To the Student

This textbook was created through a combination of original writing by our UNIV Student Success Program and by “remixing” two previously created open-source textbooks. We began using this textbook in the fall of 2020. Links to Blueprint for Success in College and Career and College Success can be found in Appendix A: Original Texts.

In AUM’s Strategic Plan for 2019-2024 (CLICK HERE), the creation and utilization of Open Education Resources (OERs) for our students was a stated component of our goal to maintain AUM as an affordable university for our students. Our goal throughout this project has been to create a resource for our students that will provide valuable information as well as activities that can be completed in or out of class, and resources such as videos and links to outside sites. The UNIV Student Success Program exists to walk alongside students as they begin their studies at AUM and to provide connections and resources that will aid in their success at Auburn University at Montgomery. We hope that this textbook proves to be a tool in the pursuit of student success.

About the Authors

Prof. Heather Adams

Heather joined the UNIV Student Success Program in the summer of 2019 as a Lecturer & Student Success Mentor. Prior to teaching at AUM, Heather taught English at the middle school, high school, and college levels in Montgomery, AL. She graduated from Florida State University with a degree in English/Political Science in 2008. Heather is an avid traveler and has lived in Scotland and South Korea where she taught English as a Second Language. After returning to the U.S., Heather earned a Master of Liberal Arts degree from AUM. She is currently a PhD student at Auburn University studying English-Language Arts Education. Her research interests include trauma-informed education, student success in postsecondary education, Service-Learning, and student self-efficacy. 

Dr. Brittni Jones Anderson

Brittni joined the UNIV Student Success Program at Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) as a Lecturer & Student Success Mentor August 2021. Prior to her appointment at AUM, she served in several higher education academic services roles, including academic advisor, student success program coordinator, and adjunct instructor. After graduating from Loveless Academic Magnet Program (LAMP) High School in Montgomery, Alabama, she attended and received a B.A. in Biology from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. She then pursued graduate studies at Washington University in St. Louis, where she received a Ph.D. in Education in 2016. Brittni’s research broadly focused on social determinants of interrelated education and health outcomes in urban areas. She enjoys working with and especially mentoring college students and is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Prof. Paul D. Arrington

Paul joined the UNIV Student Success Program in the summer of 2019 as a Lecturer & Student Success Mentor, and now serves as the program coordinator. Prior to his appointment at AUM, Paul served in various teaching and leadership roles in the Texas public schools for ten years and as an adjunct professor of Learning Frameworks at Tyler Junior College for a year. He is a PhD student at Auburn University, where he is studying Administration of Supervision & Curriculum. He completed his certificate in educational leadership at Lamar University and his M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction (minor in history) at The University of Texas at Tyler. Paul began his college career at Abilene Christian University, where he earned his B.S. in History (Social Studies Teaching Grades 8-12). His research interests are the use of high-impact practices to help create a sense of belonging community for college students and the transition from high school to college.

Dr. Michael Baugh

Michael served as a Lecturer & Student Success Mentor in the UNIV Student Success Program from 2019-2021. His previous engagements include serving as an Instructor and Education Program Specialist at Georgia Southern University; working as a tutor at Florida International University; and a brief stint working as a Reading Interventionist at a high school in downtown Miami, FL. He received his B.F.A from the University of Central Florida, his M.S. in Urban Education from Florida International University, and his Doctorate in Cultural Curriculum Studies from Georgia Southern University. He has also lived in Sacramento CA, where he interned and participated in live theatre. Michael is now a faculty member at the University of Oklahoma.

Prof. Amy Ingram

Amy Ingram has 25 years of experience in education, having spent the past 17 years at Auburn University at Montgomery. She is currently the director of the Experiential Education & Engagement Center at AUM. Amy is a member of the AUM Retention Committee and the UNIV Oversight Committee, volunteers as a mentor, and is a member of the AUM Alumni Association Board of Directors. She is a member of the Alpha Delta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Kappa Delta Pi honor societies and is pursuing a PhD in Administration of Supervision and Curriculum in the College of Education at Auburn University.

Dr. Niall Nance-Carroll

Niall served as a Lecturer & Student Success Mentor in the UNIV Student Success Program from 2019-2021. Prior to AUM, he taught English literature and composition at the University of Southern Indiana and Illinois State University. He has been teaching English at the university level since 2009 and earned his PhD from Illinois State University in 2016. His dissertation was titled “The Stuff of Everyday Life: A Bakhtinian Reading of the Prosaic Worlds of A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, and David Lodge’s Souls and Bodies. He has published several times on the Pooh books as well as on the TV series Glee and Antonio Skármeta’s La composición / The Composition. The Skármeta article earned him the Children’s Literature in Education Emerging Scholar Award and the Children’s Literature Association Emerging Scholar Award. His research interests include politics, ethics, and narrative theory in children’s literature and popular film. Niall is now a faculty member at Eastern Illinois University.

Prof. Sissy Speirs

Sissy joined the UNIV Student Success Program in the summer of 2021 as a Lecturer & Student Success Mentor.  She originally joined AUM in 2013 serving as Bridge Program Manager for over 8 years. Prior to coming to AUM, Sissy began her career in higher education working as a Dean’s assistant in Liberal Arts at Loyola University, New Orleans.  She graduated from the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC with a degree in studio art, and obtained a master’s degree in Geographic Information Systems from AUM in 2019.  Sissy is currently working towards her second master’s degree in Theology and Christian Ministry through Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. She is currently a member of the UNIV Oversight Committee and assists the Bridge Program with mathematics tutoring. Through service-learning and mentoring students, Sissy enjoys helping AUM students discover their best path forward.

Dr. Lynn Stallings

Dr. Lynn Stallings joined AUM as Honors Director in 2019. She enjoys teaching the first-year seminar to Honors students. Her 27-year career in higher education includes 19 years at Kennesaw State and five years at Georgia State. A Montgomery native, she earned her B.S.Ed. in Mathematics Education and Physical Education at Auburn University, her M.Ed. in Mathematics Education at AUM, and her Ph.D. in Mathematics Education at the University of Georgia. Her current research interests include civic engagement and character education in higher education. Besides teaching, she enjoys reading, running, and fostering for the Montgomery Humane Shelter.

Dr. Katie Waddell

Katie joined Auburn University at Montgomery’s UNIV Student Success Program as a Lecturer and Student Success Mentor in fall 2021. Prior to her appointment at AUM, Katie taught English composition and literature at Florida SouthWestern State College. She completed her PhD in English at the University of Kentucky in 2018, where she also served as a graduate student teacher and assistant to the Writing Program administrators. She enjoys working with students in and outside of the classroom, especially with AUM’s LGBTQ+ student organization, Spectrum. Her areas of interest include LGBTQ+ student inclusion, gender studies, and American literature.


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Composing Ourselves and Our World Copyright © 2019 by Auburn University at Montgomery is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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