A message from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Nearly 12 months have gone by since I became the associate dean of academic affairs, and it has been a whirlwind of activity. I am now fully acquainted with all aspects of COSAM, and the college is busy and thriving.
Ten years ago, Saunders Hall was being torn down to make room for the new Sciences Center Complex, and I remember planning for “some growth” in the undergraduate labs. I don’t think we could have ever imagined what “some growth” would turn out to be. Just 10 years ago, the college had 2,344 students. Last year’s incoming class included 824 new COSAM freshmen, bringing COSAM’s undergraduate student enrollment to 3,022, which combined with the graduate students (362) gives a total student enrollment of 3,384. It’s amazing how COSAM has grown. The incoming class still leads the university in average GPA (3.89) and, once again, has the second-highest average ACT (27.3). Based on the quality of the incoming freshmen, I certainly believe we can expect big things from this class.
I am happy to report that COSAM students continue to excel. The college swept the Phi Kappa Phi Susan Stacey Entrekin Yates Scholarships this year, and COSAM students have been nationally competitive with a Barry M. Goldwater scholar, a Gates Cambridge scholar, and two Fulbright scholars. A full 53 percent of COSAM students graduated with honors and an astounding 22 percent were Honors College Scholars last spring. Beyond Auburn, COSAM graduates are still sought after, matriculating to professional schools at rates far above the national average and all the while receiving nationally competitive scholarships. COSAM alumni are also accepted to graduate schools at rates far exceeding the university average. Of course these are just continuing trends, and it really illustrates how bright and hardworking our students are.
Student Services had an exciting year. With a series of advising awards at the local, regional and national levels (see story on page 9), I know our students are in great hands and are receiving the professional guidance they deserve. Student Services also welcomed two super people to the advising staff in Kristin Smith and Anna Burchett. I’m sure they will do a terrific job in the years to come. It is with regret that I inform you of the retirement of Regina McGinty. She was the “first contact” in Student Services for so many of you during the last 17 years. While she will be missed, she does promise to visit.
We have such an intelligent, hardworking group of students, and there are a lot of talented high school seniors who want to come to Auburn and join COSAM. I have contacted many high achieving out-of-state students who wish to come to Auburn, and your support of COSAM scholarships makes it possible for them to join the Auburn Family. I encourage you to support COSAM’s scholarship program in any way possible so we can continue to recruit the best and brightest from Alabama and beyond. There are really fantastic students out there who would like to take advantage of all COSAM has to offer. Your gifts can make that happen. For those who have contributed in the past, let me thank you. Your efforts have built the foundation for what we have. For more information on providing scholarship opportunities, contact the COSAM Office of Development at 334.844.2931.
Camp War Eagle is one of the highlights of my position. I have the opportunity to talk to students, and not a camp has gone by when a parent hasn’t said, “Hey, do you know professor so-and-so?” It really warms my heart that alumni remember us and want to send their sons and daughters here for that Auburn experience.
It has certainly been an eye-opening year for me, and I like what I see.
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs