Honors College Director and
Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Studies
Honors College Senior
Human Development and Family Studies
TeKisha Rice, a senior majoring in Human Development and Family Studies, knows firsthand how incredibly transformational scholarships can be. “It’s not just about the money,” she said. “It is about the opportunities that an Auburn education opens up after graduation, and it is about realizing the value and importance of giving back, helping someone you may never meet or see again, and making a meaningful difference in someone’s life.”
For Rice, scholarships have contributed to her academic success by teaching her how to manage her time and study while supporting her personal and professional development. An Honors College scholarship recipient, Rice’s hard work and dedication have earned her a number of other scholarships. They have also allowed her to expand her involvement beyond just attending class. A 2015 President’s Award recipient, Rice participates in the Diversity in Honors organization, the Alabama Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Initiative, and is active in an undergraduate research program.
“My scholarships, particularly in my final year, have allowed me to focus much more energy and time on my education and activities. Scholarships release the stress of feeling that I need to work more to cover the cost of books and other school-related experiences. Although I still have to work to support myself, my scholarships have freed me from the concern of additional costly student loans during my senior year.” Because of this scholarship support, Rice’s academic performance has resulted in her acceptance and full scholarship to the top graduate program in her discipline.
For Sherman and Jane Pitts, the personal attention and counsel their daughter receives as part of the Honors College has been invaluable to her success while at Auburn. When Sarah, a sophomore with a double major in English Literature and Political Science, had difficulty with a class her freshman year, Sherman encouraged her to sit down with her Honors College advisors who steered her through the class. “We were just so impressed early on with the help Sarah received,” Jane said.
In addition to the hands-on advising, the Pitts learned about the other opportunities available to Honors College students, including undergraduate research initiatives, study abroad programs, and support when applying for national prestigious scholarships. They also appreciate that Sarah benefits from Auburn’s large-scale academic and social offerings while also benefitting from the smaller, more nurturing environment of the Honors College. “We’re so thankful that she can get the one-on-one academic focus and advice that she needs,” Jane said.
Sarah’s experience with the Honors College led the Pitts to look for ways to get more involved. Sherman serves on the Honors College Development Council and the couple recently made a gift to support programs within the Honors College. “It was not a hard decision to make to want to help out and give back to something as effective and meaningful and worthwhile as the Honors College,” Sherman said.