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Rewarding Innovation in Instruction

College faculty lead nine out of 14 projects picked for provost's Fund for Innovative Undergraduate Teaching.

Rewarding Innovation in Instruction

The winners of the 2007-2008 Fund for Innovative Undergraduate Teaching recently were announced, granting funds to 14 proposals from applicants across the academic spectrum. Nine funded projects are led by faculty with appointments in the College.

The Office of the Provost, in collaboration with the Center for Excellence in Teaching, invited all full-time faculty members to apply for funding for their creative approach to enhancing undergraduate curriculum last fall. This year, 26 proposals were submitted, each vying for funding of up to $15,000.

Winners from the College, along with brief descriptions of their proposals:

  • Lawford Anderson and Scott Paterson, professors of earth sciences.
    "Geologic Wonders of Yosemite at Two Miles High"
    Students will work on a research project in the Sierras this summer, continuing with lab work in the fall and research presentations in the spring.

  • Sheila Briggs, associate professor of religion.
    "Christianity in the Roman Empire"
    Students will explore the visual and material culture of early Christianity.

  • G. Wayne Glass, lecturer, international relations.
    "Nuclear Security and USC: Bridges to Washington and Moscow"
    Teleconferences will unite USC and Russian students to discuss security issues, and students will design and manage a Web site on the topic.

  • Judith Jackson Fossett, associate professor of English and of American studies and ethnicity; and Ariela Gross, professor of law and of history.
    "Law, Race and Slavery in Comparative Perspective"
    Undergraduates will be exposed to an original research experience, using online archival resources.

  • Patrick James, professor of international relations.
    "International Relations 101"
    Students will learn complex IR theories through J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

  • Joseph Kunc, professor of aerospace engineering and of physics and astronomy.
    "Lunar Exploration and Propulsion for Research on Ground (LEAPFROG)"
    Students will get hands-on flight test training for the next generation of lunar spacecraft.

  • Steven Lamy, professor of international relations.
    "European Security and Foreign Policy"
    This revamped European security course will include problem-based learning sets and create a link with security researchers around the world.

  • Jill McNitt-Gray, professor of kinesiology and of biomedical engineering.
    "Bioenergetics and Human Performance"
    Students will work with the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center to solve rehabilitation problems and evaluate new technologies.

  • Cecilia Woloch, lecturer, English; and Aimee Bender, assistant professor of English.
    "The Writer in the Community"
    Creative writing students will share their skills with the USC community.

Also recieving awards were Midori Goto, USC Thornton School of Music; Sven Koenig, USC Viterbi School of Engineering; Sara Loe, USC School of Architecture; David Wilczynski and Michael Crowley, USC Viterbi School of Engineering; and Robert Turrill of the USC Marshall School of Business with Gary Goldsmith of the USC School of Cinematic Arts.