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Annual Academic Convocation honors top Trojans

Irani, Nikias and Finch, from left
USC president C. L. Max Nikias, center, with Presidential Medallion recipients Ray R. Irani, left, and Caleb E. Finch Photo/Steve Cohn

Honoring the best and the brightest among USC students, faculty members and administrators, the 31st annual USC Academic Honors Convocation was held on April 4 at Town & Gown to pay tribute to a wide range of intellectual and leadership achievements on campus.

“This venerable tradition began over three decades ago with a formal ceremony that honored nine outstanding Trojans,” said USC president C. L. Max Nikias in his introductory remarks. “It fills me with pride to note that this year we have more than 30 individuals whose achievements have garnered singular recognition from their colleagues and mentors at USC.”

Nikias presented the university’s highest honor, the Presidential Medallion, to Ray R. Irani PhD ’57, USC trustee and Judge Widney Professor of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, and Caleb E. Finch, University Professor and holder of the ARCO/William F. Kieschnick Chair in the Neurobiology of Aging at USC. Irani has appointments at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Finch has appointments at the USC Davis School of Gerontology and USC Dornsife.

Distinguished Professor awards were presented to Paul Daniel Dapkus, William M. Keck Distinguished Professor of Engineering who holds joint appointments at USC Viterbi and USC Dornsife, and Midori Goto, holder of the Jascha Heifetz Distinguished Chair in Violin at the USC Thornton School of Music.

The following is a list of the award recipients, in the order the awards were given that evening.

 

Emma Josephine Bradley Bovard Award

Awarded to the graduating students who have attained the highest scholarship average of all undergraduate women at the university.

 

SONAM GHANSHYAM KAPADIA

Candidate: B.S., Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Studies

Keck School of Medicine of USC

Candidate: B.A., Biological Sciences

USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

 

ASHLEY MICHELSON

Candidate: B.S., Business Administration

USC Marshall School of Business

 

JEANNIE Y. ZHANG

B.A., Neuroscience (2011)

USC Dornsife

 

University Trustees Award

Awarded to the graduating students who have attained the highest scholarship average of all undergraduate men at the university.

 

JEFFREY RYAN HILL

Candidate: B.S., Kinesiology

Candidate: B.A., Biological Sciences

USC Dornsife

 

CODY SHAW NELSON

Candidate: B.S., Biochemistry

Candidate: B.A., History

USC Dornsife

 

USC Provost’s Award

Awarded to the graduating students who have attained the highest scholarship average of all undergraduate transfer students at the university.

 

SANG HEE CHOI

Candidate: B.S., Biological Sciences

USC Dornsife

 

Phi Kappa Phi Student Recognition Awards

Founded in 1897, Phi Kappa Phi is the oldest interdisciplinary honor society at USC. It recognizes scholarship and awards prizes annually to graduate and undergraduate students for creative and scholarly achievements.

 

IOANA LITERAT

Candidate: Ph.D., Communication

USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

 

KELLY PAUL

Candidate: BFA, Design (Theatre)

USC School of Theatre

 

BRENDAN V. RYAN

Candidate: B.M., Performance (Flute)

USC Thornton

 

KELLY YOUNG-WOLFF

Candidate: Ph.D., Psychology

USC Dornsife

Candidate: Master of Public Health

Keck School

 

Phi Beta Kappa Undergraduate Awards

Devoted to liberal learning in arts and sciences, Phi Beta Kappa presents two undergraduate awards to honor creativity, scholarship and leadership in faculty-student community relations.

 

JASON KEHE

Candidate: B.A., Print and Digital Journalism

USC Annenberg

 

LAUREN YU-LIEN MALDONADO

Candidate: B.A., Biological Sciences

Candidate: B.A., Art History

USC Dornsife

 

Rockwell Dennis Hunt Award

Awarded to an alumna or alumnus of USC who is pursuing a graduate or professional degree at the university and who is most representative of the Trojan Family’s traditions and values.

 

EMILY CHIN

Candidate: Master of Public Diplomacy

USC Annenberg

School of International Relations

USC Dornsife

 

University Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

Awarded to three graduate teaching assistants – from diverse areas such as the natural sciences and engineering, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts – who have exhibited consistent excellence in the classroom.

 

FABIAN ROJAS BARRALES

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

USC Viterbi School of Engineering

 

JOHN Y. KWAK

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Department of Philosophy

USC Dornsife

 

LUCILLE TOTH COLOMBIE

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Department of French and Italian

USC Dornsife

 

Distinguished Professor

Awarded on a very selective basis to those professors who have brought special renown to the university through their accomplishments.

 

PAUL DANIEL DAPKUS

William M. Keck Distinguished Professor of Engineering

Professor of Electrical Engineering and Materials Science

Director, Center for Energy Nanoscience

Director, USC Center for Energy Nanoscience and Technology

USC Viterbi

Professor of Physics and Astronomy

USC Dornsife

 

MIDORI GOTO

Jascha Heifetz Distinguished Chair in Violin

Chair and Professor of Strings

USC Thornton

 

University Professor

Awarded to a small number of professors who, because of their multi-disciplinary interests and significant accomplishments in several disciplines, qualify for an appointment that transcends any single field of study. Generally, a faculty member accorded this also has a tenured faculty appointment in a specific academic unit.

 

MARK S. HUMAYUN

University Professor

Cornelius J. Pings Chair in Biomedical Sciences

Professor of Ophthalmology, Biomedical Engineering, and Cell and Neurobiology

Associate Director of Research, Doheny Retina Institute

Keck School

USC Viterbi

 

LARRY W. SWANSON

University Professor

Milo Don and Lucille Appleman Professor of Biological Sciences

Professor of Biological Sciences, Neurology and Psychology

USC Dornsife

 

Faculty Lifetime Achievement Award

Awarded to retired faculty members for their notable contributions to the university, their profession and the community.

 

MURRAY FROMSON

Professor Emeritus of Journalism

USC Annenberg

William Edward Rutherford

Professor Emeritus of Linguistics

USC Dornsife

 

CAROLE SHAMMAS

Professor Emerita and John R. Hubbard Chair Emerita in History

USC Dornsife

 

Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Awards

Awarded to faculty for recent scholarly, scientific or creative works that can make a contribution of the highest order to their respective disciplines.

 

JOSEPH A. DANE

Professor of English

USC Dornsife

 

KELVIN J. A. DAVIES

James E. Birren Professor of Gerontology

USC Davis School of Gerontology

Professor of Molecular and Computational Biology

USC Dornsife

 

ERIC GUINIVAN

Adjunct Instructor of Composition

USC Thornton

 

CAROL MUSKE-DUKES

Professor of English and Creative Writing

USC Dornsife

 

Provost’s Mentoring Award

Awarded to a faculty member who has demonstrated sustained success in mentoring other USC faculty, graduate students or undergraduate students, and in helping them to succeed in their own research or professional development.

 

CHARLES J. GOMER

Vice Chair of Pediatrics for Faculty Development

Professor of Pediatrics and Radiation Oncology

Keck School

Professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology

USC School of Pharmacy

 

USC ASSOCIATES AWARDS

Awarded to faculty for excellence in teaching and creativity in research and scholarship during their careers at USC.

 

USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching

JO ANN M. FARVER

Professor of Psychology

USC Dornsife

 

PETER F. CROOKES

Professor of Surgery

Keck School

 

USC Associates Award for Creativity in 
Research and Scholarship

ANTONIO DAMASIO

University Professor

David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience

Professor of Psychology and Neurology

Director, Brain and Creativity Institute

USC Dornsife

 

ALAN E. WILLNER

Steven and Kathryn Sample Chair in Engineering

Professor of Electrical Engineering

Director, USC Optical Communications Laboratory

Co-director, USC Communication Sciences Institute

USC Viterbi

 

Presidential Medallion

Awarded to individuals who have greatly contributed to USC in areas that promote the excellence of the institution. Particular consideration is given to achievements in the world of learning and dedication to USC as evidenced by a series of outstanding contributions to several areas of life.

 

CALEB E. FINCH

University Professor

ARCO/William F. Kieschnick Professor in the Neurobiology of Aging

Co-director, USC Alzheimer Disease Research Center

USC Davis

Professor of Gerontology and Biological Sciences

USC Dornsife

 

RAY R. IRANI

USC Trustee

Judge Widney Professor of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry

USC Viterbi

USC Dornsife

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