Scott Kramer Receives Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for Humanitarian Leadership
Each year, members of the Auburn community are invited to nominate faculty members for the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, which recognizes unsurpassed humanitarian leadership and contributions to the community. Having been presented every year since 1951, this year’s award went to Professor Scott Kramer of the McWhorter School of Building Science (BSCI), who was honored at the President’s Luncheon on April 12.
Kramer, the J.E. Wilborn Endowed Chair and Professor, is known throughout the community for his ongoing dedication to outreach projects. His local, national and international service learning work illustrates his commitment to helping others while at the same time preparing Auburn students for their professional careers. Now in his 29th year of teaching, he holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Auburn as well as a Ph.D. in Educational Technology from Purdue University.
Kramer’s leadership in service learning is evident throughout BSCI. He leads an annual ten-day service trip to Quito, Ecuador, where students build structures for churches, schools and communities. He also leads trips to Haiti and Panama where he guides students in building low-cost sustainable housing. One of his most prolific developments has been the creation of a senior level service learning course that is a graduation requirement for all building construction majors. While many construction management programs include service learning activities in their curricula, Auburn’s is the only one in the U.S. that requires such coursework in order to graduate.
In the Construction Field Lab class, six teams of ten students spend 400 hours throughout the semester creating solutions for a non-profit of their choosing. Kramer personally vets every project and helps non-profits prepare their pitches for the students. He encourages students to get involved in ways that go beyond pouring concrete and creating structures by building relationships within the community. At The Curtis House, an Opelika non-profit that offers community-building activities, students have completed work across several semesters to build a house and an outdoor pavilion for gatherings and celebrations. In Lineville, Alabama, students have worked with Samson’s Strength Sustainable Veterans Project to build a collection of footprint houses, no larger than 850 square feet, for military veterans who are struggling with homelessness or joblessness. And since the creation of the field lab course in 2018, students have participated in the completion of five homes for Auburn Opelika Habitat for Humanity.
Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America has repeatedly honored Auburn’s commitment to service with the National AGC in the Community Award in 2022, a Special Recognition Community Award in 2020 and the Community Development Award in 2019. Also in 2019, Kramer was honored with an Auburn University Award for Excellence in Faculty Outreach and in 2015 received BSCI’s Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award. Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) presented him with an Outstanding Educator Award in 2003 and a National Teaching Award in 1996.
“Scott is a deeply dedicated educator whose conviction and drive have had an immeasurable impact on our students,” stated Karen Rogers, Acting Dean of the College of Architecture, Design and Construction. “We’re extremely proud of the good that he and his students do throughout the region, the nation and the world.”