Faculty at the Forefront

Faculty News

Dean Karen Symms Gallagher was awarded the first Provost’s Prize for Innovation in Educational Practice at USC during the 32nd annual Academic Honors Convocation in April. Gallagher was honored for contributing to the university’s reputation as a pioneer in online learning with USC Rossier’s online degree programs. USC President C. L. Max Nikias, in the award letter to Gallagher, stated: “Your entrepreneurial innovation and service as a catalyst of change have built USC’s global online graduate education enterprise.” She shares the award with Dean Marilyn Flynn of the USC School of Social Work.

Adrianna Kezar, co-director of the Pullias Center and recognized authority on higher education and the professoriate, co-authored an op-ed published in Inside Higher Ed about the careers of non-tenure track faculty in higher education. The piece argued that the current faculty model was derived haphazardly and does not prioritize student learning or enlightened employment practices. Kezar, who directs the Delphi Project on the Changing Faculty and Student Success, and her co-authors, urged leaders to challenge the status quo and advance a new employment model for higher education.

The Peabody Journal of Education announced that two USC Rossier faculty members – Patricia Burch and Lawrence Picus – authored articles that are among the journal’s 10 most widely downloaded articles from the years 2011 and 2012.

Burch’s article, “The Changing Nature of Private Engagement in Public Education: For-Profit and Nonprofit Organizations and Educational Reform,” co-authored with Katrina Bulkley, examines the roles of private not-for-profit and for-profit agencies in K-12 public education. Picus’ article, “Reinventing School Finance: Falling Forward,” co-authored with Allan Odden, offers a number of suggestions for ways schools and school districts can reduce spending while maintaining a strong emphasis on improved student performance.

Richard Clark received the 2013 USC Faculty Lifetime Achievement Award for his distinguished career spanning 33 years of teaching and research at USC. Clark is an internationally renowned expert in the design and application of research on complex learning, performance motivation and the use of technology in instruction. Recently retired, he was co-director of the Center for Cognitive Technology.

Gale Sinatra, along with colleagues Abby Beck and Douglas Lombardi, received the International Award for Excellence from the International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses. They earned the award for their paper, “Leveraging Higher-Education Instructors in the Climate Literacy Effort: Factors Related to University Faculty’s Propensity to Teach Climate Change,” which was selected from the highest-ranked papers in the 2012 journal volume’s peer review process.

Kimberly Ferrario, Corinne Hyde, Brandon Martinez and Melora Sundt co-authored “An Honest Account of the Humbling Experience of Learning to Teach Online,” an article in LEARNing Landscapes on transitioning from traditional to blended synchronous and asynchronous online teaching. In the article, they draw from the experience of more than 120 instructors who made the transition, to offer details on five ways that teaching in an online environment was different than expected.

Five Rossier researchers are developing an engaging, free curriculum that uses Mattel Hot Wheels toys to teach science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), with support from the Mattel Children’s Foundation. The groundbreaking new partnership will be led by faculty members with expertise in STEM curriculum and learning, including Frederick Freking, Angela “Laila” Hasan, Julie Marsh, Morgan Polikoff and Gale Sinatra.

New faculty Rossier welcomed two new assistant professors of clinical education in July:

Artineh Samkian has served as an adjunct assistant professor for USC Rossier since 2010, and has also taught education graduate students at Claremont Graduate University and Cal State Los Angeles. Samkian has worked as an educational research analyst for the Los Angeles Unified School District and for First 5 LA, and her expertise is in qualitative methods, evaluation, and Armenian immigrant acculturation in the U.S.

Claudia G. Pineda comes from the University of California, Irvine, where she was a researcher and taught adolescent and social development. Her research interests are in the influence of context and culture on the psychosocial and educational development of disadvantaged and immigrant youth. She has taught at Northeastern University and Harvard University, and was a Visiting Scholar at the Cornell University Latin American Studies Program.