Award for Excellence in Faculty Outreach

The Auburn University Award for Excellence in Faculty Outreach honors the engagement of exemplary faculty members and demonstrates the tremendous impact Auburn's outreach has on our community, state, nation, and beyond. This award, and a $5,000 honorarium, is presented annually to one Auburn faculty member for distinguished outreach contributions which exemplify the qualities and purposes of reciprocal and beneficial community engagement, and which exceed expectations for the person’s career stage and job responsibilities.

2020 Award for Excellence in Faculty Outreach Recipient
Steven Brown, Department of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts

Steven BrownFor more than 20 years, Brown has devoted considerable time and effort to outreach programming. His impressive and well-documented outreach scholarship record contributes to his innovative teaching, meaningful research, and impactful service to Auburn and beyond. Through his nationally recognized traveling exhibit, “Alabama Justice: The Faces and Cases that Changed a Nation,” Brown has fostered civic education among countless Alabamians through his efforts to bring the display to them. The exhibit debuted in the RBD Library at Auburn in 2019 and has since traveled to the Vulcan Park and Museum in Birmingham, the Heflin-Torbert State Judicial Building in Montgomery, the Mobile Government Plaza, the Tuscaloosa Public Library, and the National Park Services’ George Washington Carver Museum in Tuskegee, as well as many public libraries around the state. Following its tour in 2021, the Alabama Supreme Court unanimously requested the exhibit be placed on permanent display at the State Judicial Building in Montgomery. Brown’s other significant outreach efforts include his involvement with the National Association of Election Officials, certification training for election and voter registration officials, OLLI and Elderhostel, and seniors’ education programs.

2020 Faculty Award Winners


Nominees should have distinguished careers in which outreach and community engagement play an integral part. All full-time Auburn faculty including those with extension appointments are eligible. Activities to be considered for this award should exemplify engagement characterized by collaboration, reciprocity and mutality, in fulfillment of the University Faculty Handbook (Chapter 3) definition of outreach as “the function of applying academic expertise to the direct benefit of external audiences in support of university and unit missions.” Specific criteria address the characteristics of the engagement within a community, needs addressed, mission compatibility, scholarship generated, and impact documented as defined below.

Application Process

The nomination packet should provide a commentary describing the scholarship involved in the outreach engagement achievements cited. Specifically, the commentary should include the following topics:

  • Description: Provide a brief overview of the nominee’s outreach record describing the scope of the nominee’s direct engagement within the community served including citations of collaboration, needs addressed, objectives, methods, target audience, etc.
  • Mission: How is the nominee’s outreach compatible with university and unit missions? How does this engagement integrate with and complement the teaching, research, and outreach mission of the unit?
  • Scholarship: Describe the role of the nominee’s professional expertise in the design and execution of the outreach. Describe how the outreach engagement demonstrates or tests the applicability of the nominee’s discipline to societal/human problems, requires integration with other disciplines, and/or generates new knowledge for the discipline. How has this been communicated to broader audiences?Has this led to increased recognition of the nominee’s professional expertise, as well as Auburn's reputation as an engaged university?
  • Impact: Describe observed impacts and/or explain any unobserved impacts that can be expected based upon other research and theory. Identify direct and indirect beneficiaries. How has the outreach engagement benefited the community, the university, the nominee’s department, and discipline? Provide any quantitative statements (program data, comparative indices, economic impact, etc.) illustrating impact.
Chair, Outreach Award Committee -

Previous Recipients

The bios and accomplishments of our previous recipients are provided below. Here, you can read about their engaged scholarship and dedication to improving the quality of life for all citizens. Their outreach includes technical assistance supporting Alabama industry; a national educational institute for persons with disabilities; application of innovative alternative energy technologies; support for government agencies and officials; and innovative teaching techniques for local schools. These are a few examples of the extraordinary contributions of Auburn faculty to society through the university's outreach mission.

Last Updated: October 28, 2020