Auburn Students Take Alternative Spring Break

For years, spring break has been a time for a fun getaway to the beach, the mountains or somewhere for leisure. However, more recently college students have turned away from the typical spring break trip. They are now going on what are frequently called “alternative spring breaks.”

Alternative spring breaks (ASB) usually involve volunteer work varying from community-based to global service projects. These programs are being offered through many local churches in college towns or campus ministries across the country.

Auburn University Campus Crusade for Christ, also known as Cru, has been taking alternative spring breaks for many years now. Just recently, they took Auburn students on four trips over spring break.

Auburn Cru is an interdenominational Christian organization. Their mission is “to win people to Christ, build them in their faith, and send them out to win, build and send others.”

Sending them out to win, build and serve others is exactly what one Cru group did this past spring break. Sixty Auburn students ranging from freshmen to seniors took on an ASB in the Dominican Republic.

“There are many reasons as to why I wanted to do an alternative spring break this year,” said Blythe Morocco. “First off, I had heard so many people talk about what it was like to go on a mission trip over spring break and how much it changed their lives. I thought going overseas and doing something packed full of my time instead of using it in a selfish way would educate me on other cultures and hopefully on myself.”

Auburn Cru traveled to La Vega, Dominican Republic to partner with the nonprofit organization Filter of Hope, whose mission is to provide safe, clean drinking water to families in need worldwide.

“The main purpose of our trip to the DR was to distribute water filters to the families in need of clean water, and through this, we were able to share the gospel by comparing God to the filter,” said Mary Sanford Perdue.

ASB is more than just a trip to serve others; it is a time to grow and learn about yourself. Many students come back saying it was the best experience they have had during their time in college.

“I learned that it’s 100 percent the best way to spend your spring break,” Emma Reifenburger said. “But seriously, I learned to step outside of myself and see the world from new eyes and see a different part of the world that I’ve never seen before. And most importantly, I learned that our God is a God of the nations and He cares so deeply for His people. He is the same God in the Dominican as He is in Auburn, Alabama, or New York City.”

According to the Auburn University students interviewed, it is apparent that taking an alternative spring break is not only beneficial to the recipients of the work, but it has also taught valuable life lessons to those who have participated.



Pizza-Writer Becomes a Big Hit After Choosing Auburn over Yale

It was her love for pizza that got her noticed by Yale, but her love for the South that brought her to Auburn.

Carolina Williams, a Tennessee native who graduated from Ravenwood High School, was accepted to Yale University in March after writing an attention-grabbing essay, but she chose to attend Auburn University this fall instead.

When asked on her Yale application to write an essay about something she loves to do, it was simple for Williams to come up with an answer: order pizza.

In early May, Williams tweeted a photo of her now-viral essay and the acceptance letter from Yale. She has since received recognition from some well-known publications and broadcasting companies, including ABC News, Good Morning America, Business Insider and People Magazine, to name a few.

Although it was a great honor to be accepted into Yale’s class of ’21, Williams was confident about her decision to attend Auburn.

“I love the South and the spirit that Auburn has, and I immediately felt at home when I came here, so it was just personally a better fit for me,” said Williams. “I visited campus twice before committing, once for a tour and once for Talons Day, and I was so impressed both times at how helpful and friendly everyone at Auburn was.

“Above all, though, I just wanted to be a part of the Auburn Family.”

Now that she’s officially a member of the Auburn Family, Williams is ready to immerse herself in everything Auburn has to offer.

Williams is majoring in business and earning a minor in economics in the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business, which also recognized her accomplishment on Twitter.

“I love business and hope to become a CEO someday, but in the near future I hope to become a business or economic analyst,” said Williams. “I would also love to be an author someday, as writing is a passion of mine.”

Williams received Auburn’s Presidential Scholarship. She also received the Edward and Catherine K. Lowder Endowed Scholarship from Auburn’s College of Business.

Williams is not only the first person in her family to attend Auburn, but also the first to attend college.

“It is awesome being a first-generation college student,” Williams said. “I love getting to go through this experience for the first time with my whole family, and we all love Auburn.”

When Williams posted her tweet about her essay for Yale, she did not expect the amount of recognition she has received. When she attended Camp War Eagle, Auburn’s freshmen orientation, she was acknowledged by many upcoming freshmen and also the local media.

“The attention has been crazy, but I am so honored,” said Williams. “I love that people are enjoying my writing and my passion for pizza. I hope if anything this will just help me make connections at Auburn and get plugged in easily.”



“What Working During College has Taught Me”

Coming to college is an exciting time in your life. It’s the first time you live on your own without your parents. It’s the first time you have to take full responsibility for yourself. It may also be the first time you have to work while also taking classes. But don’t worry freshmen, many of us have been there, and we’re here to tell you the benefits of working while in college.

Having a job, a social life and keeping up with your classes can be hard to maintain sometimes, but many Auburn students do it every day. There are many life lessons that can be learned from doing so. Let’s hear from some Auburn seniors who have had a job during their college career.

“Time management is everything,” said Blythe Morocco, Auburn senior. “Using a planner is the best thing you can do for yourself. I write down everything I have going on so I can’t forget. It isn’t like high school where they write your homework on the board. It can be overwhelming and frustrating when you can’t remember when everything is due. Plan ahead and you’ll save yourself from forgetting a lot.”

Time management is one of the best skills a person can learn. It is a skill that has to be developed, so having the chance to strengthen yours during college will help you achieve more in your future career.

“When you have a job in college it makes you use your time wisely since you have to balance school and work,” Sarah Brown, senior at Auburn, said. “Personally, when I am busy I do better in school because it makes me do my school work sooner rather than cramming at last minute.”

Cramming is never a good option. It can stress you out, and you most likely will not do your best work. When you use your time wisely you will see better results.

“I agree with Sarah about using your time wisely,” said Auburn senior Ansley Brown. “It is something very important to learn and in a way, it makes me more aware of my spending.”

College is a time that students begin to save money for their future. It is easy to run through a paycheck quickly, so having a job will keep you more conscious of your spending and will help you learn how to accurately save money after each payday.

“A job can provide students with the opportunity to learn professional skills such as communication, teamwork, time management, and customer service that employers will look for after college,” said Mary Sanford Perdue, Auburn senior.

Freshmen, as you can see from these seniors, having a job during college has many benefits. The skills you learn are not only useful during college, but you will also need them in the workforce. So do not worry if you are going to have to work during school because one it is doable and two it teaches you many great life lessons.



Why Auburn Abroad?

There are many different reasons why you should study abroad while in college. Here at Auburn, there are over 600 different study abroad programs offered, which means there is one for every individual. Auburn offers faculty-led programs, faculty-led internships and exchange programs.

One of the biggest reasons you should study aboard is the opportunity to see the world. How cool is that? In one trip you could travel to many different countries. You have the chance to see the history of each nation through landmarks, museums and much more.

Another reason you should consider studying abroad is the different educational experience you will receive. These programs give you a chance to see your major from a different point of view than you would be able to at home.

“The study abroad trip I went on allowed me to learn and experience things I would never be able to in the classroom,” said Trent Brooks, horticulture major. “For example, I was able to see commercial coffee production up close, which doesn’t exist in the United States.” (Henry P. Orr Endowed Fund Travel Abroad Costa Rica)

Many students who study abroad have never had the opportunity to experience different cultures before. When you study abroad, you have the opportunity to experience new foods, customs and traditions.

“Studying abroad was one of the most beneficial experiences I’ve ever had,” Piper Miles, public relations major, said. “I grew leaps and bounds in my seven weeks in Dublin. I had to figure out how to take public transportation and take it alone. I had to adapt quickly to the work culture at the organization where I interned. I had to navigate living, commuting and working in a foreign culture.” (College of Business Dublin, Ireland Summer Internship)

Many students studying abroad are looking for the opportunity to study a foreign language. What better way to do so than being able to completely immerse yourself in a new language?

After your study abroad experience, you will have a new perspective on culture, language skills, traditions, and a greater education. Needless to say, this knowledge is very attractive to job prospects.

“Studying abroad has helped me in the interview process of finding a job,” said Peyton Alexander, hospitality major. “It’s been a common topic in all of my interviews. They always ask me about what leadership skills I learned, and it’s also a great conversation starter.” (College of Human Science Backpack Europe Experience)

Lastly, the friendships you make while abroad could last a lifetime. Whether they are from your host country or students on your trip, without a doubt you will make great friends.

“Had I not gone, I wouldn’t have learned what I did, grown how I did or left behind relationships with some of the kindest people I’ve ever gotten to meet,” Miles said.


Five Things to Know When Choosing Your Major

1. It’s okay if you don’t know what you want to major in when you start freshman year:

Coming to Auburn, I was not sure what I wanted to choose as a major. I had several ideas of what career path I might take, but I couldn’t narrow it down to just one. When applying to Auburn, I decided to list out all of my interests and slowly narrow them down one by one. I used certain criteria, such as job placement rate, location and pay to help me decide the best fit for me. Although I still was not sure which path I wanted to take, I chose a major and decided to give it a try.

Freshmen, if you don’t know what you want to major in, it’s okay. You are not alone, and us upperclassmen have all been there.

“Don’t choose a major just because you’re good at it and it’s easy,” said Peyton Satterfield, senior at Auburn. “College is a place where, believe it or not, you want to be challenged. You’ll fall out of love with your favorite subject if you’re stuck doing something that doesn’t challenge you or make you think in a new way.”

Take my advice and begin to think of careers that interest you. Narrow them down by the criteria that you find most important and give one of those majors a try.

2. Auburn Career Center can help you find the major that best fits you through its services:

The Auburn Career center offers many services to Auburn students, and I highly suggest using them. The two services that will be helpful to freshmen are career counseling and interests and personality assessments.

“The career center services helped me solidify my career path and reassured me that I was heading in the right direction,” said Lenze Morris, Auburn senior. “I was debating between two different majors, and the career center was able to help me make the right decision through their personality assessment.”

Career counseling offers free one-on-one sessions to help you decide what’s the best major for you. The interests and personality assessment will help identity your strengths and weaknesses, what you like and dislike, what you want to do with your future and the things you value in life. Access to these services can be found at

 3. If you end up not liking your major, it’s okay to switch:

If you have chosen your major for freshman year but then start school and realize it’s not the one for you, it’s okay to switch. I did the exact same thing. After taking introductory classes for my major freshman year, I realized it was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Many of my friends in my current major switched into it after freshman year, and we are all on track to graduate on time.

“I came to Auburn with 12 credit hours from dual enrollment classes in high school,” said Kate Stewart, senior at Auburn. “My mom always wanted me to be a dentist, but I always hated science. For some reason, I thought college science with labs would make it exciting and interesting to me. No, no I was very wrong. I did not enjoy science at all, and all my first semester freshman year classes were science-based except for the Auburn experience class I had on my schedule. After week two of the second semester, I sat down with my mom and told her this isn’t what I wanted, and that I couldn’t continue. Many people in the past had told us both that people were my specialty, which was a key point of what drove me to public relations. I transferred and that summer started my first PR classes. I was absolutely in love. I am now a senior that is on schedule to graduate in May 2018 with a B.A. in public relations and communication and a minor in general business and philanthropic and nonprofit studies.”

Do not let it scare you that you must finish in four years, but let me tell you that it is possible to do so even after switching majors. I switched the beginning of my sophomore year, and I am graduating a semester early. So remember, if your major doesn’t work out, you can still switch and graduate on time.

 4. If you have more than one interests, consider a minor or double major:

As I already mentioned, I had a hard time choosing what to major in, as I’m sure many of you have struggled with too. Another great option if you can’t narrow your interests down to one is to pick up a minor or double major. It may sound scary at first, as it was to me too, but it is doable.

“I want to do PR non-profit work, so I feel that I need a better understanding of that sector,” said Katie Stotts, Auburn senior. “I chose to minor in non-profit in order to learn more about how it works. I also am earning a minor in marketing because I think understanding the numbers behind a company is important for the career path I am taking. A lot of people fall into the non-profit work sector and having this background sets me above them.”

Many majors are constructed in a way that adding a minor fits well into your schedule. For example, part of your major requires you to take electives, which are any classes that are not required for you to graduate. Most minors require you take 15 hours in that subject; therefore, if you needed 15 hours of electives, then you can knock out two-in-one.

5. Your major will not predict or guarantee your future:

If there’s one thing that I have learned during my time at Auburn, it is that your major will not define your future. I know many people who graduated in a certain field and took a job in another. This is not uncommon either. I have completed two internships during my time at Auburn, and many of my colleagues during that time were not working jobs that had to do with their college degree.

So, if you end up your senior year realizing that your major is not what you want to do forever, don’t worry. Your major is not going to predict your future. Having a college degree is the most important aspect, but you can gain experience for other careers through part-time jobs or internships during and even after college.

(all photo courtesy of google image)

Kentucky Derby 2017 Social Media Release

This is a proof of concept example for one of my PR classes. The full media kit of this release is located in my digital resume.

**This Social Media Release is fictional. It is not affiliated with the Kentucky Derby in any way.**


Have you ever experienced “the most exciting two minutes in sports?” If not, you’re in luck. The 143rd Kentucky Derby will be held on Saturday, May 6, 2017, in Louisville, Kentucky. Each year, the Derby attracts nearly 375,000 people throughout the week at Churchill Downs. The Kentucky Derby Festival will begin two weeks preceding the race on April 20, 2017.


The Kentucky Derby is a horse race held every year on the first Saturday of May at Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky. The festival is Kentucky’s largest single annual event, drawing 1.5 million people to the Bluegrass State. It includes the Thunder Over Louisville, the largest annual fireworks display in North America; the Great Steamboat Race, featuring the Belle of Louisville; the Pegasus Parade, one of the largest parades in the United States; the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon & miniMarathon and the Great Balloon Race.


  • The gates will open at 8 a.m., and the wagering windows will begin 30 minutes before the first race, at approximately 10 a.m.
  • Mint Juleps will be available as soon as the gates open and will be served until the last race of the day.
  • Tickets can be purchased online through the Kentucky Derby website at or on the Kentucky Derby Ticket Exchange.


“We have been planning all year for the Derby, and we are excited to finally announce when it will take place,” Erik Brown, chief development officer, said. “The 143rd running will be an exciting race, and we hope to sell out Churchill Downs again this year.”

“The Kentucky Derby is one of my favorite races,” said Ashley Lewis. “The experience is unforgettable.”

“We cannot wait for our guest to arrive this year,” Warren Rose, director of visitor services, said. “We have listened to their input and have made changes to fit their needs.”




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