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.

Getting to know: Dr. Tiffany Sippial

A love of Latin American culture, world travel and a great cup of coffee are just a few traits that describe the newest member of the Honors College staff, Honors Director Dr. Tiffany Sippial. With the beginning of fall semester just around the corner, the Honors College is excited for the future as Dr. Sippial charts a course towards creating an environment where Honors College students not only achieve academic success, but honor their dreams in the process.

Let's get to know Dr. Sippial

Name: Dr. Tiffany Sippial

Hometown: Huntsville, Texas

Degree (s): Ph.D., Latin American History (University of New Mexico); M.A., Latin American Studies (University of New Mexico); B.A., Spanish (Southwestern University); B.A., Art History (Southwestern University)

Why did you choose those degrees?

I fell in love with my region of study (Latin America) before I fell in love with a specific discipline. Pursuing an M.A. in Latin American Studies was the perfect fit for me, as it allowed me to stay broad in my approach to Latin America before I decided to define myself as an historian. Being an historian allows me to draw upon all of the tools and approaches to research and learning that I developed over the course of my undergraduate and graduate studies. Historians look to art, literature, archeology, political science, and foreign language sources in their work, and that is what makes it such an exciting and rewarding field.

What brought you to the Honors College?

I have had the great pleasure of leading two Honors Study and Travel groups to Cuba and have taught a variety of Honors classes over the course of my eleven years at Auburn. My interactions with Auburn’s Honors students have always been wonderfully enriching and rewarding, as have been my interactions with the amazing Honors College staff. When the opportunity arose to continue my work with the Honors College as the director, I was thrilled. I could not be more excited about the future of the Honors College.

Do you have any hobbies?

I am the proud parent of a wonderful four-year-old boy, so I have acquired some new hobbies as a result—most of which revolve around toy trains, cars, trucks, and anything motorized. Travel is still my favorite thing in the world, and I try to make time to read fiction as often as possible.

What are small things that make your day better?

Small things that make my day better are a great cup of coffee, a phone chat with a friend or loved one, and having a few minutes of quiet time to write. I also love connecting with a current or former student to hear about his or her most recent adventures and accomplishments!

Movies, TV, or Books – or all three?

I love all three! I thank my father for encouraging my love of movies and both of my parents are avid readers. A great weekend for me includes some reading during the day followed by gathering our favorite snacks and sitting down to watch a great movie--which is often animated these days—in the evening.

You’d be surprise to know that I can …

Sing the names of all 50 states in alphabetical order in under 30 seconds.

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

My vision for the future of the Honors College centers on increasing the number and variety of research and internship opportunities available to our students. We are hard at work on our new marketing materials, so be sure and be on the lookout for what we have in store for our current and future Honors students!

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

Our incredibly talented students are the heart of our program, and I am dedicated to helping them achieve their dreams. The Honors College students motivate our staff to be and do our very best and we are definitely up for the challenge.

What advice would you give to an Honors College student?

Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone! The Honors College offers our students so many exciting opportunities for research and internships, service engagement, and domestic and international travel. If travel to a foreign country seems daunting, for example, use your time in the Honors College to conquer that fear and learn something new about yourself and the world in which we live. You won’t regret it!

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

I have so many great memories related to Auburn University that it would be hard to remember just one. I have to say, however, that walking into Cater Hall on my first day as director ranks pretty high!

Best way to contact?

I am always available by email, no matter where I am in the world. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about the Honors College experience. My office number is 334-844-5810 and my office hours are: Mondays, 8:30-9:30 am and Thursdays, 2-3 pm. I look forward to hearing from you!

Tiffany sippial in her office

Sippial Named Director of Honors College

Tiffany Sippial, associate professor of history in the College of Liberal Arts, has been named Auburn University’s director of the Honors College, effective July 1.

A scholar in the field of early and modern Latin America, Sippial brings more than 11 years of experience as a faculty member and administrator to the role. In addition to serving as director of graduate studies in the Department of History, Sippial has also completed prestigious fellowships with the Southeastern Conference’s Academic Leadership Development Program, the HERS Leadership Institute and was the university’s Presidential Administrative Fellow in 2017.

As director of the Honors College, Sippial will lead the unit’s distinguished academic programs, including a highly-developed curriculum and the university’s prestigious scholars program, and will continue to facilitate partnerships with faculty to offer innovative academic and research experiences. Working with academic units across campus, Sippial will advance the college’s mission of fostering intellectual development and promoting student engagement.

“Auburn’s Honors College plays a critical role in strengthening our academic community,” Sippial said. “Going forward, it is important that our students continue to have distinctive academic experiences that not only support Auburn’s mission and culture, but also challenge them to take advantage of opportunities for advanced learning, discovery and service."

* Segment of story, taken from official Auburn University release.

Read the full article in the Auburn University newsroom.

Headshot of Tiffany Sippial new_websize

Reuben Moguel New Honors Advisor

The Honors College is thrilled to introduce our newest academic advisor Reuben Moguel. Mr. Moguel started earlier this week, and is excited to begin his journey with the Honors College at Auburn University.

Let's get to know Mr. Moguel.

Name: Reuben Moguel

Hometown: New Brockton, Alabama

Degree (s): B.S. Sports and Fitness Management with a Minor in Business, MSEd Teaching and Learning

Why did you chose those degrees? I enjoy sports. I grew up playing sports and really wanted to find a degree option that would allow me to be around sports within a business setting and sports management was perfect. That degree has afforded me so many opportunities that most people will never get a chance to experience and I’m grateful for that. My MSEd (master's of science in education) is one in which I really wanted to explore being able to teach at some point in my life. Teachers are special people that get to have the opportunity to touch young lives and help encourage students to pursue their dreams.

What brought you to the Honors College? Several things brought me to the Honors College. The opportunity to work at a great institution, to be closer to family, and to be able to work with highly motivated students that are in pursuit of their goals and dreams!

Do you have any hobbies? Yes, I love to travel, read, and watch movies.

What are small things that make your day better? Seeing and hearing about people doing what they love to do. Hearing student’s talk about what they are passionate about and why. My brother William is a high school football coach and he truly loves his job. My sister Lauren is a 3rdgrade teacher at an international school in Germany, and she loves being a teacher. So when I hear stories from them, or see student’s in action, it is a very good feeling and makes me smile. Being around people who love to laugh and have good energy makes each day great!

Movies, TV, or Books – or all three? Mostly movies. I enjoy reading and TV is usually hit or miss.

You might be surprised to know that I ... know how to judge meat. I was on a meat judging team in high school with the 4-H program.

What do you hope to accomplish here at the Honors College? I hope to bring in another point of view for the students to be exposed to from my traveling experiences and from the many different jobs that I have had the opportunity to learn from.

What are you most excited about working at the Honors College? I am most excited about being able to interact with students whether it be in a classroom setting, community outreach, orientation, or out and about on campus. Also, being able to work with fellow advisors on making sure that the students have every opportunity to have an amazing college experience.

Why advising? I started advising in order to have a more hands on approach to working with students and helping them navigate their way through the college experience. My good friend Katie Cross who is an amazing academic advisor at the College of The Albemarle in the Outer Banks, encouraged me to pursue advising along with another friend Chris King who had experience in advising. So I said why not and let me see how many lives I can touch in a positive way!

Do you have a favorite Auburn memory ?  No, I don’t have any specific memories tied to the Auburn area since I grew up south of here. I do however look forward to building new relationships, making new memories, and seeing where this journey takes me!

Best way to contact? Email: ram0093@auburn.edu

 

headshot of reuben moguel

Mattox Awarded as Outstanding Advising Administrator

Kathie Mattox, associate director for the Honors College, recently received the "Outstanding Advising Administrator Award," during the 6th Annual Provost Advising Awards Ceremony.

These awards are given to nominees that exemplify qualities such as interpersonal and human relations skills, professional practices, documented success and documented advisor development.

Mrs. Mattox has served the Honors College for 30 years with professionalism, dedication, and a love for her staff and students.

In her nomination packet an advisor wrote, “Ms. Mattox does all of these amazing things with humility and grace. She shies away from any credit and is quick to say that things are accomplished as a ‘team.’ She is a fearless and unabashed advocate for her staff and treats all of us with respect. She makes the office a better place each day and creates a work environment that is supportive of new ideas, fresh perspectives, and collaboration. It has been a true honor working with her each day and I have learned so much about how to be a good leader through her example.”

Mattox received her bachelor of arts in interior design and graduated with high honors in 1977 from Judson College. In 1993 she received a master of science in human development and family studies from Auburn University. Employed with Auburn since 1981, Mattox was associated with the Office of Public Service and research and the Dean's office of Arts and Sciences, where she first became involved with the Honors College in 1987. She has previously served the Honors college in the positions of Graduate Teaching Assistant and Assistant Director.

When asked her proudest moment at Auburn University, Mattox replied "it was in 2009, when a permanent endowment that supports student travel and undergraduate research for Honors College students was established in my honor."

Congratulation Mrs. Mattox!

Kathie Headshot News Image in Circle

Honors Graduate Finalist for Gates-Cambrige Scholarship

Kaylee McCormack, a spring 2017 Honors College graduate who received a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering, has been selected as finalist for the Gates-Cambridge Scholarship. McCormack is one of 90 students nationwide out of an applicant pool of nearly 1,000 who has been invited to interview for the 40 available scholarships. 

A native of Palm Bay, Florida, McCormack graduated with a near-perfect 3.96 grade-point-average. While at Auburn, she conducted undergraduate research under the direction of Dr. Michael Squillacote, associate professor emeritus in the Department of Chemistry. Her undergraduate research explored viable methods to form 1-thia-3,4-diazolidine-2,5-dione (TDAD) based polymers that photodegrade to common gases to be used as photoresists.

Currently, McCormack is a Fulbright Scholar at the Technical University of Denmark working in the lab of Professor Anker Jensen where she is improving a kinetic and mathematical model of the deactivation of industrial catalysts for methanol to formaldehyde oxidation.

If awarded the Gates-Cambridge scholarship, she will pursue a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering where she will work under the supervision of Professor Alexei Lapkin using electro-catalysis for carbon chain growth as a method of sustainable energy storage.

The selection criteria for Gates-Cambridge Scholars include: outstanding intellectual ability; leadership potential; a commitment to improving the lives of others; and a good fit between the applicant's qualifications and aspirations, and the postgraduate program at Cambridge for which they are applying. McCormack will interview in Seattle, Washington on Friday and Saturday, January 28 – 29, 2018.

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship was established in October 2000 by a donation of US$210m from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the University of Cambridge. The Gates-Cambridge Scholarships are awarded to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge.

Auburn University has had three Gates-Cambridge Scholars (all Honors College graduates) since the program’s inception: Cyndee Carver-DeKlotz (2002); David Harris (2011), and; Paul Bergen (2013).

Headshot of Gates-Cambridge Finalist Kaylee McCormack

Cary Curtiss New Honors College Advisor

The Honors College would like to introduce our newest advisor - Cary Sockwell Curtiss. Ms. Curtiss was previously with the Office of the Registrar and is thrilled to begin working with all of our Honors College students.

Let's get to know Ms. Curtiss:

Name: Cary Curtiss

Hometown: Birmingham, Homewood area

Education: Received her bachelor’s degree at Auburn with a double major in Anthropology and Philosophy.  Ms. Curtiss received her master’s degree at UT Austin in Asian Cultures and Languages with a focus on India.

Why did you decided to go to school at Auburn? Like many students, I really wasn’t sure what to do. I knew Auburn had a great reputation. Auburn helped me find my path, and the professors and classes I took played a big role in it.

What brought you to the Honors College? I found the magic of learning in college, honestly I really got into it and enjoyed it. I think the love of education is what the Honors College is all about it. Previously I was working in the registrar’s office. There I learned how the university worked, but it was more of a practical / logistical side of things. I'm excited to refocus my work and embrace my love of education.

Do you have any hobbies? Reading and knitting. Prior to working at here at Auburn University I owned a knitting store in Opelika. I also enjoy bicycling and want to do more gardening and cooking. My favorite type of food is Indian, or really any spicy ethnic foods in general.

What are small things that make your day better? People who are happy to be where they are.

Movies, TV, Books? I'm a reader and my favorite book is "Ahab’s Wife" by Sena Jeter Naslund (Alabama author), it is simply beautifully written.

 What is the most impressive thing you know how to do? Personally I think opening my own business and running it for three years before selling.

What do you hope to accomplish here at the Honors College? From my previous job with the registrar’s office, I already know about policy and process – what I am excited to learn more about is the student focused front end.

What are you most excited about working at the Honors College? Working with the students and being able to know them and be part of their success.

Favorite Auburn memory.  Just so many. I had an excellent experience with the philosophy department. I was able to get to know professors outside of class. Also I would have to say my first study abroad program I took here at Auburn. That class really shaped everything else I have done academically.

Best way to contact? Email / cary@auburn.edu

circle headshot of Cary Curtiss