Honors College Office of the Provost

Auburn’s New CEO Fellows Program

The CEO Fellows hopes to give students access to a wide-range of CEOs throughout the country and expand their view when it comes to leadership in the corporate world. The first five Honors College students selected to be a part of this program are Katie Burdine, Jacob Puckett, Ryan Smith, Megan Thompson, and Carson Word, and they could not be more excited about it.

Each of these students are in various majors that range from engineering to business, and one is even minoring in German. Most say they were drawn to the program due to its leadership aspect and ability to introduce skills needed in entry level jobs all the way to CEO.

Member Carson Word, states that he wanted to find an organization that would allow him to be involved in the Honors College specifically. Word, who is a civil engineering major, explains that the program also “allows [him] to have some business experience without adding a separate major or minor.”

This program is specifically designed to expand upon the students’ pre-existing leadership abilities. Ryan Smith explains that “by learning the methods of real business leaders” he is able to enhance these leadership abilities “as well as develop relationships with mentors to further encourage personal and professional growth.” In addition to the group having the opportunity to set up video conferences with the program’s founder, Jeff Cohn, they will soon be able to be partnered with a CEO of a major company who will act as a mentor to the student.

The program itself is partially online and partially in-person, with meetings held every other Wednesday. These meetings, run by Honors College Director Dr. Tiffany Sippial, typically consist of the group discussing their progress so far and the steps they have covered with their online materials. Currently, the students are working together to “come up with a solution within the Honors College” to enact positive change on Auburn’s campus says Katie Burdine.

When it comes to the plans these students have for the future of the Auburn CEO Fellows program, each sees a lot of opportunity for development and growth. The students are interested in helping the program advance, even after they complete the program, and encourage more Honors College students to become involved.

Without the Honors College, these students would not be able to experience a program like CEO Fellows. Along with this opportunity, the students feel as if even their educational experience at Auburn would have been drastically different. According to Jacob Puckett, the Honors classes allow him to “have a class of 20 instead of 120,” giving him a more in-depth education. Word agrees and adds that he appreciates the fact that he can be “around other students who think like you and who are able to help you out,” when added into those smaller Honors classes.

If you would like to know more about the CEO Fellows program and how to get involved, email Dr. Sippial (tat0004@auburn.edu) or visit the CEO Fellows website (https://ceofellows.com/).

Katie Burdine, Sophomore

Major: Supply Chain Management

Minor: German

Jacob Puckett, Freshman

Major: Chemical Engineering

Ryan Smith, Freshman

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Megan Thompson, Senior

Major: Marketing

Carson Word, Freshman

Major: Civil Engineering