Paul Holley Receives Presidential Award for Teaching

Paul Holley, Professor of Building Science

Paul Holley, one of the most decorated faculty members in the McWhorter School of Building Science (BSCI), is adding another impressive award to his resume. Holley has been named a recipient of the 2021 Gerald and Emily Leischuck Endowed Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching, an annual honor that recognizes two full-time, tenured Auburn faculty members who have demonstrated effective and innovative teaching methods as well as a commitment to student advising and mentoring.

Holley holds a bachelor’s degree in building science and a doctorate in education from Auburn as well as an M.B.A. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. On the faculty at Auburn since 2002, Holley teaches contracting business, construction surveying & layout and project scheduling to undergraduate and graduate students. His emphasis is on the practical applications of building science education, both in the classroom and in research. He has coached more than 20 competition teams in national and international competitions and will take a team to compete in the United Kingdom in Associated Schools of Construction’s Region 8 competition this fall. Dr. Vini Nathan, Dean of the College of Architecture, Design and Construction, and BSCI head Dr. Richard Burt wrote a letter in support of Holley’s nomination. They said that Holley’s commitment to providing an enhanced educational experience extends beyond competition teams and study abroad. “He has directed many graduate research projects but has also mentored more undergraduate student research projects than any other BSCI faculty,” Nathan and Burt wrote. “Many of these research projects have resulted in peer reviewed scholarship and in some cases provisional patent applications.”

In addition to teaching and mentoring, Holley is also the director of the school’s Center for Construction Innovation and Collaboration (CCIC). The CCIC brings together faculty, students, industry representatives and others to focus on innovative and collaborative problem-solving. The CCIC develops approaches to real problems related to construction products and processes by integrating technology, experience and cutting-edge ideology.

Over the years, Holley has received numerous awards from the Associated Schools of Construction, Associated Building Contractors of America and the Design Build Institute of America. He has held the Willborn Senior and Bob Aderholdt Endowed Professorships and is a five-time recipient of the school’s Outstanding Teaching Award. “Every year graduating seniors choose a faculty member to receive the school’s Outstanding Teaching Award,” Nathan and Burt said. “It is a testament to Paul’s teaching effectiveness that he has received this award every year he has been eligible.” Holley said he is flattered to have been nominated and selected for this award and that he’s glad to shine a light on Auburn’s building science program. “We have an outstanding group of faculty members in building science, and I think this sort of illumination brings recognition to the great things happening in the school and college,” he stated. “I am very grateful to have been chosen for such a high honor at the university level and for the meaningful connections with our students that it represents.”