College of Engineering / About Engineering / Awards / The Mark A. Spencer Creative Mentorship Award

The Mark A. Spencer Creative Mentorship Award


From left: William Spencer, 2017 recipient Lauren Beckingham, Mark Spencer, 2017 recipient Meredith Ayers and Samia Spencer.


The Mark A. Spencer Creative Mentorship Award encourages and recognizes the efforts of engineering faculty who take an interest in the personal and professional development of students through a mentoring relationship, and rewards both faculty members and students for creative collaboration.  The award was created by William and Samia Spencer and their son Mark in recognition of the valuable role that mentors played in his education at Auburn. One of Mark's greatest mentors and advocates was Thad Roppel, associate professor in electrical and computer engineering, who provided encouragement, advice and guidance to Mark.

Recognized for their many contributions to academia, William is former head of the Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Technology in the College of Education, while Samia is  professor emerita of French in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures in the College of Liberal Arts.


To be eligible for this award, the faculty member must be a member of the engineering faculty and the student must be an undergraduate enrolled in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. Faculty candidates must have a tangible mentoring relationship with students that focuses on a project directed toward solving a problem or reaching a goal. Ultimately, the enhancement and development of intellectual curiosity and engineering education are the mentoring qualities sought.


Student and faculty teams should prepare an application packet including:

  • Summary from the faculty member describing the project and mentoring relationship

  • Summary from the student describing the project and mentoring relationship
  • Support materials that corroborate the project and relationship, abstracts or announcements regarding publications or presentations, etc.  

  • Student's resume

The annual award totals $10,000, with $5,000 awarded to the faculty member and $5,000 to the student. In the event that multiple faculty members or students are selected, the stipend will be shared among participants.

Application deadline

Applications are due March 1. Recipients will be recognized at the College of Engineering's spring awards ceremony. 

If you have any questions about the online application process, please contact  Angie Lemke at

Previous recipients

2018: Brendan Higgins, Matthew Preisser

2017: Lauren Beckingham, Meredith Ayers

2016: Richard Williams, Alexander Thompson

2015: Maria Auad, Matthew Halvorson

2014: Elizabeth Lipke, Blakey Bussie

2013: Robert Jackson, Ryan Whitmore

2011: Virginia Davis, Khristine Pizarro

2010: Peter Jones, Matthew Cromer, Brian Keyser

2009: Thad Roppel