Distinguished Speaker at the Society for Women in Sciences and Mathematics Symposium luncheon.


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COSAM alumnus spotlight: Dr. George Hardy

Long before Dr. George Hardy, ‘77, kept the mouths of Alexander City, Ala., healthy, he was an actor starring in the 1989 cult classic “Troll 2,” adoringly referred to as “the best worst movie ever.” Since it’s debut, “Troll 2” has acquired an international following still going strong today. The pop-culture phenomenon has been screened in sold-out theatres worldwide. “I sort of fell into the movie, really,” said Hardy. “I was doing postdoctoral work in Salt Lake City and running a small practice after graduating from the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s dental school. A patient told me the Italian filmmakers Claudio Fragasso and Rossella Drudi were in a nearby town casting a low-budget movie. I thought ‘why not’ and decided to go give it a shot.”


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Pate named Young Optometrist of the South

Rob Pate, a 2002 graduate of the College of Sciences Mathematics, has been named Young Optometrist of the South by the Southern Council of Optometrists.


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American Geophysical Union highlights plasma research by DuBois

Ami DuBois, a Ph.D. graduate of the Department of Physics, has been highlighted by the American Geophysical Union journals for her research on laboratory simulations of boundary layers in the Earth’s magnetosphere.


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Nguelifack accepts assistant professor position

Brice Nguelifack, Ph.D. student in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, accepted a tenure-track assistant professor position offer in the Department of Mathematics at the United States Naval Academy.


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COSAM alumna spotlight: Meredith Voyles

Meredith Voyles, ’96, ’01, ’11, is a veterinary ophthalmologist currently practicing at Veterinary Ophthalmology Services in Nashville where she specializes in animal eye disease. After receiving her veterinary degree from Auburn in 2001, she spent nearly six years in general small animal practice in Fairhope, Ala. Voyles returned to Auburn University in 2006 joining the faculty as the Community Outpatient Clinician.


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Former COSAM student meets with top scientists to discuss future of veteran rehabilitation

Joshua Jarrell, a 2005 graduate in applied mathematics and a sergeant first class in the U.S. Army, was selected to meet with top scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology at the Center for the Intrepid in San Antonio to discuss the future of prosthetic technology, amputee care and soldier rehabilitation. The Center for the Intrepid is a facility designed to aid wounded service members with severe extremity injuries, burns and amputations.


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Ralph Jordan Jr. named 2014 Distinguished Alumnus

Congratulations to Ralph Jordan Jr., '70, '75, recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award. Jordan recieved his bachelor's in biological sciences and his master's in zoology. As the non-game and endangered species biologist for the Tennessee Valley Authority, Jordan assumed responsibility for natural resources management for all of TVA's public lands.


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COSAM alumna develops healthy nail care line

Dr. Cary Gannon, a biomedical sciences graduate and board certified podiatrist, has developed a line of healthy, carcinogen-free nail care products that allows women to enjoy manicures and pedicures while nourishing their skin and nails. “I was selling a competitive product in my office that claimed to have healthy properties, but after much investigation, I realized it was just regular nail polish,” said Gannon. “I was really upset with their marketing and thought it was dishonest.” Gannon decided then that she would make her own product that promotes natural therapies and lacks the harmful chemicals. Soon, the Nashville-based company, AILA was developed.


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COSAM alumnus Cara Tupps joins Peace Corps

Cara Tupps, a May 2013 graduate with a bachelor of science in microbiology, joined the Peace Corps and will teach biology to middle and/or high school students in the Republic of Mozambique in Africa. In preparation for her two-year commitment to the Peace Corps, Tupps will donate her long hair for the fourth time to Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.


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Bennett family establishes Ralph B. Bennett Memorial Endowed Fund for Excellence

The Dr. Ralph B. Bennett Memorial Endowed Fund for Excellence was established for the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. The endowment was established in memory of Ralph Blount Bennett by his wife, Donna V. Bennett, and daughters, Rebecca Ruth Bennett and Leah Elizabeth Bennett Edwards, for the purpose of providing funds for excellence in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.


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Dr. John Dykes makes emergency trip to Panama to save two-day old infant

Dr. John Dykes, microbiology '05, is conducting a three-year fellowship in pediatric cardiology at Miami Children's Hospital. As a fellow, Dykes rotates through the Cardiac Catheterization Lab, Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, Echocardiography, and inpatient and consultation services. When needed, he assists in medical transport and flies with the specialized pediatric paramedic transport team to retrieve high-risk patients. Recently, he even made an emergency trip to Panama to pick up a two-day-old baby who was suffering from a complex congenital heart disease called Transposition of the Great Arteries, a condition where the major vessels leaving the heart are switched, and oxygenated blood cannot get to the baby's systemic circulation.


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Ashford to share birding knowledge at wildlife refuge and late-summer festival

Dick Ashford, mathematics '66, will co-lead a trip to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge from May 30 to June 2 for the Klamath Bird Observatory. Malheur NWR is a world-renowned birding destination where participants will see bobolinks, sage sparrows and eastern kingbirds, and the area provides a breeding ground for the sandhill crane, Swainson's and Ferruginous Hawk and the prairie falcon, among others.


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COSAM postpones Celebrating Biodiversity with E.O. Wilson

Due to an unforeseen emergency, it is with deepest regrets that COSAM must postpone the Celebrating Biodiversity with E.O. Wilson event that was scheduled for the evening of April 10th at the Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center.


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Logan Chair celebrated with recognition dinner

On Jan. 15, a dinner was held in recognition of Chris Rodger, the inaugural recipient of the Logan Chair, established by Don and Sandy Logan. Rodger is the associate dean for research and graduate studies for COSAM. The Logan Chair is designed to support superior faculty of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics who possess academic leadership in the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research and university and professional service, including outreach activities, within the department, with each category weighted equally. Additionally, the recipient of the Logan Chair is expected to work to strengthen and enhance mathematics, and serve as a positive role model for students and colleagues.


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Dinner held in honor of Stewart W. Schneller chair

Kenneth Halanych, alumni professor and former coordinator of the marine biology program in the Department of Biological Sciences, is the inaugural recipient of the Stewart W. Schneller Chair, which was established by friends, alumni, students and colleagues in honor of Schneller. A dinner was held recognizing Halanych and Stewart Schneller, former dean of COSAM, on Nov. 5, 2012.


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COSAM Graduate finalist for Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship

Two former Auburn student athletes are among six finalists for the 2012 Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship, the NCAA's highest academic award: 2010 COSAM honors graduate in chemistry Dan Mazzaferro; and Mary "Katy" Frierson, women's soccer, who graduated in 2011 from the College of Liberal Arts.


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COSAM Prepares: Shadowing opportunities for pre-health students

Job shadowing is critical for acceptance to professional school programs such as medical school and optometry school, and several medical offices in the Auburn area allow COSAM's pre-health students the opportunity to spend time alongside a physician, giving the student a chance to observe and learn what a career in medicine entails.


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Dr. Jane Upshaw named 2008 Distinguished Alumna

The College of Sciences and Mathematics recently named Dr. Jane Upshaw (Mathematics '69) its 2008 Distinguished Alumna. Upshaw was honored at a dinner Friday, November 7 at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center.


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