The email discussed his difficult decision to leave the University and student government in pursuit of the advancement of his life and professional career.
Winfield agreed to sit down with The Plainsman and discuss his approaching departure.
Mr. Winfield, how long have you been at Auburn?
From my undergraduate to professional career, I’ve been here for nine years.
And how has your experience been?
A: My experience has been mutually beneficial. Auburn has granted me a lot of opportunity. I’ve earned two degrees and got my first professional position working with student government. I aspire to excel within higher education, so that’s something that has been really good for me.
What’s your favorite memory associated with Auburn in the nine years that you’ve been here?
My favorite thing would have to be my service as a Camp War Eagle counselor. I learned that I wanted to work in higher education. Seeing the staff within the First Year Experience office and how they impacted me really gave me a newfound perspective and an understanding that I could do this for a living and help out students. That overall experience led me to the path I’m on right now.
What led to your decision to resign? Have you been thinking about this for a while?
I can’t say that I had necessarily been thinking about it for a while. Like many professionals in higher education, you start off in a position for a few years and then you move on.
Where are you looking to go?
Right now that’s not truly definitive. I don’t want to divulge anything, as I’m weighing my opportunities right now. I’ll be letting the institution and others know as soon as everything’s settled.
What are your plans for now until you gain a new position?
With that, I’m kind of refocusing. In my transition, I’m focusing on those potential opportunities that I have. As I said, I’m not really open to talking about them right now, but that’s my focus. In this time, that’s my focus. I’m not truly concerned about anything else at the moment but that I transition out of my current position and make sure that my executive officers and the student body is fine with all the initiatives and programs going on, so that’s a part of my transition also. Closing things out here, and then coming back and focusing on myself.
You discussed making sure that the student body is happy with the programs that you and your staff have implemented over the years. What’s been your biggest achievement or biggest program that you’ve implemented in your term?
I’ve seen so many things come to fruition during my term as adviser. The implementation of Toomer’s Ten was something that was pivotal, I watched that grow tremendously. The students in SGA seem to have all become more initiative based, which is really cool. Their collaborations with Tiger Dining to insure that the services are meeting the needs of students, that’s been great. The various programs such as Hey Day and the high school leadership conference have been brought to a whole new level. We’re now engaging 300 high school students throughout the state of Alabama and the Southeast on a yearly basis to be engaged in leadership. It’s also a good recruitment tool for Auburn, so I’ve enjoyed seeing these programs grow.
What will you miss most about Auburn?
We always talk about the Auburn family and the Auburn experience, but the people make that. With that, something we never mention is the Auburn opportunity. Auburn is an institution that has looked out for me. I’m a first-generation college student, a fact that I take much pride in, and Auburn gave me an opportunity. Not only the opportunity to pursue my education, but to (laughs) convert my family to Auburn fans. That’s just been something that’s been indescribable. I’m going to be back in the fall at football games and partaking in all the traditions that Auburn has.