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Outstanding Students and Faculty Honored by USC, Service Groups

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Each year, the USC School of Social Work, the university and other service-oriented organizations honor faculty and students who have made significant achievements in their academic careers and contributions to the USC and at-large communities. Many were honored at this year’s Dean’s Recognition Ceremony, which also recognized new and past student leadership, those on the Dean's List and Dean's Honorable Mentions.

Student Awards and Recognition

Gabe W. Miller Memorial Foundation Scholarship
Awarded to social service students, professionals and organizations that show passion for improving the lives of the disabled, disadvantaged and dispirited. Established by the Gabe W. Miller Memorial Foundation in memory of aspiring social work graduate student Gabe Miller who attended the University of Denver at the time of his death in 2005.

Nakisa Chopani

Graduating Dean’s Leadership Scholars
Recognizes those full-time students with demonstrated leadership capacity and experience who received the Dean's Leadership Scholarship at the start of their academic careers and attended the University Park campus, Orange County Academic Center, Skirball Academic Center or San Diego Academic Center.

Ronald LaGro
Chelsea Leff
Emily Michelman
Eden Neely
Marcelle Prince
Louise Reina
Katrina Sison
Martina Steiner

Phi Alpha Scholarship
Awarded to student members of the national social work honor society Phi Alpha in recognition of service, scholarship and leadership.

Serena Avilez
Josie Caudillo
Claire Ellison

Order of Areté
Given by the USC Division of Student Affairs, as the highest honor accorded graduate students upon completion of their academic programs, in recognition of outstanding leadership, volunteerism and commitment to the campus and community.

Dulce Acosta
Yael Adef
Laura Amador
Sonia Elizabeth Avelar Martinez
Hector Cendejas 
Gina Cordato
Aimee Cuellar
Tara Ignont
Janette Jimenez
Taryn Larribas
Shelly Lewis
RanDee McLain
Serena Morales
Brittany Moso
Andrea Santana

Dean's Award for Excellence and Innovation
Recognizes USC School of Social Work graduates who have led the way in academic excellence while blazing trails in service to the communities they work in, at the school and the USC community.

Katy Beary 
Yvonne Ito 
Taryn Larribas
Ikiah McGowan 
Laurie Miller 
David Russ 
Olivia Truong

Gladys M. Salit Award
Recognizes academic excellence, outstanding field work performance, and exceptional leadership and creativity.

Megan Healy

Student Liaison Leadership Award
Recognizes students who take on a leadership role in planning the school’s admissions events by providing an extraordinary USC experience.

Brittnee Aten 
Marlene Julye
Jennifer McCrea-Steele 
Lauren Partain
Jeannie Thomas

USC Community Service Award for Multiple Engagements
Honors a student who has been an outstanding role model of service by engaging in multiple partnerships or a single partnership in which the outcome extends beyond a single objective.

Friday Lilly

Social Work Alumni Association Award
Recognizes great potential to contribute to the social work profession and the USC alumni community.

Brittnee Aten 
Karineh Mahdessian

Lillian Hawthorne Prize for Outstanding Contributions by a Concentration Year Student
Recognizes a Concentration Year student from the University Park campus, Orange County Academic Center, Skirball Academic Center or San Diego Academic Center who has made significant and transformational contributions to the programs and policies of the field agency in which they were placed.

Veronica Clanton Higgins
Lisa Fedak
Juan Mundo

President's Volunteer Service Award
Honors an individual, family or group committed to strengthening the United States by making a difference through volunteer service.

David Russ

USC Norman Topping Scholars
Recognizes those students awarded scholarships by the Norman Topping Student Aid Fund, the only student-initiated, student-funded and primarily student-administered scholarship in the nation, for students demonstrating strong economic need.

Sade Burrell
Alejandra Cortez
Darrin Simington

CalSWEC Student Research Award
Awarded by the California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC) to Master of Social Work students who engage in research design and implementation that could contribute to the evidence base for policy and practice of public human services.

Claudia Alvarez Perez
Karla Arnold
Erin McCarthy

National Association of Social Workers Student Delegate Assembly Representative-California
One student from each state is selected to serve as part of the assembly, which is designed to promote leadership in the social work profession.

Lina Calderon-Morin

W. K. Kellog Foundation Community Leadership Fellowship
Recognizes emerging or exisiting leaders who grasp the importance of working with others to remove systemic barriers that impede the healthy development, academic success and economic security of children and their families.

Yvonne Ito


Faculty Awards and Recognition

Sterling C. Franklin Award for Distinguished Faculty
Recognizes a faculty member who has achieved excellence in research and demonstrated outstanding service to the university, school and community. Established in 2000 by the Morris Smith Foundation.

Michalle Mor Barak
Marleen Wong

Hutto Patterson Foundation Award for Distinguished Faculty
Recognizes a faculty member for excellence in teaching who has demonstrated outstanding service to the university, the school and the community. Established in 2000 by the Hutto Patterson Foundation with a matching gift from the Morris Smith Foundation.

Jacquelyn McCroskey
Murali Nair

USC School of Social Work Award for Excellence in Leadership and Creativity
Recognizes excellence in leadership, creativity and contributions to curriculum.

Ron Avi Astor
Anthony Hassan

Jane Addams Faculty Award
Recognizes a faculty member whom the graduating students have nominated for their academic, administrative and moral support of students.

Robert Hernandez

President's Volunteer Service Award
Honors an individual, family or group committed to strengthening the United States by making a difference through volunteer service.

John Brekke
Annalisa Enrile