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USC Academic Senate Executive Board Elections 2020

Each faculty member (full-time, part-time, and retired) will receive an email link to the electronic ballot on April 26, and will have until 5:00 pm on May 3 to cast your ballot electronically. You will find links to candidate information on that ballot as well as this website, which includes each candidate’s short bio, a two-minute self-presentation video, and an information sheet with more detail on the candidate’s background, roles, service, and goals.

A reminder: the continuing members of the Executive Board are:

  • Past-President: Paul Adler (Marshall Business School)
  • President: Tracy Tambascia (Rossier School)
  • Secretary General:  Devon Brooks (Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

The candidates standing for election are listed here, alphabetically:

Academic Vice-President (goes on to be President then Past-President; choose one)

Gary Painter (Sol Price School of Public Policy)

Video  | Info Sheet

Gary Painter is a Professor in the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California.  He also serves as the Director of the Sol Price Center for Social Innovation and the Homelessness Policy Research Institute.  He recently published a co-authored book entitled, “Payment by Results and Social Impact Bonds: Outcome-based Payment Systems in the UK and US.” He has published numerous articles in top journals such as the Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Urban Economics, Urban Studies, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Real Estate Economics, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, and Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Professor Painter is a leading figure in the field of social innovation.  In addition to his recent book, he works extensively with a variety of social innovation organizations and collective impact networks to address some of the grand challenges that society faces.  His current research focuses on how to activate the social innovation process. Professor Painter also has extensive expertise in housing, urban economics, and education policy, which shapes his research on how the social innovation process can identify new models of social change within these complex policy areas.

He has served as a consultant for the National Association of Realtors, Pacific Economics Group, Andrew Davidson Co., Fannie Mae, Grant Thorton LLP, Burr Consulting, and the Research Institute for Housing America.

Dan Pecchenino (Dornsife College)

Video  |  Info Sheet

Dan Pecchenino is an Associate Professor (Teaching) in the Writing Program in Dornsife College, where he primarily teaches lower-division students and researches assessment practices. He has been a member of the Academic Senate for the past five years and has served on the Executive Board as the Administrative Vice President since July 2019. Prior to this, he was the Secretary, Vice President, and then President of the Dornsife Faculty Council.

Administrative Vice President (two-year term; choose one)

Video  | Info Sheet

LaVonna Blair Lewis, Ph.D., MPH, is a Teaching Professor of Public Policy and the Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy.   Dr. Lewis joined the USC faculty in 1996 from Rice University where she received her PhD in Political Science.  Dr. Lewis’ areas of research and professional interests consistently focus on cultural competency and health equity, both targeting the health status and health care needs of underrepresented groups.


Kyle Konis (School of Architecture)
Video  | Info Sheet
Kyle Konis is an Assistant Professor of Architecture. Prof. Konis has served as co-chair of the Academic Senate Sustainability Committee, as a member of the USC Sustainability Steering Committee, and most recently as a member of President Folt’s Working Group on Sustainability. Prof. Konis is interested in serving as the Secretary General to support the Senate’s efforts to strengthen the role of faculty in addressing the critical matters facing USC in the coming year.


At-Large (one-year term; choose up to four)

Yaara Berdan (Ostrow School of Dentistry)
Video  | Info Sheet
Yaara Berdan is assistant professor and director of undergraduate endodontics at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC. She received her DDS from UCSF, a Pediatric Dentistry Certificate from Children’s Hospital Boston and an Endodontics Certificate from the University of Illinois Chicago. She was in private practice prior to teaching at USC. She represents USC faculty at the  American Dental Education Association (ADEA) and is Immediate Past Chair of the Endodontics Section at ADEA.

Brent Blair (School of Dramatic Arts)
Video  | Info Sheet
Brent Blair is Professor of Practice at the School of Dramatic Arts where he is the founding director of Institute for Theatre & Social Change (ITSC). With a PhD in Psychology with an emphasis on community conflict and social change, he trained with the late Augusto Boal to become a practitioner of Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) and has published work on theatre for social change and in post-traumatic settings.

Ben Carrington (Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism)
Video  | Info Sheet
Ben Carrington is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Journalism in the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Prior to joining USC in 2017, Professor Carrington taught in the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. Professor Carrington has written op-eds on culture, politics and race for publications such as The Guardian and The Huffington Post and has also written and presented a radio documentary on the Caribbean-born public intellectual Stuart Hall.

Jeremy Goldbach (Dworak-Peck School of Social Work)
Video  | Info Sheet
Jeremy Goldbach is an Associate Professor, Chair of the USC SB-IRB, and Director of the Center for LGBT Health Equity at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work.  His work has been funded by SAMHSA, NIMHD, NICHD and the DOD.  He has served on all three of the SSW’s councils (Research, Curriculum & Faculty), and on councils for the all three of the national Social Work membership organizations.

Cindy Herrington (Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles)
Video  | Info Sheet
I am an Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA).  My pride from being a USC faculty member, my role as the Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion officer at CHLA, and my advocacy roles in the areas of gender discrimination and sexual harassment drive my desire to serve our community in this capacity.  I have a perspective and a knowledge base that would benefit our community as we shape our future.

Anikó Imre (School of Cinematic Arts)
Video  |  Info Sheet
Anikó Imre is a Professor in the School of Cinematic Arts. She has published and lectured widely in comparative media studies and global communication, with a special focus on (post)socialist media industries and cultures in relation to populism and popular culture, digital surveillance, nationalism, race, gender and sexuality. Her six books include the monographs TV Socialism (Duke UP, 2016) and Identity Games: Globalization and the Transformation of Media Cultures in the New Europe (MIT Press, 2011).

Jennifer Israel (Keck School of Medicine)
Video  | Info Sheet
Dr. Jennifer Israel completed undergraduate and medical school at USC. She completed residency at LAC+USC in Obstetrics and Gynecology and joined Keck School of Medicine of USC faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2002.  She currently serves KSOM and Keck Medical Center as a Peer Coach for Professionalism, KSOM Faculty Council member, President-Elect, and USC Academic Senator. Her primary interest is promoting our cultural values and healing during these historically challenging times.

Elisa Warford (Viterbi School of Engineering/Writing)
Video  | Info Sheet
As Associate Professor of Technical Communication Practice in Viterbi, I teach advanced engineering communication classes (WRIT 340), including a special topics section on Engineering for Climate Change and Sustainability, and a freshman seminar course, Ethics of Science and Technology. My research interests are in these fields as well. I have served on the Part-Time Faculty Affairs Committee for the last four years, the last three as Co-Chair or Chair.