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Faculty Research News

USC Dornsife welcomes Naomi Levine (left), Gabilan Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences and Earth Sciences, and Smaranda Marinescu, Gabilan Assistant Professor of Chemistry. Levine's research explores climate change effects while Marinescu focuses on sources for clean, renewable energy. Photos by Erica Christianson.

Superlative Scientists

February 6, 2014

Although Naomi Levine has taken 20 cruises off Bermuda, she spent no time lounging by the pool. These were research trips she took as a doctoral student to collect microscopic organisms such as photoplankton and bacteria. Her…

Dana Gioia will receive the Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry during a ceremony Feb. 19 at the University of the South, in Sewanee, Tenn.

Gioia Honored for His Poetry

February 4, 2014

Dana Gioia, USC Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture, has been named the recipient of the Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry. Celebrated for his poetry, criticism and arts advocacy, Gioia joins a…

USC Dornsife’s School of Philosophy has made two prestigious faculty hires this year with Professor John Hawthorne and Associate Professor Jonathan Quong. Photos courtesy of John Hawthorne and Jonathan Quong.

Developing a New Philosophy

February 4, 2014

People take notice when in the space of a few years, you surge to No. 11 from 46 in the national Philosophical Gourmet Report rankings, as USC Dornsife’s School of Philosophy has done. The school’s impressive…

Luis Chiappe is lead investigator of the research team on the ancient bird study; curator and director of the Dinosaur Institute at the Natural History Museum; and adjunct professor at USC Dornsife. Photo courtesy of the Natural History Museum.

When Dinosaurs Flew

February 4, 2014

A team of paleontologists affiliated with USC Dornsife and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County has determined that birds were capable of modern flight patterns much earlier than previously suspected — at…

Students at USC Dornsife integrate computer technology into the activities of their scholarship. Photo by John Livzey.

$1.9 Million for Digital Humanities

February 4, 2014

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded USC a $1.9 million grant to support a program of graduate and postdoctoral training in the digital humanities. The foundation makes grants on a selective basis in the areas of…

USC Dornsife Dean Steve Kay (center) with University of Bristol's Alistair Hetherington, Melville Wills Chair in Botany, and the university's chancellor The Right Honourable the Baroness Hale of Richmond. Photo by Ede and Ravenscroft Photography Ltd.

USC Dornsife Dean Receives Honorary Degree

January 30, 2014

A native of the British island of Jersey located off the coast of France, USC Dornsife Dean Steve Kay remembers arriving at the University of Bristol on the United Kingdom’s mainland as a wide-eyed 17-year-old. Devoting…

USC Dornsife's Daphna Oyserman, Dean's Professor of Psychology, shares her research during a Jan. 22 Dean's Special Lecture, explaining why we often achieve less than we aspire to and offering solutions to help attain our goals. Photos by Matt Meindl.

Meet Your Future Self

January 30, 2014

“If it’s not cool for a teenage boy in inner-city L.A. to do his science homework, then how will he ever become a brain surgeon?” This thorny question was asked by USC Dornsife Dean Steve Kay as he…

Sean Curran and Shanshan Pang studied <em>C. elegans</em>, a one-millimeter-long worm that scientists have used as a model organism since the 1970s. Image by Alexander Lopez.

You Are as Old as You Eat

January 29, 2014

Your best friend swears by the Paleo Diet. Your boss loves Atkins. Your sister is gluten-free, and your roommate is an acolyte of Michael Pollan. So who’s right? Maybe all four. In new research published this month in…

Arriving from the University of Oxford, philosopher Ralph Wedgwood is drawn to the abstract. His desire to ask the big questions and challenge the norm goes way back. Photo by Roger Snider.

On the Origin of Ralph

January 28, 2014

First you should know that Ralph Wedgwood’s first name is pronounced the old-fashioned English way so that it rhymes with waif. He explained the history of this pronunciation on his USC Dornsife School of Philosophy…

The breakthrough research of USC Dornsife’s Moh El-Naggar has earned him the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stage of their careers. Photo by Matt Meindl.

A Presidential Honoree

January 28, 2014

USC Dornsife’s Moh El-Naggar first got an inkling he was being considered for a presidential award several months ago when he received an email requesting his permission to authorize an FBI background check. But it…