Rossier Student Organization honors faculty at annual Spring Recognition Brunch

Also acknowledges quality of programming from PASA and EdD student organizations

Learning Design and Technology Professor of the Year Rebecca Lundeen (right) with LDT Program Director and Associate Professor of Clinical Education Helena Seli (left).

Learning Design and Technology Professor of the Year Rebecca Lundeen (right) with LDT Program Director and Associate Professor of Clinical Education Helena Seli (left).

The Rossier Student Organization (RSO) honored faculty from seven academic programs at its annual Spring Recognition Brunch on March 6. The Professors of the Year were acknowledged for their dedication to USC Rossier and their impact on student involvement, passion for teaching and contributions to campus community.

Honors went to Associate Professor of Clinical Education Shafiqa Ahmadi (Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs program); Associate Professor of Clinical Education Mary Andres (Marriage and Family Therapy); Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor Rebecca Lundeen (Learning Design and Technology); Associate Professor of Education Tatiana Melguizo (PhD); Professor of Clinical Education Eugenia Mora-Flores (Master of Arts in Teaching); Adjunct Assistant Professor of Clinical Education Janice Schafrik (Education Counseling); and Professor of Clinical Education Julie Slayton (EdD).

“Thank you RSO and my LDT students for the honor, and for a lovely afternoon with colleagues and friends,” said Lundeen. “I’d also like to give a special thank you to Dr. Helena Seli for the opportunity to teach within such a well-designed, relevant program, and for her invaluable mentorship. Fight On!”

RSO was formed in 1968 as a forum for the exchange of student ideas and for the planning of student activities. The mission of RSO is to explore and promote academic issues and support a feeling of collegiality and community by assisting all students in every aspect of academic and social life at USC. It serves as the umbrella organization for student organizations representing each of the school’s academic programs.

“The tone of equity, collaboration and inclusiveness echoed throughout the Recognition Brunch,” noted RSO President Airies Davis, a third year EdD student. She, the RSO Executive Board and RSO Vice-President Lauren Redman, a PASA student, successfully created an award recognition, networking and professional development event balancing faculty and students as well as master’s and doctoral programs. Further assistance and guidance was provided by Associate Dean for Professional Development Kenneth Yates, who serves as the faculty advisor for RSO.

Community Building

Professor of Clinical Education and Engineering Anthony Maddox delivered the keynote address at the RSO Spring Recognition Brunch.

Professor of Clinical Education and Engineering Anthony Maddox delivered the keynote address at the RSO Spring Recognition Brunch.

Dean Gallagher provided a welcome addressing the importance of equity and inclusion while emphasizing the asset of building relationships between students and faculty in and outside of the classroom.

“Your representation—and the participation of everyone here—is vital not only to the Rossier community but to the wider USC community and by extension to our surrounding community in and beyond Los Angeles,” she said.

Professor of Clinical Education and Engineering Anthony Maddox delivered the keynote address, picking up on the thread, reminding the students of the power they possessed to address the “wicked” problems in education, borrowing a phrase often used by Provost Michael Quick.

Like the students in the audience, Maddox finds the time to get involved, and he is active in USC Rossier’s Equity & Inclusion and Mentoring committees. He also embraces roles that transcend boundaries, explaining that as a clinical professor of education and engineering, he gains a valuable perspective.

“Reinvent yourselves,” he said to the students, evoking lessons from his EDUC 620 course, Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship: Creative Identity: “Be innovative with a multidisciplinary and intradisciplinary focus in creativity.”

Student Honors

Members of the RSO Executive Board: President Airies Davis (EdD), Vice-President Lauren Redman (PASA), Finance Chair Leslie Lemus (PASA), Social Chair Cristian Biviano (PASA) and Communications Chair Denise Barragan (PASA).

Members of the RSO Executive Board: President Airies Davis (EdD), Vice-President Lauren Redman (PASA), Finance Chair Leslie Lemus (PASA), Social Chair Cristian Biviano (PASA) and Communications Chair Denise Barragan (PASA).

In addition to the faculty awards, two of Rossier’s student organizations were recognized for their standout programming efforts: The PASA Network (the student organization for the Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs program) and EDSA (Educational Doctoral Student Association for the EdD programs). The award criteria centered on student/group presentations, social/networking events, research, mentorship, leadership and philanthropic/civic advocacy.

The PASA Network was recognized for its “Real Talk” panels, a series that featured continuing students that addressed various topics to help incoming students acclimate to the program, Rossier, and USC as a whole.

EDSA was recognized for an event titled “Witness Innovative Networking with EDSA (WINE).” The daylong networking brought 50 guests to Temecula, Calif., to tour wineries and enjoy a panel discussion from educational thought leaders and faculty. Attendees gained insight from varied topics, including grant writing, nontraditional career paths and dissertation best practices.

“At the RSO Spring Recognition Brunch, students had a voice and space to honor faculty,” stated third year EdD student Khalisha Jefferson, “and faculty and students were treated to an afternoon that inspired creativity and fellowship.”

To learn more about RSO, visit the RSO website, where you can also view informative videos on the organization and link to USC Rossier’s student organization for each program.