2020 graduates receive President's Award and W. James Samford Jr. Foundation Award

Julio Alejandro Yanes, Doctorate of Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences, was awarded a President's Award and W. James Samford Jr. Foundation Award. The award recognizes one graduate in each school or college who has completed at least three semesters at Auburn with a minimum grade point average of 3.4, and possesses outstanding qualities of leadership, citizenship, character and promise of professional ability.

Julio Yanes

Julio Yanes is using his research to leverage a multi-modal approach, including behavioral, psychophysiological and neuroimaging techniques, to understand effects of regular cannabis use on brain networks that support pain processing. Julio, who is from Miami, Florida, is vice president of Pride on the Plains, has served as president of the Psychology Graduate Organization, and is on the College of Liberal Arts diversity committee. He has also been recognized with the Center for Neuroscience Fellowship, Inclusive Excellence and Diversity Award, the Harry Merriwether Fellowship and the Outstanding Master's Student Award. After graduation, Julio plans to teach at a leading research university and develop programmatic research in cognitive/ affective neuroscience with an emphasis in psychopharmacology and neuroimaging. Julio received his award through the Graduate School. 

Juliane Lyn

Julianne Bethany Lyn, Bachelor of Arts, Public Relations, was also awarded a President's  Award and W. James Samford Jr. Foundation Award. 

Julianne Lyn, from Clanton, Alabama, applied her student leadership positions on campus to implement changes that protect students. As executive vice president of initiatives for SGA, Julianne worked to implement a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program at the Auburn University Medical Clinic, launched Flunch, a student-faculty lunch program to promote relationships between students and faculty members outside of the classroom and solidified a late-night ride smart program to provide students with free, safe rides home at night. While she served as assistant vice president of outreach projects for SGA, Julianne worked to spearhead SGA's first Fall Feast which provided a traditional Thanksgiving meal to 435 international students, and received the 2019 Event of the Year award for the Southeastern Conference. After graduation, Julianne plans to attend law school to become an attorney.

Sophia Brint

Sophia Louise Brint, Bachelor of Arts, Spanish and Bachelor of Science, Nursing, is also a recipient of  President's  Award and W. James Samford Jr. Foundation Award. 

Sophia Brint, from Birmingham, Alabama, is combining her love of language and nursing to help those in the local community. This summer, she will take the second and final portion of the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters exam so she can become a licensed medical interpreter. Sophia has been a leader in several student organizations, including Freshman Forum, vice president of the School of Nursing's School's Council and Miss Homecoming Top 5 candidate. She also earned the National Scholars Presidential Scholarship for National Merit Finalists which is a four-year scholarship. After graduation, Sophia will be the college women's director at Lakeview Baptist Church and will be ministering to college women in Auburn. She will also take her national nursing board exam to become a registered nurse. Sophia received her award through the School of Nursing

Natalie Conboy

Natalie Elizabeth Conboy, Bachelor of Arts, Psychology and Bachelor of Science, Biomedical Sciences, is also a recipient of  President's  Award and W. James Samford Jr. Foundation Award. 

Natalie Conboy takes helping others to new levels. Since she was a freshman, she has volunteered as a tutor at the Esperanza House, a local nonprofit that serves low-income Hispanic children and families. She supports academic and personal growth of more than a dozen children through workshops and recreational events. Natalie, a resident of Birmingham, Alabama, is president of the Student Association for Mentoring where she helps train and match student mentors with local elementary school children. She has assisted in several research projects by screening community and student participants for traumatic experience s, and using experimental protocol and eye-tracking procedures . She was also a Fulbright Scholar semi-finalist. After graduation, Natalie plans to attend medical school.

Natalie received her award through the College of Sciences and Mathematics


Nathan Holden

The W. James Samford Jr. ’72 Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to Nathan Daniel Holden of Dallas, Texas. The award is named in memory of James Samford, a 1972 Auburn alumnus and member of the Auburn Board of Trustees from 1987 until his death in 2003. Preference is given to juniors who have completed at least 61 hours but no more than 89 semester hours. The W. James Samford Jr. Scholarship Committee considers their philanthropic and leadership activities. 

Nathan Holden is a professional and public writing and applied math major. He is active across many campus organizations, including copy editing for the Glomerata, vice president of the Student Recruiters, and he serves as an undergraduate teaching assistant in the mathematics and statistics department. Off-campus, Nathan volunteers as a tutor at Dean Road Elementary School and is a youth group leader in his church. Upon graduation, Nathan hopes to attend graduate school to study economics and aims for a career in public policy. 


Last Updated: May 20, 2020