Kyle Faulk, (pictured at left, on the left) a 2002 Department of Horticulture graduate, was featured on Alabama Public Television’s On the Job series recently. Faulk and his brother, Grant (pictured on the right) a 2002 graduate in Auburn’s Building Science program), own Lakewood Landscape Group in Dothan and were chosen for a “day in the life” episode that focused on their business. The show aired in February 2010 but can be seen online at http://onthejobtv.org/site/2010/02/show-236/.
Kyle sent an e-mail to horticulture department head Dave Williams telling him about the interview and said, “We are very fortunate to have this kind of exposure,” adding that he and Grant gave Auburn some air time during the show’s interview.
“It is very evident to me, looking back on my time in the horticulture program, that each one of you really care about your students and about developing them to contribute to our industry in a positive way,” Kyle said in the e-mail. Though Kyle admits he may not have fully applied himself to school while at Auburn, he nonetheless graduated with a deep understanding of horticulture. “That is a testament to each one of you and the material you are teaching,” he added. “Keep up the good work! You are having a huge impact on the Southeast, one graduating class at a time.”
Ellyn Grisham Hix, who earned her bachelor’s degree in animal sciences in 1982 and her master's in ag economics in 1985, may have taken a career path that led her away from agriculture, but she will always be indebted to the college that put her on the proper path.
Ellyn is director of user services in the Auburn University Office of Information Technology, which oversees the university’s information technology needs and provides a wide range of computer and technology services for faculty, staff and students. At a recent Faculty Staff Campaign kickoff breakfast (Ellyn is serving as campaign co-chair), she recalled the profound influence that College of Ag faculty (Ralph Harris, Rob Martin and Bill Hardy most especially) had on her career choices.
Though she came to school in agriculture with the initial goal of becoming a veterinarian, Ellyn discovered the beauty of pigs and was seriously considering a career in the swine industry. An internship in Kansas, suggested by Harris, showed Ellyn that, while she loved (and still loves) pigs, spending all day, every day with them might not be the best way to go. Instead she went on to graduate school in ag economics and began working with computers. Upon graduation she went to work for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System providing computer support for county offices statewide. Then, in 1986, she was stolen away by what was then the Division of University Computing (now called OIT) providing computer support to all of campus where she since worked her way up the ranks to her current position.
Ellyn and her husband, Bob, (they met at Auburn where he earned dual bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering and forest engineering; he is now a mechanical engineer with Auburn's Facilities Division), have one son, John, and one daughter, Lea. Both Ellyn and Bob are also involved in athletics, serving as volunteer coaches for youth basketball, baseball and softball since they were in college and also working on the table and stat crews for AU basketball games. Ellyn also works on the stat crew for AU football.
“I will always remember the College of Agriculture as a home away from home,” says Ellyn. “The faculty and staff took me under their wing and helped mold me to become the person that I am today. They cared about me and all their students. When young people ask advice when deciding on a major, I always recommend the College of Agriculture. The College of Ag offers so many career opportunities.”
Last Updated: Aug. 22, 2010