Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching: Award Winners

2017 – Karla Heidelberg & Mikel H. Snow

Karla Heidelberg
Associate Professor (Teaching) of Biological Sciences and Environmental Studies
Director of the Environmental Studies Program
USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Karla Heidelberg sparks her students’ interest in science with her remarkable charisma and contagious enthusiasm. She is an outstanding teacher who presents complex subjects in ways that clarify difficult topics and that put knowledge into a relevant and relatable context. Teaching a wide variety of courses while leading USC’s environmental studies program and establishing a new minor in marine biology, she stands as a crucial supporter of the Dornsife College’s efforts to advance scientific education.

In addition to traditional classroom instruction, Professor Heidelberg specializes in experiential courses that provide hands-on training and singular educational opportunities. Partnering with the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies on Catalina Island, she leads classes on field trips to a real-world marine ecosystem and oversees semester-long individual research projects. Her involvement in the Maymester and Problems Without Passports programs further illustrates her emphasis on the appreciation of environmental issues from a variety of perspectives. With her guidance, young scholars develop the skills that inspire radical solutions to the biggest challenges facing our planet.

Professor Heidelberg’s teaching style garners exceptional reviews from her eager and engaged students. She is praised for her thoughtful rigor, optimizing her instruction sessions with a combination of lectures, demonstrations, group projects, and writing assignments. One of Professor Heidelberg’s marine biology students raved that “any student would be lucky to take a class from her”—a fitting assessment that captures the depth of her creativity and passion for teaching.

For her stellar contributions to scientific education, and her ability to ignite her students’ curiosity, the University of Southern California is pleased to honor Karla Heidelberg with its Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Mikel H. Snow
Professor of Clinical Cell and Neurobiology
Keck School of Medicine of USC

A remarkably innovative and engaged educator, Mikel H. Snow connects with his students and colleagues in ways that transform their lives forever. In testament to his dynamic, comprehensive speaking style and his original study materials, his lectures are often filled to capacity. His extraordinary ability to inspire scholarly devotion is evident in the praise of one of his former students: “Every time Dr. Snow speaks, I learn something useful.”

Professor Snow’s enthusiasm for individualized medical education emerges in his genuine compassion for his pupils, as well as his dedication to enhancing student life. In a typical example of his efforts to cultivate a sense of camaraderie in the classroom, he memorizes the names of the nearly 200 students in his anatomy lab each semester. He also remains an active member of committees on curriculum and student ethics, consistently serving as a source of wisdom for our larger academic community.

A prolific scholar of clinical science and medical education, Professor Snow has earned numerous accolades for his accomplishments as a teacher and mentor. He enjoys the deepest admiration of students who use words like “amazing” and “legendary” to describe his impact on their studies. Indeed, the Keck School’s graduating classes have recognized Professor Snow with the Kaiser Permanente Award for Excellence in Basic Science Teaching—the school’s highest honor for basic science educators—for nine consecutive years.

In recognition of his unique approach to medical pedagogy, and his commitment to the academic success of his students, the University of Southern California is pleased to honor Mikel H. Snow with its Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching.


2016 – Susan L. Forsburg & C.-C. Jay Kuo

 

Susan L. Forsburg
Professor of Biological Sciences
USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Susan L. Forsburg is a superlative educator and scientist whose exceptional commitment to her work elicits tremendous passion and dedication from her students. As a distinguished researcher, Professor Forsburg values the process of building upon established knowledge, and one of the hallmarks of her teaching style is to expose young scholars to primary literature, and instill an appreciation of the cumulative nature of scientific understanding. At the same time, she encourages engaged critical thinking and rigorous evaluation of established methodologies and hypothesis testing. Professor Forsburg fosters a balanced view of learning and discovery that respects the intellectual foundations of her field, but remains open to revisiting those foundations as contexts and technology change.

There is no shortage of praise for Professor Forsburg among her students, who consistently laud her “passionate” and “inspiring” style, and her ability to spark their appreciation for rigorous and thorough experimentation. She has been a motivating force for many budding researchers, and took a leading role in developing USC’s progressive master’s degree program in molecular genetics and biochemistry. During her remarkable career, Professor Forsburg has guided and inspired countless undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral associates, and has been a steadfast advocate for increasing career opportunities and participation in scientific inquiry for women and minority groups. The American Society for Microbiology recognized her stellar work in this arena with its Alice M. Evans Award.

C.-C. Jay Kuo
Dean’s Professor of Electrical Engineering-Systems,
Computer Science, and Mathematics
USC Viterbi School of Engineering Professor

C.-C. Jay Kuo evinces all of the hallmarks of a truly exceptional teacher—an enlivening passion for his work, a genuine interest in seeing others succeed, and a powerful rapport with his students. His friendly, enthusiastic teaching style, and deep knowledge of signal, media, and information processing theory and applications, make his courses some of the most popular in the electrical engineering program. He regularly draws more than 100 graduate students for these courses, usually in multiple sections.

Professor Kuo emphasizes problem solving through hands‐on experience, enabling his students to combine mathematical theory and computational algorithms with real-world applications. His extraordinary reputation is tantamount to his many achievements as a scholar and researcher. He is the author or co‐author of more than 1,000 published papers and a dozen books.

During his 25 years as a member of the USC faculty, Professor Kuo has advised 125 Ph.D. students and supervised more than two dozen post‐doctoral fellows, ranking him first among the top 50 advisors in the Mathematics Genealogy Project, which compiles information on prominent mathematicians across the world. Several former students have earned important research or leadership positions in academia and the engineering industries. Their successes speak volumes about the long-lasting and powerful impact of Professor Kuo’s superb mentorship.

For his unparalleled expertise in the field of engineering, and the profound wisdom and generosity he brings to his work as an educator, the University of Southern California is proud to honor Professor C.-C. Jay Kuo with its Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching.


2015 – Oliver Mayer & Melora Sundt

Oliver Mayer
Professor of Dramatic Writing
USC School of Dramatic Arts

Oliver Mayer is a nationally recognized playwright whose work spans a wide range of thematic and cultural territory, from Machiavelli and the Italian Renaissance to the mystery of our own contemporary and hybridized America. His plays give passionate voice to the voiceless, and whether bringing live performances of his opera “America Tropical” to campus, or his translations of Cervantes’ Interludes to the back lawn at Parkside, Professor Mayer’s ultimate aim is to join art with life. His play “Fortune is a Woman,” written for USC’s third-year MFA students, was the centerpiece of the school’s repertoire in 2012. More recently, Professor Mayer’s “Blood Match,” inspired by Frederico García Lorca’s “Bodas de sangre,” was part of this year’s USC MFA Acting repertory.

Professor Mayer has deftly connected his artistic life and academic profile by developing a singular academic idiom. He teaches his undergraduate and graduate students to both write and understand plays, and he actively exposes them to drama not only on the page, but also on stages around the city.

As the faculty master at Parkside International Residential College, Professor Mayer provides his students with an immersive experience through event programming and workshops that draw on informal techniques and stress compassion and engagement. He believes that theater is the ultimate platform to build communities, and his goal at Parkside and at the School of Dramatic Arts is to create a discerning, compassionate, active, and curious community at USC.

For his commitment to enriching the educational experiences of his students, his unique and practice-based approach to learning, and his blending of teaching and community-building, the University of Southern California is pleased to honor Oliver Mayer with the USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Melora Sundt
Professor of Clinical Education & Executive Vice Dean
Rossier School of Education

Melora Sundt is a prolific, highly regarded, and effective educator, possessed of a stellar career replete with numerous achievements. Since becoming a faculty member in the Rossier School of Education in 1994, Professor Sundt has made exceptional and enduring contributions to academic excellence in and out of the classroom. She is known for her incomparable work in traditional and online educational settings, and as one of Rossier’s most sought-after faculty members for directing dissertations. Professor Sundt has chaired dozens of Ed.D. and Ph.D. committees, and routinely advises anywhere from eight to 12 doctoral candidates each year.

In addition, her superb administrative leadership has resulted in the successful launch of two innovative graduate programs: the MAT@USC, for which Professor Sundt oversaw the curricular design, and the Global Executive Ed.D., which prepares international leaders to improve education through strategic policy and assessment. This program also integrates face-to-face sessions with online learning in an effort to promote student participation and a comprehensive approach to learning.

A generous and knowledgeable colleague, Professor Sundt is always willing to orient and guide new members of the faculty, and mentor them in course design and the use of technologies to facilitate student learning. She constantly strives to provide her students with superlative teaching and doctoral advising, and she willingly assists other faculty members in attaining these same goals.

In recognition of her outstanding contributions to the field of education, her staunch devotion to her students, and the invaluable guidance she has offered to her colleagues, the University of Southern California is pleased to honor Melora Sundt with the USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching.


2014 – Thomas Griffith & Robert Landel

Thomas Griffith
John B. Milliken Professor of Law and Taxation
USC Gould School of Law

Since joining the university’s faculty in 1984, Tom Griffith has worked tirelessly to enhance the classroom experience at the Gould School of Law and to ensure that all of USC’s law students master the foundational skill of rigorous legal analysis. Professor Griffith pioneered highly effective teaching strategies, relying on his background training in law and education to identify new methods for instructing law students. In addition to his other teaching and scholarly activities, he spent thousands of hours building a new academic support curriculum, which included tutoring sessions, exam-taking skills courses, and hands-on workshops. After he informally implemented these cutting-edge forms of instruction, students flourished, systemically improving their classroom performance, passing the bar at significantly higher rates, and achieving greater professional success. Recognizing the value and importance of Professor Griffith’s ideas, the law school has now reformed its curriculum, incorporating and emphasizing this hands-on, skills-based approach to learning.

Professor Griffith is widely admired throughout the law school for his extraordinary dedication to teaching and his willingness to spend countless hours with students in both formal and informal contexts. He has received some of the best teaching evaluations, with students routinely describing him as “fantastic,” “awesome” and “born to teach.” Throughout his career, he has received many teaching and mentoring awards; among these special recognitions, he has won the law school’s Faculty of the Year award no fewer than four times.

For his stellar teaching and passionate commitment to enriching students’ educational experiences, the University of Southern California is pleased to honor Thomas Griffith with the USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Robert Landel
Professor of Clinical Physical Therapy
Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy
Ostrow School of Dentistry of the University of Southern California

Enthusiastic, patient, and challenging are a few of the words students use to describe Rob Landel. Dedicated to learner-centered instruction, he has implemented key curricular changes within his division—changes that have helped make USC the nation’s top-ranked physical therapy school. Professor Landel teaches students in their final year of the doctor of physical therapy program, and his course demands integration and application of the knowledge, skill, and abilities that students have learned in their first two years of study and during their concurrent clinical rotations. A practicing clinician, Professor Landel shares his passion for patient care with his students, recounting stories of failures as well as successes, citing as a principle that “you will make mistakes; you just don’t have to make mine!” Despite their reputation for difficulty, his courses—and his teaching—routinely receive rave reviews.

A native of Southern California, Professor Landel received his master’s and doctoral degrees in physical therapy from USC. After joining USC’s faculty in 1988, he founded USC Physical Therapy Associates, an outpatient faculty practice, and co-founded the USC Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program. He currently serves as director of the doctor of physical therapy program and all four physical therapy residency programs. Professor Landel has received national recognition for his remarkable teaching abilities, and has been honored with his division’s Outstanding Teacher Award on two occasions, the only person to receive this distinction more than once.

For his extraordinary efforts on behalf of his students and his unstinting devotion to their success, the University of Southern California is pleased to honor Robert Landel with the USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching.


2013 – Yehuda Gilad & John Walsh

Yehuda Gilad
Associate Professor of Winds and Percussion
Guest Conductor, USC Thornton Chamber Orchestra
USC Thornton School of Music

Yehuda Gilad is one of the world’s premier clarinet teachers. He has produced outstanding young musicians who regularly earn auditions with the leading orchestras of Asia, Europe, and the United States. His students and former students have won every international competition and have gone on to teach at prestigious universities worldwide. In addition to having spent countless hours developing their music skills, he is devoted to cultivating his students’ self-confidence and remains a primary mentor for them throughout their lives. His dedication is a hallmark of his teaching, and his students often return for “tune-ups” prior to major auditions.

Among his many contributions to the university, Professor Gilad was music director of the USC Thornton Chamber Orchestra for a decade. During this time, the orchestra became known for its exceptional quality throughout Southern California.

Hailed as one of today’s most dynamic and charismatic conductors, he has received critical acclaim throughout the world. He has guest conducted across the globe and is regularly invited to teach master classes and clinics worldwide and to sit on juries for international music competitions. He is the music director of the Colburn Orchestra and was the conductor and music director of the Colonial Symphony of New Jersey. He also served as music director of the Santa Monica Symphony and the 20th Century Unlimited concert series in Santa Fe.

Professor Gilad has earned numerous accolades, including the Distinguished Teacher Award from the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, and for his service as music director of the Malibu Music Festival, he received the highest proclamation from both the county and city of Los Angeles.

For his stellar teaching and passionate commitment to music education, the University of Southern California is pleased to honor Yehuda Gilad with the USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Dr. John P. Walsh
Associate Professor of Gerontology
USC Davis School of Gerontology

A dedicated instructor and educational innovator, John Walsh has been a valued member of the USC community for over two decades. He recognized early in his career that he needed to make science entertaining in order to hold students’ attention. He capitalized on the multimedia revolution, realizing that it offered an opportunity to further his connection to students and to develop cutting-edge instructional tools and methods. He has received numerous awards for these efforts, including grants from USC and the National Science Foundation, as well as the USC Provost’s Prize for Teaching with Technology.

Professor Walsh’s students esteem him for his enthusiasm, kindness, approachability, and easy-going style, and his stellar reputation attracts students not only to his classes, but also to his movement disorders laboratory. Nearly 30 undergraduate students have worked in his lab, with many winning prestigious fellowship awards that propelled them into flourishing careers in science and medicine.

With a specialty in neuroscience and aging, Professor Walsh instructs his students in the science and research they need to enhance society and improve the human condition. Tirelessly, he emphasizes the importance of understanding and embracing life’s phases and diversity, and enlists human behavior and brain function in that effort. He has touched the lives of countless students, advancing their scientific knowledge and preparing them for success in the professional world.

For his inspired teaching and enduring contributions to undergraduate and graduate education, the University of Southern California is pleased to honor John Walsh with the USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching.


2012 – Peter Crookes & JoAnn Farver

Dr. Peter F. Crookes
Associate Professor of Surgery
USC Keck School of Medicine

Dr. Peter F. Crookes, associate Professor of Surgery at USC, is a renowned leader in bariatric and foregut surgery. He is the director of the USC Bariatric Program at Keck Hospital of USC and the Student Clerkship for the Keck School of Medicine of USC. His genuine dedication to the field fuels his passion for medical and surgical education.
Dr. Crookes’ current research includes a wide variety of issues related to obesity and diseases of the esophagus and stomach. His many publications on metabolic changes associated with different types of bariatric surgery are acclaimed works that have vitally enhanced contemporary medical science. His other areas of expertise include hernias, GERD, achalasia, diabetes mellitus and hyperlipidemia.
Dr. Crookes was recently voted a Top Doctor by Pasadena Magazine and has repeatedly won numerous awards for his stellar teaching style, including the Kaiser Permanente Excellence in Teaching Award.
As an enthusiast of the history of surgery, Dr. Crookes frequently lectures and writes on historical topics related to the field. His CV features over 80 peer-review publications in addition to 30 chapters and numerous invited lectures and presentations.
He earned his medical degree from Queen’s University in Ireland, where he also completed a specialized qualification in pathology. After his internship and residency at Royal Victoria Hospital, Dr. Crookes travelled to Australia, where he was a research fellow in the Department of Surgery at St. Vincent’s Hospital. Dr. Crookes then served as a research fellow at Creighton University in Omaha before completing his fellowship at USC.

For his inspired teaching and enduring contributions to medical education, the University of Southern California is pleased to honor Dr. Peter Crookes with the USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching.

JoAnn Farver
Professor of Psychology
USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

JoAnn Farver is a distinguished contributor to the advancement of developmental psychology. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California and has been a faculty member since 1991. Professor Farver continues to add a unique and innovative perspective to the Psychology department through her compelling teaching style and groundbreaking research. As director of the Undergraduate Psychology Honors program, she also serves as a valuable mentor for students.
Professor Farver is an expert in the social development of young children, cross-cultural developmental psychology, violence and young children, and early literacy. Currently, she is the Principal Investigator of a large scale emergent literacy intervention in inner-city Los Angeles, funded by the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Education.
In recent years, Professor Farver has been focused on cross-cultural research projects, including studying the social development and socio-emotional functioning of mainland Chinese children and developing a bilingual/transitional model of early literacy for Latino children.
Her expertise in the field of developmental psychology has earned her membership in several prestigious sociological bodies, including the Society for Research in Child Development, the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development and the American Anthropological Association. In addition, Professor Farver received multiple research mentorship awards from the Center for Excellence in Teaching.

For her inspired teaching and enduring contributions to the academic community, the University of Southern California is pleased to honor Professor JoAnn Farver with the USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching.


2011 – Tatiana Akishina & Michael Quick

Tatiana Akishina
Professor (Teaching) of Slavic Languages and Literatures
USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

An internationally recognized expert in language pedagogy, Tatiana Akishina applies her innovative teaching theories to her classes with passion and enthusiasm. Whether instructing beginning undergraduates, advanced graduate students, or native speakers, she is interactive and engaging, and explains complex material with facility and clarity. Many of her students say that she makes learning Russian easy.

In addition to being an exceptionally effective teacher, she is highly regarded for her abundant patience, warmth, and good humor. As one student remarked, she not only possesses an astounding command of her subject, but demonstrates true devotion to her students and their success. She is always available to students outside the classroom, and she routinely organizes extracurricular activities that enrich their academic work.

Since joining the university in 1993, she has become an essential contributor to language studies at USC. In addition to her teaching duties, Professor Akishina oversees the department’s graduate teaching assistants and leads the very successful USC International Summer Program in Russia, regularly taking groups of students on study tours to Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Professor Akishina is a widely respected scholar whose innovative textbooks are used throughout the world. She pioneered intensive methods of teaching languages in Russia, as well as a methodology of teaching Russian to heritage speakers in the United States. She holds a Ph.D. from the Pushkin Institute in Moscow—the most prestigious institute of Russian language study in the world. Professor Akishina has the distinction of being the first non-tenure track faculty member to receive this award.

For her inspired teaching and enduring contributions to undergraduate and graduate education, the University of Southern California is pleased to honor Professor Tatiana Akishina with the USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Michael W. Quick
USC Executive Vice Provost
Professor of Biological Sciences
USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Known for being one of the most compelling instructors on campus, Professor Michael Quick believes “the classroom experience should buzz with the excitement of learning.” He captivates his students with animated lectures and remarkable demonstrations, including one in which he sets his hand on fire to illustrate the difference in the speed of conduction of pain and temperature sensations. Encouraging students to actively participate in the learning process, he also incorporates case-based exercises and student-led question and answer sessions into his classes.

Students routinely give Professor Quick glowing reviews. He has the second-highest undergraduate evaluation rating of all tenure-track faculty in the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. His courses are so popular that they routinely reach full capacity within days after registration opens.

Outside the classroom, he has spent countless hours advising student groups and mentoring both students and faculty colleagues. His commitment to education extends to the local community, where he has served as the scientific director and moderator of the extremely popular First Fridays series at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. In recognition of his dedication to teaching and mentoring, he has received several honors, including the Teaching Has No Boundaries Award, and has been named a distinguished faculty fellow in the Center for Excellence in Teaching.

Besides being an exceptional teacher and research scientist, Professor Quick is an effective and imaginative administrator. As executive vice provost, Professor Quick is the second-ranking administrator in the Office the Provost, responsible for advancing excellence and innovation in the undergraduate curriculum. Since joining USC’s faculty in 2002, he has also served as director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program, vice dean for research in the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, and most recently as executive vice dean of the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

For his inspired teaching and enduring contributions to undergraduate and graduate education, the University of Southern California is pleased to honor Professor Michael Quick with the USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching.


2010 – Stephan Haas & Eliz Sanasarian

Stephan Haas
Professor of Physics and Astronomy
USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Enthusiasm and charisma describe the teaching style of Stephan Haas, a theoretical physicist who has been on the USC Faculty since 1998. A devoted and innovative educator, he has successfully incorporated many learner-centered concepts into his classroom, sharing his fascination of the laws of nature with students ranging from the General Education level, to the Thematic Option Honors program, to science and engineering undergraduates, and to advanced graduate students.

A native of Germany, Professor Haas was an undergraduate student in Berlin, pursuing his PhD graduate work on unconventional superconductivity at the National High magnetic Field Laboratory in Florida during the early nineties. He subsequently worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology before joining USC. His research spans from understanding the electromagnetic nanoscale objects to developing new paradigms for quantum computing.

In recent years, Stephan has been particularly devoted to graduate education. His research group currently has 12 members. Focusing on physics problems whose solutions require sophisticated computer algorithms, this computational condensed matter physics team is the main user of USC’s high performance supercomputing cluster.

Furthermore, he has organized numerous workshops for science teachers in the Los Angeles area, with special emphasis on supporting teachers at the schools in the immediate vicinity of USC. A dedicated musician, Stephan Haas also regularly performs with the early Music Ensemble at the Thornton School of Music.

For his inspired teaching and enduring contributions to undergraduate and graduate education, the University of Southern California is pleased to honor Professor Stephan Haas with the USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Eliz Sanasarian
Professor of Political Science
USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Professor Sanasarian inspires her students with her passion for comparative politics and her love of learning. An internationally recognized scholar in politics and religion, Sanasarian is an exemplary professor who enjoys sharing her knowledge with her devoted students.

In her fascinating courses – Islamic Political Thought, Middle East Politics, Women and International Development, Politics of Natural Resources, and Religion and Politics- Sanasarian explores complex issues in a most careful manner. Students appreciate her willingness to entertain diverse perspectives and find that they are transformed by the experience of studying with her. It is her tremendous expertise, the breadth and depth of her knowledge, and her brilliant analysis that students find compelling. Her nuanced treatment of subjects leads them to reconsider their preconceived ideas. Students write to her long after graduating to acknowledge the enormous impact her courses have had on them. They praise her for her compassion, insights, and attention to individual student learning styles.

Her intellectual leadership extends well beyond USC. Doctoral candidates at universities across the United States and around the world seek her counsel on their research projects. One of her books provided inspiration to women’s rights advocates in Iran and won a major award. A student wrote saying she carried Sanasarian’s book with her to help her face political crises. Sanasarian has also participated in the training of government and UN officials on religious freedom.

For her inspired teaching and enduring contributions to undergraduate and graduate education, the University of Southern California is pleased to honor Professor Eliz Sanasarian with the USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching.


2009 – Chi Ho Mak & Doe Mayer

Chi Ho Mak
Professor of Chemistry
USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Professor Chi Mak has transformed the teaching of general chemistry at USC with his masterful use of multimedia tools. He makes the most difficult concepts understandable through his talent as a teacher and through his adoption of a wide range of innovative technologies as instructional aids. His students adore him. They describe him as an approachable, witty, and phenomenally dedicated teacher.

In his classroom and on his website he excels at pushing out the frontiers of learner-centered education. He tracks the progress of his students and tailors the day’s classwork accordingly by analyzing his students’ real-time assessment of his lectures and their access of online homework help.

Professor Mak has shared his expertise in high-tech teaching tools at campus seminars and in guiding his own department’s development of technology-based instructional materials. In the community he has conducted workshops for high school chemistry teachers on integrating new technologies into their classrooms.

In addition, he has created and taught a new graduate course in statistical mechanics. He also mentors students in his research lab and as a faculty advisor.

The holder of a Ph.D. from Stanford, Professor Mak has taught at USC since 1990. He has earned the USC Provost’s Teaching with Technology Prize, the USC Chemistry Teaching Excellence Award, and a Dreyfus Foundation Teacher-Scholar Award.

For his inspired teaching and enduring contributions to undergraduate and graduate education, the University of Southern California is pleased to honor Professor Chi Mak with the USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Doe Mayer
Professor of Communication
Mary Pickford Endowed Chair
USC School of Cinematic Arts
USC Annenberg School of Communication

USC alumna Doe Mayer is an international leader in using film and other media to make positive social changes. Her teaching spans disciplines and the globe. She has created documentaries and videos, designed communication programs, and conducted workshops to advance education, health and nutrition, disaster preparation, and disease prevention in developing countries.

Her creative talent and field work in Africa, India, China, and elsewhere have enhanced her teaching and mentoring of students who consider her especially empathetic, supportive, and enthusiastic. She has worked on projects for the United Nations and major nonprofit organizations.

The recipient of the USC Remarkable Women Award, Professor Mayer was a Faculty Fellow in the university’s Center for Excellence in Teaching for four years. She co-wrote the 2003 book Creative Filmmaking from the Inside Out: Five Keys to the Art of Making Inspired Movies and Television. A member of USC’s faculty since 1987, she was the first woman to be hired on tenure track and to be awarded an endowed position in the Production Division of the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Professor Mayer (M.A., film production, ’73) also teaches in the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development and the USC Annenberg School for Communication. She developed and co-teaches “Health Issues in Entertainment Media,” a joint course with the Keck School of Medicine of USC. For her inspired teaching and enduring contributions to undergraduate and graduate education, the University of Southern California is pleased to honor Professor Doe Mayer with the USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching.


2008 – Todd Boyd & Craig Stanford

Todd Boyd
Professor of Critical Studies
Katherine and Frank Price Chair for the Study of Race and Popular Culture
USC School of Cinematic Arts

Todd Boyd is an exceptional teacher, a devoted mentor, and a leading scholar of popular culture. The recipient of the USC Parents Association Teaching and Mentoring Award, he consistently tackles complex and controversial subject matter, highlighting the way that American culture – from film to television programs and from music to sports – promulgates racial stereotypes. His pedagogy is engaging and transformative, aimed at expanding the perspectives of his students and challenging society’s assumptions about race and racism. A member of USC’s faculty since 1992, Professor Boyd has extended his teaching beyond the classroom. A national authority on race, sports, music, and film, he has shared his insights with a wide audience through his scholarship, through his lectures to sports organizations and the community, and through his appearances in a vast array of media such as news and sports programs on television and radio, DVDs, and documentaries. He is a columnist for ESPN.com’s Page 2 and the author or editor of six books. These books include The Notorious Ph.D.’s Guide to the Super Fly ’70s: A Connoisseur’s Journey Through the Fabulous Flix, Hip Sounds, and Cool Vibes That Defined a Decade and Young, Black, Rich and Famous: The Rise of the NBA, The Hip Hop Invasion and the Transformation of American Culture. Popularly known as the “hip-hop professor,” he has been the subject of numerous media profiles. He has been featured in a cover story in the Village Voice and a prominent article in the Los Angeles Times. For his inspired teaching and enduring contributions to undergraduate and graduate education, the University of Southern California is pleased to honor Professor Todd Boyd with the USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Craig Stanford
Professor of Anthropology and Biological Sciences
Co-Director, Jane Goodall Research Center
USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

A superb field naturalist and writer, Craig Stanford is the consummate teacher and scholar. He is renowned for his talent as a researcher, his dedication to his students, and his well-crafted and exquisitely detailed classroom presentations. Building upon the work of famed scientist and longtime USC adjunct faculty member Jane Goodall, Professor Stanford has developed a successful primatology program at USC and advanced human knowledge about animal behavior. In total he has spent more than six years studying wild animals in countries such as Peru, India, Uganda, and Tanzania. He has skillfully translated this research into popular classroom lectures that are enriched by his large collection of digital slides and into published books and articles. These numerous publications include his landmark book The Hunting Apes: Meat Eating and the Origins of Human Behavior and the impressive and beautifully produced textbook Biological Anthropology: The Natural History of Humankind, which he co-authored. Formerly the chair of the Department of Anthropology, Professor Stanford is highly regarded by his colleagues and his students. They have honored him with a faculty fellowship from the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching, a General Education Teaching Award, a Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award, and a Raubenheimer Young Faculty Award. Professor Stanford joined USC’s faculty in 1992. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society. He is also a research associate in vertebrate biology for the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. For his inspired teaching and enduring contributions to undergraduate and graduate education, the University of Southern California is pleased to honor Professor Craig Stanford with the USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching.


2006 – Charles McKenna & Michael Messner

Charles McKenna
Director Interdisciplinary Program in Drug Discovery
Professor of Chemistry
USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
USC School of Pharmacy

During a professional career at USC spanning more than three decades, Professor Charles McKenna has demonstrated extraordinary creativity and a passion for teaching. He brings to the classroom and laboratory not only his remarkable talent as a scientist, educator, and researcher but also his steadfast devotion to the success and well-being of his students. A strong proponent of augmenting his courses with new technological tools, meticulous organization, and a “little pizzazz and humor,” he takes pains to make learning accessible, understandable, stimulating, and interactive. Students praise him for the high standards, enthusiasm, and genuine concern he exhibits as a teacher and mentor. Determined to vanquish “chemophobia” and actively engage students in the wonder and relevance of science, Professor McKenna created an immensely popular and rigorous general education course titled “Chemistry in Life: AIDS Drug Discovery and Development.” In addition, he founded the new Interdisciplinary Program in Drug Discovery, which uniquely bridges the disciplines of chemistry and biology – and the distance between two campuses – in order to link USC College and the School of Pharmacy in a collaborative graduate program. Professor McKenna holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from UCSD and a bachelor’s degree in French literature. A fellow of the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching, he is the recipient of USC College’s General Education Teaching Award and a provost’s letter of commendation for exceptional teaching performance. For his inspired teaching and his enduring contributions to undergraduate and graduate education, the University of Southern California is pleased to honor Professor Charles McKenna with the USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Michael Messner
Chair, Department of Sociology
Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies
USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

A superlative scholar with bone-deep commitment to teaching, Professor Michael Messner is highly regarded by his colleagues and students for his talent, expertise, and enthusiasm. He is an adept communicator, extraordinary role model, and internationally renowned researcher who has touched the lives of countless students during his nearly two decades at USC and through his insightful scholarship. His subject matter – which includes sex roles, social problems, and gender inequality in sports – is controversial and often divisive. Dedicated to preparing his students to become engaged citizens, he possesses remarkable poise and intellectual agility in encouraging them to examine social issues through the lens of multiple perspectives and to participate in informed, respectful debate. Professor Messner, who earned USC College’s General Education Teaching Award, has supervised the graduate work of a large number of students, many of whom become his friends, colleagues, and collaborators. His far-reaching influence as a teacher includes participating in dozens of invited public presentations that often feature him as a keynote speaker, writing several papers that directly address pedagogical issues, and authoring textbooks used in hundreds of colleges and universities. In additional to teaching, he currently serves as chair of the sociology department, and he previously initiated a major revision of both the graduate curriculum and the Ph.D. qualifying exam in sociology. For the Gender Studies Program, he developed a popular course titled “Men and Masculinity” and takes part in curriculum committees. For his inspired teaching and his enduring contributions to undergraduate and graduate education, the University of Southern California is pleased to honor Professor Michael Messner with the USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching.


2017: Karla Heidelberg and Mikel Snow
2016: Susan L. Forsburg and C.-C. Jay Kuo
2015: Oliver Mayer and Melora Sundt
2014: Thomas Griffith and Robert Landel
2013: Yehuda Gilad and John P. Walsh
2013: Yehuda Gilad and John P. Walsh
2012: Peter Crookes and JoAnn Farver
2011: Tatiana Akishina and Michael Quick
2010: Stephan Haas and Eliz Sanasarian
2009: Doe Mayer and Chi Ho Mak
2008: Todd Boyd and Craig Stanford
2007: Margaret Rosenthal and Alexander Sawchuk
2006: Charles McKenna and Michael Messner
2005: Drew Casper and Alison Dundes Renteln
2004: Werner Dappen and William McComas
2003: Sharon Marie Carnicke and Alan Willner
2002: Jean Morrison
2001: Howard Gillman and Maged Dessouky
2000: Thomas N. Habinek and Joel E. Schechter
1999: Nelson “Gene” Bickers and Delores A. Conway
1998: Stanley P. Azen and Judith Grant
1997: Edwin McCann and Achva Benzinberg Stein
1996: Roberta Diaz Brinton and Amy Richlin
1995: William O. McClure and Jon Miller
1994: Charles G. Sammis and Nancy J. Vickers
1993: Gerald C. Davison and H. Edward Ransford
1992: Eric H. Cohen and Steven J. Ross
1991: Carolyn J. Dewald and Larry G. Redekopp
1990: Sheldon Kamieniecki and Terry L. Seip
1989: J. Lawford Anderson and Lawrence A. Singer
1988: Eunice D. Howe and Doyce B. Nunis, Jr.
1987: Steven L. Lamy and Denis Mitchell
1986: David Eggenschwiler and Harrison M. Kurtz
1985: Gerald J. Bender and Peter J. Manning
1984: Paul W. Knoll and Steven J. Morse
1983: Gerald A. Segal and Marjorie G. Perloff
1982: Nake M. Kamrany and Virginia James Tufte


1981: John E. Elliott, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1981: Jerald M. Jellison, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1981: James O’toole, Research, Business Administration
1981: Arieh Warshel, Research, Letters, Arts and Sciences

1980: David A. Berman, Medicine
1980: Edward Finegan, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1980: Gwendolyn Koldofsky, Music
1980: Arthur Laffer, Business Administration
1980: Frank J. Lockhart, Engineering
1980: Joseph L. Nyomarkay, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1980: Charles Ritcheson, Research, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1980: Harold C. Slavkin, Research, Dentistry
1980: Christopher D. Stone, Research, Law
1980: Kenneth L. Trefftzs, Business Administration
1980: William Van Cleaye, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1980: Kathleen M. Wulf, Education

1979: Arthur W. Adamson, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1979: Robert Bau, Research, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1979: James E. Birren, Research, Gerontology
1979: Hal W. Hendrick, Safety and Systems Management
1979: Daniel G. Lewis, Music
1979: Barbara Solomon, Social Work
1979: Rocky Tarantello, Business Administration
1979: Gerhard Ludwig, Letters, Arts and Sciences

1978: Samuel P. Bessman, Research, Medicine
1978: Leo F. Buscaglia, Education
1978: Allan Casson, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1978: Jean Marie D’amato, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1978: Lynette Kagihara, Dentistry
1978: Mark E. Kann, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1978: Otto O. Schnepp, Research, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1978: Dallas Willard, Letters, Arts and Sciences

1977: John J. Aklonis, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1977: Carl Q. Christol, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1977: Robert C. Ellickson, Law
1977: Thomas T. Fukuyama, Pharmacy
1977: Edwin M. Perkins, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1977: Joe Saltzman, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1977: Philip John Stephens, Letters, Arts and Sciences

1976: J. Michael Delaney, Dentistry
1976: Scott C. Fraser, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1976: Robert W. Hellwarth, Research, Engineering
1976: Harrison M. Kurtz ,Letters, Arts and Sciences
1976: Charles A. Mcclelland, Research, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1976: Hershel Parker, Research, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1976: Alberto G. Ramos, Public Administration
1976: Kenneth L. Trefftzs, Business Administration

1975: Kathleen M. Wulf, Education
1975: Richard C. Dales, Research, 1975, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1975: Sally Falk Moore, Research, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1975: Doyce B. Nunis. Jr., Letters, Arts and Sciences
1975: Roderick C. Mckenzie, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1975: Norman B. Sigband, Business Administration
1975: Peter K. Vogt, Research, Medicine
1975: Karoline B. Waldman, Dentistry

1974: Robert Bau, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1974: Scott H. Bice, Law
1974: Donald J. Greene, Research , Letters, Arts and Sciences
1974: Gibson Reaves, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1974: J. Wesley Robb, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1974: Sakae K. Tanaka, Dentistry
1974: Howard S. Taylor, Research, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1974: Louis F. Weschler, Planning and Urban Studies

1973: J. Ramon Araluce, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1973: Guilford C. Babcock (1973), Business Administration
1973: Arnold Dunn (Research, 1973), Letters, Arts and Sciences
1973: Robert P. Keller (1973), Safety and Systems Management
1973: Gerald Larue (1973), Letters, Arts and Sciences
1973: A. Lloyd Moote (Research, 1973), Letters, Arts and Sciences
1973: Basil G. Nafpaktitis (1973), Letters, Arts and Sciences
1973: Bernard W. Pipkin (1973), Letters, Arts and Sciences

1971: Lucien A. Bavetta, Research, Dentistry
1971: Rene F. Belle, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1971: James H. Durbin, Jr., Letters, Arts and Sciences
1971: A. Steven Frankel, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1971: Carl W. Hamilton, Business Administration
1971: Sergio P. S. Porto, Letters, Arts and Sciences/Engineering
1971: Samuel H. Taylor, Social Work
1971: William P. Weber, Letters, Arts and Sciences

1970: Arthur W. Adamson, Research, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1970: Gary Bellow, Law
1970: John D. Gerletti, Public Administration
1970: Ralph Knowles, Architecture and Fine Arts
1970: Chi-Yuan Lin, Business Administration
1970: Howard S. Miller, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1970: Kevin Robb, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1970: Max F. Schulz, Research, Letters, Arts and Sciences

1969: Allan Casson, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1969: George V. Chilingar, Engineering
1969: Arnold Dunn, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1969: William W. Grings, Research, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1969: Nathaniel Hickerson, Education
1969: Barbara G. Myerhoff, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1969: Rodolph H. Redmond, Business Administration
1969: William G. Spitzer, Research, Engineering

1968: Arnold F. Brodie, Research, Medicine
1968: Leo F. Buscaglia, Education
1968: Christian Elison, Pharmacy
1968: Solomon W. Golomb, Research, Engineering
1968: Edward S. Phinney, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1968: Gerald Rigby, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1968: James M. Stancill. Jr., Business Administration
1968: Richard O. Stone, Letters, Arts and Sciences

1967:  Orville L. Bandy, Research, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1967:  Joseph Boskin, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1967:  James D. Calderwood, Business Administration
1967:  Ingolf Dahl, Performing Arts
1967:  Morris M. Mautner, Business Administration
1967:  Lucien W. Neustadt, Engineering
1967:  Leonard G. Ratner, Law
1967:  John T. Waterman, Research, Letters, Arts and Sciences

1966: Edward H. Barker, Business Administration
1966: P. Roy Choudhury, Engineering
1966: Francis Christensen, Research, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1966: Olga Hartman, Research, Allan Hancock Foundation
1966: Bernard Levin, Dentistry
1966: William H. Mcgrath, Education
1966: Roxie Morris, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1966: Anelise N. Mosich, Business Administration

1965: Anthony G. Athos, Business Administration
1965: Colin Rhys Lovell, Research, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1965: Bruce R. Mcelderry, Research, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1965: John G. Milner, Social Work
1965: D. Lloyd Nelson, Education
1965: Joseph L. Nyomarkay, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1965: Earl V. Pullias, Education
1965: W.V.T. Rusch, Engineering

1964: Alexander Barges, Business Administration
1964: Marvin B. Berry, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1964: Anton Burg, Research, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1964: J. P. Guilford, Research, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1964: Hans Kuehl, Engineering
1964: Charles Theodorem. Hadwen, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1964: Ralph E. Rush, Music
1964: Paul D. Saltman, Letters, Arts and Sciences

1963: John F. Bester, Pharmacy
1963: Herbert Busemann, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1963: James H. Durbin, Jr., Letters, Arts and Sciences
1963: Glenn A. Foy, Engineering
1963: Fred Krinsky, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1963: Richard O. Stone, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1963: John L. Webb, Research, Medicine
1963: Emmet Wemple, Architecture

1962: Ross N. Berkes, International Relations
1962: John A. Biles, Pharmacy
1962: Joseph Boskin, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1962: William C. Himstreet, Business Administration
1962: Gerald Larue, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1962: Victor S. Netterville, Law
1962: Edwin C. Robbins, Business Administration
1962: Melvin J. Vincent, Letters, Arts and Sciences

1961: Frank C. Baxter, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1961: Herman Harvey, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1961: David W. Martin, Education
1961: Morris M. Mautner, Business Administration
1961: Kennett Moritz, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1961: John D. Soule, Dentistry
1961: G. Richard Wicks, Law
1961: Paul Winkler, Library Science

1960: Edward H. Barker, Business Administration
1960: Norman R. Fertig, International Relations
1960: Robert L. Mannes, Engineering
1960: Walter E. Martin, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1960: Newton S. Metfessel, Education
1960: J. Wesley Robb, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1960: John A. Russell, Letters, Arts and Sciences
1960: John L. Webb, Medicine