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USC Viterbi School of Engineering dean Yannis C. Yortsos has been elected by his peers to serve on the executive board of the Engineering Deans Council.

The council is one of the leadership organizations of the American Society for Engineering Education, a nonprofit that brings educators together to collaborate on solutions that promote excellence in instruction, research, public service and practice.

The council sponsors an annual colloquium to review public policy issues that affect engineering education and encourages engineering deans to communicate with their congressional delegations.

Yortsos’ two-year term will begin on June 29.

Development Leader Rejoins USC

William (Bill) Watson has been named vice president for Health Sciences campus development at USC.

In this role, he oversees development functions for the Keck School of Medicine of USC, USC University Hospital and USC Norris Cancer Hospital.

Watson is a leader in medical and hospital development who most recently served as senior vice president and chief development officer at Saint John’s Health Center and the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica.

At Saint John’s, he led a campaign to raise $300 million for a 275,000-square-foot diagnostic and treatment center and was instrumental in campaign planning to expand the health center campus for a variety of programs and services, including additional patient resources, education and wellness programs, a translation science center, a conference center and senior housing.

Prior to Saint John’s, Watson served as chief development officer at the Keck School, where he managed the Board of Overseers and raised money for the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC. He previously served as director of development and external relations for the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Swim With Mike Returns to USC Saturday

The 31st annual Swim With Mike fundraiser will be held Saturday at McDonald’s Swim Stadium on the University Park campus.

Nearly $11 million has been raised to date for recipients of the Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship.

The scholarship, which provides tuition and financial assistance, allows students who have overcome life-challenging accidents or illnesses to pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees at USC and other college campuses.

USC University Publications Wins Writing Award

The USC University Publications staff learned not to underestimate the element of surprise when members won their fourth award of the year from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on March 4.

After the council e-mailed University Publications about its other three accolades prior to the awards luncheon, the USC staff members found they had won a silver in periodical staff writing for internal audiences. They learned this as the award was being presented.

The award recognized the writing talents of the University Publications staff in crafting a series of articles about the USC Office of Student Affairs.

The series demonstrated that the most creative stories can grow from the most ordinary occurrences: the announcement of a new grant (“Preschoolers Get a Jumpstart on Kindergarten”), an after-school program (“USC Students Engage Children Every Week”) or the invitation of a University Publications staff member to speak at a local grade school (“Weemes Students Dream Big at Career Day”).

These articles and two others – which ran in the USC Chronicle and on the USC News website, the my USC online student portal and the official Student Affairs website – reached a Trojan audience of tens of thousands.

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