Following an internal search, Christopher A. Lepczyk, Alumni Professor in Auburn University’s College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment, has been named interim director of Auburn’s Honors College, effective June 15.
As director, Lepczyk will oversee the college’s central programs that provide specially designed learning experiences, resources and professional opportunities for high-achieving students until a permanent director is identified to replace Tiffany Sippial who transitioned from the university earlier this month.
A celebrated instructor and interdisciplinary scholar in ecology, Lepczyk brings extensive experience to the position of interim director, including teaching in the honors programs at both Auburn and the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. During his time in Hawai‘i, Lepczyk served as an honors faculty cohort member, where he worked to strengthen the institution’s emphasis on transformative educational experiences and civic engagement opportunities to foster more meaningful student learning experiences.
In addition to his experiences in Auburn’s honors programs, Lepczyk is a key advocate for promoting undergraduate education in the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment through his efforts to establish opportunities for students to participate in independent research, experiential field programs and innovative coursework. As a result of his active involvement with undergraduate students at both institutions, Lepczyk has been recognized with numerous teaching and mentorship awards, including Auburn’s Gerald and Emily Leischuck Endowed Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Harry Murphy Award for Excellence in Research.
“In addition to being a respected student-focused educator, scholar and colleague, Dr. Lepczyk brings a wide array of experience and service to the role of interim director,” said Associate Provost Norman Godwin. “I am confident he will lead the Honors College during this important time of transition and continue the college’s efforts to promote academic opportunities and community engagement.”
Lepczyk joined Auburn in 2014 after serving as an associate professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management and affiliate faculty member in the Department of Biology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. In addition to serving as an ecology professor, Lepczyk also holds a courtesy joint appointment in Auburn’s Department of Biological Sciences. Since arriving at Auburn, Lepczyk has remained actively engaged in Auburn’s Honors College, teaching honors courses in wildlife ecology and developing a new honors course for the upcoming academic year.
As interim director, Lepczyk will play a key role in fostering academic opportunities for students to participate in intensive, interdisciplinary across all majors and strengthening the university’s community of scholars.
“As interim director, I look forward to contributing my collective experiences and knowledge to strengthen Auburn’s Honors College community, particularly during an interim period where stability and support are critical to its continued success,” Lepczyk said.
Lepczyk holds a doctorate in both fisheries and wildlife, and ecology, evolutionary biology and behavior from Michigan State University, a Master of Science in wildlife ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Bachelor of Science in biology from Hope College. An active researcher, Lepczyk has generated over $2.7 million in external funding and is an author or co-author of more than 150 articles, research papers, manuscripts, book chapters and books.