Lander University recently recognized Amanda Cleveland, an associate professor of psychology, as its 2020 Distinguished Professor of the Year due to her performance in the classroom, work as a scholar and service to the school as well as the community.
In addition to teaching, Cleveland has also served as student advisor and chair of the Lander University Faculty Senate, presenter at scholarly conferences and board member of the Greenwood Humane Society since she came the university in 2011.
“Every piece of my workload is encompassed by my teaching,” Cleveland said. “Teaching is what we do at Lander. For example, when my students see me wearing a suit, I explain to them that I attend the board of trustees meetings as part of my role as faculty senate chair. As I field the inevitable follow-up questions about what the role entails and how I came to be in the role, I am teaching about shared governance. More importantly, I am modeling female leadership, something that is still woefully uncommon in 2020.”
Cleveland also supervises undergraduate student psychology internship placements, advises approximately 30 psychology students each semester and co-leads study abroad trips. When approaching her research, she involves students in the scholarly research process. For example, she led a study on social distancing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. For this study, she enlisted the help of Morgan Ferqueron, a rising psychology honors student from Hodges, South Carolina.
As the Distinguished Professor of the Year, Cleveland will receive a medallion for the year. Once the 2021 professor is chosen by a seven-person committee, the medallion will pass to that person, and she will receive a commemorative plaque in its place.