Remembering Bettye Burkhalter

Photo of Bettye B. Burkhalter, former Vice President of Student AffairsFormer Auburn University Vice President and Associate Provost Bettye B. Burkhalter, 75, of Gordo, Alabama, passed away Thursday, May 4, at DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa after a long battle with ALS.

Burkhalter retired from Auburn in 2000 as vice president and associate provost and professor emerita. She was a University of Alabama alumna and held five degrees including two doctorates. As a graduate faculty professor in Auburn’s College of Education, she also served as special assistant to the vice president for research; director and professor of the Auburn University Economic Development Institute; and associate provost for assessment and quality improvement and academic affairs.

Her career began as a teacher in the classroom and moved into leadership positions within the Birmingham City School System. In 1978, she became part of the Auburn Family. Professionally, she was recognized with numerous prestigious awards both nationally and internationally through her work at Auburn. Many of the awards were for pioneering new programs and concepts that expanded the horizons and approach to education.

She loved Auburn University and the town of Auburn, affectionately known as the “loveliest village on the Plains.” Contributions to the community were impactful through her participation on the Auburn Industrial Development Board. The Economic Development Institute at Auburn University was developed by her and became a springboard for many collaborations and partnerships stimulating economic development through partnerships within education, business, industry, government and communities.

She was particularly proud of her contribution to the space program when she was contracted by the governor’s office to develop curriculum for Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. This is one example where her creativity and hard work created a legacy that will continue to impact generations to come.

Her research had an international audience and was translated and disseminated in over 22 countries. Being elected as a lifetime Bettye B. Burkhalter and the Student Communication Board.member of the International Academy of Astronautics in Paris, France, was one of her most cherished achievements.

Post retirement, she wrote a three-volume series of creative non-fictional books telling the story of her ancestors and the pioneers that built the foundation of America.

Although she was a business woman with a teacher’s heart that made countless contributions, her greatest legacy is her impact on her family. As a mother and grandmother, she taught her daughters and granddaughter to be independent, confident and successful women. She loved her family immensely and was always there in whatever capacity was needed.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Shiloh Free Will Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, P.O. Box 1022, Gordo, Alabama 35466.

by Charles Martin, Office of Communications and Marketing

Student Government Association introduces the first Creed Week

AUBURN UNIVERSITY- The Auburn University Student Government Association created a new tradition, Creed Week, from Feb. 27 through March 2, 2017. The week was started in conjunction with Student Affairs Office of Student Conduct in order to celebrate the history and spirit of the Auburn Creed, as well as promote what it really means to “Be the Creed.”

Each day of the week is dedicated to different lines from the Creed. SGA partnered with organizations across campus to plan coordinating events and activities.

Monday, Feb. 27, marked the first day of Creed Week, promoting lines in the creed that highlight the importance of hard work and the value of education. SGA passed out free scantrons, a commonly used test-taking tool, on the concourse throughout the day.

The week continued on Feb. 28, promoting lines of the creed that focus on maintaining a sound mind and sound body. SGA promoted maintaining a “sound mind” by passing out bubble wrap on the concourse to encouraging students to “Pop Their Problems.” Along with this, the Be well with Active Minds’ Be Well Hut was on the concourse handing out buttons with messages from the Creed. Group Zumba on the Student Center green space and group yoga later in the afternoon encouraged a “sound body.” The day concluded with an Auburn vs. Samford baseball game in Plainsman Park, where students could receive a free hot dog with their Creed Week stickers.

Wednesday, March 1, was dedicated to lines of the Creed encouraging obedience to the law and valuing the human touch. SGA gave students a chance to “Sit Down, Make A Friend” with the Auburn Police Department and Campus Police on the concourse. To showcase the importance of human touch, the students were given a chance to spin the wheel of kindness on the concourse.

March 2 was dedicated to believing in “my Country… doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God,” which was supported by “Thank A Vet” day on the concourse. Students were invited to write letters to deployed alumni with ROTC, Silver Wings, Auburn alumni and student veterans.

The week ended on Friday, March 3, highlighting the line: “I believe in Auburn and love it.” The day featured a tailgate with the WEGL 91.1 team and Tiger Dining on the Student Center green space. A petting zoo on the green space followed.

“This year’s Creed Week was a great success,” said Jennings Bowden, SGA executive vice president of Communications & Marketing. “The first year of any program has many challenges and sometimes barriers, but the Creed Week directors in SGA did a phenomenal job planning and executing a great week. We are excited use feedback and things we learned this year to improve upon things for the future.”

In 1943, George Petrie, Auburn University professor and first football coach, wrote what he believed to be the ideals of the Auburn Family. His Creed became one of Auburn’s most sacred doctrines and outlines what it means to be an Auburn man or woman.

For more information and future SGA events, please visit the Auburn SGA page:

Written by Grace Fabyan

Auburn University Student Affairs Faculty Members Recognized by NASPA

AUBURN UNIVERSITY- On Jan. 20, 2017, three members of Auburn University Student Affairs faculty received NASPA awards, two of which were awarded at the 2017 National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Region III Alabama Drive-In Conference in Birmingham, Alabama. NASPA is a national association for the advancement, health and sustainability of the student affairs profession.

Tess Gibson, coordinator for Parent and Family Programs, is this year’s recipient of The Rising Star Award. Gibson received the award at the NASPA Region III Alabama Drive-In Conference. This award recognizes a new professional with no more than four years of experience in Student Affairs. The recipient must “demonstrate initiative, contribute to the programs that address the needs of students and institutions, creates campus environments that promote student learning and personal development and contribute work that supports advancements of student support in higher education,” according to the NASPA website.

“I am continually learning from meeting colleagues in NASPA and from reading articles published by the organization,” said Gibson. “I would say learning the best practices has helped shaped my office and the services I am able to provide.”

Shannon Cantlay, graduate advisor for Leadership and Service, is this year’s Future Leader Award, an award which is only awarded to one graduate assistant from the entire state of Alabama. Cantlay received her award at the NASPA Region III Alabama Drive-In Conference, as well. Cantaly was recognized for her intentional and effective work with Parent and Family Programs this past summer as well as for her continued work in Leadership and Service programs in the Office of Student Involvement.

“NASPA has definitely played a role in my development as a student affairs practitioner,” said Cantlay, “by affording me the opportunity to present at conferences, listen to amazing speakers, and learn from colleagues and mentors.​”

Troy Stephens Jr., advisor for Greek Life, is this year’s New Connections Stipend winner which covers his registration fees for the 2017 NASPA conference in San Antonio, Texas. It also provides him with $500 reimbursable funds which may be used for food, travel and lodging during the conference. Stephens expressed his excitement for the opportunity to travel to a new city and be among like-minded people in his field for five days.

“NASPA has provided me with the road map for how I do my job,” said Stephens, “all of my work is associated with NASPA Core Competencies.”

The organization works to ensure student affairs professionals are current on trends in higher education. Their work provides high-quality professional development, advocacy and research for 15,000 members in the United States. NASPA holds the Region III Alabama Drive-In conference to bring together student affairs professionals from across the state with the goals of learning from each other and discussing critical issues impacting the student affairs field, as well as fellowship with the new and established colleagues.

For more information about NAPSA or future NAPSA events, visit the website at

Written by Grace Fabyan

Student Spotlight: Justin Smith

Meet Justin

Justin Smith is the newly elected Vice President of Auburn’s Student Government Association. He was born and raised in Auburn and is a junior studying chemical engineering and political science. Outside of SGA, he has been involved in the International Buddy Program, a social fraternity and is currently a co-host for WEGL radio show.

Why did you want to be SGA Vice President?

Serving as a senator for the College of Engineering last year gave me a lot of exposure to the role of the vice president and the responsibility the position demanded, which is to work in the interests of the student body. Before deciding to run for election, I believed I was capable of executing this role and fulfilling its mandate to serve Auburn University.

How did you get involved with SGA?

I was involved in student government at my high school, so naturally the SGA here on Auburn’s campus was always an organization that interested me since my freshman year. It was during my sophomore year, however, when I reached out to a student from my high school, who was also a senator at the time, on what steps I should take to get involved. Later that year, I was selected to run on a ticket as a senator for the College of Engineering and our ticket ended up winning all seats for the next term.

What are your goals for your term?

As SGA Vice President, one of my biggest goals this year is to introduce and pass meaningful legislation that represent the students’ voice and their interests here on campus. Collectively, among all the executive SGA officers, this year we want to focus our efforts in these main areas: improving our campus dining, promoting students’ academic success, increasing student engagement and reshaping the gameday experience.

What are the specific jobs you do as Vice President?

Here at Auburn, the Vice President’s primary role is to serve as the President of the Student Senate. In this capacity, I oversee all bills, resolutions, or other legislation that come through the senate during my term. Beyond the Senate, I also serve several University committees, including academic affairs, core curriculum and academic standards.

How did you decide to come to Auburn?

I was attracted by Auburn’s engineering program. Coming out of high school, I knew I wanted to get into a good engineering program, but I was also aware of the fact that I wouldn’t be able to afford any schools that were too expensive. Auburn offered the best balance of prestige and affordability from among the other colleges and universities that accepted me.

What do most people not know about you?

Most people don’t know that I’m kind of a linguistics hobbyist. I really enjoy learning about other languages and how they’re related or how they contrast from each other.

What are your hopes for after graduation?

After graduation I hope to work in the energy sector, either corporately within the industry, or for publicly for the government. I’m particularly interested in the legislation and laws behind the regulation of natural gas processing, nuclear power and renewable energy endeavors.

Written by Hayley Wright


What’s Your Green Dot?

WE.auburn is Auburn University’s Green Dot Bystander Intervention initiative aimed at reducing sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and stalking/harassment. Since October 2015, we have been hosting presentations and trainings on how we, as active and courageous bystanders, can safely intervene (a green dot) when we see a signs of a potentially dangerous situation or behavior (a red dot).

Now we want to hear from you—what is YOUR green dot moment? When have you reacted in a situation and safely intervened OR engaged in a proactive behavior that demonstrated the importance of WE.auburn? Submit your green dot moment to be entered to win a pair of BeatsX earphones or one of three $100 vouchers for non-expiring Tiger Dining money!

Directions: Using the following form, describe your most important green dot moment since October 2015 in as much detail as possible without including personally-identifying information. By completing this form, you are consenting for us to use your submission (without your name) for marketing and program evaluation purposes. Please remember that this submission is intended to collect stories of bystanders, not those of victims/survivors or perpetrators.

Tell us your story here:

AU Alert: Campus Closed 4/5

April 5 Weather Update

Auburn University will suspend normal operations from 1:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5 due to severe weather concerns. The forecast currently indicates that there may be several rounds of severe weather, so please be prepared for possible storms throughout the day.

Tiger Transit will not operate on Wednesday. Limited campus dining venues will be open for on-campus residents. Check the campus dining app or for information on open venues.

All students and employees are encouraged to prepare NOW for the severe weather that is forecast tomorrow.

  • Make sure your cell phone number is registered with AU ALERT. Use the link on the My Campus tab in AU Access to access your AU ALERT profile. Family who want to receive alerts can text “Follow @AUALERT” (without quotations) to the number 40404.
  • Have a plan on where you will seek shelter.
    • If you live on campus, locate the designated severe weather shelter areas in your building.
    • For those who live off campus and don’t have a suitable place to seek shelter, if a Tornado Watch is issued for the Auburn area, Draughon Library and Greene Hall (on Wire Road at the College of Veterinary Medicine) will be open.
  • Monitor the weather. Go to your shelter area before severe weather arrives. Don’t wait for a warning to take action, as it may be too late to get to a safe place.

For more information about severe weather preparedness, visit or

Student Spotlight: Ashley Moates

Meet Ashley

Ashley Moates is a junior studying communication disorders for speech pathology from Smithville, Georgia. She has been involved in the Auburn University Singers as vice president, the All for Auburn Freshman Leadership Program as assistant director and several honors societies on campus. Through her experience with All for Auburn FLP, the director and Moates decided to continue working to promote inclusion on Auburn’s campus by founding All for Inclusion, an organization for which Moates now serves as president.

What in your time at Auburn made you want to run for Miss Auburn?

By serving as a member and later the assistant director of the FLP that carried out Miss Auburn’s platform, I saw the impact Miss Auburn could have on campus. I also got to know the past Miss Auburns and really looked up to them. I loved seeing their passion for the university and their platform.
In addition, I just love Auburn and wanted to serve. I came to Auburn University from out of state and was the only student to come from my high school, but Auburn me with open arms. I have found the most wonderful community and have grown and learned so much during my time here. My time at Auburn has given me a love and a passion for this university, which made me want to give back to it in whatever way I can.

What does it mean to you to be Miss Auburn?

Words cannot express what it means to me to be Miss Auburn. The purpose of Miss Auburn is to serve as the official hostess of Auburn University. She is a female ambassador, representing the university internally to the student body and also externally to the outside community, alumni, and prospective students. I was (and still am!) truly humbled to be selected by the student body for this position. It is a huge honor to have the opportunity to represent a place I love so much, and it means so much to me that my peers believed in me and thought I could do it well. I could never put into words how much this honor means to me.

Can you explain your platform and how you hope to implement it this year?

My platform comes from my intense passion for people with disabilities that I have had for almost 20 years now, ever since my younger sister, Anna, was born with Down syndrome. My platform, AUsome Dreams, is one that focuses on making Auburn-related dreams come true for people with disabilities. Whether it’s leading a cheer with the Auburn University Cheerleading team at a basketball game, riding a horse alongside an Auburn Equestrian team member or singing and dancing with the Auburn University Singers, my goal is to make their Auburn dream come true. This also contributes to my goal of promoting awareness of people with disabilities by having them on campus more and increasing interactions with them. I want students to realize that people with disabilities are more like you and me than we realize, and that their disability is only a characteristic of who they are, not a definition. My end goal with my platform is to begin researching how to develop a collegiate program right here at Auburn University that people with disabilities could apply to that would be specifically geared to their abilities and aiding them to continue learning, while giving them a college experience like we have all been blessed with. My dream is that my intelligent, beautiful, talented, sassy sister Anna, and many others just like her, would one day have the opportunity to achieve their ultimate Auburn dream- to become Auburn University students.

We have already been able to make 2 AUsome Dreams come true- one for Drew who is 21 years old and loves tennis! He was able to meet and participate in a practice with the Auburn University Men’s tennis team! It was such an amazing experience. Also, we made one come true for Anna, my younger sister who loves tosing and dance. She was able to go onstage and perform with the Auburn University Singers. She said it was one of the best days of her life and something she would remember forever. I know that some perceptions were changed those days when Anna and Drew were able to show those groups how able and talented they are and how they have goals and dreams and passions just like you and I do. I can’t wait to make more AUsome Dreams come true!

What impact do you hope to have on the campus?

My prayer is that God would use me to make a positive, lasting impact on Auburn’s campus. I hope to lead by example and daily live out the Auburn Creed. My favorite line is, “I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my fellow men and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all.” I hope to lead not just by serving this incredible university, but by serving the wonderful family in it.

Where’s your favorite spot on campus?

The icee machine in the student center where I go to get my daily Coke icee.

What are your hopes for after graduation?

I plan to go to graduate school for speech language pathology to get my master’s degree so that I can help those that do not have the ability to communicate clearly.

Written by Hayley Wright

BSU Ends Black History Month Celebration with Soul Food Bazaar

AUBURN UNIVERSITY— Auburn University’s Black Student Union ended Black History Month with a soulful bang as it featured some of The South’s finest comfort food at its annual Soul Food Bazaar dinner. The event took place Monday, Feb. 28, 2017, in Foy Dining, drawing in over 200 participants.

The purpose of the Soul Food Bazaar is to give Auburn students a glimpse of African American culture by providing them with some of the signature dishes that are popular within the black community. This year’s menu featured fried fish, chicken and pork chops accompanied by mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, cornbread, candied yams, collard greens, cabbage, black-eyed peas and fried okra. Desserts included apple pie, peach cobbler and banana pudding.

“We not only feed students, but we attempt to educate them on the origin of the cooking as in what inspired the way the food was prepared,” said student Deion Darby, activities director for BSU. “We hope students gain more insight into the African American culture by providing them with the setting and context in which the food originated, and we also hope to give students a chance to experience these foods if they never have before.”

During the event, guests were invited to watch a presentation which provided insightful information on the history of soul food, as well as the preparation process of a few foods featured on the menu. Guests also participated in dancing, trivia and card games.

“My favorite part of the evening would have to be fellowship,” said Alyssa Patterson, a junior studying exercise science. “Bonding over food is practically every family’s tradition, and being that BSU is a family, Soul Food Bazaar is kind of like our Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner—a time for people of all cultures to come together to celebrate the black culture.”

Black Student Union is an inclusive organization that seeks to welcome all Auburn Students. To become a member, a student is required to attend at least five general assemblies, or join BSU on AUinvolve. Meetings are held every Monday at 5 p.m. in Student Center Room 2222/2223.

For more information on future BSU events, please visit

Written by Wynter Battiste