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College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment honors faculty, staff and students during Spring 2023 awards celebration

By May 1, 2023May 15th, 2023No Comments

The College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment at Auburn University held its annual award ceremony and reception on April 19, honoring exceptional students, faculty members and alumni who have made noteworthy contributions to the college, their respective fields and other areas.  

Among the award recipients were several students recognized for their academic achievements, leadership skills and dedication to their studies.  

Student award recipients included


The President’s Award – Colby Cheaney 

Graduation Marshall – Ashlyn Cowgill


Academic Improvement Award in Forestry – John Hammack 

Alabama Wildlife Federation David K. Nelson Game Management Award – Reese Stogner 

Alabama Wildlife Federation Robert G. Wehle Non-Game Management Award – Sarah Knutson 

Geospatial and Environmental Informatics Student of the Year – Kyle Draper 

Natural Resources Management Student of the Year – Avy Elmore 

Sustainable Biomaterials and Packaging Student of the Year – Holden Lee 

Weyerhaeuser Forest Economics Award – Josh Mullins 

Wildlife Enterprise Management Student of the Year – Houston Hall

William Allen Carey Memorial Award for Outstanding Forest Pathology – Caemon Jernigan 

Undergraduate Research Fellows – Ally Cobern, Mary Ashley Hughes, John-Michael Norris, Madeleine Park, Lauren Stevens, Ansley Strength 

Harry Murphy Graduate Student Award – Youngfa You & Gina Lamka


Alabama Chapter of the Wildlife Society Student Leadership Award – Payton Brewer 

Alabama Division of the Society of American Foresters Junior Leadership Award – Alex Warr 

Alabama Forest Owners Association Award – Rice Nichols and Riley Ketchum 

Armistead and Woody Military Service Award – Phil Burchfield (17 years’ service in US Army) 

Association of Consulting Foresters Senior Leadership – Josh Mullins 

F & W Forestry Services Inc. Rising Senior – Eric Eisenhard 

Forestry Club Outstanding Member Award – Garrett Norton 

Southeastern Society of American Foresters and Alabama Division Leadership Travel Award – Alex Warr 

Summer Practicum Endowed Scholarship – Hunter Cochran 

The Wildlife Society Outstanding Member of the Year – Colby Cheaney 

Westervelt Rising Senior Award in Wildlife – Judson Thompson

Expressing the shared sentiment of the faculty and staff, Dean Alavalapati stated, “We are extremely proud of our students’ diligence in their studies and their training in leadership skills for their future careers in natural resources, wildlife, and forestry.” 

The outstanding work of numerous CFWE faculty and staff in a range of fields were also recognized, along with alumni who have made notable contributions to the industry. Faculty/Staff and Alumni award recipients include:


SGA Honors Ceremony Outstanding Faculty Award – Dr. Todd Steury 

Harold E. Christen Award for Service to Teaching – Dr. Heather Alexander 

Harry Murphy Outstanding Staff Award – Elizabeth Bowersock & Michelle Straw 

Harry Murphy Faculty Research Award – Dr. Soledad Peresin 

Forestry Club Teacher of the Year – Dr. Tom Gallagher 

The Wildlife Society Teacher of the Year – Dr. John Kush 

Graduate Student Mentorship Award – Dr. Janna Willoughby 

Best Publication Award – Dr. Lana Narine 

The College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment also honored Dana Little ’79 who received the 2023 Outstanding Alumni Award in honor of his lifetime contributions to the forestry industry. 

To view photos from the 2023 Awards Celebration, visit 

(Written by Allison Killingsworth) 


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