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Hire Purpose

Finding USC Dornsife a destination for entrepreneurial thinking, these newest faculty members are heading in exciting and novel directions.

By Pamela J. Johnson
May 7, 2013

These nine intellectual innovators are some of our newest professors and assistant professors. They selected USC Dornsife for the freedom it provides them to think creatively and explore unchartered territory.

Take Jacob Soll, who took a deep breath before telling his now USC Dornsife colleagues, “I really want to do this funky thing where I do research in accounting, but see it as a part of history.” He was thrilled when they replied, “We get it.” Or Scott Fraser, who came to USC from Caltech for the opportunity to expand the imaging technologies he is developing for the heart and eyes that will become crucial devices in treating diseases such as cancer. Or Kate Flint, whose research gives us insight into why we have become so interested in sharing with the world that we just fed the cat.

Read how these enterprising educators are implementing their power to transform.


Meet nine of our newest faculty members:

  Scott Fraser
Founder of the Biological Imaging Center at Caltech, Fraser joined the faculty in Summer 2012. The USC Provost Professor of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Engineering, and director of science initiatives has a joint appointment at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

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  David Treuer
Treuer, professor of English in the Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature program, joined the faculty in Fall 2011. A Pushcart Prize winner, he has written five books of fiction and nonfiction. He’s interested in Native American literature, the 20th-century novel, modernism and creative writing.

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  Kate Flint
Flint is Provost Professor of English and Art History, and chair of art history. She arrived Fall 2011 from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and before that taught at Oxford and Bristol universities in England, from which she hails.

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  Sami Assaf
Arriving from a C.L.E. Moore instructorship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, followed by a year at Berkeley Quantitative, Assaf became Gabilan Assistant Professor of Mathematics in Fall 2012. She specializes in algebraic combinatorics and combinatorial representation theory.

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  Jacob Soll
Soll, professor of history who arrived Summer of 2012, has a joint appointment with the USC Leventhal School of Accounting. A MacArthur fellow in 2011 and Guggenheim fellow from 2009 to 2010, Soll was recruited from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

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  Anna Krakus
Krakus became assistant professor of Slavic languages and literatures in Fall 2012. Interested in law and literature, she graduated from law school at Stockholm University before moving to New York to study literature as a Fulbright scholar.

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  Gabriel Uzquiano
Professor of Philosophy Uzquiano arrived in Fall 2011 from Oxford University. Born in Majorca, Spain, he grew up in Tarragona. His expertise spans from philosophical logic and the philosophy of mathematics to metaphysics.

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  Jennifer Hook
Assistant Professor of Sociology Hook arrived in Fall 2012. A Fulbright scholar, Hook coauthored Gendered Tradeoffs: Family, Social Policy and Economic Inequality in 21 Countries (Russell Sage, 2011). She focuses on how social contexts, social policies and work opportunities impact individuals and families.

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  Khalil Iskarous
An assistant professor of linguistics since Fall 2011, Iskarous spent a decade as a research scientist at Haskins Laboratories in New Haven, Conn. A Fulbright scholar, Iskarous was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt. While in middle school, he and his family moved to New York.

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Illustrations by Bill Sanderson

Meet more of our new 2012-13 Dornsife Faculty

Read more articles from USC Dornsife Magazine's Spring/Summer 2013 issue