Auburn student’s passion for American history, teaching, earns her a James Madison Fellowship

Erica VatellaAUBURN UNIVERSITY – During the July 4 weekend, when most people will be celebrating the holiday without a lot of thought about the history it represents, Erica Marie Vatella will be immersed in the study of American history as she pursues her master’s degree at Auburn University in secondary social science education.

Vatella was recently awarded a James Madison Memorial Foundation Fellowship, which assists teachers earning a master’s degree with a focus on Constitutional studies. Named for James Madison, the nation’s fourth president and the acknowledged “Father of the Constitution and Bill of Rights,” the fellowship is funding up to $24,000 of Vatella’s graduate studies.

The award goes to just one outstanding student in each state and supports the graduate study of American history by aspiring and experienced secondary school teachers of American history, American government and social studies.

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New aviation center to strengthen Auburn University programs, boost the industry and state economy

Bill Hutto, director of the Auburn University Regional Airport, discusses the new aviation center with members of the media. AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Auburn University is elevating its aviation program by establishing a center that will serve as a focal point for instruction, research and outreach and support the aviation and aerospace industries.

The center will strengthen academic and research programs, recruit industry to Alabama, improve flight operations and training and collaborate with other colleges and universities, particularly in workforce development efforts.

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Alabama 4-H receives initial $400,000 yearly gift for Centennial Youth Initiative

4H Foundation Trustee Check PresentationAUBURN UNIVERSITY – Alabama 4-H has been transforming young people’s lives for more than a century. Through a generous investment by the Alabama 4-H Club Foundation, Alabama 4-H will reach more youth with improved programming through its Centennial Youth Initiative.

The Alabama 4-H Club Foundation will give $400,000 annually to support CYI and the expansion of 4-H within the state. Established in 1956, the foundation supports statewide 4-H youth education programs delivered by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and generates private funds to meet youth educational needs.

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Auburn professor: Safe food equals a safe Fourth

AUBURN UNIVERSITY—The Fourth of July is quickly approaching, and many Americans are making plans for a cookout with family and friends. To help ensure the Fourth is a safe and carefree holiday for all, Pat Curtis, director of the Food Systems Initiative at Auburn University, is offering tips and advice for grilling and food safety.

“The three main things to remember while preparing food or grilling are don’t cross-contaminate, keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold and cook food thoroughly,” Curtis said.

Don’t cross-contaminate

A mistake many people make while grilling is using the same plate and utensils when the meat and poultry is raw and afterward when it is cooked, without washing in between, said Curtis. Instead, after placing the raw meat on the grill, immediately wash the plate and utensil with soapy water or get a new plate for the cooked meats when ready. Also, if you touched the raw meat you should wash your hands for 20 seconds with soapy water.

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Bobby Woodard named associate provost and vice president for student affairs at Auburn University

Auburn University Associate Provost and Vice President for Student Affairs Bobby WoodardAUBURN UNIVERSITY – After a nationwide search, Auburn University President Jay Gogue has named Bobby Woodard associate provost and vice president for student affairs. Woodard comes to Auburn from East Carolina University, where he served as associate vice chancellor for student involvement and leadership.

“Under Bobby’s leadership, we look forward to vibrant, robust programs and services that promote students’ personal growth and development,” Gogue said.

Woodard, who will begin his new position Aug. 4, has more than 15 years of experience as a student affairs director and educator and has managed a variety of student affairs units.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering recognized for excellence in education

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Auburn University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the University Senate Departmental Award for Excellence in Education. The award, totaling $30,000 over three years, was administered on behalf of the Office of the Provost through the university’s Biggio Center and the University Senate Teaching Effectiveness Committee.

“This award for excellence in education provides a structure to foster and sustain a university-wide culture of teaching excellence,” said Donald Mulvaney, chair of the Teaching Effectiveness Committee. “Not only does it recognize departments that are engaged in sustained efforts to promote teaching excellence, it is envisioned that the award will have a long-lasting impact as it nourishes collegiality, collaboration and the development of an academic community that values and prioritizes exemplary teaching and learning.”

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