Adam Bush, a USC College doctoral candidate in American studies and ethnicity (ASE), has been recognized by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) with the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award.
Bush is one of eight graduate students, selected from a pool of more than 225 nominations, to receive the honor. The prestigious accolade recognizes students who demonstrate commitment to developing academic and civic responsibility in themselves as well as in others; show promise as future leaders of higher education; and whose work shows emphasis on teaching and learning.
“I really like having one foot in higher education and another foot in lots of different projects,” said Bush, a Los Angeles native. He is currently in Providence, R.I., working on his dissertation, “Passing Notes in Class: Listening to Pedagogical Improvisations in Jazz History” and serves as founding director of curriculum for College Unbound, a college degree program designed to connect students’ interests with internships.
“Adam Bush has always had his eyes on something bigger than academia and that is service,” said Robin D. G. Kelley, Bush’s dissertation chair and professor of American studies and ethnicity, and history. “Service learning, service education, transforming civil society through civic engagement, getting young people involved in public history this is what he does. Adam’s work goes beyond just his dissertation.”
In addition to his role with College Unbound, serving as director of graduate education for Imagining America’s Publicly Active Graduate Education (PAGE) program also parallels his graduate work in ASE.
Being able to discuss his projects on a national scale during the 2011 AAC&U annual meeting in held in San Francisco this January was an added perk for Bush.
“Through all of this work, what I’m really interested in is full participation that calls for a fundamental reorientation of higher education toward addressing equity and opportunity in deeper, systemic, more complex, and more transformative ways,” Bush explained.
Bush, who holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia University, is board president of the Studio for Southern California History, and is involved in the AASCU's American Democracy Project and the New England Resource Center for Higher Education on the Next Generation Engagement.