Graduate Advisory Council

The Graduate Advisory Council

The Graduate Advisory Council is a group of distinguished alumni, corporate representatives, parents, friends and supporters who recognize the importance of graduate education. Members serve three-year terms, act as advocates on behalf of graduate education, and promote all Auburn University graduate programs and students by securing new resources. Council members have the opportunity to: closely interact with the Dean, Associate Dean, and staff members of the Graduate School; learn about diverse areas of study within graduate education; discuss the progress, needs, and goals of graduate education; and create a plan of action for enhancing the advancement efforts of the Auburn University Graduate School. Council members also assist in the philanthropic advancement of graduate education. For example, they provide an annual leadership gift to the Graduate School. Future members of the Graduate Advisory Council receive an invitation for membership.

Graduate Advisory Council Member Roster

George Buchanan '91 | Business

George Buchanan oversees risk for the Consumer and Wealth Management Groups for Regions, a regional bank that operates throughout the South, Midwest and Texas and is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. Prior to his current role, Buchanan was the Commercial Credit Executive with responsibility for all credit risk management activities within the Commercial Banking and Private Wealth segments. He re-joined Regions in 2011 from U.S. Bank where he served as senior vice president and Chief Credit Officer for Small Business and Affluent Banking. Prior to joining U.S. Bank in 2007, Buchanan was the Business Banking Senior Credit Officer for Regions, where he served in many credit roles during his 13 years with the bank. Buchanan began his banking career at First Union in 1992 as a credit analyst. Buchanan is an Executive Committee and board member for the Small Business Financial Exchange, the leading source for small business credit information in the U.S. He is also an active member within the Risk Management Association, currently serving on the Enterprise Risk Management Council. Buchanan is a member of the Dean’s Business Council with the University of Illinois College of Business, the Graduate Education Development Council and MBA Advisory Board for Auburn University, the Small Business Committee for the Consumer Bankers Association, the Board of Directors for Opera Birmingham, the Advisory Committee for the Alabama Small Business Commission, the Friends Board for WBHM-90.3FM, and is a graduate of the 2017-2018 Leadership Birmingham class. Buchanan received an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Auburn University.

Paul Cox '80 | Electrical Engineering

Paul has over thirty years of executive leadership experience, starting his career as a design engineer and advancing to lead several divisions of publicly traded companies. Paul served in various leadership and operating roles in EMS Technologies, Andrew Corporation, Smiths Group, Geronimo Solutions, and Texas Instruments. Currently, he serves as Senior Director of Business Development for Swissto12 and is on the board of directors for Geronimo Solutions and Hydrograph Clean Energy. Paul is a graduate of Auburn University with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Southern Methodist University with a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. He resides in Highland Park, IL.

Carolyn Campbell-Golden '16 | Higher Education

Dr. Campbell-Golden currently serves as Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement at Washington and Jefferson College, Washington, PA. Previously, Dr. Campbell-Golden served as Senior Fellow at Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) focusing on community college partnerships and conducting research on higher education administration and higher education fundraising. Prior to that appointment, Dr. Campbell-Golden served for 12 years as Vice Chancellor for Advancement at AUM. Under her leadership, Auburn University at Montgomery successfully concluded its first comprehensive fundraising campaign raising over $20 Million. In 2016, she was awarded the Fulbright International Education Administrator Award. She has worked as a higher education administrator, building partnerships and relationships with members of the community and businesses, for over 25 years. She began her career in 1992 helping to establish a community college foundation. In 1999, she established the Auburn University Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations, and in 2004, she was named senior director of regional campaigns for the university’s $500 million “It Begins at Auburn” campaign. She holds a master and doctorate degrees in Administration of Higher Education from Auburn University and a Master of Science in Management Degree from Faulkner University. Additionally, Dr. Campbell-Golden is an Executive Leadership Academy Fellow of University of California at Berkeley and has completed the Harvard Institute of Educational Management Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Campbell-Golden is a member of numerous civic and professional organizations. She resides in Upper Saint Clair, PA and is the proud mother of three amazing daughters.

Mike Flannagan '06 | Business Advisory Council Vice Chair

Based in Austin, Texas as Senior Vice President for SAP with global responsibility for SAP Leonardo, a portfolio of software products focused on Analytics, Machine Learning, Blockchain, and the Internet of Things. Previously, Mike was VP/GM of the Data & Analytics Software Group at Cisco Systems. While at Cisco, he co-founded the ChallengeUp startup accelerator and remains engaged with start-ups as a board member, angel investor, and mentor. Mike is an NACD Board Leadership Fellow and serves on multiple Board of Directors. Mike attended The University of Texas at San Antonio before earning his MBA from Auburn University, where he is a guest lecturer and serves on advisory boards for the College of Business and Graduate School. Mike also serves on the Advisory Council for McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Brittany Griffin
Brittany Griffin ’21 | Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Brittany Griffin is currently a Lead Systems Engineer working for the United States Army in the Tactical Aviation and Ground Munitions (TAGM) Project Office located on Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL. The TAGM Project Office develops and fields Aviation and Ground Rocket and Missile Systems. Prior to her current position, Dr. Griffin spent ten years working in the Army Futures Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation and Missile Center (AvMC).  During her time at AvMC, Dr. Griffin has been a lead for development and sustainment programs in the Software, Sustainment, Systems Engineering and Integration Directorate as well as the Technology Development Directorate. During her time at AvMC, Dr. Griffin worked on numerous Army Weapon and Missile Systems and was selected to the highly competitive Engineer and Scientist Exchange Program in Munich, Germany. Dr. Griffin began her professional career at Redstone Test Center (RTC) working for the Dynamics Test Division.

Dr. Griffin has received commendations for her work within the TAGM Project Office, AvMC, and RTC. Additionally, Dr. Griffin has obtained three patents from her work with the US Army. Dr. Griffin’s career with the Army has spanned fifteen years since her graduation from Auburn University.  Dr. Griffin received her bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2004, her master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2008, and her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in 2021.  All of Dr Griffin’s degrees are from Auburn University.  During her time as an undergraduate of Auburn University, Dr. Griffin was a member of War Eagle Motorsports Auburn Lady Tigers Mini Baja team as a rear suspension designer in 2003 and as the chief engineer in 2004.  Dr. Griffin is a member of Engineers without Borders and has completed education and water programs in Zambia.  She currently resides in Huntsville, Al with her husband of nine years.

Pam Hammond '14'15 | Accountancy

Pam Hammond currently serves as a Research Consultant for Community Investment Management (CIM), an institutional impact investment manager that provides debt funding for responsible innovation in lending to U.S. small businesses and underserved borrowers. In her role at CIM, Pam provides research expertise and due diligence for potential investments as well as ongoing monitoring of current investments. Prior to CIM, Pam was a Senior Underwriter at Able Lending, a commercial lending start-up focused on providing capital to underserved markets, which was acquired in late 2017. Pam began her career at Deloitte as an auditor where she focused on governmental entities. She is a licensed Texas Certified Public Accountant. She holds a B.S. in Accounting, a B.A. in Public Administration, and a Master of Accountancy from Auburn University and served as the Lila White Fellow for 2014-2015. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and two dogs.

Colonel Rich Hughey '86'06 | Science and Mathematics & Business

Rich is currently assigned to the Alabama National Guard Joint Force Headquarters as the Director of Operations for the Alabama Air National Guard. Colonel Hughey was commissioned through the U.S. Navy Aviation Officer Candidate School in 1986 where he was the school’s Indoctrination Commander. Upon graduation from U.S. Navy flight training, he flew the F-14 in combat during Operation DESERT STORM from the aircraft carrier U.S.S. America. He was one of five U.S. Navy Model Managers, an Adversary Instructor, has held many additional instructor positions flying several types of fighter aircraft and is a graduate of the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN). Colonel Hughey transitioned to the Alabama Air National Guard in 1996 where, as a reservist, he was a F-16 four ship flight lead and flew combat missions as part of Operation NORTHERN WATCH from Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, enforcing the no-fly zone over northern Iraq. In 2000, he transitioned out of the F-16 cockpit and served 2 years as Senior Wargame Controller while assigned to the Air Force Wargaming Institute and also served 4 years as an Air Warfare Doctrine Analyst at the Headquarters Air Force Doctrine Center, Maxwell AFB. In 2007, Col. Hughey graduated from Air War College in residence and then joined the 953d Reserve Support Squadron in Norfolk, VA as the Operations Chief providing direct support to U.S. Joint Forces Command Joint Deployable Team. In 2009, he was assigned as the Director, Air Component Coordination Element to the Commander, Joint Task Force National Capital Region until July 2010. He was then assigned commander, 953d Reserve Support Squadron commanding over 90 highly specialized Airmen organized, trained and equipped for rapid joint task force formation providing direct support to U.S. Joint Forces Command, U.S. Transportation Command. From 2013 to 2016, he was assigned to 1st AF as the Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer to the state Tennessee, the state of Alabama. Colonel Hughey is a command pilot with over 2300 hours in military aircraft including the F-5, F-14, F-16 and F-18. In his civilian occupation, he is a pilot with FedEx Express.

Curtis Liles '70 | Liberal Arts

Curtis graduated from Auburn University in 1970 before earning a J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law. In 1977, he became a shareholder of the Birmingham, AL firm Markstein, Morris & Liles, P.C., which merged with Maynard, Cooper & Gale, P.C. in 1987. Mr. Liles went on to co-found Liles & Rushin, LLC, where he focuses on federal and state taxation. He is a member of the Alabama Law Institute and sits on the Standing Committee on Business Entities, which is studying a revision to all business entity statutes in Alabama. He is a trustee of the Alabama Law School Foundation, a member of the President’s Cabinet of Birmingham-Southern College, and was actively involved in Auburn University’s last capital campaign. He and his wife Jean reside in Birmingham.

Maureen Marshall '06 | Executive MBA

Maureen Marshall joined CALSTART in 2018 as their Midwest Regional Director. Marshall is a veteran in the automotive industry and brings to CALSTART a wealth of experience and knowledge in key technology sectors and with organizations that focused on clean transportation, including with vehicle OEMs, tier suppliers and consulting work. She has held engineering positions with both Ford and Chrysler, where she played a leading role in the Chrysler electric vehicle program in the 1990’s and she has also worked on advanced global powertrains and electrical systems. She has worked at Siemens and Harman International, including work on connected car technology. She worked with Booz Allen Hamilton, where she led work with the U.S. Army at TARDEC that helped them shape their ground vehicle and connected vehicle strategies, as well as supported the Department of Transportation on DSRC standard development and V2V and V2I infrastructure development. Maureen holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Auburn University, a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering from Lawrence Technological University, as well as a certificate in Strategy and Innovation from MIT.

Mary Ottman '06| Business

Mary is a highly trained leadership expert, with a focus on strategies for more effective communication. Mary is the founder of Ottman Premier Services providing corporate-style executive and business coaching, high-performance leadership and speaker performance coaching and training to small businesses. Mary retired as an executive leader from a 27-year career in Army Civil Service. She previously served as Associate Director of the Sensors, Guidance & Electronics Division of the Weapons Development & Integration (WDI) Directorate of the Army Aviation & Missile Research Development & Engineering Center (AMRDEC) where she provided management, oversight and direction of the research and development of new missile technologies and program support of existing missile technologies to include infrared & electrooptical, navigation & control, RF, image & signal processing, electronics and computer technology, along with system design and integration. Mary previously served five years in Army PM Unmanned Aircraft Systems as the Deputy Product Director and Dept. of Defense lead of Ground Based Sense And Avoid (GBSAA), i.e. a ground-based radar system, coordinating with Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. Mary served on the Board of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems Huntsville Pathfinder Chapter from 2012-2015. She is a graduate of the Leadership Huntsville Focus program. Mary holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from University of Alabama in Huntsville (‘91), an MBA from Auburn University (‘06) and an M.A. in Leadership and Management from Webster University (‘10). She is a Defense Acquisition University Senior Service College Fellow (‘10). Mary is a sponsor and volunteer of Water To Thrive, a non-profit focused on providing clean, accessible water to small, rural villages in East Africa who otherwise would not receive water for many years due to their villages’ remoteness and small size. Mary also supports Water To Thrive with social media marketing and copywriting services which resulted in their 2018 Silent Auction gross revenue increasing 269% over 2017.

Margaret ``Maggie`` Reece '06| Business and Liberal Arts

Margaret “Maggie” is a 2006 International Finance / Political Science graduate of Auburn University. Since graduating at Auburn, Maggie has worked with Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta for 12 years holding the positions of Collateral Coordinator, Collateral Analyst, and currently Bank Officer, Senior Collateral Relationship Specialist in the Collateral department. In her current role, Maggie assists shareholders in Georgia and Florida to assess their ability to obtain additional liquidity with Federal Home Loan Bank. In addition to her duties, Maggie offers and performs collateral training on eligibility and reporting to Federal Home Loan Bank. Maggie is also involved with the Junior League of Atlanta and Friends of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) Sandy Springs. Maggie and her family currently resides in the Atlanta area.

Todd Shackett | Engineering

Todd Shackett is the President of Southern Union State Community College. Prior to that he was the Director of Program Management at Baxter International in Opelika, a company specializing in Kidney Dialysis technology and products. Todd received his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University (formerly known as GMI Engineering & Management Institute) in 1989 and also has a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (1993) and a Master of Science in Operations Management (1999) both from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Prior to moving to Auburn with his family in 2010, Todd ran operations in North Carolina and Connecticut in facilities that manufacture products used in bioscience research and drug delivery. In addition to his professional career, Todd has also served in leadership and advisory capacities with the American Red Cross, the March of Dimes, North Carolina A&T State University and the Opelika Chamber of Commerce.

Jim Spearman '83 | Liberal Arts Advisory Council Chair

Jim is a 1983 Health Administration/Political Science graduate of Auburn University. A native of Lamar County, Alabama, he works with his sisters in the management of their family business, Spearman and Associates, a commercial property management and development company founded by their parents. Jim’s background includes work in the management team of a nursing home group, a multi-store supermarket group and as executive director of Conservation Alabama. He has served as the chairman of the board of Citizens State Bank, a community bank located in Vernon, Alabama. Since his graduation from Auburn, he has a long background in the political arena. Jim has worked on all levels of local to national political campaigns. He served for seven years as the executive director of the Alabama Democratic Party and for over 14 years as a state vice chair for the party. He has served on several non-profit boards and chaired fundraising campaigns for the Lamar County Cancer Society and the Lamar County Boy Scouts of America. Jim also served as the president of the Northwest Alabama Auburn Club. Currently he serves on the board of Birmingham Aids Outreach, Equality Alabama and as a member of the executive board of the Alabama Democratic Party. He is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Vernon, Alabama.

Gordon Sumner '06 | Business

Gordon Sumner, PhD, is the founder of Gordon Sumner Consulting, a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business and American Indian Small Business.  He was recently the President and CEO of Veterans Moving Forward, a nonprofit providing service and emotional support dogs to veterans dealing with mental and/or physical challenges at no cost to the veteran or their family.  He has served as a presidential appointee under Presidents Bush and Obama.  He is a member of the Senior Executive Service at the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense level and served as the National Director for the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). A retired Colonel select, US Army and decorated combat veteran, he was awarded the Legion of Merit (OLC), Bronze Star Medal (Valor), Purple Heart Medal and the Air Medal. He holds the Army Master Aviator Badge, Master Parachutist Badge and Army Ranger Tab. He was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Medal (Member) by HM Queen Elizabeth II as well as many other US and Foreign awards and decorations. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Adult Education from Madison University, a Master of Business Administration from Auburn University, a Master of Education from Boston University, and a Bachelor of Science in Music Performance and Music Education, Jacksonville State University. He is also a graduate at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.