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Student Recognition Ceremony

While USC hails class of 2014 stars during a recent event, USC President C. L. Max Nikias says the scholars embody the qualities of the ideal Trojan.

During the recent annual Student Recognition Ceremony, 36 USC Dornsife graduates received the top awards. Photo courtesy of the USC Office of Student Affairs.
During the recent annual Student Recognition Ceremony, 36 USC Dornsife graduates received the top awards. Photo courtesy of the USC Office of Student Affairs.

USC honored its most accomplished and inspiring students from the class of 2014 at the annual Student Recognition Ceremony.

The 230 honorees, who were selected from more than 15,000 graduating students, represented the highest achievers in every field of study who also made the most lasting impact on USC.

USC Vice Provost of Student Affairs Ainsley Carry, who delivered welcoming remarks, told them, “We are better today than yesterday because of you.”

USC President C. L. Max Nikias congratulated the young scholars, whom he said embodied the qualities of the ideal Trojan and would become tomorrow’s leaders of society.

Winners of The Order of the Laurel and the Palm were announced for the first time at the ceremony. This award, which is given to less than 1 percent of the undergraduate graduating class, recognizes exemplary scholarship and leadership in multiple facets of university life and beyond.

The 21 inductees — which included a trained ballroom dancer who speaks 10 languages, a certified pilot who has conducted extensive research on Myanmar’s political reform, the founders and leaders of numerous organizations and initiatives, and both Mr. and Miss USC 2013-14 — were not informed of their selection before the event.

This year’s The Order of the Laurel and the Palm recipients from USC Dornsife were:

  • Evangeline Alva of linguistics
  • Claire Baugher of psychology and political science
  • Justin Bogda of environmental studies and international relations
  • Morgan Furlong of international relations
  • Alicia Guo of East Asian languages and cultures and communication
  • Reid Lidow of political science and international relations
  • Mellissa Linton of English and American studies and ethnicity
  • Adeel Mohammadi of religion and biology
  • Leah Singerman of psychology

Making Their Mark

The awards ceremony, which was held in Bovard Auditorium, recognized a number of other students who made an unequivocal mark during their time at USC.

Ten undergraduates were selected to receive a $10,000 USC Renaissance Scholars Prize for their excellent scholarship in two or more widely disparate fields of study. USC Dornsife honorees include:

  • Kauser Ali of religion and neuroscience
  • Claire Bazley of neuroscience
  • Morgan Cheeks of biological sciences
  • Grant Dixon of interdisciplinary archeology and religion
  • Brandon Martinez of English, political science and law
  • Adeel Mohammadi of religion and biology
  • Kaitlyn Yim of philosophy
  • Karissa Masciel of religion

Another 10 students earned the USC Discovery Scholars Prize of $10,000 each for their exceptional original scholarship or creative work at USC. Their versatile projects ranged from determining the rate by which stars are born to a one-man theatrical performance to groundbreaking research on the role of mitochondria in cancer.

Winners were from USC Dornsife were:

  • Michael Bertch of history
  • Julia Lazzari-Dean of chemistry
  • Matthew Orr of natural sciences and mathematics

The USC Global Scholars Prize of $10,000 was awarded to 10 graduates who have done significant research or scholarship abroad during their undergraduate studies. The group’s achievements included the development of a human rights curriculum adopted by the World Health Organization, the study of privacy policies between the United States and the European Union, and the engineering of more cost-efficient structures for the developing world.

The recipients from USC Dornsife included:

  • Alice Hall-Partyka of environmental studies, global health and law
  • Emily Holmes of health and humanity
  • Katherine Kelsh of economics
  • Nora Snyder of international relations and Middle East studies
  • Tatumn Walter of international relations, global business and East Asian languages and cultures

The Order of Arete, the highest honor accorded graduate students, was bestowed upon 63 students; the Order of Troy, which is awarded for extraordinary service to the campus community by undergraduates, was given to 112 students.

Among the recipients of USC Dornsife’s academic honors for achieving a 4.0 GPA through their entire undergraduate studies were USC Provost’s Award winners:

  • Eliza Asherian of biological sciences and pharmacy
  • Mary Hargis of cognitive science
  • Jung-Hwa Kang of art history
  • Julia McBeth of psychology

Emma Josephine Bradley Bovard Award winners:

  • Grace Chediak of anthropology and law
  • Julia Lazzari-Dean of chemistry
  • Kaitlyn Yim of philosophy

University Trustees Award winners:

  • Patrick Atchison of economics
  • Reid Lidow of political science and international relations
  • Aaron Lieberman of psychology
  • Brandon Martinez of English, political science and law
  • Adeel Mohammadi of religion and biology

Lidow was also congratulated for his receipt of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship.