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Outreach Activities

Our faculty and students participate in a number of outreach activities. Here are just a few highlights of the work we do beyond the classroom.

Art and Art History

  • Social and Community Engaged Practice Course: A special topics course co-taught by Professor Wendy DesChene and artist Rick Lowe. Students worked directly with Lowe and a local community to learn about socially engaged art practices.
  • The Art in Agriculture Initiative: An interdisciplinary collaboration of the Department of Art and Art History and the College of Agriculture that explored the intersections of art, culture, ecology, and the environment.
  • Alabama Prison Arts and Education Project (APAEP): Faculty and students from the Department of Art and Art History teach drawing classes for the APAEP which provides educational experiences focusing on the arts and humanities to individuals incarcerated in Alabama's prisons.
  • Auburn CityKids: A collaborative effort between Auburn University, the Auburn Housing Authority, City of Auburn Parks and Recreation Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center, and The Auburn Arts Association.
  • Drawing on Alabama: A biennial, statewide juried exhibition promoting contemporary drawing and providing professional advancement for practicing Alabama artists.

Communication and Journalism

  • Faculty and students in the School of Communication and Journalism created a newspaper for Valley, AL, resulting in an award-winning publication and at least two presentations at national conferences about the project.
  • Faculty members produced a website for the Chattahoochee Valley Heritage Project and students provide content. Our public relations students produce content for Auburn University’s social networking website, Auburn Family and they actively contribute to a website about Auburn, The Loveliest Village.
  • Journalism faculty and students host summer workshops for advisors and high school students interested in journalism. The school also sponsors a student film festival each year where high school and college students may screen their films and win prizes.


  • The Third Thursday Poetry Series brings regional and national poets to Auburn each month for a reading that combines “open mic” efforts with guest poets.
  • Auburn Witness Poetry Prize Reading in October is a special event where the prizewinner and a well-known judge (including luminaries such as Natasha Trethewey and Naomi Shihab-Nye) share a public reading at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art.  
  • The Southern Humanities Review brings poetry, fiction, and nonfiction to a broad audience within and beyond the state of Alabama,
  • Scriblerian offers insightful reviews of scholarship from late 17th- and early 18th-century literature.
  • Written Communication is the essential journal for research on the study of writing in all its symbolic forms. It has a broad and interdisciplinary view of what writing is, how writing gets done, and what writing does in the world.
  • Communication Design Quarterly seeks to become the premier information source for industry, management, and academia in the multidisciplinary field of the design and communication of information.
  • Lab for Usability, Communication Interaction, and Accessibility (LUCIA) brings faculty expertise to bear on the problems of human-computer interaction, media use, and group communication.


  • Public history courses: students in coordination with external partners develop a public history proposal and project that will provide benefits to the public and assist the partner organization. 
  • Digital history courses: students collaborate with community partners to develop state-of-the-art website designs and content for the benefit of organizations that might otherwise struggle to establish a web presence. 
  • Historic Preservation course: prepares research and heritage documentation surveys for organizations, such as the Alabama Historical Commission, on a broad range of topics including African American schools in Alabama and Alabama architectural history. 
  • Professor Elijah Gaddis works as a public historian. He consults on projects in North and South Carolina as well as museum exhibits, digital projects, and museum operations in North Carolina and Alabama. He involves students in community history efforts across Auburn through a collaboration with the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art and the Auburn Housing Authority.
  • History students work with the National Park Service at the Southeast Region Office in Atlanta. Students have helped the park service identify, arrange, and describe historic and administrative records in numerous park units. The department has also written an administrative history of Horseshoe Bend National Military Park in Alabama for the National Park Service.
  • History faculty partnered with faculty from the College of Architecture to develop a 3-D reconstruction of the 1965 Bloody Sunday confrontation in Selma, Alabama. 


  • “Music in the Forest” is a new collaboration between the Department of Music and the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve that features small instrumental ensembles performing for guests at the preserve’s open-air amphitheater.
  • The Auburn Indian Music Ensemble performed at the Birmingham Museum of Art as part of their Holi celebration (Festival of Color) in collaboration with the Indian Cultural Society. 
  • Music ensembles have traveled in China with performances in Beijing, Jinan, Xuzhou, and Shanghai and in Europe with performances in Belgium, France, Germany, and Austria. 
  • The Department of Music hosts over 100 events annually featuring students, faculty, and guest artists. Music ensembles perform around campus and in the community for a wide variety of public and private events.


  • The Department of Philosophy and Philosophy Club sponsor a lively discussion series on various topics of interest. Past topics include the philosophy of religion, legality and morality, and the problem of other minds. Previous themes have centered on free will, mind/body connections, and the problem of evil.

Political Science

  • Fundraising for Nonprofit Organizations course: featured a service learning component that partnered students with local nonprofit organizations to conduct research to produce a report for each organization analyzing their current fundraising activities, providing suggestions for fundraising strategies, and providing information to assist the organizations with future planning and implementation of a comprehensive approach to fundraising and development.
  • Faculty are involved in activities related to civic engagement such as teaching and lecturing for the National Election Center; teaching landmark Supreme Court cases to Atlanta civics teachers; conducting moot court for area high schools; placing students in internships with civic organizations; lecturing to Alabama’s League of Women Voters chapters; and conducting professional development seminars on fundraising for the Auburn Serves Community Partner Training Program. 
  • Master of Community Planning (MCP) faculty work with (often underserved) Alabama communities in various classes such as urban economics, land use planning, urban design, sustainable transportation planning, community development, historic preservation planning, and synthesis studio (capstone) projects. Students gain a deep and broad understanding of the issues in a city, while providing the city with invaluable information and ideas. Through numerous site visits and field trips with city planners, mayors, community groups and the public, students gain extensive and valuable insight about planning practice. They present their work in professional forums such as city council meetings, planning commission meetings, to community groups, or through public participation processes. Cities in Alabama that the MCP program has partnered with in recent years include Phenix City, Montgomery, Dothan, Pell City, Mobile, Prattville, Tuskegee, Auburn-Opelika, and others. Several of these student projects can be viewed in the Alabama City Year Program ePortfolio. If you are a community interested in partnering with the MCP program, please contact the MCP Program Director.


  • Psychology faculty work with organizations and agencies in Alabama and Georgia and offer their services in therapy; behavioral management committees; child advocacy centers; sex-offender programs; autism task force and advisory boards; for provision of training in different areas to federal agencies; and the development of employee well-being programs for local workplaces to name a few. 

Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work

  • Expressions of a BraveHeart serves the community by providing art, music and dance opportunities to teens and young adults with moderate to severe disabilities. 
  • BAMA Covered is a student powered grass roots movement to inform Alabama citizens about their health care options. Students have been trained as "connectors" and canvass the local community at health fairs, tax filing sites, barber shops, nail salons, and churches to provide education.
  • Social work students completed a needs assessment of the elderly in Lee County. The students interviewed stakeholders, clients, and social workers to alert them as to the ongoing needs of this population. 
  • Faculty members provide expertise to organizations addressing serious social problems in our community. These groups serve to address problems such as domestic violence, poverty, homelessness, sexual assault, and HIV/AIDS.  
  • CSI Auburn promotes science literacy and highlights social science career opportunities in forensics. Participants include 5th-8th grade students who are invited to be a forensic scientist for a day as they are guided through a series of active learning activities led by Auburn faculty and students.

Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

  • The Auburn University Speech and Hearing Clinic serves patients from all over the region and provides students with real-world experience, diagnosing and treating a variety of communication disorders, such as hearing loss, balance issues, voice and speech problems, and language disorders.
  • Audiology in Guatemala has been a major outreach initiative since 2009. Each year the audiology program takes a team of audiology students and faculty to Guatemala to provide hearing aids and exams to children in need.

Theatre and Dance

  • Seniors in the BFA performance program conduct a series of workshops with 4th-8th graders in the Loachapoka Extended Day Program. Students collaborate on the study, rehearsal, and performance of African American praise poetry.
  • Students taking Introduction to Theatre participate in community and civic engagement research projects. The project requires a weekly reflective journal, personal interviews with experts-in-the-field, and independent internet research in order to create group plays based on a social issue of interest to the student. The final project is a solo-written play in which the students create their own individual piece of “theatre for social change.”

World Languages, Literatures and Cultures

  • The “Closing the Gap” project was created to help the Hispanic immigrant population integrate into American society through education. The objectives of the program include teaching local Hispanic immigrants basic English linguistic skills, American culture and its nuances, and the logistics of a capitalistic society. The program helps teach undergraduate students the value of knowing a second language and exposes them to different Hispanic cultures.
  • Unidos en voz y acción / United in Voice and Action is a project that extends the learning experience beyond the classroom. Students chose from a variety of individualized volunteer programs. Some met with elderly residents of Azalea Place Assisted & Retired Living to give basic Spanish conversation lessons, others helped  Lee County Food Bank find ways to communicate more effectively with their Hispanic clients. A few students gave their time and expertise to Spanish language learners at Auburn High School.
  • A partnership between the Encyclopedia of Alabama and undergraduate and graduate Spanish students. The project broadened readership of the online encyclopedia; provided students with a real-life professional translation experience; and fostered cross-cultural understanding. 
  • Developing Global Citizens through German Language and Culture: students from two German classes led a series of events on German language and culture. The events hosted by the Auburn Public Library included skits based several fairy-tales, a movie night, and lessons on German language and culture.