Student Spotlight: Aubrey Sanders

Sanders has served as both treasurer and president of the Environmental Design Student Organization.

Last fall, Aubrey Sanders was named the winner of the Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction. A student and undergraduate research fellow in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture (APLA), Sanders will graduate this May with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design and a minor in economics.

During their college career, Sanders has served as both treasurer and president of APLA’s Environmental Design Student Organization. This interdisciplinary group has hosted a series of seminars and has begun to build a relationship with students in the College of Liberal Arts’ Master of Community Planning program. “There is no greater joy than knitting a community and watching as members learn and grow as fellow students, citizens and friends,” Sanders stated. “Our members have shared stories, experiences and ideas on the built environment that are often impossible to find elsewhere. To me, nothing beats the power of a remarkable story.”

Having grown up in Auburn, Sanders is grateful for having had a familiar place to experience the highs and lows of college life. Sanders says the fact that campus feels like home made it a safe place to navigate successes and failures. “As every Auburn sports fan knows all too well, no good game comes without drama,” they said. “When it looks as though the game is lost, Auburn University provides the people, resources and time to help you triumph. And through hard won battles, Auburn has given me the experience and confidence to take on all sorts of challenges.”

After graduating in May, Sanders is planning on attending graduate school to pursue a Master of Urban Planning with a concentration in urban economics. Sanders hopes to use their design skills to create unique social and environmental responses to urban problems in marginalized and climate vulnerable communities, and they are also considering returning to academia to teach one day.

“Aubrey is a remarkable student, the top student in my six years of teaching in the Environmental Design program at Auburn,” stated Assistant Professor Jennifer Smith. “Aubrey’s work is consistently well crafted and compelling and a thoughtful reimagining of existing artifacts, systems and processes in the constructive landscape. Even more, Aubrey is a leader through hard work, engagement, vision and care for others.”

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Jennifer Smith