Winthrop Celebrates Top Faculty Award Winners

May 04, 2020


  • Professor Brad Witzel was named the recipient of the Distinguished Professor Award and Assistant Professor Crystal Glover '97, '99 was recognized with the Outstanding Junior Professor Award.
  • A third faculty award – the Jane LaRoche Graduate Faculty Award – was presented to Associate Professor Adriana Cordis of the College of Business Administration.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Winthrop University recently honored an accounting and two education faculty members for their significant contributions and scholarship.

Professor Brad Witzel was named the recipient of the Distinguished Professor Award, the highest recognition for faculty members, and Assistant Professor Crystal Glover '97, '99 was recognized with the Outstanding Junior Professor Award, which is presented to a faculty member with a rank of assistant professor. Both teach in the Richard W. Riley College of Education.

A third faculty award – the Jane LaRoche Graduate Faculty Award – was given to Associate Professor Adriana Cordis of the College of Business Administration.

Normally the faculty awards are presented at May Commencement ceremonies, but the postponement of the graduation exercises due to COVID-19 called for a different awards announcement. Interim President George Hynd and Provost Adrienne McCormick told the recipients of their awards during recent online department meetings.

Read more about the honorees:

Brad Witzel - Distinguished Professor
An education professor and program director of special education, Witzel is a highly productive scholar with a national reputation for designing programs to diagnose and address students’ behavior, mathematics and reading needs.

State departments of education, federal agencies and individual school districts are among those who seek his expertise on mathematics. A multi-year project involved working with mathematics teachers in a rural, high-poverty school district in Kansas that suffered from high teacher turnover, and Witzel’s contributions helped produce improved results.

He joined the Winthrop faculty in 2002 as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 2008 and to professor in 2014 in the Department of Counseling, Leadership and Educational Studies.

An energetic teacher and mentor to other faculty members, Witzel has taught 31 different courses and designed multiple online courses for the online program sequence for those seeking a master’s degree in special education intervention. He was instrumental in helping transform the university’s graduate program to help school and district-based interventionists better assist those with special needs.

Witzel is a prolific scholar, having written nine books with another in progress. One of his books has been translated in Arabic and another in Turkish. In addition, he has authored many peer reviewed book chapters and articles and presented at more than 500 education workshops and professional conferences. In 2019, Witzel won the College of Education’s Outstanding Professor for Scholarship Award.

In 2018, his book “Rigor in RTI and MTSS Classroom" earned Amazon’s #1 New Release in Special Education and Amazon’s #1 New Release in Education: Curriculum and Instruction rankings

He holds a Ph.D. and an M.Ed. in special education from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree in psychology and special education from James Madison University.

Crystal Glover - Outstanding Junior Professor
Glover, a former elementary teacher, started work at Winthrop in 2014 and has proven to be a remarkable teacher, scholar and mentor to students.

An assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Glover champions diversity and has piloted a new advising approach by holding weekly meetings with minority freshmen and sophomores in the early childhood education program. She has been involved with Head Start Centers in Charlotte, North Carolina, providing training to support efforts that help low-income and diverse populations.

Glover also was instrumental in the College of Education’s development of a master’s degree in teacher leadership program. She actively supported the university’s China internship program and previously accompanied two students to Shanghai, China, to help them get settled into their new setting.

Her scholarly contributions exceed what is typically achieved by a junior faculty member. She is the co-editor of a peer reviewed journal, called Perspective and Provocations, published by the National Council of Teachers of English.

In 2017, Glover was awarded the College of Education's Stewardship and Service Award. She holds a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction – urban literacy from the University of North Carolina Charlotte, and a master’s degree in reading education and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, both from Winthrop.

Adriana Cordis - Jane LaRoche Graduate Faculty Award
An associate professor of accounting in the Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics, Cordis has built an impressive list of accomplishments during her tenure at Winthrop and is widely recognized as an emerging leader in the College of Business Administration. Administrators report that she stands out for her work in student intellectual development, scholarly activity and professional stewardship.

She joined the Winthrop faculty in 2013 as an assistant professor and was promoted in 2018 to an associate professor. She also has taught at the University of South Carolina Upstate and Clemson University, and was a transfer pricing consultant for Ernst & Young.

At Winthrop, Cordis teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in cost and managerial accounting. Incredibly organized with formidable administrative skills and a keen eye for details, she works to develop the analytical thinking and problem-solving skills of her students.

Cordis has contributed to developing an innovative M.B.A. Accounting and Analytics program to meet emerging demands and worked to develop three graduate certificates in accounting analytics, advanced accounting and risk assurance.

A prolific researcher, Cordis publishes high quality articles that are frequently downloaded on the Social Science Research Network or are cited in outlets such as the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal. She won the College of Business Administration’s Springs Industries Research Excellence Award in 2014 and 2017. She also received the Peter Brownell Manuscript Award for best paper in the Accounting and Finance Journal in 2017.

Cordis holds a Ph.D. in economics from Clemson University, a master’s degree in public services management and a bachelor’s degree in public administration, both from Babes-Bolyai University in Romania.

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at

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