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Perspectives Magazine Fall 2023 20th Edition

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Ways to change the world
Fall 2023
College of Liberal Arts alumni and friends,
The value of a liberal arts degree goes beyond preparing an individual for the workforce or continued education. The College of Liberal Arts is founded on the importance of service, leadership and creativity that spans across fields, evidenced by our variety of programs and the diverse career paths our alumni walk each day.

Our graduates inspire others, lead for the future and exemplify what it means to be part of the Auburn Family. With the 2023 edition of Perspectives, I invite you to celebrate how our students, faculty, staff and alumni have leveraged their Auburn experiences to make change, serve others and pursue their dreams.

Dean Hicks Signature
Jason Hicks Dean, College of Liberal Arts

Baileys do it better: Five siblings earn eight degrees from Auburn University

baileys do it Better 5 siblings 8 degrees all auburn typography
If you’ve been on Auburn University’s campus in the last decade, there’s a good chance you’ve run into a Bailey.
Charlotte Tuggle

or 10 years, five siblings – Harlan, Kayla, Jakobi, Jordan and Diani Bailey – have excelled at Auburn. Each has their own story, made lasting changes to Auburn and graduated as successful alumni.

Harlan, Kayla, Jakobi, Jordan and Diani Bailey holding up fingers for which number sibling they are and went to Auburn with blue sky and trees in background

Legally Bella: Isabella Dee ’23 enrolled at Harvard Law School

Legally Bella
Isabella Dee ’23 enrolled at Harvard Law School
Charlotte Tuggle & Brandon Etheredge
When law and justice graduate Isabella Dee applied to Harvard Law School, she told no one. She thought she might lose $85 for the application fee and 15 minutes for the interview but surprised herself – and everyone who didn’t even know she applied – when she was accepted.

ll my friends call me ‘Legally Bella’ now, and everybody’s been so funny about that,” Dee said. “Harvard was more of a ‘why not?’ It was never really a reality. Finally, the confirmation email comes in, and it just hits me and I’m like, ‘This is so surreal.’ Never even in my wildest dreams did I picture this for myself, which kind of makes it all the more special.”

Dee grew up on a family farm in Aliceville, a small town in west Alabama where everyone knows everyone. She graduated high school with 20 other students, then traveled to Auburn University’s bustling campus with more than 30,000 students to start her journey to law school.

After graduating in May and moving to Cambridge, she said all of Aliceville is cheering her on to the next chapter.

Protecting with purpose: Alex Moore’s path from Auburn to international diplomacy

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Alex Moore’s path from Auburn to international diplomacy
Weston Ball
From the heart of the Plains to the war-torn streets of Beirut to the beaches of Normandy, retired special agent and political science alumnus Alex Moore’s ‘80 life has blended commitment and courage. With Auburn serving as the launching pad for a journey that spans the globe, Moore, now an author, reflects on his career with pride.
Photo credit: Jaycie Smith

oore’s connection to Auburn runs deep, embedded within a family tradition that spans generations.

“We’re an Auburn family,” said Moore. “My sister graduated from Auburn, and I never considered another place. My son went to Auburn, and my nieces and nephews went to Auburn, so it’s always been Auburn.”

Inspired by a trip to the FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., as a kid, Moore studied criminal justice, located in the Department of Political Science at the time. As he advanced through the program, Moore’s mentor and Auburn Mayor Donald Hayhurst encouraged him to explore public service as a city councilman.

“I wanted to be in law enforcement,” said Moore. “After talking with Professor Hayhurst, he convinced me to run for the Auburn City Council. That set me on a different path toward public administration.”

The legacy begins with me title
Sherry Potts ’23 earns political science degree at 70 years old
Charlotte Tuggle & Brandon Etheredge
Sherry Potts, a Lanett, Alabama, native and first-generation Auburn graduate, knows it’s never too late to finish your education.

f you apply yourself, things are possible, and it does not matter what background you come from,” Potts said. “If you use your God-given talents, you can achieve whatever goal you set for yourself. I set my goal at graduating from Auburn University. That’s what I wanted to do, and even at 70 years old, I am super proud that I was able to accomplish that goal.”

Potts is a great-grandmother and retired state employee who returned to Auburn after nearly 50 years to finish her political science degree. She took her first credits at Auburn in 1973, after she transferred from Southern Union State Community College, and left early to enter the working world.

For more than a decade, she worked as a driver’s license examiner and test administrator at the Alabama Department of Human Resources and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. Her work took her across the state, to offices in Opelika, Lanett, Phenix City, Lafayette and more, before she retired in 2012.

The Event Troupe founder Amanda Piper ’91 celebrates Auburn Family after daughter beats cancer

Amanda Piper and daughter Taylor embracing and smiling
The Event Troupe founder Amanda Piper ’91 celebrates Auburn Family after daughter beats cancer
Public relations alumna Amanda Piper shares a special bond with her daughter, Taylor. This fall, Piper dropped her daughter off at Auburn University, her alma mater, and into the arms of the Auburn Family.
Charlotte Tuggle

iper’s return to the Plains with her daughter marked not only a milestone, but the end of a challenging road.

“Everything that happens, I’m loving Auburn and everything that it does,” Piper said. “I think our story shows the power of Auburn as family, the power of the degree that gives you confidence to do anything you set your mind to, and the love of lifelong friends from Auburn who supported us both through difficult times.”

When Taylor was 14, she was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. Piper’s nonprofit event management career was put on hold, and she focused on being her daughter’s full-time caretaker.

Jaimi Tapp ’91 keeps the world moving through Atlanta

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Keeps the world moving through atlanta
More than 100 million passengers will visit the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport this year. Director of Operational Readiness Activation and Transition (ORAT) and Auburn Aviation alumna Jaimi Tapp’s job is to make sure each one moves through the airport without issue.
Charlotte Tuggle & Brandon Etheredge
Jaimi Tapp standing on the bridge of an overpass

Thinking outside the box: Ben Rivers ’96 delivers what matters through creativity at UPS

Thinking Outside the Box title
Ben Rivers ’96 delivers what matters through creativity at UPS
Charlotte Tuggle

lobal shipping giant UPS is known for delivering packages, but its story is made up of so much more than brown boxes and packing slips. Ben Rivers ’96, a visual arts alumnus from Auburn University, delivers that story across channels, around the world, as the vice president of creative services.

Rivers’ Auburn journey started with a visit to a friend on the Plains, during which he made a snap decision to apply after falling in love with Auburn’s campus. His connections to Auburn have aided him through his career and persist as he leads the creative campaigns of a Fortune 50 company.

Mark Winne headshot at newsdesk

Tough on crime

Mark Winne ’13 combines education, investigation at WSB-TV

For almost 40 years, Mark Winne has broken some of Georgia’s biggest stories as an investigative reporter for WSB-TV in Atlanta. But his own story, one that spans decades of crime, corruption and charity, started at Auburn.
Charlotte Tuggle

inne covers crime across Georgia, holding the powerful accountable as one of the most trusted voices in the state. From the halls of the capitol to the criminal underbelly, Winne has reported on it all.

“Other people might say it keeps me off the streets,” Winne said. “In my case, it keeps me on the streets.”

Winne’s first major story came when he was an Auburn student working part-time at The Birmingham News. He and a photographer received word of a hand sticking out of the trunk of a car, and they drove around the city until they found it — their chase ended with the rescue of a kidnapping victim.

people before product
Maegan Moguel ’10 brings cultural experiences to Red Bull consumers
Charlotte Tuggle
From the Atlanta Falcons to Porsche to Red Bull, Maegan Moguel has managed multimillion-dollar accounts, national brand deals and sold-out music performances. But it isn’t about the names or the profits for the Auburn public relations graduate, it’s about the people.
PR with purpose
Jackie Jags ’08 supports ‘excellence wrapped in kindness’ at Chick-fil-A
Charlotte Tuggle & Brandon Etheredge
Eat more chicken. “My pleasure.” Above and beyond customer service. Chick-fil-A is known for many things, and Auburn public relations alumna Jackie Jags works every day to share not just the company’s chicken sandwiches, but its culture of care with the public.
The Greater Good

For good: Brandon Wilson ’02, Missy Burchart ’92 awarded Silver Anvil for making change at Wilbron

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Brandon Wilson ’02, Missy Burchart ’92 awarded Silver Anvil for making change at Wilbron
Charlotte Tuggle
Wilbron Inc.’s Brandon Wilson, founder and CEO, and Missy Burchart, chief operating officer, just took home the top prize in public relations: the coveted Silver Anvil Award. What set them apart from their competition is Wilbron’s “for good” approach. If a project doesn’t improve the world in some way or change life for the ordinary person, they won’t take it.

Auburn for all: Journalism senior Noah Griffith advocates for accessible athletics experiences

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Journalism senior Noah Griffith advocates for accessible athletics experiences
Charlotte Tuggle
Noah Griffith, an Auburn University journalism senior, has already made a name for himself in sports journalism. After writing a transformative column focused on accessibility issues in Neville Arena, significant changes were made to the seating policy — supporting Auburn students with disabilities by making athletics experiences more accessible.
Khari Lee barefoot sitting on a large tree

Soul music: Khari Allen Lee ’02 brings jazz performance to Tutwiler Prison

Soul Music
Khari Allen Lee ’02 brings jazz performance to Tutwiler Prison
Charlotte Tuggle & Brandon Etheredge
Eric Waters photography

hari Allen Lee – Auburn alumnus, Walt and Ginger Woltosz Endowed Professor of Practice in the Department of Music and former Daniel F. Breeden Eminent Visiting Scholar in the Arts and Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts – performed a once-in-a-lifetime concert in fall 2022 through the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project (APAEP).

In a small chapel within the walls of the Tutwiler Prison for Women, Lee led a group of women incarcerated there in gospel songs, soul music and a moving chorus of “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers.

Roy sitting in chair and having foot inspected at TBI camp

Community of Care
Bright Ideas TBI Camp provides help, hope for traumatic brain injury survivors

Roy didn’t know what to expect from the Bright Ideas TBI Camp at Auburn University. A grandfather, retired engineer and Auburn alumnus, he visited the camp after a traumatic brain injury (TBI) from an accident affected his memory.
Charlotte Tuggle

t the camp, Roy said he felt like a “rock star.”

“I haven’t had this much attention in years. People are supportive, they answer questions, they help you out. You’re not treated like a number,” he said. “You’re treated like somebody. Frankly, that’s what you come to expect from Auburn, is that level of attention.”

As a participant of the Bright Ideas TBI Camp, Roy spent three days this summer at Auburn connecting with students and faculty across campus to help identify and address ways to improve quality of life following a traumatic brain injury.

TBI survivors receive testing, therapy, recommendations, referrals and tools, while caregivers receive legal advice, nutrition guidance, support services and mindfulness counseling.

Auburn helps Selma University preserve past, build future with campus restoration projects

Selma University has stood for more than 100 years, but only recently was it named a historic site after the help of Auburn University faculty. The public history program in the College of Liberal Arts, led by Draughon Associate Professor of Southern History Keith Hébert and Hollifield Associate Professor of Southern History Elijah Gaddis, works to preserve and support Selma’s story through restoring campus to its former glory.
Charlotte Tuggle
The Alabama Historical Commission connected Selma University President Stanford Angion with Hébert after he requested help in getting Selma named to the National Register of Historic Places. Placement on the register is a requirement for most National Park Service (NPS) grants which support the preservation of historic places.

Hébert wrote the nomination at no charge to Selma University, “just to help out.” Angion said it was the start of a long-term relationship between the two universities.

Group of young people smiling comforting and smiling with eachother

Auburn Eating Disorders Clinic

Psychological sciences researchers provide evidence-based treatment to students, community
Charlotte Tuggle

ating disorders are among the deadliest psychological disorders, and close to 30 million Americans struggle with one over their lifetime. Treatment for anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and other disorders are a critical step to recovery.

Researchers in the Department of Psychological Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts are working to provide and improve life-saving treatment through the Auburn Eating Disorders Clinic (AEDC).

The AEDC, located in the Psychological Services Center on Auburn’s campus, provides evidence-based services to treat clients who struggle with disordered eating and body dissatisfaction. Associate Professor April Smith and Assistant Professor Tiffany Brown co-direct the clinic.

Collaborate and Create

The Event Troupe founder Amanda Piper ’91 celebrates Auburn Family after daughter beats cancer

Teil and Erika M Powell
Liberal Arts, Human Sciences alumnae release beach-themed collection
Charlotte Tuggle
Auburn alumnae Teil Duncan Henley ’10 and Erika Powell ’03 combined creative talents to transport consumers to the beach through a collection of coastal-inspired textiles.

Henley, an art alumna, is a celebrated painter skilled in blending realism with abstraction through light, movement and color. Her collections are well-known for portraying life through the lens of feeling and perspective.


hroughout her career, Henley has worked with Christian Siriano, Abercrombie & Fitch, Anthropologie and more. She was drawn to work with Powell for the opportunity to create immersive art spaces that people could literally live in.

“As an artist, it fuels my artwork to look at beautiful spaces in the home, so I wanted to make something that is worthy to go in a beautiful setting like that,” Henley said. “I just thought how fun it would be to dive into the textile world and do something off the canvas. To see your art, to be engulfed in your own artwork, to see it fill a room is so exciting to me.”

Powell graduated with a degree in interior design and minors in international studies and business from Auburn in 2003. Her firm, Urban Grace Interiors, has completed design projects across the country and in 2018, Powell expanded her work to textiles, featuring hand-painted design patterns on fabric.

A stunner, haunted, profound
Gabrielle Bates shares excerpts from critically acclaimed book
Introduction by Weston Ball
poetry excerpts by Gabrielle Bates

abrielle Bates ’13 is a rising figure in the world of poetry. With Bates’ debut collection, “Judas Goat,” receiving critical acclaim, her place as a prominent voice in modern poetry is solidified. Bates shares excerpts from what the Library Journal calls a “thrillingly bold” book, containing 40 poems that “plumbs the depths of intimate relationships and conjures encounters with figures from scriptures, domesticated animals eyeing the wild and mothering as a shapeshifting, spectral force,” published by Tin House.

“Judas Goat” was featured as a New York Times “The Shortlist” pick, a Chicago Review of Books “Must-Read” and was the “Most-Anticipated Book of Winter” from Vulture.

Bates shares the inspiration behind the book and excerpts from “Judas Goat”:

Geneva Willis ’16 manages Hollywood’s TV magic in post-production

Fix it in Post title
Geneva Willis ’16 manages Hollywood’s TV magic in post-production
Weston Ball

hile Larry David, Sir Patrick Stuart and Quincy Isaiah may take the spotlight in critically acclaimed television shows such as “Curb Your Enthusiasm, “Star Trek: Picard” and “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty,” it’s the people behind the scenes that tell their story in a creative way.

Theatre and media studies alumna Geneva Willis ‘16 serves as a post-production coordinator for HBO, working on some of Hollywood’s biggest projects. As a post-production coordinator, Willis’ team oversees the tasks that one wouldn’t see on set, including music, visual effects and subtitles.

Things you didnt know you didnt know podcast season 5

‘Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know’ from Hollywood to holidays

Brandon Etheredge

he “Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know” podcast has returned for its fifth season with host Brandon Etheredge, director of multimedia services in the College of Liberal Arts. The podcast, which garners regular listeners across six continents, continues to explore the important research happening across the college. Season five topics include mental health, current events, history and holidays.

As strikes broke out across the entertainment industry, three Auburn experts explained the intricacies of the labor dispute and gave their insight on how and when the strikes would end.

CLA Books & Albums

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Microbial Machines: Experiments with Decentralized Wastewater Treatment and Reuse in India

Microbial Machines: Experiments with Decentralized Wastewater Treatment and Reuse in India

Kelly D. Alley headshot
Kelly D. Alley Alma Holladay Professor Emerita of Anthropology
Starting in 2004, members of governmental and non-governmental organizations, science institutes and private companies throughout India began brainstorming and experimenting with small-scale treatment systems that could produce usable water from wastewater. Through detailed case studies, “Microbial Machines” describes how residents, workers and scientists interact with technology, science and engineering during the processes of treatment and reuse. Using a human-machine-microbe framework, the cases explore people’s sensory perceptions of water and their on-site solutions to water scarcity.
Dean with alums at tailgate
Kick six with Dean Hicks
Carrie with alums at tailgate
AU logo with power stripe
It has been great seeing our CLA Auburn Tiger fans at the Kick Six with Dean Hicks tailgate this season!
Huntsville and Washington DC
Cla in your city
CLA is coming to your city this spring
If you’re an alum in Huntsville, Alabama, or Washington, D.C., check your mail for an invitation to join Dean Hicks and celebrate the Auburn Spirit.
Fall 2023, 20th edition
Dean, College of Liberal Arts

Jason Hicks

Director, Communications, College of Liberal Arts

Wendy Bonner

Editor and Senior Writer

Charlotte Tuggle

Creative Direction and Art Design

Adriene Simon

Video Production and Multimedia

Brandon Etheredge

Web Strategy and Development

Sean Henderson

Contributing Writers

Weston Ball

Contributing Photos and Video

Luke Kraemer
Auburn University Photographic Services

Cover Design and Edits by Adriene Simon
Auburn University is an equal opportunity educational institution/employer.