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Midori Goto and Ernest J. Wilson III elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Midori Goto (Photo/Anthony Parmelee) and Ernest J. Wilson III

USC faculty member Midori Goto and USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism dean Ernest J. Wilson III have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies.

“Dean Wilson and Distinguished Professor Midori continue to advance their respective fields with innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to ways of communicating – through new mediums of technology and through the beauty of a musical composition,” said USC provost and senior vice president for academic affairs Elizabeth Garrett. “Their work and dedication reflect the values of our academic community, and their election into this venerated academy celebrates great scholarship of consequence.”

Since her debut as a violinist with the New York Philharmonic at the age of 11, Goto, holder of the Jascha Heifetz Chair in Violin at the USC Thornton School of Music, has established a record of achievement that sets her apart as a master musician, an innovator and a champion of the developmental potential of children.

In 1992 she founded Midori & Friends, a nonprofit organization in New York that brings music education programs to thousands of underprivileged children each year. Two other organizations, Music Sharing, based in Japan, and Partners in Performance, based in the United States, also bring music closer to the lives of people who may not otherwise have involvement with the arts.

Named a Messenger of Peace by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2007, Goto has created a new model for young artists who seek to balance the joys and demands of a performing career at the highest level with a hands-on investment in the power of music to change lives.

Her performing schedule is balanced between recitals, chamber music performances and appearances with the world’s most prestigious orchestras. Her 2011-12 season includes tours of the United States, Europe and Asia, as well as recitals and master classes.

“I am surprised and deeply honored to have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and to be part of such a distinguished body of extraordinary achievers in the humanities,” Goto said. “This serves to inspire in me an even greater commitment to my work in education and community engagement – two of the greatest sources of joy in my life.”

Wilson is dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and holder of the Walter Annenberg Chair in Communication. Wilson’s experience at the intersection of communication and public policy spans the private and public sectors. He has served as a consultant to the World Bank and the United Nations, led research centers and academic departments at premier institutions of higher education, such as the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania, and worked in government at the White House National Security Council and the U.S. Information Agency. He also advised President Barack Obama’s transition team on matters of communication technology and public diplomacy.

Nominated by President Bill Clinton in 2000, Wilson served on the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting from 2000 to 2010, the last year as chairman. He is a member of the Carnegie-Knight Commission on the Future of Journalism Education and The National Academies Board on Research Data and Information.

Wilson’s academic focus is on the convergence of communication and information technology, public policy and the public interest. His current work concentrates on China-Africa relations, global sustainable innovation in high-technology industries, and the role of politics in the diffusion of information and communication technologies.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to be elected to the Academy of Arts and Sciences,” Wilson said. “With its remarkable history and mission to solve complex and emerging social problems, the Academy is a testament to the power of collaborative thinking across the arts and sciences. I am delighted to be included in the company of so many distinguished, multidisciplinary scholars and leaders, and I look forward to contributing to the advancement of the Academy’s goals.”

Since its founding in 1780, the Academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the 20th. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

With the election of this year’s class, the number of living fellows from the USC faculty is 27, in addition to five members from the USC Board of Trustees.

“Election to the Academy is both an honor for extraordinary accomplishment and a call to serve,” said American Academy of Arts and Sciences president Leslie C. Berlowitz. “We look forward to drawing on the knowledge and expertise of these distinguished men and women to advance solutions to the pressing policy challenges of the day.”

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on Oct. 6, at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

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Midori Goto and Ernest J. Wilson III elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

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