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Mara Mather, associate professor of gerontology and psychology at the USC Davis School of Gerontology, will receive the distinguished scientific award for early career contribution to psychology from the American Psychological Association for her work in the field of cognition and human learning.

The award, which recognizes “excellent psychologists who are at early stages of their research careers,” has been given only 16 times in the field of human cognition and learning since its inception in 1974.

The award will be presented Aug. 12 at the American Psychological Association convention in San Diego.


Ariela Gross, a civil rights, race and legal history scholar at the USC Gould School of Law, is one of three historians nationwide selected by two scholarly organizations for a short-term residency in Japan.

As recipient of the 2010 residency in the history of race and racial ideology, Gross will spend two weeks in June teaching and lecturing at Kyoto University. The project is sponsored by the Organization of American Historians and the Japanese Association for American Studies.

The Organization of American Historians promotes excellence in the scholarship, teaching and presentation of American history, and it encourages discussion of historical questions.


Seth Kurzban, an assistant professor at the USC School of Social Work, has been appointed to the Gabe W. Miller Memorial Foundation advisory committee.

The foundation, whose namesake died in 2005 while a master of social work student at the University of Denver, collects and distributes funds to individuals who can deliver service to those who need it most – physically and mentally disabled adults and children, former prisoners reintegrating into society and children in need of support and role models.

In his advisory role, Kurzban will help identify and recommend individuals, projects and institutions worthy of the foundation’s support.

Kurzban joined the USC School of Social Work last year as a postdoctoral fellow after receiving an Eric Larson Scholarship Endowment to adapt a group intervention at a Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health clinic for women who are reintegrating into the community upon their release from jail.

His current work focuses on developing and testing the intervention Community Awareness Psycho-education, which is designed to help individuals improve their self-care and wellness, reduce the social isolation associated with mental illness and improve their ability to live in communities.


Jerry Chih-Yuan Sun EdD ’09 was appointed as a postdoctoral fellow in the USC Center for Scholarly Technology.

Sun is a teaching assistant at the USC Rossier School of Education. As an Ed.D. student, his focus was on motivational factors and student engagement in the field of distance education.

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