Student Services News


Auburn University’s Rural Medicine Program establishing quality healthcare in underserved Alabama areas

In Alabama, all but five of the state’s 67 counties are on the federal list of medically underserved areas, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Sciences. Thirty-eight of those counties lack hospitals with labor and delivery service, and eight Alabama counties do not have hospitals at all. As a land-grant institution dedicated to increasing the quality of life for Alabama citizens, Auburn University is committed to helping place primary care physicians in the areas that need them most. The Rural Medicine Program is a partnership with the University of Alabama School of Medicine, or UASOM, with the goal of addressing and combatting the pressing need for more primary care physicians in rural areas of the state. Students in the program must be Alabama residents who have lived a minimum of eight years in a rural area of the state and are committed to returning to rural Alabama to begin their primary care practice after completing their training.


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Chase Richburg selected COSAM’s 2017 Summer Graduation Marshal

Chemistry major Chase Richburg, the son of two Auburn University graduates, was selected to be the 2017 College of Sciences and Mathematics Summer Graduation Marshal. Richburg will graduate from the Honors College with a 3.96 GPA and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. “I always wanted to go to school at Auburn, and it's the only place I applied,” said Richburg. “I'm really an Auburn man, through and through.” During his undergraduate career, a bike wreck led him to conduct research with Byron Farnum, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The wreck resulted in major dental repairs, and Richburg’s dentist happened to be Farnum’s wife. Richburg mentioned he was interested in conducting undergraduate research, and she connected him with her husband.


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Honoring the best: COSAM outperforms the rest at Phi Kappa Phi awards ceremony

The Auburn University Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi held the annual initiation and awards ceremony at the end of spring semester. Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, Phi Kappa Phi is an honor society that recognizes and promotes academic excellence in all fields of higher education and engages the community of scholars in service to others. Of the 10 awards bestowed at the 2017 ceremony, COSAM students received five. “As its core mission, Phi Kappa Phi promotes the love of learning and excellence in all elements of academic scholarship,” said Jack Feminella, associate dean for academic affairs. “The three Susan Stacy Entrenkin Yates awardees, the Most Outstanding Senior Scholar, and the Jewel Golden Eubanks Scholarship, all received by COSAM students, beautifully exemplify this description. Not only are the student honorees outstanding performers in the classroom, but they are also budding research scholars and unselfish service providers to others on and beyond campus. We are extremely proud of each of them."


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Claire Zhang and William Mills receive Andrew C. Connor Memorial Award

Recent undergraduate mathematics students William Mills and Claire Zhang were named co-recipients of the Andrew C. Connor Memorial Award. The award was established by friends and relatives of the late Andrew C. Connor and recognizes the most creative undergraduate student(s) enrolled in math classes. The late Andrew C. Connor, also known as “Andy” to friends and family, dedicated a great portion of his professional life trying to prove the Poincare conjecture. In fact, in his final days battling cancer, Connor contacted mathematics colleagues at Auburn and asked them to join him in Birmingham so he could show them his proof.


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COSAM to present Comer Awards

The Comer Medal was established in 1923 by former governor Braxton Bragg Comer to recognize the most outstanding student in the natural sciences. Beginning in 1924, a single medal was given annually until 1970, when it was decided that two medals, one in the physical sciences and one in the biological sciences, would be awarded each year. In 1989, it was decided that a third Comer Medal would be presented each year to a student in the field of agriculture.


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Celebrating Achievement with Tradition

The COSAM Honors Convocation recognizes outstanding student and faculty achievement. The 2017 ceremony was dedicated to retired Professor of Biological Sciences Stephen Kempf. During ceremony, more than 250 students and faculty were honored, including all freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior students who have maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Also recognized were the Dean’s Medalists, Outstanding COSAM Graduate Teaching Assistants, the Outstanding COSAM Faculty Advisor, the Outstanding COSAM Teacher, Comer Award recipients, the President’s Award recipient, the Student Government Association Award recipient, and Outstanding Juniors from each of COSAM’s five departments.


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Alpha Epsilon Delta provides students with a deeper understanding of the health professions

As the premier honor society for students interested in pursuing careers in the health professions, the Auburn chapter of Alpha Epsilon Delta provides an opportunity for students to become educated about the doctoral and allied health professions, from the responsibilities and daily routine of various health care providers, to how to become a competitive applicant to professional schools. In addition, Alpha Epsilon Delta strives to promote a service-oriented atmosphere among its members and encourages students to engage in various community service and volunteer activities.


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Meet COSAM Graduation Marshal Abigail Gauthier

For COSAM Graduation Marshal Abigail Gauthier, a double major in biomedical sciences and Spanish, meeting the healthcare needs of the Hispanic population is both a goal and passion. “My mom immigrated to the United States from Columbia when she was a little girl, so a lot of my family is bilingual, so it’s very important to me to be formally trained in the Spanish language and to explore that part of my heritage,” said Gauthier. “My family integrated pretty quickly, but I want to help people who may be struggling more than they did. I think that immigrants face a really big challenge in a monolingual healthcare system, and I think it’s something that a lot of people don’t realize or don’t talk about, and it’s really important. It’s a need that I could help alleviate if I worked really hard. Just being able to communicate with someone in their native language is really important to help them feel more comfortable, and because trust is such a huge part of medicine, it is important to me to make them feel as comfortable as possible.”


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COSAM recognizes talent with Dean’s Research Awards

“The strength of COSAM lies in its faculty and students,” said Dean Nicholas Giordano. “The Dean’s Research Awards are a celebration of the many outstanding achievements of this talented group.” For the 2016-2017 academic year, the following received Dean’s Research Awards: Jason Bond, professor and chair of the Department of Biological Sciences; Edward Burress, doctoral candidate in the Department of Biological Sciences; Asanka Jayawardena, doctoral candidate in the Department of Physics; Phillip Pearson, master’s student in the Department of Biological Sciences; and Claire Zhang, undergraduate student in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. The dean also recognized Mark Liles, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, with the COSAM Young Faculty Scholar Award.


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COSAM’s Director of Pre-Health Professions, Beverley Childress, received the 2017 Women of Distinction Administrative and Professional Staff Leadership Award

COSAM’s Director of Pre-Health Professions, Beverley Childress, received the 2017 Women of Distinction Administrative and Professional Staff Leadership Award, given by the Auburn University Women’s Center. The award honors outstanding female leaders in the Auburn community and recognizes Childress for her accomplishments, leadership, and the ways in which she serves as a role model for her colleagues and students.


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COSAM students study abroad in Swaziland, South Africa


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COSAM student, granddaughter of COSAM supporter, helps capture Auburn Oak arsonist

Herron Taylor, junior in biomedical sciences, has received praise from Auburn fans across the nation for helping capture the man accused of setting fire to one of the Auburn Oaks following the Auburn and LSU football game on Sept. 24. Surveillance footage from Toomer’s Corner shows Taylor confronting the man, now identified as Jochen Wiest, after he allegedly set fire to toilet paper hanging from the Magnolia Avenue tree. “My boyfriend and I were posing in front of the tree for a picture while another person took a photo of us,” said Taylor. “Then my boyfriend said, ‘he just lit the tree on fire!’ So, I turned around and sure enough, there was a guy with a lighter in his hand and flames going up the tree. Then he just casually walked back to his group of friends standing around like nothing had happened.”


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Rural Medicine Program students receive white coats, begin Auburn University studies

The 2016 entering class of the Rural Medicine Program were awarded their first clinical white coats as part of an initiation ceremony at the East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika. The Rural Medicine Program is a pre-matriculation year at Auburn University for students who were raised in rural Alabama and will go on to attend the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine following the year’s completion.


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COSAM welcomes new faculty and staff

Quality faculty and staff allow the college to build upon the already-stellar reputation and strengths of a COSAM education. Our faculty and staff offer the intellectual capital upon which strong programs, innovative research, and student success are built. As we embark on a new academic year, the college would like to extend a warm welcome to the newest members of the COSAM family.


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COSAM’s chemistry graduate program ranked fourth in the nation

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry’s graduate school program was listed as the No. 4 program in the country on the 2016 Top Chemistry Graduate Programs rankings that were recently released by GraduatePrograms.com. Each year the website publishes top graduate school rankings, which are compiled based on student and alumni feedback in areas such as quality of instruction, student diversity, campus safety, and earning potential.


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Professional school acceptance rates soar for Auburn students

Students in the College of Sciences and Mathematics at Auburn University are consistently accepted to medical school at a rate that is more than 30 percent higher than the national average. Additionally, acceptance rates of Auburn students to optometry and dental schools are at 85 to 100 percent almost every year. The reason for these long-standing statistics has much to do with Beverley Childress, pre-health professions director for the College of Sciences and Mathematics. For more than 19 years, Childress has mentored, guided and established programs for Auburn students who have a desire for a career in healthcare.


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Meet COSAM’s Graduation Marshals for the 2015-2016 academic year, Austin Bush and Taylor Young

Austin Bush and Taylor Young represented the College of Sciences and Mathematics at the fall 2015 and spring 2016 commencement ceremonies, respectively. Student marshals are selected by an awards committee from each college. To be considered, students must have completed a minimum of four semesters at Auburn University with a scholastic average of 3.40 (graduating Cum Laude) or higher and possess qualities of leadership, citizenship, character and promise of professional ability.


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COSAM recognizes top students at Honors Convocation

COSAM recognized top students and faculty at the annual Honors Convocation, which took place on April 23 in the Auburn University Student Center Ballroom.


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Wendy Hood selected as Outstanding Graduate Mentor

Wendy Hood, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, is one of six faculty members from across the university to be selected as an Outstanding Graduate Mentor by the Graduate Student Council.


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COSAM junior named Barry M. Goldwater Scholar

COSAM junior Natasha Narayanan has been chosen as a 2016 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar, an honor bestowed to only 252 students nationwide this year. The scholarship is widely considered the most prestigious award in the United States for undergraduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Narayanan is an Auburn University Honors College student who is double majoring in biochemistry and Spanish (College of Liberal Arts). She has conducted two undergraduate research projects, both under the direction of Bradley Merner, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. As part of the first project, she worked to incorporate a chemical modification into antisense therapeutics drugs, which may lead to better treatments for genetic diseases. Her second research project relates to medicinal chemistry, which she hopes to apply to the synthesis of a natural product known as haouamine A, a product that has shown selective anticancer activity in human colon carcinoma cells.


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Campbell nominated for Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

Stephanie Campbell, a double major in animal sciences and microbial, molecular and cellular biology, has been nominated for the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.


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COSAM advisor receives Outstanding Advisor Award

Meredith Jones, advisor in the College of Sciences and Mathematics, has been selected to receive the annual Auburn University Outstanding Advising Award - New Advisor Category.


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Student Space Program receives NSF funding to design, build and launch satellites

With a National Science Foundation grant secured by Auburn University faculty, undergraduate students at Auburn will design, build and test two CubeSat satellites that will launch into space in 2018.


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Feminella named COSAM’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Jack Feminella, professor and chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, was appointed to succeed Vince Cammarata as COSAM's associate dean for academic affairs.


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Flipping the Classroom: A new way to teach

Auburn University's College of Sciences and Mathematics is "flipping the classroom" as part of an innovative way to teach Auburn students through a newly constructed Engaged in Active Student Learning, or EASL, classroom. Working with the Office of the Provost, the college is leading Auburn's effort on the unusual design since all Auburn students must take core classes in the college prior to graduating. "In contrast to traditional classrooms where faculty teach 'at' students, often in stadium-style rooms, this room was designed to encourage teacher-student interactions, and student-student collaborations, two aspects which are known to lead to improved learning outcomes," said COSAM Dean Nicholas Giordano. "COSAM faculty spent many months preparing to use the EASL classroom as effectively as possible in their teaching, and the new space was ready to use at the beginning of the fall 2014 semester."


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COSAM advisor receives NACADA Excellence in Advising Awards

The National Academic Advising Association selected Anna Burchett for a 2015 Region 4: Excellence in Advising award. The award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated qualities associated with outstanding academic advising of students.


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COSAM sophomore’s presentation earns top honors at regional conference

If Natasha Narayanan’s performance at the 2014 Southeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society is any indication of what lies ahead in her academic and professional career, she is headed toward a consummate future. Narayanan, a COSAM sophomore and Honors College student majoring in biochemistry, gave an oral presentation titled, “Streamlined Chemical Synthesis of Tricyclic Nucleic Acid Analogues for Antisense Technology” during the undergraduate symposium portion of the conference. In recognition of both her research and eloquence, Narayanan’s talk was selected as the best oral presentation in the organic chemistry division out of 60 total presenters.


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COSAM Welcomes new student advisor

COSAM’s Office of Student Services welcomed a new academic advisor this month, Meredith Jones ’12. She received an undergraduate degree from COSAM in biomedical sciences and then attended Clemson University where she received a master of education with a focus in counselor education. “While I was a student, I worked for COSAM as a peer advisor. That was when my career path began to take a major shift; no longer did a future in dentistry excite me, but working with students gave me a new perspective and caused me to begin researching graduate programs that focused on higher education and student affairs,” said Jones. “On the first day of graduate school, our professors told us that 'no one ever gets their dream job out of grad school.' I, however, did! I am so excited to return to The Plains and to be working for the office that sparked my interest in advising!” In addition to serving as a COSAM Peer Advisor while she was an undergraduate, Jones was also an orientation intern for COSAM, a role that positioned her to advise incoming students on academic-related matters, such as curriculum and course scheduling, as well as a COSAM Leader. The COSAM Leaders are a group of exemplary COSAM students who serve as the official ambassadors for the college.


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Two from COSAM receive NACADA Excellence in Advising Awards

The National Academic Advising Association selected Elizabeth Yarbrough, Ph.D., and Kathryn Milly West for 2014 Region 4: Excellence in Advising awards. The awards are presented to individuals who have demonstrated qualities associated with outstanding academic advising of students. Yarbrough, who is the director of student services for COSAM, is the recipient of the NACADA Region 4 Excellence in Advising: Advising Administration award. She also received the Certificate of Merit of the Outstanding Advising Award - Academic Advising Administrator, which is a national recognition.


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Auburn University offers students intensive study-abroad and research opportunities in Costa Rica

Auburn students interested in an intensive study-abroad program in one of the world’s most lush and adventure-filled locations can take advantage of the Organization for Tropical Studies, which owns and operates three biological field stations in Costa Rica: La Selva, Las Cruces and Palo Verde. OTS is a non-profit consortium that includes 63 universities and research institutions from the U.S., Latin America and Australia. Auburn University is the only school in the state that is a member of OTS, and since joining the consortium in 1987, Auburn students have had access to educational, research and funding opportunities in Costa Rica that are not available to non-member institutions.


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Three from COSAM named top 20 finalists for Miss Auburn

Three COSAM students were among the top 20 finalists for Miss Auburn: Alexis Jackson, microbial, cellular, and molecular biology; Tori Jones, biomedical sciences; and Ana Burcham, cellular and molecular biology. Jackson also serves as a COSAM Leader, an exemplary group of students who serve the college as official ambassadors.


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Students study wildlife in Swaziland

“Warning!” reads the course description, “Mega-mammals, crocodiles, snakes, thorns, baboons, etc. may be abundant at many of the sites. Please be very careful!” The course, Field Biology and Ecology, provides one of the latest study abroad opportunities offered at Auburn University. Last summer during the inaugural course, 10 Auburn students ventured to Swaziland and South Africa for a once-in-a-lifetime, hands-on, research experience, guided by Biological Sciences professors Troy Best and Michael Wooten.


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Plant Gene Expression (BIOL 5320/6320) to be offered in Spring 2014

A four credit hour course in Plant Gene Expression (BIOL 5320/ 6320) will be offered during 2014 spring semester on Tue and Thu afternoon from 3.30 to 4.45 PM . This is a an undergraduate / graduate level course that will be offered every alternate year. This course does not have a laboratory component associated with it.


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Donnan conducts physics research in Germany and gives presentation at international conference in Scotland

Physics senior Patrick Donnan made his mark as an academic elite when he was chosen as a 2013 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar, an honor bestowed upon approximately 300 students nationwide each year. The scholarship is widely considered the most prestigious award in the United States for undergraduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. Ever eager for more knowledge and experience in the realm of physics, Donnan, who is also pursuing a bachelor’s degree in music, spent the summer working in Dresden, Germany, at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems under the guidance of Thomas Pohl, leader of the Complex Dynamics in Cold Gases unit.


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Donnan named a 2013 Goldwater Scholar

Patrick Donnan, an Auburn University Honors College student double-majoring in physics and music, has been chosen as a 2013 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar, an honor bestowed only to approximately 300 students nationwide each year. The scholarship is widely considered the most prestigious award in the United States for undergraduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.


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2012 - 2013 COSAM Leaders announced

The COSAM Leaders are an exemplary group of students who serve the college as its official ambassadors.


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COSAM student takes first place at SEC championship tournament

The fifth-ranked Auburn women's golf team won the Southeastern Conference Championship on Sunday, April 22, and Patricia Sanz, a senior in biomedical sciences, won the individual title at the championship tournament.


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Society for Conservation Biology update

Members of Auburn University’s chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology, or SCB, participated in an invasive species cleanup project on April 22, in honor of Earth Day (pictured). Participants worked in Auburn to eliminate privet and other nuisance plants that were choking out native species.


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Long-time faculty member recognized for excellence

Lawrence Wit, associate dean for academic affairs for the College of Sciences and Mathematics, has been selected to receive one of two, 2012 Gerald and Emily Leischuck Endowed Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award is a prestigious honor which recognizes those faculty members who demonstrate effective and innovative teaching methods, and a continuing commitment to student success through advising and mentoring inside and outside the classroom. The award carries a $10,000 stipend for each recipient. Emeritus senior administrators, Gerald and Emily Leischuck, established the endowment in 2005 to recognize the university’s teachers, and Auburn presented the first Leischuck Endowed Presidential Awards the same year.


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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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COSAM Appoints New Associate Dean

Vince Cammarata, associate professor of chemistry, was appointed to succeed Larry Wit as COSAM's associate dean for academic affairs. Cammarata, who is an analytical chemist, received his Bachelor of Science from California Institute of Technology, his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and conducted post-doctoral work at the University of Minnesota.


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Auburn University senior awarded Fulbright Scholarship to study in Germany

Paul Bergen, a senior in COSAM double majoring in microbiology and German, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Germany for the 2012-13 academic year. At the Technical University of Munich, he will continue to pursue his research in microbiology."Paul is an inquisitive and engaging young man with a range of interests and activities that go well beyond the lab and range from the study of German politics, culture and language to being an active member of Auburn's nationally recognized mock trial team," said Paul Harris, associate director of the Auburn Honors College. "He will gain so much from his classes and interactions with German students and faculty and he will represent himself, Auburn University and the United States with distinction.


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COSAM junior is 'Ballin' for Books'

Blanche Alverson, junior in biomedical sciences and guard on Auburn's Women's Basketball team, has been named to the 2012 Southeastern Conference Women's Basketball Community Service Team. This is the second consecutive year Alverson has earned the honor. Alverson founded her own community service project this year, "Ballin' for Books."


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