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Ron Astor, the Richard M. and Ann L. Thor Professor in Urban Social Development at the USC School of Social Work, has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

Astor, who also holds a joint appointment in the USC Rossier School of Education, is an internationally recognized school violence expert and creator of an award-winning disaster preparation mapping and monitoring system that has been implemented in schools throughout the United States and Israel.

He earned a master’s degree in Jewish communal service from the Hebrew Union College in 1985, the same year he received a master of social work degree from USC.

Astor began his teaching career as a visiting professor and Fulbright Senior Scholar fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research into various types of school violence has been published in more than 100 journals.

Green Office Training Sessions Set

The dates for three upcoming green office certification program training sessions have been announced.

The program provides leaders with comprehensive training in recycling, energy management, office supplies and transportation.

The session dates are scheduled Tuesday, Sept. 28 in Leavey Library (Learning Room B), Wednesday, Oct. 27 (same location) and Wednesday, Nov. 17 in the NML Computer Lab on the Health Sciences campus.

Each session will be held from 10 a.m. to noon. RSVP at

Finance Journalist Joins USC Annenberg

Gabriel Kahn, a veteran journalist who most recently served as the Los Angeles bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal, has joined a team of USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism faculty members leading a new initiative to broaden students’ business savvy and grasp of economics.

Kahn has worked as a newspaper correspondent and editor for two decades, including 10 years at the Journal, where he also served as the deputy Hong Kong bureau chief and deputy Southern Europe bureau chief based in Rome. In 1998, he launched and edited Italy Daily in collaboration with the International Herald Tribune. He has reported from more than a dozen countries.

Zhao Awarded Grant for Alzheimer’s Research

USC School of Pharmacy research assistant professor Liqin Zhao has been awarded a $200,000 research grant by the Alzheimer’s Association for her study of insulin-degrading enzyme.

Zhao’s project will explore the hypothesis that insulin-degrading enzyme may be linked directly to both type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease because of its ability to decrease levels of insulin and beta-amyloid.

Her research focuses on the gonadal hormone regulation of neuronal function and the prevention of neurodegeneration.

Bouman Wins Everett M. Rogers Award

Martine Bouman of the Netherlands has won the 2010 Everett M. Rogers Award for Achievement in Entertainment Education.

Bouman will describe her pioneering work in media at a lunch colloquium to be held Wednesday at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.

She will be recognized that evening as the sixth recipient of the annual Rogers accolade during the 11th annual Sentinel for Health Awards at the Writers Guild of America, West in Los Angeles.

Bouman, who will be a guest speaker in USC Annenberg classes, is the first woman to receive the award given in honor of the school’s former associate dean. The award recognizes exceptional creativity in the practice of entertainment education.

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