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The Auburn Plainsman

Thursday, May 2, 2013

INSIDE 6 Bon VoyAUge Senior to become au pair in Paris

8 Higher education Grad school: worth it or not?

10 Graduation photo ops The best spots for photos on campus besides Samford Lawn

13 Basketball player

engineers own future Josh Wallace, engineering student and basketball player, is set to graduate

15 Cow college? Spring graduating class to be largest ever from College of Agriculture

The Department of Communication and Journalism congratulates graduates from all of our programs:

Master of Arts – Communication Communication Journalism Public Relations Radio/Television/Film

The Auburn Plainsman A SPIRIT THAT IS NOT AFRAID

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Robert E. Lee, Editor-in-Chief

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The Auburn Plainsman is published in print weekly every Thursday.We can be found online at ThePlainsman.com.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

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The Auburn Plainsman

Final thoughts from 2012-2013 Editor Robert E. Lee Robert E. Lee EDITOR@ THEPLAINSMAN.COM

How does one go about writing a column in which they describe what it was like to be the editor of their college news source? I’m not completely sure, and who says I should be writing this in the first place? I’m just a guy who led a team. But I’m confident I know what The Auburn Plainsman is. It’s a college news source, not a college newspaper. We no longer break news in print. We break news online and often.

We have the luxury of having a print product in order to provide our readers with what happened all week, what’s happening next week and an indepth look that online might not bring you. One year ago, this was completely different. We were doing everything backwards. Print was our bread and butter, and online was an afterthought. Fast forward to today and ThePlainsman.com is now the Auburn University news source. You don’t and shouldn’t have to look anywhere else for everything that’s related to Auburn. Things have changed in today’s society of digital news

and so has The Plainsman. Just like The Plainsman needed to be. Looking forward, the incoming editor, Kelsey Davis, is going to do a fantastic job of making sure the way news is distributed and covered, beyond what The Plainsman has done this past year. Our readers should feel confident that their news source is going to be run by a responsible and credible individual and staff. As the world becomes more digital, ThePlainsman.com is also launching a new website this summer in order to provide our readers with a better and faster news experience. Continue to visit ThePlainsman.com, and you will see how much easier and practical con-

suming news is. Besides staying informed with the news, I want to encourage everyone to become involved on campus in some way. When I first started at Auburn, I was a bit standoffish to any clubs or groups on campus, partly because I was a transfer student, and I didn’t get to experience Camp War Eagle. I stayed away from campus for whatever reason, but ever since, I’ve lived near campus. I have no idea what I did prior to being involved with The Plainsman, but ever since then, I’ve been productive and have gained the experience I need to find a career in the field of journalism. Last summer when I start-

ed as editor, I didn’t know what to expect nor could I have predicted any of it. But I wouldn’t change anything if I had to do it again. Whether it be reporting on the shootings that occurred over the summer, a confession from Harvey Updyke to one of our own reporters or the final rolling of Toomer’s Corner, it all showed my staff and I what it took to cover news the way it should be. I will always feel like I owe The Plainsman something for teaching me so much. I have no idea who I could ever repay it back to, but I do know the individuals following behind me are in for a treat. Here’s to late nights at The Plainsman office and the First Amendment.

School’s Out...

...but The Plainsman’s not!

Keep up with all the news online at ThePlainsman.com, on Twitter at @TheAUPlainsman, & on The Auburn Plainsman Facebook page!


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The Auburn Plainsman

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Thursday, May 2, 2013

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The Auburn Plainsman

Social media presence, portfolios a plus for graduates Ben Hohenstatt WRITER

The football games and burgeoning social life are fun, but the actual reason that people go to college is the advantage it plays in starting a career. Graduating college opens up opportunities in employment and provides an advantage in job searching. There are, of course, other factors that impact the ability to find jobs. One important factor for recent graduates to consider is their social media presence. Recent graduates are the first people to have to consider how their digital presence can impact prospective job opportunities. Beth Boyd, Recruiter and Project Manager at the employment agency EmployBridge, said that the importance of social media can fluctuate. “It all depends on the type of career the person is seeking,” Boyd said. “Obviously for a recent graduate looking for a job in the social media field, the marketing field and some IT fields a strong social media background would be essential.”

She advocated creating an aggressive social media portfolio for those seeking employment in those fields. Boyd also said that social media could be a plus in other fields, but would not be necessary or particularly important. She said that while not ideal, a lack of social media presence would not be detrimental to applicants. Although they are nonessential to a job search, Boyd said that social media can certainly help. According to Boyd not all social media are equally effective, however. “Personally, I don’t think that Facebook is a medium that is essential to have to help find a professional job,” Boyd said. “I just don’t think it’s one of the critical sites that you have to have.” She also mentioned that she, personally, does not have a Facebook. Boyd did, however, support the use of the networking site LinkedIn as an effective way to create job opportunities. “Using LinkedIn can be quite beneficial as a source for networking and making connections that can unlock career opportunities,” Boyd said. “I think LinkedIn

is the most important site.” Boyd stated that without LinkedIn social media would not be particularly influential in a job search. “It’s really the only site that matters,” Boyd said. LinkedIn is specifically geared toward forming professional relationships and connections, and it is this aspect that Boyd said makes it the most important social media platform for recent graduates. Content of social media was also an area of importance mentioned by Boyd. “These days you can go and Google things, and see things that have already been deleted,” Boyd said. “You really need to think about something before posting it.” While she did espouse prudent posting, Boyd also said that as fewer people are required to do more work, many employers do not necessarily have time to monitor their employees’ personal social media. Boyd said that while social media can potentially be positive, other components such as a good interview, polished resume and well-written and researched cover letter are still extremely important to a job search. Ultimately, Boyd said that on a 1–10 scale measuring importance social media would be a five.

Do you have what potential employeers are looking for? Michael Hill WRITER

The spring semester is over, finals are wrapping up and many students are preparing for a long summer break or gearing up to begin summer classes. But for many students, the end of this semester is the end of their college career. As students set out to begin their job hunt, they begin to wonder if they have what employers are looking for in an employee and if they know exactly what employers are looking for. “I think some are looking for experience, like an internship or co-op, and then some I feel like, want to train you their own way so they don’t require experience,” said Kristen Kopp, recent graduate with a degree in civil engineering. Kopp also said that she

thinks employers are looking for more than a degree, like a certification in a specific area, for example. Kopp said that in her area of interest, you have to be willing to move where the jobs are, so employers are looking for people who are mobile. “I think that most employers are looking for graduates with growth potential,” said Abriuana Welch, assistant store manager/human resources manager for Kohl’s department store. “For companies, hiring a person is an investment.” Welch said that she assesses a person’s qualifications based on their prior experience and on how they do in their interview. “I’m looking to see if that person has done any research on the company, if they are enthusiastic about the prospective job, if they are teachable

I’m looking to see if that person has done any research on the company, if they are enthusiastic about the prospective job, if they are teachable, and what skills they possess that would make them a valuable asset to my team.” —Abriuana Welch ASSISTANT STORE MANAGER / HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER FOR KOHL’S

and what skills they possess that would make them a valuable asset to my team,” Welch said. Welch also said that the résumé is also important when graduates are looking for a job because it is the company’s first view of the potential employee. “Résumés should definitely be printed on résumé paper, be one page and should have all relevant experiences on it,” Welch said. Welch added that you want to make sure that your resume shares information that is important to the company and showcases the skills that would make you valuable to the company. Welch said that students should do extensive research to find out what a company is looking for when beginning the job hunt.

Questions that Welch said graduates should aim to answer when doing their research include: What is the company’s mission statement? What principals does the company stand on? What are the company’s values? Who is the company’s competition? How has the company succeeded or struggled during the past five years? Welch said the biggest mistakes that graduates make is not having a résumé in proper guidelines and not having questions ready when the interview. Although Welch said that an interviewee should always ask at least two questions in the interview, she said that you should never ask about payment. “A company needs to be sure that they’re investing in people that are going to add to their company,” Welch said.


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The Auburn Plainsman

Thursday, May 2, 2013

From AU-burn to AU pair Kelsey Davis INTRIGUE WRITER

CONGRATULATIONS

to our SOS OLs, CWE PCs, and CWE CCs! Thanks for your service to Auburn’s incoming freshmen, transfer students, parents, and guests. We’re proud of you! WAR EAGLE!

While many graduating seniors may be moving around the region to pursue internships, jobs or further education, Lauren Windham will be moving to Paris to become an au pair. Windham was sitting in class when she received an email in September from an older girl in her sorority who would be passing along the job. After a moment’s hesitation, she began acting fast to pursue the opportunity. “I immediately forwarded my mom and dad the email and I texted them ‘Check your email, this is so important.’” “I emailed the girl back immediately. I told her, ‘I’m very interested, tell me all about it.’ I probably shot her about 20 questions with everything from the kids’ names to having a cell phone over there.” Windham said she had been feeling underwhelmed with her psychology major and human development family studies minor before her post-grad plans were put into place. “This opportunity came up, and I just decided that since I never got the chance to study abroad that I was going to take this opportunity and run with it,” Windham said. To apply for the job, Windham had to write a letter to the family in Paris stating what she’s been studying, her strengths, what she enjoys doing, what she has to offer, any past experience with child care and how extensive her familiarity with French was. During her time as an au pair, Windham will be responsible for providing care to two boys: one 5-year-old and one 7-yearold. “I’ll have full responsibility for the children,” Windham said. “My responsibility is to cook

RAYE MAY / PHOTO EDITOR

Lauren Windham, senior in psychology with a minor in human development and family studies, will be moving to Paris to become an au pair. for the kids, take them to school, help them with their homework, keep them clean and take them to their sports. Also, any traveling the family does, I go with them and watch the kids.” Part of her au pair duties additionally dable in helping the children become fluent in English and opening them up to a culture outside of their own. “When (their) mom was growing up, she had an au pair, and she loved having that. She thought it was really valuable and loved the experience. She wanted the same thing for her kids.

“I think one of the reasons that they’ve hired me is because they want their kids to be well rounded and open to different cultures and languages,” Windham said. For Windham, who will only be 11 minutes northeast of the Eiffel Tower, the reality of her future life has still yet to set in. “I don’t think it’s going to hit me until I book the ticket, and I’m sitting in my plane seat, and I hear, ‘Your next destination is Paris, France,’” Windham said. “I never thought this would happen and it is. It’s real and it’s happening and I’m moving to Paris.”


Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Auburn Plainsman

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The Auburn Plainsman

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Pursuing graduate school offers higher education, growth Jessa Peace WRITER

“What now?” might be the question on the minds of some students as graduation quickly approaches. For some, it’s jumping into the workforce and finding a job or heading to New York to make it big, and for others, continuing their education is the plan. Graduate school offers various programs and degrees so that students can further their educations, and there are a number of reasons why students chose whether to go. “One is it’s a matter of personal choice,” said Dr. George Crandell, associate dean of Auburn’s graduate school. “I think a lot of people see it as an opportunity for growth, to develop themselves personally; many of them also see it as a possibility for

greater employment opportunities.” According to Crandell, many students choose graduate school as a chance for greater financial success as far as lifetime earnings because generally, if a person has a master’s or doctoral degree, their lifetime of earnings will be considerably higher than individuals who only obtained a high school diploma or bachelor’s degree. “It also offers opportunity for career advancement,” Crandell said. “Many people with advance degrees go on to leadership and managerial positions in the firms that they work for.” Some students like Jillian Capers, senior in psychology, said they are burned out on school and just want it to be over. Another few years would be too much.

I think a lot of people see (graduate school) as an opportunity for growth, to develop themselves personally.” —Dr. George Crandell ASSOCIATE DEAN OF GRADUATE SCHOOL

“I’ve been in school for a while, and after taking four years off then coming back to finish, I have just gotten a little burned out on school,” Capers said. “I just want to be done with it. Go ahead and just find

a job.” Capers said she may consider graduate school later if she wants to advance in her career, but for right now, she is happy to be graduating in the summer. Other students like Beth Cantrell, graduate student in communication, are in graduate school and believe graduate school can only help their careers. “I decided to go to graduate school because I have always wanted to go as far as possible with my education,” Cantrell said. “I truly believe grad school will be nothing but beneficial because it will increase my yearly income once I am done, and I will learn a lot about something I am passionate about.” Auburn has 12 different colleges for graduate programs,

and applicants apply online to both the graduate school and the particular program they want to be in. “The application process is extensive,” Cantrell said. “You have to have three letters of recommendation, an essay for application and you also apply to the graduate school and the program separately.” Cantrell said she hopes to get a teaching assistantship that compensates her for all of her work as a way to help graduate students financially. “A number of departments offer financial assistance,” Crandell said. “The graduate school also offers tuition fellowships to students who serve as graduate assistants either in the form of graduate research assistants or teaching assistants.”


Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Auburn Plainsman

Bleak job market worries students Amber Franklin WRITER

For most college graduates, May is an exciting time. Seniors are preparing to move into the “real world,” accept their dream job and see their years of all-nighters finally pay off. But what about those students who haven’t found their dream job – or any job at all? Students Laura Linkinhoker, Taylor Tyus and Cam Dungan are each searching for jobs in their desired fields, but don’t have any concrete job offers yet. Tyus, senior in finance, has been searching and applying for jobs as a financial analyst in IT and healthcare industries. “I didn’t do any heavy searching until maybe November or December, but I have been doing research for the whole of my senior year,” Tyus said. Linkinhoker, senior in finance and marketing, and Dungan, senior in marketing, have both been searching since February. “I’ve only applied to four (companies), which isn’t that much,” Linkinhoker said. “I’ve applied for retail corporate jobs, like The Limited brand, and I applied to a small business – just a variety of places.” Dungan has applied to two non-profits and a few jobs through the Career Development Office at Auburn University. According to information from the Wall Street Journal and Georgetown University Center on Education, the unemployment rates for finance and marketing careers are doing fairly well, given the current economic climate. The current unemployment rate for the finance industry is 4.5 percent, while the current rate for the marketing industry is 5.9 percent. In comparison, the rates for pre-law and United States history careers are 7.9 percent and 15.1 percent, respectively, while the rates for treatment therapy

RACHEL SUHS / DESIGN EDITOR

professions and nursing are 2.6 percent and 2.2 percent respectively. “Honestly, I don’t know too many people that have (jobs) right now,” Linkinhoker said. All three women are trying to not worry too much about the job search and stay positive. Tyus has set up phone and inperson interviews for the next few weeks after graduation and is getting all of her information together to apply for another job with a large company. “I’m going with the flow since I haven’t put as much time and effort into looking for a job as I should have, but school really needs to be my main focus,” Tyus said. “But I am kind of worried about finding a job in the next six months.” Dungan has already bought a house in the Auburn area, so her search has been hindered by her inability to ability for jobs farther away. “That’s probably why I don’t have (a job) already, because I haven’t really branched out a ton,” Dungan said. “So I’m trying not to let it stress me out and just say that’s the reason why.” Dungan, who has worked for the Student Alumni Association

and in the Career Development Center since she was a freshman, has applied for her “dream job” as coordinator for the Auburn Alumni Association. “It’s the person who is over all of alumni affairs,” Dungan said. “They’re also over Student Alumni Association, so they sort of do all the marketing work for the alumni association.” Linkinhoker is planning to return home after graduation to continue her job search. Although working in a corporate retail setting is her main goal, she is thinking about applying to other industries and fields. “I really do want to work in the retail industry, but now I’m thinking I may have to expand and look at a broader range (of industries),” Linkinhoker said. Although none of these women have found a job yet, and many of their peers are also still searching, they can find confidence in the education they have received from Auburn University and these words from the Auburn Creed: “I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work.”

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The Auburn Plainsman

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The top picks for your best grad pic Anna Claire Conrad WRITER

Graduation time is here, and that means the worst place to be on campus this time of year is at the Auburn University sign in front of Samford Hall. Every year come May, students yearning for a picture with the famous brick wall stand in line for hours to pose in their graduation robes at this universally desired hot spot. This year, don’t get yourself caught in that photo op traffic jam. Taking a picture at the Auburn sign is a classic move, and everyone should do it; just not all at the same time. Plan to take yours early, with or without your robes. Taking it the day of graduation or a couple days beforehand will land you in the most testing trial of patience you may have experienced your entire collegiate career. But there are other places on and around campus to take pictures at to forever capture the experience you had as a student at Auburn. Here are some of the best places to take pictures come graduation. 1. Believe it or not, there’s another Auburn University sign on campus. It’s located across from the Chick-Fil-A on Magnolia Street. There’s no doubt this will be an immediate go-to for people not willing to wait in line at the original Auburn sign, but this spot is more spacious and is sure to be less crowded. 2. One of the best walls to pose with in Auburn actually isn’t on campus. The “War Eagle” wall next to the J&M Bookstore and Seoul BBQ restaurant on South College Street is another place to snap a quick pic during graduation. Whether it’s in color or black and white, this will be a photo

you want as your Facebook profile picture. 3. Although Toomer’s Corner seems empty without its oaks and doesn’t make for the happiest of photographs now, Toomer’s Drugs across the street is still a classic Auburn memory to capture forever. Pose up pretty with a cup of Toomer’s lemonade inside or outside of the store. It’ll be a picture you’ll be glad you took. 4. Another scenic option is the Shelby Center for Engineering Technology. Recently added to Auburn’s campus, this spot fits in perfectly on the lovely plains. A gorgeous staircase leads up to a beautiful building creating the perfect backdrop for your graduation photo. The water fountain nearby will also provide great photos for your grandparents’ wallet. 5. The next place you spent a lot of your time was probably in your dorm room, apartment, or house. So, why not photograph yourself at these places, too? Especially for those of you who have lived in a couple different places while in school, it’s important to remember where home was while you lived in Auburn. So, take a sequence of pictures to show where you lived during your time here. 6. Although this is another popular spot, and it’s likely to be crowded, it shouldn’t be overlooked. Cater Lawn makes for a beautiful photograph, and there’s plenty of space to take it. 7. Last, but not least, don’t forget about the barns in the Agricultural Park. Along with the pond on this site, this would make for a great compilation of country-style pictures, or even a playoff of us being a “cow college.” Keep these tips handy when you’re looking for places to capture some of your best memories in Auburn.

RAYE MAY / PHOTO EDITOR

Caitlin Perry is a graduating senior in biosystems engineering.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

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The Auburn Plainsman

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The Auburn Plainsman

Auburn University

School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences

Natural Resource Management

Adam Kelly We would like to congratulate Adam Kelly as our first graduate in the new Natural Resources Management major housed in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. Adam told us, “I feel that earning a Natural Resources Management degree from Auburn University is helping me achieve my goal of working harmoniously with, rathaer than in spite of, the environment, and by doing so I am successfully promoting a sustainable society.”

Mignon Denton We would also like to congratulate Mignon Denton on earning the prestigious President’s Award and W. James Samford Jr. Foundation Award for her excellent scholarship and Mignon chose the NRM degree because, “It allows students to choose any minor and provided enough flexibility for me to shape a major that best fit my interests.”

Along with our new major, we will also be offering four new minors beginning in Fall 2013: Nature-based Recreation, Natural Resources Ecology, Urban Environmental Studies and Watershed Sciences. These minors will be open to all students. Natural Resources Management is your path to a variety of careers working with nature, conservation and the outdoors!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The final walk: is it worth it? Jordan Dale WRITER

In college, students are presented with a variety of choices. It’s either go to class, don’t go to class, turn in this paper late, stay out all night drinking, or spend that time in the library studying. But every May, students are given their final choice: attend graduation, or skip it. “I'm walking,” said Mae Margaret Davis, senior in public relations. “After working this hard to get my degree, I'm excited to have the opportunity to celebrate that accomplishment with my classmates.” Students are able to attend their graduation, skip it and have their diploma sent to them, or even walk early if they have extenuating circumstances. “I graduate officially at the end of the summer after my internship, but I will be out of the country,” said Whitney Johnson, senior in public relations. “I also want to be with my twin sister who graduates this coming weekend, too.” For some, the choice to walk or not is contingent on family. “After working so hard for four years, I'm excited to walk and share that day with my friends and family,” said Jennifer Leonard, senior in public relations. “To the people that don't want to walk, I say if they don't want to walk, then that's up to them, but I can't imagine not wanting to after working so hard.” Johnson said she considered not walking because her family would have to make a long trip, but felt like it marked the definitive end of her college career. “I did think about not walking just because my family has to make a long trip to come up, but now I feel like it is going to

RACHEL SUHS / DESIGN EDITOR

officiate my ending in college,” Johnson said. For Justin Luangkhot, senior in horticulture fruit and vegetable production, the choice not to walk was personal. “The number one reason is because I took three years off from school, and I don't feel the desire to walk anymore,” Luangkhot said. “There has been a lot of pressure from my family, but I told them I paid for my college degree and I am choosing not to walk.” Luangkhot said that instead of attending graduation, he would probably be preparing to move. “When I finish my Master’s degree I am planning on walking for it,” Luangkhot said. “Possibly any other degrees I choose to work towards as well.” Johnson said the presence of friends would make waiting more tolerable. “I know it is annoying to wait, but it is a day where people are probably in a great mood so I think it is going to be fun to see everyone so happy,” Johnson said. “I am looking forward to seeing everyone who has worked hard in my classes all dressed

up. It is just good to know that everyone has made it to the end.” Davis said she looked forward to sharing the experience with friends. “I have a bunch of friends that I'm graduating with, and to all be there together with our other friends and family is an experience I know I'll never forget,” Davis said. “I'm so proud of everything this university represents, and I know it will be incredibly humbling to be one of many who are honored for our achievements next weekend.” Auburn’s graduation is divided into four ceremonies based on major. On Saturday, May 4, architecture, design and construction, education and human sciences students will graduate at 10 a.m., and agriculture and business students at 2 p.m. On Sunday, May 5, engineering, sciences and mathematics students will graduate at 1 p.m., and forestry and wildlife sciences, interdisciplinary studies, liberal arts and nursing students at 5 p.m. “I am looking forward to walking across the stage and hearing my name called,” Leonard said.


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The Auburn Plainsman

Josh Wallace engineers a future after basketball Lance Davis WRITER

Josh Wallace remembers the time he almost gave up. A scheduling mix-up his first semester freshman year had Wallace two weeks behind in Physics I and Calculus I. Wallace, a basketball player and civil engineering student, started thinking he might not be able to juggle the two demanding activities after all. “I was calling my mom and brother and I was just like, ‘I’m coming home. This is not for me,’” Wallace said. “They told me to stick with it, and they’re always there for me. That first semester was rough because I got the late start in those classes.” With only two classes between him and graduation, Wallace is glad he pushed through. He will graduate with a civil engineering degree in August. If ever there was an athlete that embodied the “work, hard work” part of the Auburn Creed, it’s Wallace. The 5-foot10 Pensacola native started 58 games in his career despite being a walk-on, and earned an athletic scholarship prior to his senior season. “If you could transplant Josh’s heart into every player in the game, you’d have some heck of a player out there,” head basketball coach Tony Barbee said. “Like I said, he doesn’t view himself as somebody who’s his size. He thinks he’s 6-foot-9 and 250 pounds when he looks in the mirror.” With his college career nearing its end, Wallace reflects on being a student-athlete, in every sense of the word. Despite receiving some interest from junior colleges and lower-level Division I schools, Wallace opted to walk on at Auburn and study engineering. His grades were good enough to earn an engineering

I knew the basketball was going to stop bouncing one day. I wanted to make sure I had something solid to fall back on and do for the rest of my life. I didn’t want to get a degree that I didn’t want to be doing. I wanted to make sure I’d be doing something I liked.” —Josh Wallace AUBURN BASKETBALL PLAYER AND CIVIL ENGINEERING STUDENT

scholarship that covered nearly all expenses. Wallace credits his mother, Joyce Hopson, for instilling in him the work ethic and confidence to balance basketball and schoolwork. Hopson, a professor at Pensacola State College, made the drive from Pensacola to Auburn for every one of Wallace’s home games. “She’s the best,” Wallace said. “She’s always been there for me since day one. Always.” Wallace recalls visiting Auburn with his mother before officially deciding that’s where he was going to go. “The first person I ever met was Frankie Sullivan,” Wallace said. “We met on the elevator heading up to the coach’s office. And my mom, she’s a sweetheart. Frank was here taking classes, she was like, ‘Make sure you look after Josh.’ So Frank takes this story and runs with it. He just tells people I’ll actu-

ally be his friend and stuff like that. Really just exaggerates it and blows it out the water.” “She was like, ‘Make sure you take care of my baby,’” Sullivan said. “I was like, ‘I got you.’ So every time somebody is like, ‘How’d you meet Josh Wallace?’ that’s the story I give them. And he’s like, ‘No it didn’t go down like that.’” Wallace said he’s going to miss his teammates the most when he leaves Auburn. “Those guys, we grew to be like brothers,” Wallace said. “I’m very close to some of those guys. I formed forever-lasting friendships with them.” “He’s not only a teammate to me; he’s my brother,” Sullivan said. “We have a lifetime bond. I really respect Josh, and I’m glad that he came to Auburn. He helped me out through my life, and I appreciate him for that.” Wallace has options once he leaves Auburn. He said he may give professional basketball a try, but if that doesn’t work out he’ll put his civil engineering degree to work. “I knew the basketball was going to stop bouncing one day,” Wallace said. “I wanted to make sure I had something solid to fall back on and do for the rest of my life. I didn’t want to get a degree that I didn’t want to be doing. I wanted to make sure I’d be doing something I liked.” Whatever path Wallace takes, he’ll carry with him a basketball in one hand, a civil engineering degree in the other, and the life lessons he learned on the court and in the classroom. “Sometimes things are not going to roll your way,” Wallace said. “The ball’s not going to bounce the way you want it to, but you still gotta keep your head up and keep fighting. You can never give up. Never give up.”

COURTESY OF TODD VAN EMST

Josh Wallace, basketball player, will graduate in engineering.


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The Auburn Plainsman

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Blake Burgess plays a different role under a new set of lights Will Gaines SPORTS REPORTER

To be or not to be a football player: that was the question Auburn senior Blake Burgess had to answer recently. As a theater major scheduled to graduate Saturday, May 4, Burgess had to decide after four years of playing college football if he wanted to commit to another year of a rigorous football schedule. “Well, I had kind of made my decision before the winter break if things go the way they go, then I’m probably going to be done because I’m graduating in May and there wasn’t anything left I really wanted to study,” Burgess said. After coming to this decision, he had already begun making plans about what he would do after graduation. Then he received a phone call from a familiar voice. “I got a call from Coach Malzahn a couple days after he had been announced to tell me that he wanted me back and that he really loved my leadership and wanted me to be part of the team,” Burgess said. Burgess decided he would think it over and let him know what he decided. After a meeting with Malzahn, he decided that he would give it another shot, but after two weeks, Burgess realized that his heart was no longer in it. “When you play any level of football, you have to be committed in your body and mind,” Burgess said. “My body had been through four years of football already, and I was tired and sore. I decided that I would be more detrimental to the team than anything.” Blake’s father, Rick Burgess, who played football at Troy University, faced a similar decision during his playing days. “I remember there was a day when I stepped on the field or in a workout, and I didn’t want

to be there,” Burgess said. “I remember thinking this game will eat you alive if you’re not 100 percent committed to it. “Blake’s calling card has always been his work ethic. He loves it, he loves workouts, he doesn’t mind practicing, and he works really hard. I think when he knew he could graduate he started getting ready for the place that God was going to take him in his platform.” Blake Burgess arrived at Auburn in 2009 as an invited walkon hoping to earn a scholarship, which he eventually earned. During his time at Auburn, Blake Burgess played several different positions. When he first arrived he was an offensive lineman, but was constantly trying to gain weight so he would have the size to play the position. Soon the coaches realized the offensive line was not the place for Burgess and asked him to move to tight end where he played during the 2011 season. He was a big contributor in special teams his whole career. “His whole career at Auburn was selfless,” Rick Burgess said. “Whatever the coaches wanted him to do, that’s what he would do. If they wanted him to put 50 pounds on to play center, he did. If they wanted him to lose 40 pounds to play tight end, he did. If they wanted him to lose a few more pounds to get a little faster and play fullback, he did.” After balancing his love of acting and his love for football Blake Burgess decided that it was time to give his full attention to acting. “It was extremely tough,” Burgess said. “I was more excited about becoming a professional actor than I was about staying another year and playing football.” Rick Burgess, the popular radio personality of the “Rick and Bubba Show,” is his dad, so he has always had the desire to perform for people since he was a

DANIEL ORAMAS / MULTIMEDIA EDITOR

Blake Burgess, senior in theater, performed in “Elephant’s Graveyard” in April. young child. “His mother was on the radio, his stepmom was a news anchor on television, his grandfather was a college football coach and he saw him on TV and being interviewed in the paper and on radio all time,” Rick Burgess said. “Everywhere he turned he ran into some form of the entertainment business.” Blake Burgess’ original love of acting, though, can be traced to a little sibling rivalry with his older sister. “The big point for him was his sister always wanted to be an actress and is an actress now,” Rick Burgess said. “He watched her get into plays and do things. He saw how it was to get in front of crowds. He finally auditioned and got in a play — I think it was “Peter Pan” — and played Captain Hook’s sidekick. It was funny and he got a big laugh and response from the crowd and that’s when he caught the bug.” Because of this desire to perform, it was an easy decision for him when he needed to decide on a major. “Going into the entertainment business, whether it be acting or being on camera, is what I wanted to do and when I got to college I was lucky enough to be able to do both,” Blake Burgess said. Being an actor and a football

player requires a lot of time and a big commitment, and at times he wondered if he could continue to do both. “Two springs ago I was part of a production of “Hamlet” and I was also battling for a starting job in spring football that year,” Burgess said. “It was exhausting. We had practice in the morning, I would go to class all day, and then have rehearsal at night. So those days were definitely tough, but I think I came out better for it. “The most exhausted I probably ever was, was the last show that we had was on a Saturday morning on the Saturday of ADay. So we had a 10 o’clock matinee and then I went backstage, stripped my costume off me, and then I ran down the street to the complex got on the bus and played in A-Day.” Burgess also participated in several different plays, such as “Cabaret” and “She Loves Me” and was a part of the production “Elephants’ Graveyard” in April. Burgess strived for excellence on the field and in the classroom. He was named an academic SEC All-American in 2010, the same year that he and his teammates won a national championship. “My parents were especially proud of me because it showed a dedication on the football field

and in the classroom,” Burgess said. “It’s also just another notch in that season. Not only did we win the national championship, but we kept good grades while doing it.” Being a football player has helped him in his desire to become a professional actor by giving him something that makes him stand out from the rest. “Because of my size and my background being a football player, I’m trying to get into film work and work stunts especially for football movies,” Burgess said. “I’m auditioning for a football movie in April with Kevin Costner. “Also there’s an FBI movie I’m auditioning for in Mobile. It’s a low budget film, but it’s still exciting, and that’s where I want to start so I can build up my credits and hopefully move to New York or LA.” Burgess believes that being a student-athlete gave him lessons and characteristics that will bring him success. “One thing that football taught me is that you have to have a schedule and you have to plan things out. If you don’t do that and try and play it by ear then you’ll get messed up,” Burgess said. “Having that structure definitely helps and you have to hold on to that wherever you go.”


Thursday, May 2, 2013

15

The Auburn Plainsman

Graduating class to be largest from College of Agriculture Jherrica Luckie WRITER

The spring graduating class is expected to be the largest class on record to have ever graduated from the College of Agriculture at Auburn University. Previously, a normal graduating class in the spring semester from the College of Agriculture would consist of less than 110 students. Suzanne Shaw, the student adviser for the College of Agriculture, said this year's class could have as many as 128 students. "I think it shows that the agricultural industry is still very important," said Ethan Brooks, a senior in Agricultural Business and Economics. "People have to eat, and with a growing world population it will be up to us to feed people as cheaply and effi-

ciently as possible." Shaw said the spring semester is usually the largest graduating class of the year, with the summer and fall semesters having much smaller amounts. She said a nearly 20-student increase in one semester is somewhat abnormal. Shaw said that the fall graduating class is normally only around 60 students. "I am very proud to be a part of the largest College of Ag graduating class," said Hannah Patterson, a senior in Agricultural communications. "I think this is a great achievement for the college and for the university as a whole." Patterson said she had not noticed there was an increase in students around the College of Agriculture and was unaware she was graduating with the

Auburn’s agriculture college is one of the oldest and best programs in the nation, and it makes me proud to be a part of it.” —Hannah Patterson SENIOR IN AGRICULTURAL COMMUNICATIONS

largest class until recently. Regardless of why it is larger, Shaw said the increase in students proves that the agricultural industry is still thriving

and shows people are still interested in it. "We have increased enrollment some over the past few years, so it makes sense that our graduating classes are becoming larger,” Shaw said. Patterson said she believes the increase could be related to retiring farmers and the need for agriculture students to fill their place. Within the past several years, the College of Agriculture added Environmental Science and Food Science Departments, and is currently working on enlarging their distance learning programs. Although there hasn't been a major increase in freshman acceptance or off-campus transfers, the College of Agriculture has seen a substantial increase

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The Auburn Plainsman a spirit that is not afraid

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in the on-campus transfers. Shaw said she thinks students become more interested when they get to Auburn's campus and truly see what the College of Agriculture is all about. "I am proud to be a part of this graduating class," Brooks said. "Most of the individuals in this class are friends of mine, and I am extremely happy for them. This is a very intelligent class with bright futures." Shaw said that some of the majors within the college have room for growth where some do not, but she expects they will see even more of an increase over the next several years. "Auburn's agriculture college is one of the oldest and best programs in the nation and it makes me proud to be a part of it," Patterson said.

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The Auburn Plainsman The Auburn Plainsman a spirit that is not afraid

a spirit that is not afraid Lance Davis bianca seward

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

16

The Auburn Plainsman

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times George Nunnelley WRITER

Well, it’s about that time of the year again. Summer is fast approaching and graduation looms at the end of next week. As the spring semester comes to an end and we say goodbye to our graduating seniors, we look back and reminisce about what has happened since their enrollment here at Auburn. Fittingly, since we are in the SEC, we are going to concentrate on football. It is safe to say that this year’s graduating class has truly been a part of one of the best and one of the worst football seasons in Auburn history. Following an 8-5 (3-5 SEC), Outback Bowl-winning season under first-year head coach Gene Chizik in 2009, the Auburn football team and the Auburn faithful may not have been disappointed, but, needless to say, they were hungry for more. However, that hunger was quickly sat-

isfied by a 6-foot-6-inch, 250-pound quarterback, hailing from College Park, Ga., who goes by the name of Cam Newton. “I’m pretty sure almost none of us knew who Cam Newton was when we enrolled at Auburn,” said Erick Cooper, senior in accounting. “But it sure didn’t take long to get to know him once the 2010 season kicked off.” Cam and the 2010 Tigers took Auburn football from a couple years of mediocrity to cloud nine in the blink of an eye. They went a perfect 14-0 (8-0 SEC), and past the mid-season point, there was no question who the best team in the country was. Unfortunately, we blinked twice, and it was all gone. After a 2011 season that was very similar to that of 2009, everything seemed to unravel for the program. Offensive coordinator and up-tempo guru Gus Malzahn left the Tigers after the season for Arkansas State in pursuit of accomplishing his dream of becoming

a head coach. Many may argue that he, not Chizik, was the mastermind behind the 2010 national championship, and the 2012 season presented some facts to back that argument up. “I just tried to stay positive no matter what the situation,” said former Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen. “Having an undefeated season taught me a lot, but going through a losing season taught me so much more.” We may want to leave it in the past and look to the future, but the Tigers went an abysmal 3-9 (0-8 SEC), and many of the big SEC games became “laughers” after halftime. After four years, Chizik was fired from Auburn and the target that the national media had placed on Auburn’s back during his tenure was yet to go away. Not to mention, news broke that the Toomer’s Corner oak trees, which were poisoned by Harvey Updyke after Auburn beat Alabama in the 2010 Iron Bowl, were

going to be uprooted and had been a part of their last Auburn football season. “There’s more to Auburn than two oak trees,” said long-time Auburn employee and former athletic director David Housel. “The community and campus will go on, and we will be back.” There’s only one way to go from here, and that’s up. The future is already looking bright as Malzahn has made his return to Auburn as the new head coach and put together a great coaching staff, as well as 2013 recruiting class. Just ask the record 83,401 fans who attended A-day last weekend. They have faith and showed that they will be “All In” through thick and thin. Not only the football program, but Auburn University as a whole will always live with this year’s graduating class. Many of their kids will walk in their footsteps on “the loveliest village of the plains” one day. You’ll see.

Celebrate with JCSM.aUbUrN.eDU Galleries are open Mon.–Fri. from 8:30am–4:45pm and Sat. 10am–4:45pm. The Museum Café is open Tues.–Fri. from 11am–2pm.

Congratulations GraDUateS! best wishes from

Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine art


05.02.2013 Graduation Tab