COSAM hosts open house
On Wednesday, Aug. 29, the college welcomed new students at the annual COSAM Open House. The Open House featured a visit by Auburn’s beloved mascot, Aubie, giveaways, food and fun as representatives were present from Pine Mountain, Georgia's Wild Animal Safari. On display was an albino python, a serval and other exotic animals. Students had an opportunity to interact with each animal on display. Also at the open house were booths representing various organizations that would interest COSAM students, including The Society for Conservation Biology, which sponsored Wild Animal Safari.
Biological Sciences News:
Student group kicks off the semester
The Society for Conservation Biology held its first meeting of the fall semester on Aug. 28. The meeting featured several student speakers who gave presentations on conservation-related internships and activities they were involved in during the summer. Black bear research, whale research, and an Alaskan internship are some of the topics that were highlighted. The meeting also provided information on upcoming events, such as a trip to Jackson County to explore caves. For more information on the Society for Conservation Biology, click here.
Department welcomes new faculty member
Elizabeth (Beth) H. Schwartz has joined the microbiology faculty as an assistant professor. Schwartz is an immunologist who received her Ph.D. from Emory University and held a faculty appointment at the Wake Forest School of Medicine. Her area of interest is host-microbe interactions and immune responses to bacterial pathogens, including understanding dynamics of dendritic cell gene expression during maturation and bacterial biofilm impact on food-borne infection. Schwartz’s research with the bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes has been funded regularly by the National Institutes of Health and will allow her to collaborate with programs across campus including the new Food Systems Initiative .
Outstanding Dissertation Award
For the second time in three years, a graduate student affiliated with Emeritus Professor S. D. Worley of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Emeritus Professor Royall Broughton of the Department of Polymer and Fiber Engineering has won the Graduate School’s Outstanding Dissertation Award. This year’s winner is Idris Cerkez, who obtained his undergraduate degree in Turkey. The previous winner was Hasan Kocer, who now has an academic position in Turkey.
Mathematics and Statistics News:
Changes and new faces in the department
Leadership of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics has recently changed. The new administrative team is: Tin-Yau Tam, department chair; Narendra Govil, associate chair and undergraduate program officer; Ulrich Albecht, graduate program officer; Maggie Han, instruction director; and Pat Goeters; GTA supervisor.
Three new faculty members, Guanqun Cao (statistics), Xiaoyu Li (statistics) and Jessica McDonald (discrete mathematics) joined the department as assistant professors this fall. Cao and Li received their doctorates from Michigan State University in 2012, and McDonald received her doctorate from the University of Waterloo in 2009. The department also hired Ziqin Feng (topology), but agreed to postpone the start of his contract until next year so he could accept a prestigious Marie Curie International Fellowship to work with Chris Good at the University of Birmingham in England. Feng received his doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh in 2010 and was a visiting professor at Miami University in Ohio.
International math camp inspires local challenge
Chris Rodger, Don Logan Endowed Chair of Mathematics and COSAM associate dean for research, took mathematics graduate student John Asplund on an NSF-funded trip to Australia to run two math camps in the middle of the continent. Well over 100 middle school students, many of whom were aboriginal children, attended the three-day camps in remote areas of the Northern Territory. Growing out of this annual trip is the Auburn Mathematical Puzzle Challenge, or AMP’d, organized by the graduate students in the department. AMP'd was first held in spring 2012 with around 50 middle school children attending from counties around Auburn. It aims at problem solving in an enjoyable setting and features answers requiring explanations. Mathematics graduate student Braxton Carrigan, who traveled to Australia during the previous two summers, began the challenge. Asplund is currently working to organize an AMP’d challenge for this fall.
Congratulations in order for several faculty members
The Department of Mathematics and Statistics congratulates several of its faculty members on recent successes:
- Dmitry Glotov, Maggie Han and Erkan Nane were granted tenure and promoted to associate professorship. Additionally, Han attained the ASA, or Associate of the Society of Actuaries, designation.
- Professor Gary Gruenhage has been named the 2012 Distinguished Graduate Faculty Lecturer.
- Erkan Nane, associate professor, received the 2012 Robert K. Butz Award for Teaching Excellence in Mathematics. Nane received his bachelor of science in mathematics and his master’s in mathematics from Bo_gazi_ci University in Istanbul, Turkey. He received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. He teaches or has taught the following courses at Auburn: Experimental Statistics I, Introduction to Advanced Mathematics, Probability and Stochastic Processes I and II, Statistics for Engineers and Scientists, Probability I and II, Applied Time-Series Analysis, Probability and Statistics I, and Topics in Linear Algebra.
- Professor Andras Bezdek received the C. Harry Knowles Endowed Professorship for Research Leadership in Mathematics Instruction at Auburn University and started a Visual Math Center within the department. He also received the COSAM Outstanding Teacher Award. In the last five years, Bezdek has extended his research in discrete geometry to math education, promoting teaching geometry with the use of 3D models. Together with Professor Bret Smith of the Department of Industrial and Graphic Design, they introduced and organized an interdisciplinary studio modeling course and created a permanent mathematics exhibit placed in Parker Hall.
- In addition to being named department chair, Tin-Yau Tam was named the Lloyd and Sandra Nix Endowed Professor. He delivered a series of lectures in Selcuk University in April, and the visit was fully funded by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey and the Selcuk University Research Projects Coordinator. Additionally, in June, he gave a series of lectures at Inner Mongolia University in China. He then gave colloquia at Shenyang Normal University and Jilin University in July. Also in July, he was the invited speaker at two conferences: the 7th Workshop on Matrices and Operators at Harbin Engineering University in Harbin, China; and the 11th Workshop on Numerical Ranges and Numerical Radii at National Sun Yat-sen University in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. He is on the organizing, scientific committee of two conferences that will take place in July 2013: the 4th International Conference on Matrix Analysis and Applications, which will take place in Konya, Turkey; and the 18th ILAS meeting in Providence, R.I.
Jenda and Johnson host successful REU program
Overtoun Jenda (pictured left), mathematics professor and associate provost for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, and Pete Johnson (pictured below), mathematics professor, had a very successful Research Experiences for Undergraduates, or REU, program this past summer, as is evidenced by the number of publishable discoveries by the participants. One paper, co-authored by two participants, has been submitted, and two others, each co-authored by two participants with one co-director, are very close to submission. There are five additional papers in the works. This marks the first REU program where every participant will be a co-author of at least one paper.
Minc delivers lectures at workshop
Professor Piotr Minc delivered a series of three, one-hour lectures at the Workshop on Recent Advances in General Topology, Dimension Theory, Continuum Theory and Dynamical Systems held at Nipissing University in Canada last May. The workshop was sponsored by Fields Institute and the National Science Foundation.
Stuckwisch, Huang and Albrecht to partner with AMSTI
Stephen Stuckwisch (pictured left), assistant professor of mathematics, Huajun Huang (pictured below), associate professor of mathematics, and Ulrich Albrecht (not pictured), professor of mathematics and graduate programs officer, are the department's members of a team headed by Marilyn Strutchens, Mildred Cheshire Fraley Distinguished Professor and program coordinator of Secondary Mathematics Education for the Department of Curriculum and Teaching, that received a major grant from the Alabama State Department of Education for the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative, or AMSTI, Mathematics and Science Partnership. The purpose of the grant is to assist Alabama’s teachers in better serving their students in the areas of mathematics education. Other members of the team are from Auburn University’s AMSTI office and the Department of Curriculum and Teaching in the College of Education.
Govil continues to provide international leadership
Narendra Govil, alumni professor, associate chair, and undergraduate program officer, was a member of the International Scientific Committee of the International Conference on Applied Mathematics and Approximation Theory held in Ankara, Turkey in May. In 2012, he joined the editorial boards of both the Journal of Complex Variables and the journal Pure Mathematical Sciences. He has also continued as an editor of the Australian Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications, and as the associate editor for both the Journal of Inequalities and Applications and the European Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics. Additionally, he maintains membership on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Mathematics and Mathematical Sciences and the Journal of Inequalities and Special Functions.
Shen and Hetzer organize special mathematics institutes and workshops
Professor Wenxian Shen is one of five organizers of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, or IMA, for the 2012-2013 program on Infinite Dimensional and Stochastic Dynamical Systems and Their Applications. She is also one of the three organizers of the IMA Annual Program Year Workshop on Lattice and Nonlocal Dynamical Systems and Applications, which will take place this December. Shen was one of two organizers at a special session at the 36th Annual SIAM Southeastern Atlantic Section Conference held at the University of Alabama in Huntsville last March, and Professor Georg Hetzer and Shen were two of the three organizers of a special session at the 9th AIMS Conference on Dynamical Systems, Differential Equations and Application held in Orlando, Fla., in July.
Zalik participates in international workshops and boards
Professor Richard Zalik was a member of the Program Committee and a Plenary Speaker at the Workshop on Wavelets Frames and Applications that was held at the University of Delhi, India, in December. He was also a co-editor of the proceedings of the workshop. His visit was funded by Auburn University and the University of Delhi. Additionally, he was a member of the International Scientific Committee of the International Conference on Applied Mathematics and Approximation Theory held in Ankara, Turkey in May, and from May through August, he was a visitor at the Instituto Argentino de Matematica in Buenos Aires, where he delivered a lecture at the 4th Latin American Congress of Mathematicians, held in Cordoba, Argentina. He is currently local secretary for the U.S. of Union Matematica Argentina. Zalik continues his service as a member of the editorial boards of Journal of Applied Functional Analysis and International Journal of Mathematics and Computer Science. He has been a member of those boards for several years.
Kuperberg is invited speaker at international events
Professor Krystyna Kuperberg gave several talks and plenary lectures in 2011, including at the Conference on Intelligent Computer Mathematics in Bertinoro, Forli, Italy, as well as at the Workshop on Symplectic Dynamics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J. This year, she organized a mini-symposium, Matchbox Dynamics, and the satellite thematic session, Geometry in Dynamics, at the 6th European Congress of Mathematics in Kraków, Poland in July. For more information on the conference, click here. (http://www.auburn.edu/%7ekuperkm/dynamicsKrakow2012/.) Additionally, she was appointed by the president of the American Mathematical Society, or AMS, to the AMS Committee on Publications, a position she will hold until 2014. Kuperberg is also the chair of the advisory committee for the Summer Topology and its Applications Conference Sequence.
Graduate school is thriving
The department recruited 30 new graduate students this fall, including 14 new graduate teaching assistants, two students sponsored by foreign governments, and five students in other Auburn programs who are pursuing secondary degrees in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. Twenty-five of the new students are foreign nationals, representing many countries including Brazil, Sri Lanka, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Iran, Nigeria and Cameroon. In all, the department now has 120 students enrolled in graduate programs, including 10 who are pursuing secondary degrees.
This past summer alone, 16 students completed their graduate degree programs in the department, 12 with doctorates and four with master's degrees. In all, over the past year, 35 students graduated, including 17 with doctorates and 18 with master's degrees. They are:
- Greggory Scible (Ph.D. advisor Ulrich Albrecht) Current position: Assistant Professor, Valencia College in Orlando, Fla.
- Nidhi Sehgal (Ph.D. advisor Chris Rodger) Current position: Works with a private, start-up, high-tech company in California
- Scott Varagona (Ph.D. advisor Michel Smith) Current position: Assistant Professor, University of Montevallo, Montevallo, Ala.
- Matthew Noble (Ph.D. advisor Pete Johnson) Current position: Assistant Professor, Francis Marion University, Florence, S.C.
- Bryce Duncan (Ph.D. advisor Pete Johnson) Current position: Instructor, Auburn University
- Phillip (PJ) Couch (Ph.D. advisor Curt Lindner) Current position: Visiting Assistant Professor, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas
- Amin Bahmanian (Ph.D. advisor Chris Rodger) Current position: Instructor, Auburn University and Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Ottawa, Canada
- Wesley Brown (Ph.D. advisor Dean Hoffman) Current position: Visiting Assistant Professor, Huntingdon College, Montgomery, Ala.
- Xuhua (Roy) Liu (Ph.D. advisor Tin-Yau Tam) Current position: Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
- Daniel Roberts (Ph.D. advisor Dean Hoffman) Current position: Visiting Assistant Professor, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, Ill.
- Vicky Colon Ohlson (Ph.D. advisor Dean Hoffman)
- Abigail Noble (Ph.D. advisor Chris Rodger) Current Position: Instructor, Francis Marion University, Florence, S.C.
- Huybrechts Bindele (Ph.D. advisor Ash Abebe) Current position: Assistant Professor, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Ala.
- Braxton Carrigan (Ph.D. advisor Andras Bezdek) Current position: Assistant Professor, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, Conn.
- Jonathan Clark (Ph.D. advisor Dean Hoffman)
- Nan Jiang (Ph.D. advisor Dmitry Glotov) Current position: Actuarial Associate, Prudential Financial
- Caleb Petrie (Ph.D. advisor Pete Johnson) Current position: Assistant Professor, University for Information Science and Technology, St. Paul the Apostle, Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia
Kilgore and Balazs present talk in Russia
Professor Theodore Kilgore and Mathematics Instructor Katherine Balazs (Kilgore), Ph.D., attended the Wavelets and Applications conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, in July. Kilgore presented a talk that was written jointly with Balazs. He also gave the conference dinner talk on the evening of the first day of the conference.
Department boasts high number of visiting scholars
The Department of Mathematics and Statistics has hosted a high number of visiting scholars during the past several years, including: Fatih Koyuncu (hosted by Erkan Nane and Andras Bezdek); Yildrim Beyazit from the University in Ankara, Turkey; Yilmaz Aksoy, (hosted by Erkan Nane and Narendra Govil), from Erciyes University in Kayseri, Turkey; Onur Alp Ilhan (hosted by Erkan Nane and Yanzhao Cao), from Erciyes University in Kayseri, Turkey; Danyal Soybas (hosted by Erkan Nane and Narendra Govil), from Erciyes University in Kayseri, Turkey; Haci Aktas, (hosted by Erkan Nane and Ulrich Albrecht), from Nevsehir University in Turkey; Mehmet Eyup Kiris (hosted by Erkan Nane and Yanzhao Cao), from Afyonkarahisar Kocatepe University in Turkey; Qinqin Hu (hosted by Peng Zeng), from Shandong University in Jinan, Shandong, China; Zhongbao Zhang and Hongwen Luo (hosted by Yanzhao Cao), from the College of Mathematics at Jilin University in Changchun, China; Ying Jiang (hosted by Yanzhao Cao) from Sunt Yat-sen University (Zhongshan University) in Guangzhou, China; and Gulsen Kiral (hosted by Nedret Billor), from Cukurova University in Turkey.
AMO group has successful collaboration with LaGrange College
In August 2007, Terry Austin, assistant professor of physics at LaGrange College in LaGrange Ga., and affiliate physics faculty member at Auburn University, approached Physics Professor Allen Landers (pictured above) and expressed an interest in participating in research at Auburn University as a means of providing students at LaGrange College with access to facilities and expertise not available at the smaller, liberal arts college. Austin has a research background in atomic molecular and optical physics, or AMO physics, and his research interests align with those of Landers, as well as those of Assistant Professor Michael Fogle. As a result, Landers and Fogle began working with Austin and students from LaGrange College. Typically, students from LaGrange College who are granted the opportunity to conduct research at Auburn with the AMO group at Leach Science Center are academically outstanding with an interest in careers in physics or physics-related fields.
An example of the collaboration includes Austin’s use of the Rutherford scattering teaching lab at the accelerator facility for his students taking his Modern Physics class. The Auburn University accelerator has been used to teach Rutherford scattering to students at both Auburn and LaGrange. Rutherford scattering is the process used more than a century ago to discover the localized nucleus within the atom. By colliding alpha particles moving at a few percent the speed of light with gold atoms and measuring the angular distribution of the ones that scatter, or bounce, students can observe the nearly point-like nature of the nucleus.
The accelerator is also used to conduct Proton Induced X-ray Emission, or PIXE, experiments in an effort led by Fogle (pictured left), which is the most recent aspect of the evolving collaboration. In these experiments, an energetic proton is used to excite the nuclei of a sample, which then relax through emission of a characteristic X-ray. Analysis of the emitted X-rays allows for the identification of the constituent elements in the sample. For the particular experiments with LaGrange, samples from a biology group at the college were studied as part of a student research project.
The collaboration benefits both LaGrange College and Auburn University. LaGrange gains access to facilities and expertise unique to Auburn. The collaboration has allowed Austin to impact his students at LaGrange through both educational and research experiences they would not otherwise have. For Auburn, in addition to fulfilling part of the outreach mission of the university and COSAM, the collaboration has brought a new colleague in Austin to the AMO research group at Auburn.
“Austin is an outstanding colleague. His experience and insight on a number of fronts have been greatly beneficial to our combined research efforts,” said Landers.
In addition to being appointed as an affiliate faculty member at Auburn, Austin served as a member of the doctoral committee for Landers’ student Matthew Jones, who received his Ph.D. in 2011.
“We fully anticipate this fruitful collaboration will continue into the future. Professor Austin is currently involved with Professor Fogle to help develop a new, low-energy ion-beam platform that will be used for a variety of experiments,” Landers said. “LaGrange students will also be participating in future electron-impact ionization experiments with the Auburn experimental AMO group.”
We want to hear from you! Please email news on promotions, research, graduations, honors and awards, new jobs, marriage, children and anything else that's new in your life to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a photo.
Alumnus works for clean water in Dominican Republic
Mitchell Alvarez, biomedical sciences ’09, is a student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, or UAB, School of Medicine. Alvarez spent the summer with four other UAB School of Medicine students in the Dominican Republic as part of their Scholarly Activity project. The Scholarly Activity is a required, eight-week component of the third-year curriculum where students design, perform and present a scholarly project of their choice. One goal of the Scholarly Activity is to provide guidance for students interested in careers that integrate research, teaching and clinical service. Each student is mentored by an expert faculty member from the UAB School of Medicine. Alvarez and the four other students in his group were stationed in the Dominican Republic from May 27 to June 9 in a small village called Juan Dolio. Their project focused on sanitation within the community and the delivery of clean water. To read more about the project, click here. Photo courtesy of UAB School of Medicine.
Pharmaceutical consulting success for DeGuzman
Edgar DeGuzman, chemistry ’86, received a master’s of science in regulatory affairs of drugs, biologics and medical devices from Northeastern University in Boston in 2011. He then started a pharmaceutical consulting company, ERG Consulting. His first client was Dental Health Laboratories Incorporated in Clark Fields, Pampanga, Philippines. As a consultant, his responsibilities included the start-up of laboratory operations, providing regulatory guidance for manufacturing, and establishing a Good Manufacturing Practices facility for a new parenterals company looking to eventually market globally. His second client was an internationally recognized, stuffed toy manufacturer that needed an evaluation of their operations and guidance to establish an ISO 9000 facility. The facility accepted DeGuzman’s recommendations and recently passed an audit by a major U.S. retail operation that will market the company's product line for the upcoming holiday season. Additionally, DeGuzman was recently invited to speak at the International Summit on GMP & GCP: USA, Europe, Japan, Asia Pacific, which will be held in Philadelphia.
Williams studying in Germany
Joshua Williams received his doctorate in physics from Auburn University in May 2012, working under the direction of Allen Landers, Carr Associate Professor of Physics. His dissertation was, in part, on how to image molecules in three dimensions using an electron from within the molecule itself. The work was completed at the Advanced Light Source at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California (sample is pictured). He is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at Frankfurt University in Germany.
Douthit at Medical School for International Health
Nathan Douthit, laboratory technology ’11, recently began his first year at the Medical School for International Health, or MSIH. MSIH represents a collaboration between Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Columbia University Medical Center, and is the only four-year, North-American-style medical school that incorporates global health coursework into all four years of the medical school curriculum. Located in Beer-sheva, Israel, medical students spend the first three years in Israel and then return to New York to take their fourth-year electives at Columbia University Medical Center and its affiliates. The capstone experience is an eight-week global health clinical clerkship in the spring of the fourth year in supervised sites all around the world.
Now in its 15th year, MSIH has over 350 graduates in residency, fellowship and private practice. Graduates are expected to make significant contributions to global health through clinical work, policy development, research and medical education.
Douthit is a native of Huntsville, Ala.
For more information on MSIH, click here.
Boronski recognized for dissertation
Jan Boronski received the 2012 Auburn University Distinguished Dissertation Award and has been nominated for the Council of Graduate Schools/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award. Boronski received his Ph.D. from Auburn in 2010. His faculty advisor was Krystyna Kuperberg. He is currently a faculty member at AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow, Poland.
Nancy Higginbotham Davis, 64, of Opelika, Ala., died Monday, July 23, 2012 at East Alabama Medical Center, or EAMC, in Opelika. She was born in 1948 to the late Charlotte Otelia Ashley and Stewart Joseph Higginbotham. Nancy had been a resident of Opelika for many years. Though she excelled in academics and her medical profession, she was most known for her dedication and love of family and friends. She was valedictorian of her class of 1966 at Gaston High, and received her bachelor of science in laboratory technology in 1970 from Auburn University with highest honors. She received the Comer Medal for Excellence in Biological Sciences, and was Certified as a medical technologist from 1971 to present. Most recently, she was a medical technologist at EAMC and retired in 2010. Nancy had been a member of the WestPoint Pepperell Garden Club since 1977, Les Saisons Study Club, Mothers of Twins Club, and faithful choir member for over 30 years at First Baptist Church of Opelika. She loved to cook and sew special-occasion clothing for children and grandchildren, and loved to spend time with family, especially spoiling grandchildren. Nancy is survived by her husband of 41 years, Gayron Nixon Davis; daughters, Melody Leigh Noles (Daniel) of Chattanooga, Tenn., Holly Ashley Word (Bryan) of Birmingham, Ala.; son, Patrick Nixon Davis (Bethany) of Bruce, Miss.; brothers, Alan Frank Higginbotham (Marsha) of Austin, Texas, Phillip Dale Higginbotham (Tammy) of Chattanooga, Tenn.; and grandchildren, Emmaleigh Grace, Eli, Sarah and Hannah Noles, and Davis and Kaitlyn Word. The family sincerely appreciates the care for Nancy by the doctors and staff at both EAMC of Opelika and MD Anderson Cancer Center of Houston. A funeral service was held at First Baptist Church of Opelika with Reverend Steve Scoggins officiating.
Julian Luigi Dusi, 91, of Auburn, Ala., died August 28, 2012. Dusi was born November 10, 1920 in Columbus, Ohio. He was the son of Mario Luigi Dusi and Fay Margarita Beard Dusi. He attended Columbus public schools, Capital University and received his degrees from Ohio State University. He was an emeritus professor of the Department of Biological Sciences at Auburn University where he taught and conducted research in mammalogy and ornithology since 1949. He was a member of numerous scientific organizations and continued to publish research papers until his death. He served in World War II in the Army Air Corps as a photo-reconnaissance pilot. Survivors include his wife, Rosemary Dearth Dusi, of Auburn; a sister, Gina (Thomas F.) Zweigart, of Raleigh, N.C.; a brother, Mario Joseph (Arlene) Dusi, Reynoldsburg, Ohio; six nieces and nephews and several cousins. Dusi was an active member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Auburn.
Margaret Howard MacGregor Nichols, 95, of Columbus, Ohio and Auburn, Ala., died peacefully in her sleep on Saturday, August 25. She was born May 20, 1917 in Springfield, Ohio, to the late Howard and Margaret MacGregor. She was raised by her mother and beloved grandparents, as her father died before she was born. She attended Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio, and received her bachelor’s in English from Ohio Wesleyan University, where she was a member of Alpha Xi Delta. She later earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1949, the same year she was married to her husband of 32 years, Samuel Harding Nichols, Jr., a chemistry professor at Auburn University. She lived in Alabama for over 51 years. In Auburn, she was a member of the Alabama Chapter A of PEO, Saugahatchee Country Club, served on the board of the Auburn Public Library and formerly attended First Presbyterian Church. She moved to the Forum at Knightsbridge in Columbus, Ohio, in 1993, where she lived for more than 18 years. Margaret loved socializing and entertaining her friends and family, and recounting many stories from her 95 years of life. She enjoyed reading, playing bridge and traveling. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Samuel Harding Nichols, Jr. in 1982. She is survived by her daughter Clare (Rev. Jim) Long, Columbus, Ohio; son, Sam (Dr. Katherine) Nichols, Auburn, Ala.; grandchildren, Elizabeth (Jason) Downey and Jimmy Long of Columbus, Ohio, and Katy Nichols, Sammy Nichols and Mary Clare Nichols of Auburn, Ala.; and nephews, Calvin and Samuel Jones.
Dean Styles Hays-Elam, 79, of Auburn, Ala., died Saturday, September 1, at her home. She was preceded in death by her first husband of 25 years, Kirby L. Hays and her parents Mack and Ethel Styles. Mrs. Hays-Elam was an active member of First Presbyterian Church in Auburn where she was an Elder and member of the Burton Bible Class. She also served as Sunday school teacher, Circle Chairman, Youth Advisor, and Moderator of Presbyterian Women and many other various roles. She was born April 17, 1933 in Burnsville, N.C. She graduated from Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, N.C., in 1952 and received a bachelor’s degree from Maryville College in Maryville, Tenn., in 1954, where she remained to teach physiology and biology for two years. She received a master of science in zoology at Auburn University in 1958. She taught zoology at Auburn from 1958-1963 and from 1967-1969. She then took time off to raise her two daughters. She returned to teaching in 1984, and she was a beloved instructor of physiology. She retired in 1995. A highlight of her career was receiving an Outstanding Teacher Award in COSAM and two Outstanding Advisor Awards. A very special membership was that of the PEO Sisterhood. As a member of Chapter E, she served in many capacities. She was most proud of being past state president of the Alabama State Chapter from 1982-1983. She is survived by her husband of 16 years, Col. David L. Elam, USMC Ret. of Auburn; two daughters, Jane H. Fisher (Mark) of Auburn and Melanie L. Wright (Charles) of Sarasota, Fla.; and four beautiful grandchildren, Hannah and Trey Fisher of Auburn and Samuel and Camille Wright of Sarasota, Fla; two brothers, Lawrence Styles (Marjorie) of Asheville, N.C., and Vernon Styles (Jan) of Bakersville, N.C.; two sisters, Camilee Bennett (Johnnie) of Burnsville, N.C., and Wanda Gail Styles of Eufaula, Ala. She is also survived by three stepchildren: David Elam, Jr. (Mala) of Chapel Hill, N.C.; Nannette Canady (Merton) of Washington, N.C., and Jeffrey Elam of Duluth, Ga.; and four step-grandchildren, Daniel Elam of Northwestern University, Chicago, Ill.; Nathaniel Canady (Susan) of Grimesland, N.C.; Chief Warrant Officer Jacob Canady, Ft. Riley, Kan., and Elizabeth Elam of Greenville, N.C.
Sandra Bridges Newkirk, 74, of Opelika, Ala., passed away peacefully at Camellia Place on Aug 15. She was born in Columbus, Ind. A graduate of Purdue University and Indiana University, she came to Auburn University in 1966 as an instructor and intramurals coordinator for the Physical Education Department (currently the Department of Kinesiology). Sandra had a passion for athletics and was a driving force in developing and promoting women's athletics at Auburn University. She served as the first women's volleyball coach and was the first Women's Athletics Director as well as one of the first intramurals directors. Former Auburn University Athletics Director David Housel once said, "If there were a Mt. Rushmore of Auburn Athletics, Sandra Newkirk would be on it." She retired in 2005 after 40 years as an associate professor and academic advisor where she influenced, mentored and advised thousands of students pursuing careers in physical education, health promotion and exercise science. Her numerous awards and accomplishments include: founder and first president of the Alabama Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, or AAIAW; AAIAW Volleyball Coach of the Year (1978); Alabama Sports Festival State Honoree (1996); the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award (2005); and the Pamela Wells Sheffield Award (2006). Sandra was involved in numerous community activities: she was a rape counselor and a charter board member of the Rape Counselors of East Alabama, a member of Tiger Traders, secretary of the Auburn Diamond Club, a charter member of Women Inspiring and Nurturing Greatness in Student-athletes (WINGS), and was a mediator with the Lee County Judicial Volunteer Program. She also served as a bailiff for Lee County. She was a longtime member of Lakeview Baptist Church where she was involved in numerous church activities, such as Sunday school and the Food Pantry. On July 23, 2012, Sandra celebrated her 27th year of spiritual rebirth. Sandra is preceded in death by her parents, Orphie and Marjorie Bridges. She is survived by her husband, Dewayne Newkirk of Opelika, a son, Eric Wayne Newkirk (Donna) of Columbus, Ind., and granddaughter, Corrina. She is also survived by her brothers, Douglas R. Bridges (Vivien) of Unionville, Ind., Robert G. Bridges (Dotty) of Cincinnati, Ohio, John Stephen Bridges (Jenny) of New Zealand, Thomas J. Bridges of Indianapolis, Ind., and sister, Sandra Pelton (David) of Las Vegas, Nev., and many beloved nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.
Leadership Council member spotlight: Harold Zallen
The COSAM Dean's Leadership Council is a network of alumni and friends who believe in enhancing and promoting the sciences and mathematics mission of the college. One such individual is Harold Zallen, distinguished visiting research professor in Auburn University’s College of Engineering, who has been a member of the COSAM Dean’s Leadership Council since 1999. His life’s work has brought him myriad experiences and job titles including: civilian and military aviator; registered pharmacist; professor; department head, dean and vice president; research director; consultant; author; Army officer; and Department of Defense advisor. Despite his many titles, Zallen identifies himself as a chemist, and he and his wife, Eugenia ’53 (pictured with Zallen), established the Malone-Zallen Graduate Research Fellowship in Chemistry and Biochemistry. Additionally, at 86 years of age, Zallen is still spearheading major research projects. In fact, Zallen’s most recent research manuscript was published in the prestigious Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, volume 84: issue:1, 2012. The article is titled “Head-tilt and pilot fatigue measured by flight simulation,” and was written by Zallen, John E. Cochran, Jr., professor and head of Auburn’s Department of Aerospace Engineering, and Judith A. Bailey, an Aerospace Engineering master’s student at Auburn. To learn more about Zallen and his diverse career, click here.
Arboretum Days series in full swing
The first fall 2012 Arboretum Days event was held on Sept. 8 at the Donald E. Davis Arboretum. Arboretum Days is an approximately one-hour educational program designed for children ages 6 to 12 that features a nature-themed learning activity. The fall programs represent a series where each event builds on the next, however, programs can be attended separately. The final product of the series will be a permanent mosaic urn in the arboretum featuring diverse insect and leaf creations done by Arboretum Days participants.
The Sept. 8 event featured a brief look at the exciting diversity of the insect and plant world. Students created their own interpretations in clay.
During the second program on Sept. 29, participants will look at the clay beneath their feet and how it is turned into beautiful art and functional pieces. Students will then paint their pieces to go on the urn. The third program on Oct. 13 will feature the last creative process of putting the ceramic pieces onto a large urn that will sit near the entrance of the arboretum.
Pre-registration is required and space is limited. The fee is $2 per child, per program. To register, email your child’s name and age to email@example.com. Payment can be made on the day of the event at sign-in. For more information call 334.844.5770 or check the website.