Nominee Bios 2016 for
Auburn University Senate
Rules Committee

Dr. Melody Russell is an Associate Professor of Science Education at Auburn University. She received her doctorate from the University of Georgia where her research focused on strategies for promoting the persistence of traditionally underrepresented minorities (URMs) in STEM. She also attained a M.S. degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Biological Science and B.S. degree in Laboratory Animal Science at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Dr. Russell's research interest focuses on equity and social justice in STEM and investigating strategies that promote pathways to STEM for both women and underrepresented minorities. Moreover, Dr. Russell's teaching interest emphasizes the critical role of culturally relevant pedagogy in promoting equity and social justice in science teaching on the K-12 level.

Currently, she is principal investigator for two National Science Foundation grant awards and her scholarly work has been published in peer refereed journals and presented at national and international conferences. In addition, to serving as a member of the Faculty Senate, Melody serves as Chair of the Department of Curriculum and Teaching Shared Governance Committee, member of the College of Education Shared Governance Committee, AU Climate Study for Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Committee, Faculty Grievance Committee, and Student Academic Grievance Committee. She is currently in her first term as Senator.

Traci O’Brien
is an associate professor of German in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.  She joined the AU faculty in 2006 after earning her doctorate at the City University Graduate Center in New York. Her research interests are both literary and pedagogical.  She has served on the Women’s Studies Curriculum Committee since 2009 and joined the Faculty Senate in 2014. In her department, she serves as Undergraduate Director for German, and on various committees as well, including: Department Guidelines, Merit Document and P&T, the Awards Committees (students and faculty), the Scholarship Committee.

Robert H. (Bob) Cochran
is a Lecturer (recently promoted to Senior Lecturer effective Fall 2016) in the School of Accountancy of the Harbert College of Business where he teaches Business Law, Advanced Business Law, Aviation Law and Introduction to Aviation. Bob has taught at Auburn since 2005. He received his BS in Accounting from Auburn University, an MA in Management from Webster College and a JD in Law from Cumberland School of Law of Samford University. He has been a Senator for four years, has served on the University Writing Committee, Rules Committee, University Undergraduate Advising Committee, Retention Committee and on various departmental committees.

Greg Schmidt is a Librarian III in the Special Collections and Archives Department at Auburn University Libraries. He received an MS in Sociology from Auburn in 2001 and an MLIS from the University of Alabama in 2007. He joined the faculty here in 2008. He is the Rare Books and Preservation librarian for the Libraries, serves as liaison to both the Department of Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work, and the Sustainability Minor. Mr. Schmidt has served in leadership roles in the Society of Alabama Archivists, including Vice President and President. He is in his first term as Senator and has served since 2014.

Last Updated:March 7, 2016

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