Outstanding Educator Alumni Award, Auburn University

Earlier this month the Auburn University College of Education presented me with their Outstanding Educator Alumni Award.  Nancy and I attended  the ceremony, and we were delighted that my mom and dad could join us at our table. In addition, my close and long-time friend and former classmate, Rick Shrout, joined us (he nominated me for the award), and we were also joined by the former Director of Housing who hired and supervised us when we worked as graduate resident assistants there, Gail McCullers.  Emmett Winn, the current Associate Provost at Auburn and a friend from my days working at a fast-food restaurant near campus during that time, also sat with us.  It was grand. In my brief remarks, I commented on the various ways these friends and associates -- as part of the Auburn family -- positively influenced my career and enriched my life.  And I thanked my academic adviser at Auburn who is no longer with us, Keith Byrd.  Keith took initiative and invited me to participate in his research program, and he taught me how to develop a research project, how to critically evaluate the relevant literature, to write a technical paper, and to respond to editor and reviewer feedback.  And he urged me to pursue my doctorate in counseling psychology.  Keith prepared me for doctoral work, and he modeled for me the basics in effective mentoring.  I am and will always be grateful to Keith and all my friends at Auburn.