Sarah Buck

PR & Writing

5 Reasons to Love Auburn University

Jordan-Hare at Auburn Universtiy

Jordan-Hare from the student section

All college students can relate to the exciting and sometimes terrifying transition from high school to college, but only Auburn University students understand the impact a community can have on their college experience.

Although we come from different backgrounds, we have all fallen in love with the same place—a place that has taught us how to become adults, be a family, be responsible, make friends, love, and have the time of our lives.

As I and many others approach graduation, I am reminded of the hundreds of reasons to be thankful that Auburn University has stolen my heart and will always be my home, but here is a list of five:

1. Because of the person Auburn has helped me become.

Everyone says that college is the place where you get the opportunity to shed your old identity, start fresh and be who you want to be. This is true, but not every university helps you through the process as gracefully as Auburn.

The Auburn Creed has served as a guideline to help students through the process of finding their identity for many years, and it has helped me. It outlines the values that Auburn students believe in: hard work, education, honesty, sportsmanship, obedience to the law, human touch, and faith in country and God. This creed reflects what I believe and what I want to continue to believe after my time at Auburn is up.

2. Because of the lessons I have learned about community and family.

The phrase, “Auburn Family,” is not unusual to hear on and off the plains. No matter what type of life students come from, Auburn University teaches the meaning of family.  The close-knit community, known for its friendliness, truly bleeds orange and blue. Whether it is at athletic event, a celebration of success or a tragedy, members of the Auburn Family stick together.

To read more, visit this website:

Santa Claus is coming to town, not once but twice

Opelika and Auburn residents will have two opportunities to get into the Christmas spirit with the help of the annual Opelika and Auburn Christmas parades. The Opelika Christmas parade, hosted by the Opelika Chamber of Commerce, will take place Saturday, Dec. 6, at 11 a.m., and the Auburn Christmas parade, hosted by the Auburn Chamber of Commerce, will be held Thursday, Dec. 11, at 5 p.m. Both parades are open to the public and are expected to last an hour.

Christmas parade band

Opelika High School Band plays in the Opelika Christmas parade.

The Opelika Christmas parade, themed “Christmas Wishes” and sponsored by Opelika Ford, Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep, will take place in Historic Downtown Opelika and begin on 9th Street. The parade route will include portions of 9th Street, S. Railroad Avenue, 8th Street, Avenue B and 7th street. The Opelika Police Department will block downtown streets beginning at 9:30 a.m.

“The parade participants get to tell Opelika ‘Merry Christmas’ and attendees get to say it in return,” said Vivian Anthony, parade coordinator and administrative assistant for the Opelika Chamber of Commerce. “It’s great fun to hear the bands playing, see the professional and handmade floats and the colorful Christmas decorations. The parade really brings the Christmas spirit to Opelika.”

Santa in Christmas parade

Santa in the Auburn City Christmas parade.

The Auburn Christmas parade, sponsored by Thames Orthodontics, will take place in downtown Auburn beginning on the corner of Thach Avenue and College Street. The parade will make its way through downtown via College Street, Tichenor Avenue and Gay Street, ending where it began on Thach Avenue.

To read more, visit this website:

Forcing Bulbs for Winter

Winter can be a dull and dreary season for gardeners, but forcing bulbs can bring life and color back into the home and the hope of spring back into a gardener’s heart.

Forcing bulbs is the process of manipulating a bulb into breaking dormancy early in order for the plant to bloom sooner than it would naturally. The process, often done in fall and winter, is fairly simple, but can take time.

Forced Bulbs

Yellow Daffodils

Dani Carroll, a regional home grounds agent for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, explained that in her experience gardeners and flower lovers alike enjoy looking at spring blooming bulbs in the middle of winter.

“Believe it or not, there are a lot of people that aren’t fond of the cold weather,” she said. “Spring blooming bulbs flowering indoors in winter provide fresh flowers and fragrance, giving people a pick me up and a sign of spring to come.”

The Process of Forcing Bulbs

The process of forcing bulbs begins by purchasing and planting flower bulbs in the fall, usually late October. Common bulbs for forcing are daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, amaryllis and crocus.

Planted Bulbs

Young narcissus growing

“Bulbs can be purchased anywhere as long as the bulbs are in good shape,” said Carroll, regional home grounds, gardens and pests Extension agent. “If you can see the bulbs that you are purchasing, choose firm, plump bulbs. Look for bulbs without any sign of mold or rot as well as blemishes like cuts and bruises.”

To read more, visit this website:

Studying — Where do you do it?

In every college town there are popular places to watch games and grab a drink, fashionable places to shop and favorite places to eat, but what about the best places to study? Where do students go to find a focused environment to get work done?

At Auburn University, students have the opportunity to take their pick, and they do. Living communities and apartment complexes offer study rooms and study areas as amenities. Campus buildings have computer labs, study floors and personal study nooks, and each year a new coffee shop makes its debut in the area.

No matter the options, each individual student has his or her preference, but there are clear trends when it comes to choosing a place to study.

The Library

The library answer is a no-brainer. The Ralph Brown Draughon Library, also known as RBD or “The dragon,” is a popular study space for students. It is the most logical response when students are asked where they study, and to some it is where they get their best work done. Connor Robbins, senior in biomedical sciences, is one of them.

“The library helps me stay focused,” Robbins said. “The lighting is good, better than my apartment, and I’m not tempted or feel obligated to spend money on food. I want to stay focused, so I go to a place where everyone is focused.”

A Coffee Shop

Whether it is Mama Mocha’s, Wake Up Coffee Company, Toomer’s Coffee, Coffee Cat or The Overall Company, the coffee shop study craze is a go.

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Adventure awaits at Auburn Outdoors

Tucked away on the lower level of the Recreation and Wellness Center is Auburn Outdoors, a division of campus recreation that provides avenues of outdoor recreation for students who are passionate about making adventuring a part of life.

Auburn Outdoors

Auburn Outdoors

Auburn Outdoors is a part of the Auburn Campus Recreation department.

The Auburn Outdoors program began when the Recreation and Wellness Center opened in August 2013. The program currently operates the indoor climbing facility and rental shop, offers climbing clinics and classes, bicycle maintenance classes, back country cooking clinics and many adventure trips.

Rusty Cooper, coordinator of Campus Recreation for Auburn Outdoors, explains that Auburn Outdoors is open to all Auburn University students and hopes to forge a community through the program.

Auburn Outdoors

Auburn Outdoors operates the indoor climbing facility and rental shop, offers climbing clinics and classes, bicycle maintenance classes, back country cooking clinics and many adventure trips with the Auburn University Student Recreation.

“Our goal is to create a community of like-minded individuals that can enjoy outdoor recreation and meet new individuals who also share their passion,” Cooper said. “We want students to be involved with Auburn Outdoors that are passionate and relational with their peers. We want individuals who are looking to put away all the electronics of their life, unplug and connect with the world.”

Auburn University student and Auburn Outdoors employee, Amelie Thomas is happy to have found a place to do what she loves through Auburn Outdoors.

“I decided I wanted to work for Auburn Outdoors when I heard that the new Recreation and Wellness Center would come with an outdoors program,” Thomas said. “I have always loved outdoor adventures and sharing them with others, so I knew this campus program was for me.”

Auburn Outdoors offers a number of adventure-based education programs including backpacking, paddling, climbing, indoor climbing, biking, adventure trips and clinics. The outdoor center offers equipment rentals, a bike shop and trip planning resources.

To read more, visit this website:

Insect Invasion: Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle

When temperatures begin to drop, the multicolored Asian lady beetle makes a move. Believe it or not, it wants to come inside your home. These orange and black ladybugs are notorious for congregating on the sides of buildings during fall months and moving indoors when given the opportunity. Awareness of the multicolored Asian lady beetle and understanding why it invades homes  is key to preventing an infestation before it begins.

The Asian Lady Beetle

As one of the world’s most invasive insects, the Asian lady beetle ( Harmonia azyridis) is often seen as a pest because of its tendency to enter homes, have an unpleasant odor and leave stains on fabrics or walls. Although the beetle can be a pest, it also serves a valuable role in the environment.

“The presence of lady beetles has both direct and indirect beneficial impacts on the environment,” Dr. Xing Ping Hu, specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, said. “They reduce or even eliminate insecticide use against certain pest insects. This reduces toxic contamination to water, soil and air, and increases health and safety for people, wild animals and the environment. This, in turn, reduces the cost of pest control and increases harvests.”

Asian lady beetles congregating

Hu explained that the multicolored lady beetle is native to Asia and was imported for use as a biological control agent for crop-destroying insects in the United States. It is characterized by a black M marker on its cream-yellow head.

“Biological control agents are natural enemies of pests,” Hu, who is also a professor of entomology at Auburn University, said. “The Asian lady beetle was originally introduced to the United States because there was no efficient, native, natural enemy to control certain agricultural aphids. The beetle’s natural control of aphids in pecan orchards and some ornamental plants has decreased insecticide usage against those pests.”

But why do these insects enter homes and what do they do?

According to Hu, in its native country, this beetle hibernates in caves, cracks and crevices during the winter. In the United States, these insects use buildings to protect themselves from winter weather and to retain the heat emitting from them.

To read more, visit this website:

Tiger Tailgate Photo Contest offers fan experience

Auburn fans have the opportunity to submit their original Auburn tailgate and spirit photos to the Auburn University Bookstore before Oct. 15, for the chance to win a fan experience package for the Auburn vs. Texas A&M football game. The winner of the 2014 Tiger Tailgate Photo Contest will receive a fan experience package, which includes two tickets to the Auburn vs. Texas A&M football game, two hospitality passes and a pre-game, on-field experience.

Photo Contest

Submit photos online using #tigertailgate2014.The Contest

Participants can enter the contest by submitting a photo to or online through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using #TigerTailgate2014. All contest entries must be original photos and include contact information.

“The easiest way to enter the contest is to click on the Tiger Tailgate Photo Contest tab at,” said Jennifer Edwards, marketing communications specialist for the Auburn University Bookstore. “By clicking on the tab, they will be able to upload a photo and enter all of their contact information.”

To read more, visit this website:

Admissions Advisors Share Knowledge with Prospective Students

Applying for college can be an extremely exciting and sometimes stressful time. Every year Auburn University receives applications from prospective students in all 50 states and many different foreign countries.

Unknown to some of these applicants, there are people on the inside that can help make the process of applying and choosing the perfect university easier.

These insiders are called Admissions Advisors, and their job is to recruit students and assist them in the admissions process.

Three of these regional advisors are Jordan Holladay, Katherine Buck and Andrew McGill, and the following are their answers to six valuable admissions questions.

What is the most frequently asked question you get from prospective students? 

“I always get asked if we accept the Hope Scholarship,” McGill said. “This is because I mainly recruit Georgia, but the advice I give to out-of-state students is that we offer tiered scholarships to help offset out-of-state costs. The ACT and SAT are both very important for these scholarships, so I advise students to take both tests at least once to see which one they like better. This helps students focus on one test and get their score up as much as possible.”

What are the biggest concerns most prospective students have that they shouldn’t worry about?

“Some prospective students are overly worried about what they are going to do on the weekends during college, and they are often looking for planned activities the university provides,” Holladay said. “While those activities are important for student engagement, I try to remind them they will make friends in college, too! The beauty of college is you have more freedom, and you can choose to have unplanned, spur of the moment, adventures with the new friends you meet.”

To read more, visit this website:

Common Cold: Five ways to avoid it this season

What is the common cold?

The common cold is one of the most frequent illnesses and the main reason for work and school related absences in the U.S. each year. Adults average between two and four, and children have an average of six to eight per year. Although the illness is often seen in mild cases, symptoms can include runny nose, congestion, sneezing, scratchy throat and a cough.

Colds are caused by viral infections and are spread when mucus containing the virus is transferred by touch or breath. Colds are most commonly seen between the months of September and May, when the seasons change and more time is spent indoors.

There are no prescription medications available for the treatment of the common cold, and because there is no prescription treatment, healthcare professionals can only recommend certain over the counter drugs, rest and fluids to help remedy the symptoms.

Although, the inconvenience of a cold is impossible to prevent entirely, here are five ways to increase immune health and lessen the risk of infection recommended by Dr. Onikia Brown, nutrition specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

A Balanced Diet

The first way to boost resistance against the common cold is to have a balanced nutrition plan. The proper nutrition not only increases the functionality of the human body, but also increases its ability to fight off infection.

My Plate

A balanced diet is crucial in preventing a cold.

“I recommend a diet that offers variety in color, texture and cooking methods,” said Brown, who is also an assistant professor of nutrition and food science at Auburn University. “This will help to get the nutrients needed to fight the common cold and diet-related chronic diseases.”

Brown advocates following the nutrition guide, “MyPlate,” found on

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Oktoberfest gets crafty at The Hotel at Auburn University

The Hotel at Auburn University’s fifth annual Oktoberfest is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 20 from 3 to 9 p.m. in the hotel’s north parking lot located at 241 S. College St.


Oktoberfest at The Hotel at Auburn University

The event, sponsored by The Event Group: A Tailgate Guys Company, AlaBev, Kathy Powell Statefarm and The Hotel at Auburn University, will feature 29 breweries and more than 100 craft beers for attendees to sample.

“The one-off beers are the highlight of the festival,” said Adam Keeshan, food and beverage executive assistant manager at The Hotel at Auburn University. “Oktoberfest is an opportunity for people to try these limited edition beers along with traditional IPA, Saison and wheat beers. We want to showcase unique aspects of the craft beer industry so our selection will not be the same beer people try over and over again.”


Oktoberfest 2013 attendees, Hanna and Adam, wore traditional german dress to celebrate the festival.

The 29 local and national breweries in attendance will include notable names like Good People Brewing Company, Monday Night Brewing, Samuel Adams and Innis & Gunn. Each brewery will have a variety of beers for attendees to sample. Select breweries will serve one-off beers, brewed special for Oktoberfest.

This year’s festival will feature Homebrew Alley, a new home brewing competition that will demonstrate the newly legalized Alabama craft.

“Homebrew Alley will consist of 10 homebrewers present to showcase their beer to the public,” Keeshan said. “Each homebrewer will pour one or two beers, and the American Homebrewers Association will judge the contest.”

To read more, visit this website:

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