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|Karaaslan, background, helps with tornado relief in Tuscaloosa|
Last year, the university’s volunteer spirit was put into action after a series of April tornados slammed the state. Auburn University received national attention for community service, being named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, which recognizes colleges and universities for their dedication to civic engagement, service learning and volunteering.
Several polymer and fiber engineering graduates and students worked in Tuscaloosa shortly after the storms, including postdoctoral researchers Hasan Kocer and Ahmet Karaaslan and doctoral student Idris Cerkez.
"We thought the people over there might need some manpower to remove the storm debris," said Kocer. "We worked in a Red Cross shelter as volunteers, mostly carried things, such as baby needs and food. We passed through a destruction zone, one of the least affected, but it looked terrible. Any small contribution is very helpful over there. We encourage everybody to go there to help and support our neighbors in any way they can."