Congratulations to honorees at the 2018 Academic Honors Convocation

USC trustee Wanda Austin and Dornsife professor Viet Thanh Nguyen (USC photo/Steve Cohn)
USC trustee Wanda Austin and Dornsife professor Viet Thanh Nguyen (USC photo/Steve Cohn)

The end of the school year is always a fitting time to remember that USC’s world-class faculty are pushing the world forward every day in research and scholarship, teaching and mentorship, creativity and expression – all through their own lens of experience and expertise.

One of the privileges of my position is that I constantly hear about faculty accomplishments. It is no exaggeration to say that every day good news comes across my desk: a medical breakthrough, a groundbreaking publication, or a notification that another one of our faculty has received another prominent award.

These external recognitions are critically important but it is perhaps even more important that we take the time to recognize our own – to promote a faculty community that can inspire each other as well as our students.

To that end, the 37th Academic Honors Convocation, held last week, included the university’s highest honor, the Presidential Medallion, awarded to USC trustee Wanda Austin, former president and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation, and Viet Thanh Nguyen, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, fellow of the MacArthur Foundation, and recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. Austin’s lifetime of efforts in space technology and national security and Nguyen’s creative output, teaching, and service have brought great honor to USC. I thank them and I congratulate them.

I have previously written about our Distinguished and University Professor honorees. The new Distinguished Professors are Paula CannonC.-C. Jay Kuo, and Elyn Saks, and the University Professors are Nguyen and Jacob Soll. I’ll add here that in between my last post and this one, Nguyen was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

The below list of other honorees is but a small representation of the many ways in which our faculty excel every day. I am grateful to you all for your constant hard work on behalf of our university.

Other honorees included:

Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching

Associates Award for Creativity in Research and Scholarship

Associates Award for Artistic Expression

Provost’s Mentoring Award

Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award

Faculty Lifetime Achievement Award


– Michael W. Quick, May 8, 2018