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Warhawk Weekly 5-09: Celebrating AUM’s Spring Class of 2023; Bright’s AUM experience

Celebrating AUM’s Spring Class of 2023


Auburn University at Montgomery’s record-setting graduation class of 611 students received words of inspiration and a challenge to act from Spring 2023 commencement speaker Rick Bright.

Bright, a 1997 AUM graduate and globally recognized expert in immunology and virology, encouraged graduates to provide mentorship and guidance to the generations that will follow them, to call out injustice and improve conditions for the marginalized, to use fear as a motivator to move forward rather than to stand still, and to speak truth to power – especially when the truth may be uncomfortable to voice. Watch his full commencement speech on AUM’s YouTube channel.

If you’re a member of our Spring 2023 graduating class, tell us what’s next. Email your graduation photo, name, major/degree, hometown, future plans and favorite AUM memory to

Visit our online galleries for photos of the morning and afternoon commencement ceremonies.

Peeling back the layers of Bright’s AUM experience

a man sitting at a tableDr. Rick Bright’s emergence as a respected expert in virology and immunology, and his fight on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, can be traced back to an Auburn University at Montgomery laboratory and an experiment involving DNA extraction from an onion.

Bright took a circuitous route to AUM, arriving as an undergraduate student in his late-20s before earning a degree in molecular biology and physical science in 1997.

More on Bright’s journey:

Softball team earns third consecutive NCAA bid


For the third consecutive year, the AUM softball team has earned an NCAA postseason bid.

The Warhawks (35-17, 22-7 Gulf South Conference) have earned a berth in the 2023 NCAA Division II South Regional in St. Leo, Florida, as the No. 7 seed. AUM will open play Thursday against No. 2-seed Saint Leo University at 11 a.m. (CT) at the University Softball Stadium.

AUM will enter postseason play with considerable experience against teams in the NCAA field, including No. 1 University of North Georgia, No. 4 University of Alabama-Huntsville, No. 21 Mississippi College, and Columbus State University.

View the photo gallery from the team’s departure this morning:

Get the full NCAA Regional schedule:

Camp offers guidance on multimedia storytelling


Looking for a summer camp for your son or daughter? AUM’s Department of Communication & Theatre and College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences will offer an A.V. Storytelling Camp for students in grades 9-12.

The camp will take place June 12-16, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, and is free to all participants. To register or receive more information, contact Katherine Irwin (, Michelle Johnson ( or call 334-244-3379

Students showcase research at URCA event

More than 80 students presented at AUM’s Third Annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URCA) Celebration.

a man standing in front of a windowThe event featured 56 poster presentations from 84 student presenters, each representing a college. During the event, students, including some graduate students, showcased their research posters presentations and heard talks from guest speakers Dr. Ann Marie O’Neill and AUM alumnus Omar Brito-Estrada.

Faculty members who served as research mentors to students included:

  • Gina Allen
  • Justin Bagley
  • Breuna Baine
  • Tracey Bark
  • Sutanu  Bhattacharya
  • Sara Bicard
  • Jessica  Bodily
  • Nick Bourke
  • Flor Breitman
  • Rolando Carol
  • Grzegorz Ciesielski
  • Yuh-Jen Guo
  • Christine Harrington
  • Nicholas Howard
  • John Hutchison
  • Zack Jourdan
  • Traci Kell
  • Daniel Kim
  • Brett Lehman
  • James Locke
  • Benedict Okeke
  • Li Qian
  • Kent Quaney
  • Agnitra Roy Choudhury
  • Angela Russell
  • Kate Simmons
  • Amber Sutton
  • Yi Wang

Hosted by AUM’s Experiential Education & Engagement Center, URCA offers students the ability to engage in meaningful research at the undergraduate level alongside faculty. Their projects can lead to publications and provide a spring board to graduate-level work.

More than 160 individuals, including student presenters, attended the annual event. Give your feedback on the event at:

Learn more:

Get updates on campus events


Don’t get left out of important campus events. There’s an easy way to keep up with what’s happening each day. Enroll in AUM365 and get the 4-1-1 from Curtiss The Warhawk himself. Text curti$$ to 334-398-6025 to receive reminders about upcoming happening.

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