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Faculty members will have two opportunities to meet the USC presidential search committee next month.

The meetings are scheduled on Dec. 10 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the board room of the Davidson Continuing Education Center and on Dec. 11 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in Room 112 of the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute Building.

Faculty members should RSVP by Dec. 4 at http://tinyurl.com/ydmsra7 or croque@usc.edu.

SWEET AND SOUR

Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), chair of the Select Committee on Obesity and Diabetes, and Sen. Elaine Alquist (D-San Jose), chair of the Senate Health Committee, convened a joint hearing at Los Angeles City Hall on Nov. 5 to explore the growing scientific evidence of links between sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and obesity.

Members of both committees heard testimony from state officials, beverage industry representatives, researchers, health professionals, marketing experts, and community and foundation leaders.

USC faculty members Francine Kaufman (Childrens Hospital Los Angeles), Michael Goran (Keck School of Medicine of USC) and Santos Cortez (Department of Advanced Pediatric Dentistry) were members of the panel focusing on health consequences of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption.

Experts testified on the health impacts of consuming soda, marketing directed at children and the cost of the obesity epidemic in California.

SCHOOL POLICY

The USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development held an alumni networking reception in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 5 featuring senior associate dean Elizabeth Graddy and professor Raphael Bostic, who is currently serving as assistant secretary for policy development and research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The event was held in conjunction with the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Conference.

RING OF TRUTH

USC Annenberg students, faculty and staff mourn the death of attorney and philanthropist Doug Ring, executive director of the school’s Selden Ring Award.

The Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting was established in 1989 by Doug’s father, Selden Ring, a Southern California business leader and philanthropist who started the award to honor journalists whose investigative reporting informed the public about major problems or corruption in society and yielded concrete results.

Ring died on Nov. 12 at his home in Brentwood.

ON THE RIGHT TRACK

Laffit: Anatomy of a Winner, a profile of jockey Laffit Pincay by Madelyn Cain, a lecturer in the Master of Professional Writing program at USC College, has been named a winner in the biography category for this year’s Premier Book Awards, as well as the National Best Books 2009 Awards. It also was a finalist in the biography category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

MANN UP

USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development alumna Anupama Mann recently received the Gill-Chin Lim Award for the best dissertation on international planning for her thesis “A Megaproject Matrix: Ideology, Discourse and Regulation in the Delhi Metro Rail.”

The award, which recognizes superior scholarship in a doctoral dissertation, is given by the Global Planners Educators Interest Group at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.

Mann, who graduated this year with her doctor of policy, planning, and development, was presented with the award in Crystal City, Va.

ECON HONORS

Patrick Soon-Shiong and Rick Stephens of the USC Viterbi School’s Board of Councilors received Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. Eddy Awards on Nov. 12.

Soon-Shiong, executive chairman of Abraxis Bioscience and CEO of Abraxis Health, received the individual award.

Stephens, the Boeing Corp. senior vice president for human resources, accepted the corporate award on behalf of his employer.

The Eddy Awards were introduced by the L.A. County Economic Development Corp. in 1996 to celebrate individuals and organizations that demonstrate exceptional contributions to positive economic development in the region.

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