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!