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Faculty Awards and Recognition

The Academic Senate awards the Distinguished Faculty Service Award and the Walter Wolf Award through the Committee on Senate Awards.

Distinguished Faculty Service Award

The purpose of the Distinguished Faculty Service Award is to honor faculty service to the University that is beyond normal research, administrative, clinical, and teaching responsibilities. The nominee must have contributed through service to the Senate or other university initiatives in relation to faculty governance in some exceptional manner. These contributions could include leadership on a Senate Committee, Joint-Appointed University Committee, or on a school Faculty Council.

Walter Wolf Award

Walter Wolf was a member of the faculty in the School of Pharmacy for over fifty years and an internationally renowned researcher and teacher in the field of nuclear medicine. His impact on USC was no less profound. A tireless advocate for academic freedom, he was the President of the Faculty Senate (now the Academic Senate) in 1990-1991, and he was not afraid to engage in difficult discussions about important issues. 

The Walter Wolf Award is to be bestowed on a USC faculty member for defense and advocacy of academic freedom or for other manifestations of social conscience, through distinguished faculty service, teaching, scholarship, or activity as a public intellectual. Nominations can be initiated by any member of the Faculty Assembly (full-time tenure- and non-tenure-track faculty and full-time librarians, part-time faculty, or retired faculty) and can be supported by other faculty or staff members. The winner receives a plaque during the May meeting or during the Academic Senate End-of-the-Year dinner.

2023 Awardees

Distinguished Faculty Service Award

Els Collins (School of Dramatic Arts), Professor of Theater Practice in Production and Chair of Production & Stage Management, USC School of Dramatic Arts

Rima Jubran (Keck School of Medicine), Professor of Clinical Pediatrics (Clinical Scholar); Designated Institute Official for CHLA; GEMS Working Group Co-Leader; 2023-24 Academic Vice President of the Academic Senate

Walter Wolf Award

Sandeep Gupta (Viterbi School of Engineering), Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Past President of the Academic Senate

Previous Winners

Distinguished Faculty Service and Walter Wolf Awardees as of May 2022 

Nomination Process

Nominations can be submitted via email and should include:

  • Name and title of individual making the nomination and how you know the nominee
  • Name and title of individual being nominated; faculty and administrative title, if relevant
  • Bullet listing of university service that includes Senate work, University initiatives, or faculty governance contributions
  • Explanation of reasons that the service is distinguished and deserving of recognition

Emails should be sent to the co-chairs of the committee, Jessica Parr ( and Jody David Armour (, and copied to Michele Medina (

These awards will be presented at the May Senate meeting. Please remember: it is in your interest to honor those who have provided extraordinary service on your behalf!

Thank you in advance for your thoughtful suggestions.