Andrew Pyle, associate professor of communication, is the 2022 recipient of the Douglas W. Bradbury Award for outstanding contributions to the Clemson University Honors College.
The award, made possible by a gift from the Clemson Class of 1940, recognizes Pyle’s many contributions to the Honors College since he joined the University as a faculty member in 2014.
I’m honored to have been considered for this award, and completely stunned to have received it. I love working with Honors students. Opportunities to work with these bright students are without question some of the greatest highlights of the work I do at Clemson. If I’ve had a fraction of the impact on my students that they’ve had on me, I will consider my work with the Honors College to be a resounding success.Andrew Pyle, Associate Professor of Communication and 2022 Douglas W. Bradbury Award Recipient
Pyle taught his first Honors course in 2016. Since then, he has led several other Honors courses and seminars. He has also worked as a research mentor through the Honors College’s innovative EUREKA! program for incoming first-year students, served as an Honors thesis adviser, and developed a new first-year seminar program for incoming Honors students with Senior Associate Director Sarah Winslow.
Andrew is a steadfast supporter of the Honors College and, more importantly, a thoughtful and enthusiastic champion for Honors students. Through his numerous contributions of time, energy and wisdom, he embodies the Honors College’s commitment to intellectual engagement and academic citizenship. I cannot think of a more deserving recipient of the Bradbury Award.Sarah Winslow, Senior Associate Director, Clemson University Honors College
In 2018, Pyle began reviewing Honors applications. Soon after that, he also became a reviewer for applications that could be eligible for the University’s National Scholars Program, which provides a select group of students each year with a full cost-of-attendance scholarship to Clemson, exclusive academic and community engagement opportunities, intensive advising and mentoring, and the benefits of joining a community of scholar-leaders.
He also began working with Winslow to conduct the group interview process for National Scholar selections in Spring 2020 – work he finds engaging and rewarding.
“Interview weekend is the culmination of several weeks of work, preparation and consideration,” said Pyle. “In each of the past three years, I have left the process more enthusiastic than I entered it.”
Pyle’s most significant impact, however, is in the classroom.
Clemson 2021 civil engineering alumnus Paul Gennett describes his experience with Pyle as one of passionate mentorship.
Gennett started working with Pyle as a research assistant in 2017 through the EUREKA! program, which introduces incoming Honors students to research and life on the Clemson campus before their first year begins.
Gennett said that Pyle’s confidence in him was transformative. It helped him realize he had what it took to succeed in college before he even started his degree.
Even though he wasn’t a communication major, Gennett continued to work with Pyle as a paid research assistant during his first year on campus. A peer-reviewed paper they wrote together won the Top Faculty Paper Award at the 2018 States Communication Association Convention.
He later took an Honors seminar course taught by Pyle and Linville in his sophomore year. They still keep in touch, even though Gennett has graduated and moved to Atlanta, Georgia, for a civil engineering job with Kimley-Horn, one of the country’s premier planning and design consulting firms.
“Whenever we meet, his vigor and passion for his work and his students always stand out,” continued Gennett. “His extra effort tangibly improved my Clemson Experience, and I know that to be true for many others.”
Recent plant and environmental sciences alumnae Audrey Jen has only known Pyle for a few months but said his effect on her life is already incredibly profound. In the last semester of her senior year, Jen took Pyle’s Deep Work Honors seminar, which explored best practices in both research literature and popular press works related to concepts such as productivity, focused work, flow and mindfulness.
Jen said the seminar gave her a completely different outlook on work-life boundaries.
“The brilliance of this Honors seminar is that students at any life stage can learn something from it,” Jen said. “As a senior, I knew how to juggle multiple jobs and a full course load, but this seminar helped me create sustainable work-life boundaries like turning off app notifications and batching ‘shallow work,’ such as replying to emails.”
She said the success of the course had a lot to do with Pyle’s approach to the learning material. Pyle opened up to his students about his own milestones and setbacks so they could feel safe doing the same.
“I admired that Dr. Pyle created a culture where students participate not because they have to for a grade, but because they wanted to share,” said Jen. “It turned out to be the most useful class I took in my four years in Clemson.”
Pyle is a Faculty Senate member representing the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences, home to the Department of Communication. He also serves as the Faculty Senate representative to the Honors Curriculum Committee and has previously been recognized with the 2019-2020 Faculty Senator of the Year Award and 2019 College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences Award for Excellence in Service/Outreach. He’s also a faculty-in-residence that works to create a sense of community among students living in residential spaces on campus.
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