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The USC Upstate Excellence in Teaching & Advising Award

The USC Upstate Excellence in Teaching and Advising Award at USC Upstate recognizes sustained excellence in undergraduate instruction and academic advisement. Consistency in the quality of performance in the classroom and academic advisement are emphasized.

The Excellence in Teaching & Advising Committee solicits nominations from undergraduate students and all full-time faculty for this award.


  • Full-time permanent tenure-track faculty who have taught at least six credit hours in the semester prior to selection;
  • Full-time instructors who have taught at the University for two consecutive years and received above satisfactory evaluations from their immediate supervisors for two consecutive years preceding their nomination;
  • University Librarians.

2016 Recipients

Click here to view past recipients.

Dr. Andrew Beer, Associate Professor of Psychology, and Dr. Gary Bradley, Assistant Professor of Education,
are the 2016 recipients of the USC Upstate Excellence in Teaching and Advising Awards.

Beer, Dr. AndrewAndrew Beer, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology 

Department of Psychology   

My fundamental goal as a university professor is to foster in my students a life-long love of learning. This lofty goal frames the rest of my approach to teaching. At the heart of learning is a degree of general curiosity. The influential teachers in my life encouraged me to be a skeptical, independent thinker, and I wish to do the same for those who enroll in my courses. In my opinion, a university education is not primarily about gathering facts; rather it is about acquiring tools to seek the truth about the world around us. Thus, I care less about whether my students know the answer to a given, existing question and more about whether they know how to go about finding answers to new questions, solving new problems. I try to model enthusiasm and careful consideration by incorporating lessons I have learned from work in the laboratory and field settings into our course discussions. This allows my students to see that I am fully engaged in the learning process myself, even to this day, and that it is one of the ways in which I find purpose and enjoyment in life. I hope that I can influence students to find themselves in similar positions later, but on their own terms. Maybe they will decide to learn about local history, or bread making, or how to play the clarinet, but I hope that in some small way, something we did in class might have set them on that path. As noted previously, this is a fairly lofty goal, but having been personally influenced in such ways makes me believe it is possible. And, I enjoy trying.

Bradley, Gary

Gary Bradley, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Education
Coordinator, Middle Level and Secondary Programs

My goal is to empower all my students to be successful future teachers. Mastery of content is important. I enjoy learning more about science and best teaching strategies supported by research. In my classroom, I foster an environment of discovery. A practical, hand-on approach with student participation and exploration lends itself to student ownership of the content that equips them for their own future classroom. Knowing my students is also essential. I love learning about their interests and goals and helping them develop their natural gifts for best teaching practices. 

Building the bridge between my students and the content is another crucial element where I focus considerable time and energy. The most effective way that I have found to achieve this is through a compelling narrative. This is a story, often from real-life experiences, that inspires my students. It awakens their desire to go deeper into the content than they would usually go. As my students “catch fire” they will go on to create their own compelling narrative that will inspire their students.

Award Presentation

Two recipients receive the award annually. One recipient is from the College of Arts & Sciences and the other recipient is from one of the university’s professional schools: the George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics; the School of Education or the Mary Black School of Nursing.

University faculty are eligible to receive the award every five years.


For additional information, please contact:
Amandela Harris
Executive Assistant, Student Affairs
CLC 303
(864) 503-5107

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