Auburn University Parents’ Association Awards $12,000 in Grants

Auburn University Parents’ Association awarded grants totaling $12,000 to four recipients on Friday. The grants, in keeping with the AUPAs mission of providing both members and Auburn University with suitable programs and services that satisfactorily address both family and campus needs, covered a wide variety of programs across campus.

Overall proposals totaling $56,418.41 were received from eight organizations. The proposals had to include the effect of the respective effort as it pertained to Auburn, the student body, and reflect positively on Auburn. The interested organizations were given a specific format, including a page limit and financial requirements, to be followed. AUPA formed a committee to review each grant, whose findings were approved by the full Board of Directors. Committee members were: Susan Pendleton (President, AUPA), Georgia Bentley, Cathy Benton, and Tim Rhyne (Secretary, AUPA, and Grant chair).

Four organizations received funding towards their projects. Following are the organizations and their projects:

Academic Support will showcase the quality of undergraduate peer leadership and offer additional peer tutoring services in historically difficult classes. The Study Partner tutoring services are free to Auburn students and have effectively served students since the 1970s. Additional tutoring services will be offered in high demand subject areas that historically have been difficult (D/F rates) and are often pre-requisite core courses. Students will benefit from increased availability of services. Pictured receiving the award are (L/R) Tamara Bowden, Dr Kathryn Jarvis being presented by Tim Rhyne.

Davis Arboretum will construct a Sarracenia (pitcher plant) bog in the Davis Arboretum. The genus Sarracenia includes 8 species, all of which are carnivorous plants and found in Alabama. One species is found only in 3 counties in Alabama with only 5 remaining sites existing. Their habitats are among the most heavily impacted on the American continents and there is a real risk of extinction in the wild without human intervention. The project will be multi-faceted and Auburn University classes would be involved in site assessment, habitat design and stormwater management design. The Atlanta Botanical Garden and the Alabama Plant Conservation Alliance will provide in-kind matches for plant material used in the conservation portion of the project. The bog and water management systems will be designed and partially constructed by AU classes and would provide years of educational value to specific classes and the general student body. Pictured receiving the award are (L/R) Patrick Thompson and Dee Smith being presented by Tim Rhyne.

The Student Development Board resulted from Auburn’s Office of Development’s Strategic Plan, creating a culture of giving among students on campus due to diminishing funds from the state of Alabama and the ever growing dependence on private funding. The funds will be used for marketing and advertising initiatives to encourage a student participation rate of 30% in its first year. Student Development is committed to this important challenge and will leverage the funds provided by AUPA through student and young alumni gifts. Additionally, the student giving campaign will be designed to create a philanthropic culture among current students that will lead to young alumni support in the future and will benefit Auburn University academically, socially, and culturally. Pictured receiving the award are (L/R) Hank Galbreath and Lauren Bates being presented by Tim Rhyne.

The Women in Science & Engineering (WISE) Institute was formed in 2005 in part by funding from an NSF ADVANCE Grant with the mission to encourage, promote, and enhance the entry, retention and success of women and girls in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields at all levels. Women are underrepresented in STEM nationally and Auburn University falls below the national average. WISE Institute programming seeks to assist Auburn University women by supporting them as they pursue degrees in STEM disciplines. The WISE program will provide incoming freshman women majoring in STEM an opportunity to meet and network with other women with similar academic interests and to orient them with opportunities on campus and to provide support for a successful transition to college. Pictured receiving the award is Bonnie Wilson being presented by Tim Rhyne.

Auburn University Parents’ Association congratulates each of the awardees and is honored to aid in the positive impacts these programs will have on the Auburn community. AUPA will announce its next grant within the next few months.

AUPA is a member-based organization consisting of parents of Auburn students. Its Strategic Plan centers on enhancing the larger Auburn University strategy, including: elevating academics and enriching the undergraduate experience; redesigning extension and outreach for greater impact; and supporting, developing, and strengthening Auburn people. AUPA is supported by the Division of Student Affairs and has its office in the Student Center, room 2101. For more information, check out their website at