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Alumni News Fall 2008

Daniel Wei HoSang (Ph.D., American studies and ethnicity, '07) earned three prestigious awards for his dissertation. "Racial Propositions: Genteel Apartheid in Postwar California" won the American Studies Association's Ralph Henry Gabriel Dissertation Prize; the Best Dissertation Award from the Race, Ethnicity, and Politics section of the American Political Science Association; and the W. Turrentine Jackson Dissertation Award from the American Historical Association's Pacific Coast Branch. Completed under the guidance of Laura Pulido, professor of American studies and ethnicity and of geography, his dissertation examines California ballot initiatives that threatened to turn back the clock on progress in the fight against racial discrimination in postwar California. The second graduate of USC College's doctoral program in American studies and ethnicity, HoSang is assistant professor of ethnic studies and political science at the University of Oregon.

Joseph Arditti (Ph.D., biology, '65) has authored the second edition of Micropropagation of Orchids (Wiley-Blackwell, 2008), a classic book providing a comprehensive examination of techniques for growing orchids via in vitro tissue culture. A professor emeritus of biology at University of California, Irvine, Arditti also co-edited last year's Orchid Biology: Review and Perspectives, IX (New York Botanical Garden), the latest entry in a orchid-science series he originated in 1977. Arditti's son, Jonathan, graduated from USC College in 2008 with a B.A. in psychology.

Linda Bannister (Ph.D., rhetoric, linguistics and literature, '82) has been named Daum Professor in Loyola Marymount University's  Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts. The Daum Professorship is an annual award given to a senior professor "who has exhibited a record of excellence in teaching and advising, scholarship or creative work, and service to the department, college, and university." The appointment carries a one-course remission per semester for the academic year, and a $10,000 research award. Bannister is professor of English at LMU.

Matthew Breitfelder (B.A., economics, '95) co-authored an article in the Harvard Business Review's July-August issue. In "Why Did We Ever Go Into HR?" he and co-writer Daisy Wademan Dowling, both recent Harvard MBAs, explain why they opted for careers in human resources. "I'm supposed to equip others to make things happen - to facilitate innovation, not dictate my point of view," Breitfelder wrote.

Jill Fields (M.A., history, '93; Ph.D., history, '97) won the Western Association of Women Historians' 2008 Keller-Sierra Prize for her book An Intimate Affair: Women, Lingerie, and Sexuality (University of California Press, 2007). The prize recognizes the best monograph in the field of history published by an association member. Fields, an associate professor of history at California State University, Fresno, based the book upon her dissertation, completed under the direction of USC College faculty Lois Banner, Steve Ross and Tania Modleski.

Jason Gilde (B.A., biological sciences, '07; B.S., health promotion and disease prevention studies, '07), was invited to attend the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., as a winner of the YouTube competition "Living for a cause greater than oneself." Gilde was recognized for his humanitarian work, since the age of 17, to benefit the youth of Kiberia, Kenya, described as a densely populated slum struck hard by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Watch the video profiling Gilde's work in Kiberia at

Dale Gribow (B.A., history, '65) has been named president of the Trojan Club of the Desert. Gribow immediately began USC Football Game Watching Parties at Desert Falls Country Club in Palm Desert for all USC games. Trojans who will be in the greater Palm Springs area on game day are invited to join in and cheer on the team. For information contact Gribow at (760) 341-4411 or

John W. House (B.A., biological sciences, '64; M.D., '67), president of the House Ear Institute, has been elected secretary/treasurer of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS). A practicing physician in the world-renowned House Clinic, House began serving a three-year term as secretary/treasurer on the AAO-HNS board in October 2008.

Matthew A. Jendian (M.A., sociology, '95; Ph.D., sociology, '01) is the author of Becoming American, Remaining Ethnic: The Case of Armenian-Americans in Central California (LFB Scholarly Publishing, 2008), a book that provides a sociological snapshot of the oldest Armenian community in the American West. The book explores the processes of assimilation and ethnicity across four generations and examines forms of ethnic identity and intermarriage. Jendian earned tenure and promotion to associate professor of sociology at California State University, Fresno, in 2007. He serves as director of the American Humanics Nonprofit Administration program there as well.

Richard Keelor (Ph.D., physical education, '74) received the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports' 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award at the council meeting held May 14. Keelor, a leading authority on health and fitness who serves as CEO of Health Designs International, was honored for his 50-year career promoting health and physical fitness around the world. A former director of program development at the presidential council, Keelor has conducted more than 200 regional and national fitness clinics, and has advised governments worldwide on issues related to fitness and health promotion.

Owen Newcomer (Ph.D., political science, '80) won re-election to the Whittier City Council on April 18. Now in his third term on the city council, Newcomer has served as mayor of Whittier twice. Before joining the Whittier City Council in 2000, he spent 11 years as a member of the Whittier City School District Board of Education.

Sherry Span (M.A., psychology, '97; Ph.D., psychology, '00) and Stacy Young (B.A., communication and French, '93) received Distinguished Faculty Teaching Awards from California State University, Long Beach. Span, associate professor of psychology, and Young, associate professor of communication studies, were honored at the 2008 University Achievement Awards, held May 15. Span receives consistently outstanding evaluations from her students and is credited with a creative and often witty approach to teaching. Young, who has taught 15 undergraduate and graduate-level courses since joining Cal State Long Beach in 2000, has repeatedly received perfect ratings from her students.