Danielle Mihram (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania) is the Assistant Director of the Leavey Library at the University of Southern California [USC] and is on the faculty of USC Dornsife College’s Department of French and Italian, where she teaches upper division undergraduate courses. She was the Director of USC’s Center for Excellence in Teaching [CET] (1996-2007) and she remains a member of CET as one of its Distinguished Faculty Fellows. She holds advanced degrees from both France and the United States, and, prior to USC, she was a member on the Faculty of several academic institutions, including New York University, the University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore College, Haverford College, and the University of Sydney (Australia).
Dr. Mihram's research interests are multidisciplinary and have led to over a hundred publications and presentations in the fields of French literature, General Systems Theory, Information Science, and innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Her current research focuses on the evolution of the concept of the garden as a social, political, and artistic expression of French culture, particularly in the context of literature, the visual arts, and landscape & urban design. That research spans four centuries (from the Renaissance through the nineteenth century) and she was awarded several grants in support of her work: the USC Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences Initiative [ASHSS; during its inaugural year]; the Summer Undergraduate Research Fund [SURF; Spring 2008] to support the work of one of the undergraduate students working closely with Dr. Mihram on the evolution of “the French garden” in 17th century gardens in France; and, in 2010, the USC Libraries’ Alline Bardin Endowment Fund.
Under her leadership at the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching, the scope and breadth of CET’s programs gained national prominence and recognition. In 2003 Dr. Mihram, together with Dr. Bruce Zuckerman (one among CET’s Faculty Fellows), successfully competed for a sizeable grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to foster the growth and development of new and innovative mentoring at USC thus setting the foundations for a university-wide culture of academic mentoring.
Dr. Mihram is the recipient of several awards: The Outstanding Scholarly Achievement Award (2003), and the Innovation Award on Teaching and Research (2005), both from the International Institute for Advanced Studies in Systems Research and Cybernetics; the USC Mellon Award for Excellence in Mentoring (2005); and, the USC Academic Senate’s Distinguished Faculty Service Award (2008) “for your distinguished leadership of the Center for Excellence in Teaching, and for your furtherance of mentoring at the university”.