War Eagle Words Student News


May 2015

YOU NEED TO KNOW: Paul Patterson

INTERVIEW BY JOhn Allen Nichols, JUNIOR/Poultry Science

Dr. Patterson USEPaul Patterson has served as the associate dean for instruction for the College of Agriculture since 2009. Instruction is one of the three missions of a land grant university, along with extension and research. As associate dean, Dr. Patterson works closely with students and has an open door policy. Don’t hesitate to drop by his office in Comer Hall room 105 and say hello while on Ag Hill.


What drew you to Auburn and the College of Agriculture?

I actually grew up in Auburn. My father was on faculty in the College of Agriculture. He served a good part of his career as the statistician for the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station. I earned an undergraduate degree in agricultural business and economics from Auburn in 1985. I then left for Purdue University to pursue a master’s degree. After graduation, I worked for the Foreign Agricultural Service in Washington, D.C., before returning to Purdue University for my doctoral degree. I served on the faculty at Arizona State University for 14 years before returning to Auburn in 2009. A combination of personal and professional aspirations and desires drew me back to Auburn. In short, Auburn was a place I always wanted to be.

What advice do you have for students looking at Auburn University and the College of Agriculture?

The College of Agriculture has a faculty that takes a genuine interest in their students. The relationships students develop with the faculty in the college are beneficial to their personal and professional development in ways that go beyond experiences in the classroom.

What is your favorite Auburn tradition? What has been your most exciting moment at Auburn?

My favorite Auburn tradition is the flying of the eagle around Jordan-Hare Stadium before kickoff at home football games.  There is nothing grander in all of college sports. My most exciting moment at Auburn was the 2013 Iron Bowl.  That last-second defeat of the University of Alabama was an amazing finish to a football game.  It even surpasses my childhood memories of the 1972 17-16 win versus Alabama.  However, the moments that provide the most satisfaction come from the daily work I do with students and faculty at Auburn University.

John Allen Nichols is a junior studying poultry science, production track and is originally from Trussville, Alabama. Although not from an agricultural background, John Allen has found a home in the College of Agriculture. After graduation, John Allen wants to pursue a career in agricultural law or governmental policy.