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Jane Pisano, senior vice president for external relations, will deliver the keynote address at the 124th commencement exercises of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion on Monday, May 17. Pisano, who will also receive an honorary doctorate degree, has been instrumental in building the partnership between USC and HUC, said HUC Dean Lewis M. Barth. Pisano “is truly a distinguished academic administrator who … has helped reshape the community context in which HUC, along with USC and many other institutions, live,” Barth said. “We were really honored that Jane accepted our invitation to receive an honorary degree … and it was a natural thing to invite her to share her ideas with our graduates and their families and with members of the Jewish community who will be here on the occasion of our graduation.” HUC is at 3077 University Avenue, Los Angeles. The commencement ceremony begins at 3 pm.

On Thursday, May 20, at 10 a.m. in the Upper Commons Garden Room, President Steven B. Sample and Jane Pisano, senior vice president for external affairs, will announce 1999 recipients of USC Neighborhood Out-reach grants. The grants committee has allocated $550,000 to a record number of USC-neighborhood partnerships.

Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet School, located next to the Health Sciences Campus – with whom it has an educational partnership – was recently honored as a California Distinguished School. It was the only high school in the Los Angeles Unified School District to be so honored. The medical magnet program was developed by Rosa Maria Hernandez, who now serves as principal. The school opened for students in 1990, the district’s first new high school to open in 17 years. School officials will accept the award on May 21.

A team of USC real estate graduate students bested their rivals from UCLA to win an urban-planning competition sponsored by the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office properties. In April, a panel of real estate experts awarded the five-member USC team the trophy for its winning response to the question: “Will the new Staples Center create opportunities for development of pedestrian- oriented retail and commercial space along the Figueroa Corridor?”

Kathleen Kelly Reardon, professor of management and organization, is featured on a decision-making training video produced by Advanced Knowledge Inc., a company that develops, produces and distributes creative training and educational products and services for organizational training. Reardon, along with Robert McNamara, former secretary of defense; Theodore Sorensen, former presidential adviser; Batia M. Wisenfield, with the Stern School of Management; and Ben Raspberry, senior consultant with management Action Programs Inc., examine the decision-making consequences of the Cuban missile crisis. Rare audio clips from the actual meetings of president John F. Kennedy’s Executive Committee help weave together the story of those deliberations.

“Excellence in Distance Learning Teaching – Higher Education,” the business tele-Web course by entrepreneur expert Thomas J. O’Malia, won a first-place award in March from the United States Distance Learning Association. O’Malia was described as a “great teacher and an inspiration to entrepreneurs new and old” by Tom Genesse, president and co-founder of University Access, a distance-learning company that specializes in producing business courseware for distance learning.

Geoffrey Cowan, dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication, delivered the 1999 Durr Lecture, “Clifford Durr and the Importance of Principled Personal Decision-Making in Public Life,” at Auburn University in Montgomery, Ala., on April 18. Clifford and Virginia Foster Durr, who were friends and clients of Montgomery seamstress Rosa Parks, helped win Parks’ release after she was arrested in 1955 for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man. Both Durrs were pioneers in the field of human and civil rights; Clifford died in 1975, Virginia in February this year.

USC Annenberg School of Journalism’s IMPACT Television Newsmagzine recently won the first-place award in the category of non-daily television newscast at the Society of Professional Journalists’ Region XI Mark of Excellence Competition for work broadcast in 1998. The win automatically places IMPACT in competition for the national award. Since its first show in October 1991, IMPACT has won numerous awards, including one national and three regional college Emmys from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, a national Hearst Broadcast Competition award, an award from the National Association of College Broadcasters and a regional award from Sigma Delta Chi.

Larry J. Livingston, dean of the USC Thornton School of Music, will speak at the Southern California Colloquium presented by the Young President’s Organization and hosted by Caltech. The theme of the colloquium, which takes place May 20-21, is “Excellence in Academia.” Livingston will speak on “The Mozart Effect: Does Music Really Make You Smarter?” Livingston’s contention is that, yes, music does indeed help foster reasoning and brain development in children, but also that music is a valid intellectual exercise worthy of pursuit in its own right. Last month, Livingston was in Beyreuth, Germany, at the Markgräfliches Operahaus to conduct a concert performance by the Internationale Junge Orchesterakademie of Mozart’s Overture to the Magic Flute, Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6. This is the second time Livingston has conducted; the concert and the subsequent CD recording raise funds for children with leukemia.

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