AUBURN – Dean June Henton has announced the faculty recipients of two recently endowed professorships in the Auburn University College of Human Sciences. Effective Aug. 15, Mona El-Sheikh will assume the title of Leonard Peterson & Co. Inc. Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, and Lenda Jo Connell will be the inaugural Under Armour Inc. Professor of Apparel Merchandising, Design, and Production.
El-Sheikh began her career at Auburn in 1990 and was named alumni professor in 2005 and creative research and scholarship awardee in 2007. Supported by approximately $7 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, as well as support from the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, her research program focuses on associations among family risk, psychophysiological regulation, sleep and child outcomes in psychological adjustment, physical health, cognitive functioning and academic performance domains. El-Sheikh’s interdisciplinary research is noted for building bridges across several disciplines concerned with child health including child development, developmental psychology, psychopathology and pediatric sleep medicine.
Connell joined the Auburn faculty in 1971 and served as extension resource management specialist from 1976-1990. She has been nationally recognized for both her teaching abilities and her research scholarship which has generated more than $4.5 million in grants and awards. Connell received the Auburn University Alumni Teaching Excellence Award in 2000 and was named Bobbin Educator of the Year in 2002. In addition, the International Textile and Apparel Association honored her with its Distinguished Scholar Award in 2007. Connell’s research interests include the application of 3-D body scanning and computerized design in apparel product development.
The professorship endowments were given as part of a strategic initiative undertaken by Auburn President Jay Gogue in 2009 to recognize the exceptional merit of existing Auburn faculty. Leonard Peterson & Co. is a leading manufacturer of wood casework for schools, universities, research facilities and hospitals. The company is family owned and operated by Roger, Joyce and Todd Lethander. Under Armour, a leader in sports performance apparel, is the official outfitter of Auburn’s athletic teams. The gift represents a milestone that expands Auburn’s relationship with Under Armour to include academics as well as athletics.
“We are indebted to Leonard Peterson & Co. and to Under Armour for their generous support of the College of Human Sciences and its pursuit of academic excellence,” Henton said. “Endowed professorships are critical in helping us retain and reward faculty scholars who are nationally and internationally renowned and who meet the highest standards of professional rigor in their areas of scholarship. Dr. El-Sheikh and Dr. Connell have met these standards as leading-edge researchers and visionary educators who continually enrich the learning environment in the College of Human Sciences.”