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Faculty Notes

Jody Agius Vallejo, assistant professor of sociology, was featured in Investment Advisor magazine’s February cover story titled “Invest Globally, Advise Locally.”

David Albertson, assistant professor of religion, has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities’ Enduring Questions Grant, which will fund a new undergraduate course in Spring 2011 on the power of visual images in religious texts.

Aravind Asok, assistant professor of mathematics, has been awarded a federal stimulus grant by the National Science Foundation to continue his research on the developing area of homotopy theory of algebraic varieties.

Oscar Aparicio, associate professor of biological sciences, has received a federal stimulus grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, which will enable him to further his research on DNA replication.

Michelle Arbeitman, Gabilan Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, has received a federal stimulus grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences to advance the understanding of the molecular genetics of reproductive behaviors and physiology in fruit flies.

Jay Bartroff, assistant professor of mathematics, was interviewed by ESPN for a story about “The Mathematics Behind the NCAA Basketball Tournament Brackets.”

Michel Baudry, professor of biological sciences and biomedical engineering, has received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Provence/ Aix-Marseille.

John E. Bowlt, professor of Slavic languages and literatures, and director of the Institute of Modern Russian Culture, has been awarded a Fulbright Follow-on grant for his research on the Russian artist Léon Bakst.

Andrew Curtis, visiting associate professor of geography, gave a talk on hazards and disasters at a National Academies research meeting on linking social science data and environmental data for climate change.

Antonio Damasio, holder of the David Dornsife Chair in Neuroscience, professor of psychology and neurology, and co-director of the USC Brain and Creativity Institute, received a Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Leiden. His book Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain (Penguin Books, 1994) was named one of the “20 Books That Changed Our Vision of the World” in the past two decades by the French journal Science Humaines.

Lynn Swartz Dodd, lecturer in religion and curator of the Archaeology Research Center, received her second award to use the synchrotron beam at Argonne National Laboratory and conduct research on ancient artifacts.

Linda Duguay, director of the USC Sea Grant program, research associate professor of biological sciences and director of research for the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, has been selected to participate in a National Science Foundation workshop in China to discuss a foundation-supported ocean science education project and its possible application to outreach efforts by Chinese scientists and educators.

Katrina Edwards, professor of biological sciences and earth sciences, has been elected to the American Academy of Microbiology.

Ange-Marie Hancock, associate professor of political science, has been named lead editor of Palgrave-Macmillan’s Politics of Intersectionality book series and has been named to the Community Program Board of the Liberty Hill Foundation.

Peggy Kamuf, Marion Frances Chevalier Professor of French, and professor of comparative literature and English, had an interview and two essays published in the journal Mosaic’s feature author issue “Featuring Peggy Kamuf.”

Robin D. G. Kelley, professor of American studies and ethnicity, and history, had his book Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of An American Original (Free Press, 2009) selected by The New York Times Book Review as one of its "100 Notable Books of 2009." Kelley also delivered the inaugural Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Lecture at the University of Oxford in November.

Malcolm Klein, professor emeritus of sociology, has been appointed chair of the Evaluation Advisory Committee for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Gang Reduction and Youth Development Program.

Karen Lang, associate professor of art history, has been appointed editor of The Art Bulletin.

Abraham Lowenthal, Robert F. Erburu Professor of Ethics, Globalization and Development, and professor of international relations, received the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce’s Stanley T. Olafson Award, which honors an outstanding member of the world trade community in Southern California who has contributed to the advancement of world trade and international relations.

Zhong-Lin Lu, William M. Keck Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience, and professor of psychology and biomedical engineering, has been appointed associate editor for Psychological Review.

Mark Marino, assistant professor of writing, and an undergraduate student's independent project brought together top experts, thought leaders and practitioners in the rising field of the social history of computer programming in an online conference.

James McHugh, assistant professor of religion, has been appointed a Society Fellow at the Cornell Society for the Humanities to pursue his research on “Transporting Scents: The Cosmopolitan Aesthetics of Smell in South Asia.”

Tania Modleski, Florence R. Scott Professor of English and professor of English, was presented with the Excellence in Arts & Letters Award from the Alumni Association of the State University of New York at Albany.

Susan Montgomery, professor of mathematics, has been selected by the Association for Women in Mathematics to be the 2011 Noether Lecturer, honoring women who have made fundamental and sustained contributions to the mathematical sciences.

John Pollini, professor of art history and history, was selected as the Archaeological Institute of America’s Martha Sharp Joukowsky Lecturer. He will give 12 lectures at universities across the country.

Surya Prakash, George A. and Judith A. Olah Nobel Laureate Chair in Hydrocarbon Chemistry, and professor of chemistry, has been awarded the CRSI Medal from the Chemical Research Society of India (CRSI). The medal is conferred on chemists of Indian origin working outside India and who have contributed extensively in the promotion of chemical research.

David Román, professor of English, and American studies and ethnicity, and senior English major Zachary Wolf published a critical review of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific in Theatre Journal.

Mary Sarotte, professor of international relations, has won the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations’ 2010 Robert H. Ferrell Prize for her book 1989: The Struggle to Create Post-Cold War Europe (Princeton University Press, 2009). Sarotte has also been asked to help select the new editor of Foreign Affairs this summer. 

Kevin Starr, University Professor and professor of history, was a finalist in the 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize history category for Golden Dreams: California in an Age of Abundance, 1950–1963 (Oxford University Press, 2009).

“Neural Correlates of Admiration and Compassion,” written by Antonio Damasio, David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience and director of the USC Brain and Creativity Institute (BCI); Hanna Damasio, Dana Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience, director of the Dana and David Dornsife Cognitive Neuroscience Imaging Center and BCI co-director; Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, assistant professor in the BCI and the USC Rossier School of Education; and Andre McColl, a doctoral student in the BCI, was selected by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences editorial board to receive the Cozzarelli Prize for an exceptional paper published in 2009.

Daniel Lidar, associate professor of chemistry and electrical engineering, and Paolo Zanardi, associate professor of physics, were named among Science Watch’s top 20 authors in the field of quantum computers. In addition, a paper by Lidar made the list of the top 20 most cited papers in the field in the past two years and Zanardi’s paper made the top 20 list for the most cited papers in the past 10 years. 

Xiaojiang Chen, professor of biological sciences and chemistry, Myron Goodman, professor of biological sciences and chemistry, and their co-authors had their paper, “A Structural Model for Deoxycytidine Deamination Mechanisms of the HIV-1 Inactivation Enzyme APOBEC3G,” selected as a Journal of Biological Chemistry “Paper of the Week.” This distinction is given to the top 1 percent of manuscripts the journal reviews in significance and overall importance from the more than 6,600 published each year.

Under the direction of William Deverell, professor of history, the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West has received a $204,465 grant from the National Science Foundation to support a project titled “Archive for the History of Southern California Aerospace.”                 

Headquartered in USC College’s Department of American Studies and Ethnicity, American Quarterly’s September 2008 special issue titled “Nation and Migration Past and Future” won the Council of Editors of Learned Journals 2009 Award for Best Special Issue. Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, professor of sociology, served as one of the issue’s guest editors.

The Center for Religion and Civic Culture is funding research in 23 countries on one of the world’s fastest growing religious movements: charismatic and Pentecostal Christianity. Grants totaling $3.5 million will be awarded to five centers, and another 16 individual scholars and their teams, to conduct research in Asia, Africa, Latin America, or the former Soviet Union. The USC research initiative is supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.


University Honors

Hanna Reisler, Lloyd Armstrong Jr. Chair for Science and Engineering, and professor of chemistry, earned the Provost’s Mentoring Award, which is given to an individual faculty member who has demonstrated sustained success in mentoring other USC faculty, graduate or undergraduate students, and in helping them to achieve success in their professions. Eliz Sanasarian, professor of political science, and Stephan Haas, professor of physics and astronomy, have received the Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest honor the university’s faculty bestows on its members for outstanding teaching. Priya Vashishta, professor of computer science, materials science and physics, has received the Associates Award for Creativity in Research, USC’s highest honor for research accomplishment. Mark Irwin, assistant professor of English, has been selected for a Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award. The Phi Kappa Phi Society typically honors up to three individuals annually, one each in the sciences, the humanities, and the creative arts.


USC-Mellon Mentoring Awards

Supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching, the USC-Mellon Mentoring Awards honor individual faculty for helping build a supportive academic environment at USC through faculty-to-faculty and faculty-to-student mentoring. John Carlos Rowe, USC Associates Chair in Humanities and professor of English, and American studies and ethnicity, received an award for faculty-to-faculty mentoring. Michel Baudry, professor of biological sciences and biomedical engineering, Hagit Borer, professor of linguistics, Macarena Gomez Barris, assistant professor of sociology, and American studies and ethnicity, Patrick James, professor of international relations and director of the Center for International Studies, and Susan McCabe, professor of English, won USC-Mellon Mentoring Awards for mentoring graduate students. Brian Baucom of psychology, Margaret Rosenthal, professor of Italian, comparative literature, and English, and Leland Saito, associate professor of sociology, and American studies and ethnicity, won USC-Mellon Mentoring Awards for mentoring undergraduates.


Haynes Foundation Faculty Fellowships

Andrew Curtis, visiting associate professor of geography, Manuel Pastor, professor of geography, and American studies and ethnicity, Vanessa Schwartz, professor of history, Jefferey Sellers, associate professor of political science, and Veronica Terriquez, assistant professor of sociology, have been selected for John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation Faculty Fellowships. The fellowships are awarded by the foundation on an annual basis to social sciences faculty members teaching at any university or four-year college in the five-county Southern California region.


2009 College Holiday Reception and Awards Ceremony

Faculty members were honored at the 2009 College Holiday Reception and Award Ceremony held in December. General Education Teaching Awards were presented to David Albertson of religion; Deborah Harkness of history; Charles McKenna of chemistry; John Monterosso of psychology; and Mark Schroeder of philosophy. The Advanced Writing Teaching Award went to Caley O’Dwyer Feagin of the Writing Program. Emily Anderson of English was selected for the Albert S. Raubenheimer Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, and Vanessa Schwartz of history, Scott Soames of philosophy and Michael Waterman of biological sciences, mathematics and computer science for the Albert S. Raubenheimer Outstanding Faculty Awards.


Azizian Named Fulbright Scholar

Allen Azizian, adjunct assistant professor of psychology, has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar for 2009–10. One of three USC faculty members to receive this prestigious award, Azizian is spending the year in Armenia studying cognitive deficits in patients with schizophrenia. “Scholars and students who are committed to positive change will find the Fulbright experience in Armenia a lifetime opportunity,” Azizian said. “Personally, I consider the Fulbright scholarship the most significant achievement of my career.”


Thompson Receives Life Achievement Award

Richard F. Thompson, University Professor and William M. Keck Professor of Psychology and Biological Sciences, has received the American Psychological Foundation’s Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Science of Psychology. The award recognizes a distinguished career and enduring contribution to advancing psychological science.

One of the leading behavioral neuroscientists in the world, Thompson has spent his career researching the physical basis of memory — how humans learn and remember. In 2002, he became the first to identify and map the neural circuits responsible for classical conditioning.


USC Taps Leading Interdisciplinary Scholar

Mathew D. McCubbins, a nationally recognized interdisciplinary scholar formerly at the University of California, San Diego, joined USC’s faculty in January as Provost Professor. McCubbins will share appointments at USC College, the USC Marshall School of Business and the USC Gould School of Law. He has been visiting professor of law at USC since 2006 and is co-director of the USC-Caltech Center for the Study of Law and Politics.

Read more articles from USC College Magazine's Spring/Summer 2010 issue.