Transformation Garden

Transformation Garden

Transformation Garden creates learning, research and outreach opportunities

Just beyond the south end of campus lies the Old Rotation, the historic one-acre plot of row crops that has been a continuous research experiment at Auburn since 1896. Surrounded by the hustle and bustle of contemporary college life, this plot melds the old with the new, connecting the past and present to the future.

It’s also home to the College of Agriculture’s Transformation Garden, a 16-acre tract that will soon become the university’s largest and most distinctive classroom. This space will include state-of-the-art features like the recently established “vertical farms”—shipping containers transformed into hydroponic growing stations—that will exist side by side with old-school elements like the Old Rotation and an existing vegetable gardening site.

This juxtaposition is by design, not default, and according to Desmond Layne, head of Auburn’s Department of Horticulture, is inspired by the university’s land-grant mission.

Auburn has served communities and the agricultural industry in the state through research, outreach and teaching programs for 150 years, and today remains Alabama’s oldest land-grant institution. The Transformation Garden will carry that tradition forward and create new, unique experiences for
the entire Auburn Family.

“Imagine a place where students from a variety of majors, faculty and community members can get their hands dirty and experience the outdoors in a way they never have before—where their eyes are opened and they learn to think about plants, the environment and our food system completely differently. The Transformation Garden will be that place,” Layne said.

Promoting learning and research experiences in disciplines from biology and engineering to history and business, the garden’s spaces are both a classroom and a lab space.

Developing this extensive outdoor learning and engagement site is no small task, and work will roll out in phases beginning this year.

Among the garden’s priorities are research, education and outreach on topics like food systems, access to local food, sustainability and food security. Students and faculty will also grow produce for Auburn’s Campus Dining program, the Hotel at Auburn University and the new Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center’s rooftop garden.

The Transformation Garden will be a permanent fixture on campus and will join other green spaces with pedestrian access like the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, the Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center, the Donald E. Davis Arboretum, the Garden of Memory and the president’s estate.

“The Auburn Family has an opportunity to help the next generation understand aspects of our food system, the benefits of plants in our environment and so much more. That’s a really powerful thing.”

“This beautiful space will draw people to it whether they are studying, researching, taking an afternoon walk, enjoying the natural environment or visiting campus on the weekend,” Layne said. “I see this becoming a destination that will offer so much to the community.”

With the support of donors, the Transformation Garden will include a children’s garden, pollinator garden, medicinal garden, landscape construction work yard, vegetable teaching garden, invasive plant garden, shade garden and lath house, rain garden, composting facility, teaching orchard, trial garden and many others.

“Philanthropy is absolutely vital to our project—it won’t happen without it. But I love that,” Layne said. “Because the Auburn Family has an opportunity to help the next generation understand aspects of our food system, the benefits of plants in our environment and so much more. That’s a really powerful thing.”

Learn more about Auburn’s new Transformation Garden

Investing in

Transformational Vision

With deep roots in the Alabama soil, Bonnie Plants, the nation’s leading grower of vegetable and herb plants, has been helping people grow their own food for more than 100 years. This dedication to horticulture development and research naturally led to a strong partnership with Auburn. Recently, the company solidified this collaboration with a $1.2 million commitment to the Transformation Garden to create and support the children’s and pollinator gardens.

“The Bonnie Plants Foundation is proud to partner with Auburn University to establish the children’s garden and pollinator garden, which will be a destination for students and the community alike,” said Mike Sutterer, president and CEO of Bonnie Plants. “We’re confident this space will provide invaluable experiences to grow a love of gardening in young people and even inspire the next great generation of horticulture leaders.”

The relationship between Bonnie Plants and Auburn is more than a logical connection or natural fit—it’s a strategic partnership.

 

“Their mission is very much aligned with the education, research and community outreach we will do in the Transformation Garden,” said Desmond Layne, head of Auburn’s Department of Horticulture. “We’re also training students who will be experts in the field and potential resources for them, too.”

The children’s and pollinator gardens will create experiential learning and play spaces to help children and families engage with plants and the natural environment.

“This generous gift from The Bonnie Plants Foundation will have an enormous impact on our vision for the Transformation Garden and will help us design outdoor spaces that encourage people of all ages to learn about horticulture and the outdoors,” Layne said. “Their support will influence countless children’s lives, inspiring a passion for gardening and contributing to numerous agricultural innovations, which may ultimately change the way we grow food.”

Meet John Morris

Meet John Morris

John Harris and Family Photo

John Morris

Senior Vice President, Advancement
President, Auburn University Foundation & AU Real Estate Foundation

Why were you interested in coming to Auburn?

First and foremost, we were attracted to Auburn because of the Auburn Identity, the Auburn Creed, the values, the leadership, the family. All these elements, and so much more, make Auburn special–they give Auburn a soul, and it is the soul that really spoke to us. From a family perspective, we love the lifestyle of a college town, and it’s hard to imagine a better college town than Auburn, Ala. We are excited to make Auburn our home.

What surprised you most about Auburn? 

 It probably should not have surprised us, but Kerry and I have been so impressed with the welcoming and sincere interest in our family. Literally everyone we meet—alumni, faculty, students, community members—constantly ask how our family is adjusting and offers a helping hand or suggestion. It is genuine. We can feel that “soul” coming through from the Auburn Family.  

 Do you have a favorite initiative or opportunity for Auburn? 

 Serving an alumni base that is so loyal and passionate is very exciting–the fact that our recent grads respond at a rate over 90% that they would “choose Auburn again” is so inspiring. This move to the advancement model provides Auburn the opportunity to lead in the engagement and success of our alumni, donors and friends. It is so compelling to be a part of this transition that will better serve the Auburn Family.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? 

 I once heard a graduation address where the speaker said, “Now, go do well so that you may then do good,” and it has always stuck with me. We are so fortunate to work in a field that is filled with “purpose”—the work of Auburn University changes lives, it changes the world. “Doing well, so that we can then do good” to me speaks to many aspects of the Auburn Creed; hard work, truthfulness & respect, happiness, doing justly, walking humbly, guided by a belief. Hard work, innovation and good fortune can create success, which is admirable unto itself, but the obligation to do good with that success—to make a difference in people’s lives—to drive purpose is a duty that inspires me.   

Read more about the new Auburn scholarship initiative, Ever Auburn

Tommy L. Davis ’10 and ’13

Tommy L. Davis ’10 and ’13

My Auburn University story is a non-traditional one. I arrived at Auburn in January 2009 after completing an Associate’s Degree at Southern Union State Community College. I was not the typical straight out of high school student. I was a 45 year old military veteran and local Baptist Church Pastor. I was an African-American husband of 20 years and father of three—the only male in an elementary education cohort of 24 females, only one of which was African-American. I immediately became the “father” of the group, being the oldest and only male. . I mentored undergraduate students for the Office of Diversity, was a part of the Honors College, and even worked for Veterans Services. I finished with a 3.84 Auburn GPA and was selected as the Student Marshall for the College of Education’s Fall 2010 graduation. After graduation, I worked as a long-term substitute teacher in a local school system before being hired to work at Auburn Athletics. I was then afforded an opportunity to return to school where I achieved a Master’s of Education in Adult Education in Fall 2013 at the age of 50. Currently, I am an Adult Educator with Chattahoochee Valley Community College. My wife is a 20 year AU employee. My son graduated from AU in 2017. My twin daughters graduated from AU in 2020. We are what the Auburn Family is all about. I am blessed to have never been made to feel like anything less than what I am: An Auburn Man!
Track ‘Em Tigers Virtual 5K

Track ‘Em Tigers Virtual 5K

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Friday, December 4th – Sunday, December 6th, 2020

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][page_submenu alignment=”center” bg_color=”#f26522″ link_color=”#ffffff”][page_link title=”Register” id=”1604686561879-0-8″ tab_id=”1604686561881-10″ link_url=”#5kregister”][/page_link][page_link title=”Scholarships” id=”1604686576364-0-10″ tab_id=”1604686576365-9″ link_url=”#scholarships”][/page_link][page_link link_url=”#CertificateofParticipation” title=”Runners Bib” id=”1604686298-1-48″ tab_id=”1604686478873-1″] [/page_link][page_link link_url=”#CertificateofParticipation” title=”Certificate of Participation” id=”1604686298-2-48″ tab_id=”1604686479020-4″] [/page_link][page_link title=”Spotify Playlist” id=”1604686543134-0-5″ tab_id=”1604686543135-10″ link_url=”#CertificateofParticipation”][/page_link][/page_submenu][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”full_width_background” full_screen_row_position=”middle” equal_height=”yes” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” top_padding=”10″ bottom_padding=”10″ overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” shape_type=””][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/4″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][image_with_animation image_url=”38818″ alignment=”” animation=”None” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/4″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][image_with_animation image_url=”38820″ alignment=”” animation=”None” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/4″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][image_with_animation image_url=”38817″ alignment=”” animation=”None” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/4″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][image_with_animation image_url=”38819″ alignment=”” animation=”None” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”full_width_background” full_screen_row_position=”middle” equal_height=”yes” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” top_padding=”10″ bottom_padding=”10″ overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” shape_type=””][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][text-with-icon icon_type=”font_icon” icon=”fa fa-heartbeat” color=”Accent-Color”]Join the Auburn Alumni Association as we run, walk, bike, roller blade, and so much more from all areas across the world, on the exact same weekend. Whether it’s 3.1 miles in Auburn, 3.1 miles on the bike trails, or 3.1 miles over 3,100 miles away, we invite you to participate with us.  We have missed seeing our Auburn Family at the hospitality tailgate, reunions, club events, and on campus for a stroll on Samford and a Styrofoam cup of Toomer’s Lemonade. While we cannot invite everyone to participate in an in-person 5K, we want to continue to foster the Auburn spirit by reaching a larger audience than we ever have before.[/text-with-icon][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”full_width_background” full_screen_row_position=”middle” equal_height=”yes” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” top_padding=”20″ overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” shape_type=””][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][text-with-icon icon_type=”font_icon” icon=”icon-money” color=”Accent-Color”]Cost

Registration is completely FREE and is open to all Auburn alumni, family, and friends. Everyone that signs up will receive a virtual runner’s bib as well as a certificate of participation. Each may be downloaded and printed for the participant. And for the first 500 that register, you will receive a special Runner’s Package in the mail, so sign up today.[/text-with-icon][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”full_width_background” full_screen_row_position=”middle” equal_height=”yes” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”center” id=”5kregister” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” shape_type=””][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column][vc_column centered_text=”true” column_padding=”padding-5-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ font_color=”#12253e” column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][nectar_btn size=”jumbo” open_new_tab=”true” button_style=”regular” button_color_2=”Accent-Color” icon_family=”none” text=”Registration” url=”https://alumniq.auburn.edu/index.cfm/events:register/home/eventId/501″][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”full_width_background” full_screen_row_position=”middle” equal_height=”yes” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” top_padding=”10″ bottom_padding=”10″ overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” shape_type=””][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”2″ divider_color=”default” custom_height=”20″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”full_width_background” full_screen_row_position=”middle” equal_height=”yes” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” top_padding=”20″ bottom_padding=”20″ overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” shape_type=””][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][text-with-icon icon_type=”font_icon” icon=”fa fa-graduation-cap” color=”Accent-Color”]Make Scholarship Donation

Those who are interested are encouraged to donate to their local Auburn Club or Affiliate scholarship. One may also donate to the PLUS Scholarship, Student Alumni Association Scholarship, Veterans Endowed Scholarship or the Auburn Alumni Association Endowment.[/text-with-icon][vc_column_text]We are excited to announce, the Auburn Alumni Association is proud to offer a $25,000 match to contributions made during the registration period and weekend of the 5K. The match funds are for Auburn Club, Auburn Alumni Affiliate, and other Auburn Alumni Association related scholarships.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”full_width_background” full_screen_row_position=”middle” equal_height=”yes” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”center” id=”scholarships” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” shape_type=””][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column][vc_column centered_text=”true” column_padding=”padding-5-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ font_color=”#12253e” column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][nectar_btn size=”jumbo” open_new_tab=”true” button_style=”regular” button_color_2=”Accent-Color” icon_family=”none” text=”Scholarships” url=”https://alumniq.auburn.edu/giving/to/5k”][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”full_width_background” full_screen_row_position=”middle” equal_height=”yes” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” shape_type=””][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][text-with-icon icon_type=”font_icon” icon=”icon-question” color=”Accent-Color”]What is a virtual 5K?

A Virtual 5K is a race that participants choose to complete wherever and whenever (specifically the time of day) they would like. This virtual option provides safe alternative for the typical in-person race. You can participate individually or with close family or friends, in the morning, or later in the evening, at the park or on your treadmill. The opportunities are endless.

Whether near or far, the Auburn Family is there for you. At a time when physical distance must exist, we are eager for the opportunity to be socially connected through the Track ‘Em Tigers Virtual 5K. Sign up today![/text-with-icon][divider line_type=”No Line” custom_height=”20″][text-with-icon icon_type=”font_icon” icon=”icon-camera” color=”Accent-Color”]Share Your Progress and Win Awards

Show off and track your progress in the app under the TRACK EM TIGERS TILE in the Forever AU app. We also invite you to submit a picture of you in your best Auburn gear for a chance to be featured on the Auburn Alumni Association social media accounts. You may submit your photos to AUClubs@auburn.edu or by using the #TRACKEMTIGERSVIRTUAL5K on social media.

See a full list of fun achievements you can complete to be entered to win awards![/text-with-icon][toggles style=”minimal”][toggle color=”Default” title=”Individual Awards”][vc_column_text]Title: We Have Spirit, Yes We Do

Summary: This award is for the participant that dresses with the most Auburn spirit during the virtual 5K.

Instructions: Use the #TRACKEMTIGERSVIRTUAL5K on social media, the Forever AU app, or email your pictures to AUClubs@auburn.edu. A staff judges panel will select a winner following the race.


Title: Cutest Pet Companion

Summary: This award is for the cutest pet you took along with you during your walk, run, bike ride, etc.

Instructions: Use the #TRACKEMTIGERSVIRTUAL5K on social media, the Forever AU app, or email your pictures to AUClubs@auburn.edu. A staff judges panel will select a winner following the race.


Title: Go the Distance

Summary: This will be awarded to the individual runner that participated the furthest distance from Samford Hall in Auburn, AL.

Instructions: This will be measured following the registration process, as each participant will share their personal address.[/vc_column_text][/toggle][toggle color=”Default” title=”Club Awards: * Limit 1 award per club”][vc_column_text]Title: Most Participation Per Club Area

Summary: This will be awarded to the Auburn Club that has the largest percentage of members per club area participate in the virtual 5K.

Instructions: This percentage will be calculated by using the number of people that identify their club during the registration process and the number of people for the club area in our records. As you sign up for the virtual 5K, please tell us which Auburn Club you are participating for.


Title: Highest Number of Club Participants

Summary: This will be awarded to the Auburn Club with the largest number of participants in the virtual 5K.

Instructions: This will be measured by the number of people that identify their club during the registration process. As you sign up for the virtual 5K, please tell us which Auburn Club you are participating for.


Title: Most Creative Promotion

Summary: This will be awarded to the Auburn Club that has the most creative promotional strategy for the Track ‘Em Tigers Virtual 5K.

Instructions: There will be a staff panel that judges this award. Please submit a nomination by emailing AUClubs@auburn.edu.[/vc_column_text][/toggle][/toggles][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][image_with_animation image_url=”38854″ alignment=”” animation=”None” img_link_target=”_blank” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%” img_link=”https://admin.essenzasoftware.com/AppStoreRedirect?appIdentifier=edu.auburnalumni.traditions”][divider line_type=”No Line” custom_height=”10″][vc_column_text]

Make sure you allow notifications and location services to stay connected and maximize your experience.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” bottom_padding=”20″ overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” shape_type=””][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/6″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”padding-1-percent” column_padding_position=”left-right” background_color=”#12253e” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”2/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][image_with_animation image_url=”39013″ alignment=”” animation=”None” img_link_target=”_blank” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%” img_link=”https://www.alumni.auburn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/CouchTo5k_training_v2-01-scaled.jpg”][toggles style=”minimal”][toggle color=”Default” title=”WEEK 1 “][image_with_animation image_url=”39009″ alignment=”center” animation=”None” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/toggle][toggle color=”Default” title=”WEEK 2″][image_with_animation image_url=”39010″ alignment=”center” animation=”None” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/toggle][toggle color=”Default” title=”WEEK 3″][image_with_animation image_url=”39011″ alignment=”center” animation=”None” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][/toggle][toggle color=”Default” title=”WEEK 4″][image_with_animation image_url=”39008″ alignment=”center” animation=”None” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][/toggle][/toggles][image_with_animation image_url=”39012″ alignment=”” animation=”None” img_link_target=”_blank” border_radius=”none” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%” img_link=”https://www.alumni.auburn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/CouchTo5k_training_layout-01-scaled.jpg”][divider line_type=”No Line” custom_height=”20″][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/6″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”full_width_background” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”center” top_padding=”20″ bottom_padding=”20″ id=”CertificateofParticipation” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” shape_type=””][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][nectar_btn size=”jumbo” open_new_tab=”true” button_style=”regular” button_color_2=”Accent-Color” icon_family=”none” url=”https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4b0G9lb9GQA8kXoHFdyQSO?si=hN3FAuebQC6BD87invfbnw” text=”Download Spotify Playlist “][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][nectar_btn size=”jumbo” button_style=”regular” button_color_2=”Accent-Color” icon_family=”none” text=”Download
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Going International

Going International

EVEN IN 2020, BEING A WORKING WOMAN can mean working more hours for less pay. Ashley Robinett wants to help change that. As a member of the International Women’s Forum (IWF), Robinett joins more than 7,000 women who work together to create progress and equality for all women.

A diverse community of high achievers and thinkers, the organization serves as a model for a future where leadership has no gender. At the heart of the forum are the 35 women around the world who, as part of the IWF’s Fellows Program, meet in person and virtually to set the organization’s agenda and guide it forward. Robinett never imagined she would be part of such an organization, but it has become an important tool for her personal and professional growth. “It’s really empowering,” said Robinett. “We are committed to learning from each other, to growing as a team and getting a lot of in-classroom academic guidance on how we can be the best possible leaders wherever we are and really make a difference, inside our organization, and within our communities.”

As the current vice president of public relations for Alabama Power, Robinett is a long way from the chemical engineering degree she earned at Auburn. Her internship with Southern Nuclear, a subsidiary of parent company Southern Power, helped her land her first job on the financial engineering team.

“I really have had the most amazing experience being able to learn and see and do different things across the enterprise, from more technical roles to more financial roles to environmental roles.”

Southern Company’s (parent company of Alabama Power) leadership noticed her passion for expanding her skillset and continued to challenge her with new roles. Over the years, she’s managed strategic environmental issues and served as the assistant to the executive vice president, president and chief officer.

She also worked in Southern Company’s fuel services organization managing emission allowance procurement and strategic environmental issues. In 2008, she returned to Southern Power to manage its resource planning, risk analysis and business case development functions like renewable energy.

Before becoming vice president of public relations, she served as the vice president of corporate real estate, where she oversaw the company’s land holdings in support of business objectives through land management, acquisition and sales.

“Because I was able to couple my engineering mindset with a communication skillset, I’ve been able to really fulfill a lot of my desires and passions here at Southern Company. And that’s really where I see my home. A lot of my lifelong friends who I’m able to work with are here, and also the opportunity to be challenged and to truly make a difference.”

When Southern Company nominated her for the fellowship with the IWF, she was both humbled and surprised. Having spent most of her life in Alabama, she says it was an incredible opportunity to suddenly connect with an international organization with members in 33 countries on six continents.

“Being able to learn from my mentor and have this woman to bounce things off that’s not just in the office next door or upstairs is so valuable.”

“Being able to learn from my mentor and have this woman to bounce things off that’s not just in the office next door or upstairs is so valuable. It’s nice to have someone outside of your industry, or outside of your company, to really lean on and ask some tough questions about how I grow and learn in this environment.”

The insight and experience gained through the IWF has translated into success in Robinett’s own career.

Robinett was the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Young Auburn Engineer award from the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, as well as the 2019 Young Alumni Achievement Award, the alumni association’s top honor for young alumni.

Robinett said she feels this organization is important because it gives women a chance to grow and improve themselves.

“I think we tend to focus on making sure everyone around us is okay and we do the best we can, given our situation, but [the fellowship program] created an opportunity for me to be very intentional in growing and developing myself, while also creating a network of women that I can lean on and I have leaned on during a lot of this.”