- 2013: Amir Awad Allam, Earth Sciences; Xiao He, Linguistics; Míchel Angela Martinez,Political Science;
- 2012: John Kwak, Philosophy; Lucille Toth-Colombie, French & Italian; Fabian Rojas Barrales, Civil & Environmental Engineering;
- 2011: Tameen Albash, Physics and Astronomy; Rook Campbell, Political Science; Jingyu Xue, East Asian Languages and Cultures;
- 2010: Sean Loyd, Earth Sciences; Meredith Drake Reitan, Policy, Planning and Development; and James Rowlins, French & Italian;
- 2009: Pao-Chen Li, Biological Sciences; Zlatina Sandalska, Slavic Languages & Literatures; and Bernard A. Steinman, Gerontology
- 2008: Tabitha Ann Esther, Earth Sciences; Anca Ioana Lasc, Art History; Michal Temkin Martinez, Linguistics
- 2007: Nicolas R. Buccola, Political Science; Lorraine Leon, Earth Sciences; Richard B. Souza, Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy
- 2006: Katie Mussack, Physics and Astronomy, and Candace Cherie Weddle, Art History, and Mary Jeanne Wilson, Critical Studies
- 2005: Mathew Curtis, Psychology
- 2004: Marisa Perdomo, Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy
- 2003: E. Del Chrol, Classics
- 2002: Peter Countway, Biological Sciences
- 2001: Rebecca Heino, Communication, and Tina Tan, Cell & Neurobiology
- 2000: Thomas Cantwell, History
- 1999: Suzanne Curtin, Linguistics
- 1998: Michael Jon Khandelwal, Professional Writing Program
- 1997: Jay Vavra, Biological Sciences
- 1996: Sigrun Pabst, Mathematics
- 1995: Susan L. Bower, Biological Sciences
- 1994: Elizabeth Semele Yuan, Geological Sciences
- 1993: Seth Kumi, Geography
- 1992: Carol M. Tang, Geological Sciences
- 1991: Gregory G. Curtin, Political Science & Freshman Writing Program
University Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award
32nd Annual Academic Honors Convocation
April 23, 2013
Amir Awad Allam
Earth Sciences (Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences)
Sponsor: Will Berelson
Amir Allam has earned tremendous esteem from the faculty of the Department of Earth Sciences. He is known for his exceptional rapport with students, for making lab exciting, for the clarity and resourcefulness of his teaching, and for his notable patience in helping to ensure that every student masters the subject.
Amir's field trip instruction is legendary. He regularly accompanies classes on tours to active earthquake faults in the southern California region, delivering lectures from memory and encouraging students to touch the faults when possible. On these outings, he engages students with the scope of Earth's dynamism: "This whole mountain moved upwards by five meters in just a few minutes; a magnitude 8 earthquake occurred right where you're standing—and it will happen again!"
In a remarkable display of dedication, Amir—who also teaches wrestling at local high schools—once carried a student with a broken ankle over rough terrain on a class excursion. The trails are not accessible to those using crutches, and the student was distraught about missing the trip. Up stepped Amir who, while carrying the student on his back, never stopped lecturing!
Amir combines a keen intellect with a deep sensitivity to others, which he cultivated while growing up in Abu Dhabi, Egypt, and the United States. He is a gifted teacher and scholar, and a wonderful ambassador for USC.
In recognition of his singular contributions to the Department of Earth Sciences, the University of Southern California is proud to recognize Amir Awad Allam with the University Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award.
Linguistics (Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences)
Sponsor: James Higginbotham
A Ph.D. student in linguistics, Xiao He has distinguished himself both as an assistant lecturer in the Writing Program and as a teaching assistant in undergraduate and graduate courses in the Department of Psychology. While it is unusual for a department to nominate an individual for his teaching assistantships in other fields, Xiao was the overwhelming choice of the linguistics faculty for this award.
Students at all levels routinely praise Xiao for his exceptional skill, patience, availability, and dedication in coaching them to success in their classes. He has gone beyond the call of duty in designing and redesigning teaching materials to make statistics more accessible to students in non-quantitative disciplines. Further, his student evaluations contain glowing comments about his ability to clearly explain the often-intimidating material of multivariate statistics. One professor said Xiao stands among the most effective teaching assistants that he has known during the last 30 years.
Xiao is a teaching assistant fellow in the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching, where his contributions to programs for international teaching assistants have been especially valuable and noteworthy. He expects to earn his doctorate this fall. His work is tremendously demanding, and his ability to serve in several different teaching roles and earn consistently high evaluations, while conducting such rigorous research, speaks extremely well for his future as a scholar and teacher.
In recognition of his distinguished contributions as an instructor, the University of Southern California is proud to recognize Xiao He with the University Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award.
Míchel Angela Martinez
Political Science(Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences)
Sponsors: Alison Dundes Renteln
Míchel Angela Martinez is a tremendously successful instructor, who inspires students to learn about and to take an active role in the political process. Whether teaching constitutional law, research methodology, or the impact of photographs in human rights campaigns, she invigorates the classroom experience with imaginative and interactive pedagogy, including debates, mock trials, and visual culture. Devoted to social justice, she draws insights from her involvement in several contemporary social movements, encouraging students to know and defend their rights and motivating them to become leaders in civic engagement.
Available virtually any time of day through email, online chats, and Skype, Míchel provides guidance not only on course assignments and research projects, but also on general academic matters. She demonstrates great concern for her students' welfare and a desire for them to succeed both in the classroom and in all of their endeavors.
The first in her family to attend college, Míchel graduated from USC summa cum laude with a major in political science and a minor in photography. After three years working for the National Lawyers Guild, she returned to the university to enter the doctoral program in political science and international relations. Her research focuses on human rights and the influence of visual culture on social movements. A brilliant social scientist and a first-rate teacher and scholar, Míchel represents the best of USC's graduate student instructors.
In recognition of her exceptional service to the Department of Political Science, the University of Southern California is proud to recognize Míchel Angela Martinez with the University Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award.