Honors College Office of the Provost

Yvette Stone New Honors Advisor

The Honors College is thrilled to introduce our newest academic advisor Yvette Stone. Ms. Stone started earlier this week, and is excited to begin her journey with the Honors College at Auburn University!

Let's get to know Ms. Stone.

Name: Yvette Stone

Hometown: Gulf Shores, AL

Degree(s): M.A., History (Auburn University); B.A., History (Auburn University)

Why did you choose those degrees?

I always joke that History was my first love. I am an avid reader and as a kid I loved getting lost in detailed historical fiction. When I came to Auburn, I was not quite sure what I wanted to do career-wise, but I knew that I was going to major in History. I couldn’t imagine spending my time studying anything else. When I got to my senior year, I still was not sure which direction I wanted to go in after graduation, so I decided to stay at Auburn and earn my Master’s in History as well. During that time, I was a graduate teaching assistant and a tutor over in the athletic department. Both of those experiences led me into a career in higher education.

What brought you to the Honors College?

I started my career in higher education working as an academic advisor at the University of South Alabama. At South I got the opportunity to work closely with Honors College students and enjoyed every second. When an opportunity presented itself to return to Auburn and work with the astounding Honors students here, I jumped on it. I am thrilled to be here and can’t wait to get to know everyone.

Do you have any hobbies?

Most of the time you can find me reading or bingeing Netflix. I also love to travel. My husband and I try to find one or two fun destinations each year and we are also trying to visit all 50 states. Next on our list is the Pacific Northwest.

What are small things that make your day better?

A Coke Icee and any kind of donut. Also walking around campus and seeing students enjoying their university experience. I loved my time as a student at Auburn and I am excited to be back and close to the action!

Movies, TV, or Books- or all three? 

All three! In addition to reading and hanging out on the couch watching TV, I am the proud owner of the AMC refillable popcorn bucket and go to the movies all the time…mostly for the popcorn.

You'd be surprised to know that I can...

When chewing bubble gum, I can blow a bubble inside a bubble inside another bubble…aka a triple bubble.

What do you hope to accomplish here in the Honors College? 

I hope to be a resource to students during the entirety of their undergraduate experience. Being a student is a full-time job, and Honors students in particular have a lot on their plate. I want students to know they can come talk to me about their highs and lows and everything in between.

What are you most excited about working at the Honors College?

I am excited to be surrounded by students who are invested in their education and have an incredible curiosity about the world and their place in it. College is a transformative time and I am excited to be a small part of that process with Honors College students.

What advice would you give an Honors College student?

I would encourage students to take advantage of all the resources the Honors College has to offer. There are so many things to get involved with, whether that is undergraduate research, study abroad, internships, or community engagement. If I could go back and give my freshman self some advice, it would be to get involved in all of these opportunities sooner rather than later. Before you know it, graduation will be here!

Do you have a favorite Auburn memory/ or Auburn area memory?

Too many to count! Other than being a student during our national championship year in 2010 (War Eagle), one of my favorite memories is the West Virginia football game my freshmen year. It started to pour during the first half, and while the majority of the stadium left during the rain delay, almost the entire student section stayed. We stood for over an hour dancing to music and getting completely drenched. It was one of the best games I’ve ever been to—we were just enjoying being Auburn students and wanted to represent our team regardless of how wet we got (very).

Best way to contact?

I check my email constantly, so feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

Yvette Stone headshot

Getting to know: Adrianna Crossing

Adrianna Crossing is an Auburn University Honors College Alumna with a passion for fighting against social injustice, working closely with families, and learning through research. Adrianna is a doctoral student in the School of Psychology at Michigan State University that hopes to combine her passion of working with families and learning in a university setting. Her time as a student in the Honors College was an integral part of her educational journey.

Let's get to know Adrianna

Name: Adrianna Elizabeth Crossing

Degree: BA in Psychology

Graduation Date: May 2014

Current Title: Doctoral Student, School Psychology, College of Education, Michigan State University

Program Assistant, MSU Dialogues, Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, Michigan State University

Current Employer: Michigan State University

What brought you to the Honors College at Auburn University?

The Honors College at Auburn offered me an incredible support package that was unrivaled at any other institutions I applied to. I received individualized advising and guidance, a connection to an honors research mentor within my own department, an organization created specifically to support students who looked like me, and a competitive scholarship package. When it came time to pick where I would spend the first 4 years of my adulthood, it was a no brainer!

How did your Honors College experience shape your career path? 

I would day three honors experiences in particular were the beginnings of threads that are still prevalent in my life today. First of all, my first honors English class taught me that skating by like I did in high school was not going to cut it. I decided to take the same professor the next semester and fully commit myself to the readings, essays, discussions, and exams in a way that I had not before. That level of dedication to my studies prepared me for and propels me through my current doctoral program.

Second, my experience with Undergraduate Research made me into the budding social scientist I am today. I did research for almost three years at Auburn with a professor in the psychology field. If that isn't a testimony to the critical role of those experiences in my life, I don't know what is!

Lastly, I worked closely with Dr. Ken Thomas and many other students on Diversity in Honors while I was at school. Under his guidance, I learned to ask questions about the success of and barriers for diverse students. I have not taken a break from this work since we started in 2011. Recently, I was named to a social justice committee for my field's national organization, where I will continue to advocate for diverse students of all ages.

What advice or insight do you have for future and current Honors students?

Listen to your advisors and mentors! Take risks! There are opportunities I now have access to today because of a one-off conversation with an honors professor seven years ago. Support each other, study together, serve the community together, grow together. I am still close with almost all of my honors college friends, many years after graduation. These bonds can be for life!

What are your future career goals?

I will likely be some combination of university faculty and practicing licensed psychologist, whether that be a full-time clinician and an adjunct appointment, or a full-time tenure-track faculty position with a small caseload at a clinic. Working with children and families is a must, but I recently started considering adding teaching and research to that "career goals" picture. All of this time in school has nurtured a love of learning and research and I hope to return to academia as a professor so that I can create new spaces for learning and research for the next round of students.

If you could say thank you to the donor who helped fund your scholarship, what would you tell them?

My scholarship allowed me to use my existing college savings for graduate school, and to continue to save throughout college instead of spending it on tuition. As of 2018, eight years after I graduated high school, I am still student debt free. This is an incredible blessing that I do not take for granted for even one second, and I have my donor(s) to thank.

Were you part of any organizations in the Honors College? 

I worked closely with Diversity in Honors when I was at Auburn. The group of students that participated with me became like family to me. We still support each other's accomplishments and lend an ear whenever we can . I was also an Honors Ambassador, which was just a ton of fun! I loved meeting prospective students and families while working closely with our Honors College faculty and staff to coordinate recruitment efforts!

headshot of Adrianna Crossing

Honors Student Spends Summer Interning in Nepal and Fighting Exploitation

Lindsey Olive spent her summer trekking through villages nestled between breathtaking mountains while contributing to ethical business practices in a country plagued by exploitation from tourists. Through an internship with ethical company “Five14 Nepal,” Lindsey spent her summer in the villages of Nepal learning how to fight the exploitation locals face every day while contributing to businesses that promote ethical practices. She was able to learn through immersion; experiencing once in a lifetime opportunities such as paragliding while working towards a cause she feels passionate about.

 

Read about Lindsey's homestay trek, internship, and unforgettable experiences in Nepal in her own words.

Lindsey Olive in traditional Nepali dress
Lindsey in Nepal village with other interns and locals
Lindsey Olive on homestay trek through Nepal

Homestay trek

My favorite moments in Nepal were spent in homestays nestled into a valley of the Himalayas.  While trekking, we took water breaks and looked up to see snow-capped mountains while our guides played the ukulele and sang Nepali songs. We trekked across wooden bridges and ran from leeches and washed off in freezing cold mountain streams. At the villages, our time was often spent laughing over cups of hot ginger tea, fresh popcorn, and heaping piles of dal bhat. Every morning I woke up to breathtaking views of what I initially thought were mountains and would soon come to know them as only hills.  Our homestay trek was not only a great window into life of rural communities in Nepal; but was also a form of sustainable development for villages prone to exploitation.

Five14 Nepal battling "voluntourism"

During my time in Nepal, I traveled, stayed, and interned with an ethical business called “Five14 Nepal.”  Five14 is a group of businesses that operate with a purpose: to prevent all types of exploitation in the country.  Areas of Nepal are often susceptible to various forms of exploitation such as human trafficking, child labor, and corruption because of the lack of income-generating opportunities.  In order to combat this, Five14 operates to bring tourism development opportunities to vulnerable populations.

The topic of development strategies has been brought up several times in my Honors Hunger Studies and Global Studies classes.  Last fall, one of our problem-based learning cases in Hunger Studies focused on the dangers of “voluntourism.”  Often, tourists with good intentions travel to different countries looking for ways to give back to their host communities.  Due to the influx of travelers going on voluntourism trips, a multi-billion-dollar industry has been created to make travelers feel good about the positive change that they are supporting; when in reality, people are taking advantage of the tourism opportunities and creating another form of exploitation.  An example of this is called “orphan tourism,” in which (often unqualified) tourists visit orphanages and play with the children for a day.  If the orphanage is real and functioning, activities like this only serve to harm the children, emphasizing attachment disorders in consequence of the consistent arrival and departure of people who care for them.  What this also does is influence the orphanage to become more like a business—in which those in charge keep the environment in bad condition in order to gain more donations from the tourists.  In our Hunger Studies discussions, we talked about how important it was that tourists have specialized skills that are truly needed in the countries they are visiting if they are looking to volunteer.

Lindsey with group of interns and locals in Nepal village
top of a building in Nepal with colorful flags
Lindsey parasailing over Nepal

Wrapping up an unparalleled experience

The week I spent traveling through picturesque Himalayan valleys, the day I paraglided over the beautiful city of Pokhara, the afternoon I explored the jungles of Chitwan, and other once in a lifetime memories, all supported the end of exploitation in Nepal through my investment into an ethical business. My homestay trek brought income to the family that fed and housed me, supported the building of schools, and helped introduce new ideas and perspectives to the local people.

This summer was integral in understanding that both prevention and cure development strategies can be successful—if done thoughtfully.  It is no secret that most foreigners come to Nepal to experience their amazing adventure opportunities and famous hospitality. Travelers have to understand that by simply investing their money into the economy and responsible businesses, they create opportunities that truly benefit their host communities instead of ignorantly supporting exploitation and ineffective forms of development.

close up of monkey on Nepal streets
window of an airplane with Mount Everest in the distance
close up of elephant in Nepal

Story and images provided by Lindsey Olive.