Ralph Foster has been Director of the Office of Public Service since the unit was formed in 1993. He is the university's CEU Officer responsible for accreditation compliance for non-credit continuing education programs. A third generation alumnus, he has a BS in marketing from Auburn. Foster also received an MS in human resources from Troy University, and has additional study in adult and continuing education at the University of Georgia National Leadership Institute.
Foster joined the Auburn faculty in the University Outreach division in 1989. He is author or co-author of several published journal articles and book chapters on ethics, education, management and marketing, and served as a co-editor of the books Marketing University Outreach Programs and University Outreach: University Connections to Society. He is a Fellow of the Society for Advancement of Management, and is past president and director-emeritus on the society's international board.
Janie Brown graduated from the University of Alabama with a B.S. in Commerce and Business Administration majoring in Marketing and obtaining concentrations in Sales Management and Market Research. Janie has been with Auburn University since 2000. Before joining Auburn as a graphic artist, she served as a manager with Creative Services at the Opelika-Auburn News for nearly 10 years. Mrs. Brown offers graphic and creative support to all of Outreach's units and projects. Janie grew up in Auburn and continues to enjoy the area with her husband and daughter.
Katey Nelson graduated from Auburn University in May 2011 with a B.F.A. in Graphic Design. Originally from Mobile, Alabama, Katey came to Auburn seeking higher education and has since gained so much more. She currently provides information technology support to all departments within University Outreach in the areas of web design and maintenance, computer hardware and software solutions, and publication/poster design for Outreach sponsored events and conferences.
Karen Rankin provides information technology support to all departments within University Outreach in the areas of database management, computer hardware and software solutions and website administration. Before joining University Outreach in 1994, she worked in the departments of Chemistry and Botany & Microbiology. Karen has degrees in Business Administration and Management Information Systems.
Sarah graduated from the University of Phoenix with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management in 2007. She began working in 1983 with Auburn University, Life Sciences department, where she worked in different administrative capacities. She joined the Office of Public Service staff in 1993, shortly after it was formed. Sarah's responsibilities include administration of office management procedures, finances, payroll, and human resources. She coordinates and supports the Continuing Education (CEU) Program, records/transcripts, and registrations.
Megan Sawyer is originally from Tuscaloosa, Alabama and has recently earned her BA in Psychology with a minor in Civic Engagement & Leadership from the University of Alabama. During her time at UA, Megan worked with The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development on their Books for the Black Belt Project where she helped raise thousands of book donations for Alabama schools in need. In addition, Megan worked with UA’s Honors College to create a class centered around civic engagement in the Black Belt. Having gained an appreciation for community involvement and activism, she was inspired to serve with AmeriCorps VISTA to continue her work connecting students and community partners.
Joyce Thomas-Vinson Program Administrator, Student Engagement and Service Learning
Joyce Thomas-Vinson earned a Bachelor's degree in English from the University of Alabama. She came to Auburn University in 1994 as a Program Developer with the Outreach Program Office. She transferred to the Auburn University Department of Psychology where she served for ten years as the support services coordinator for Project Uplift. Joyce joined the staff of the Office of Public Service in July of 2008.