By: Eric Ruble
USC Price recognized two faculty and two staff members who went above and beyond their regular duties to provide extraordinary service within the last year. The honorees were celebrated along with 23 others who achieved landmark years of service at Price.
Robert Biller Outstanding Faculty Award: Liz Falletta
Professor Liz Falletta received the Biller Outstanding Faculty Award, named for former Dean Robert Biller when Price was known as the School of Policy, Planning and Development.
Falletta was recently named the new vice chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Spatial Analysis.
While introducing Falletta, Professor Richard Green thanked her for her camaraderie.
“Every time I’ve talked with Liz about sometimes-difficult issues, she always has such a strong moral grounding in the advice that she gives to me. Her values are so wonderful,” Green said. “I’m very grateful to have her around.”
Green, who has known Falletta since he arrived at USC 13 years ago, applauded her ability to connect with students. “If you haven’t seen Liz teach, show up in her classroom one day and watch her. She’s quite extraordinary,” he said.
Falletta said she truly loves being an educator and was honored to receive the award.
“I knew if I didn’t do it, I would not be fulfilling whatever it is that I need to do in this life,” she said of instructing courses.
She also thanked her coworkers for their support during the last year. “I’m really lucky to have colleagues at Price who are great teachers from whom I learn and gain support,” she said.
Sterling Franklin Outstanding Staff Award: Jessie Redd
“She really is the engine behind the Safe Communities Institute,” Southers said. “She never stands still. She’s always asking how to improve herself.”
Redd helped establish several certificate programs, including the Safe School Climate Certificate, which helps educators create safe and supportive learning environments.
Redd also completed Campus Emergency Response Team (CERT) training through USC last year and is a member of the USC Black Alumni Association. She also volunteers with the Southern California chapter of Women in Homeland Security.
“I have the most incredible mentor anyone could ask for,” Redd said of Southers. “I am so thankful for your leadership, Erroll, and all that you have done for me.”
She also thanked her husband, parents and best friend for supporting her career.
Margaret Harrington Outstanding Staff Award: Jonathan Schwartz
When the pandemic started, Jonathan Schwartz shifted classes online quickly and with a “cheerful, can-do attitude” while maintaining a massive workload, according to Vice Dean for Academic Affairs Juliet Musso.
“He has natural leadership skills because he develops naturally collegial relationships with everyone in the School,” Musso said.
Schwartz thanked the Office of Online Education and Digital Media team for working alongside him during a year when faculty, staff and students were counting on reliable access to online resources.
“They frequently impress me with their creativity, talent, dedication and passion for what they do,” he said.
Schwartz has been involved with Price in various capacities, both in and outside USC, since he was an undergraduate in the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
“What I love most about working for Price over the years is the ability to try new things here. If you have an idea and a good plan for your vision, Price will let you try it,” he said.
High Impact Research Award: Paul Ginsburg
Paul Ginsburg’s journey to receive the High Impact Research Award began in 2016, when he co-authored a white paper for the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy about surprise medical billing. The term refers to charges for out-of-network care for services, such as those related to emergency care, where patients do not have an opportunity to choose among medical providers.
After receiving funding from Arnold Ventures for a range of research projects and policy analyses on surprise billing, Ginsburg and his team began with a thorough policy analysis. “This policy analysis helped put our team on the map for Congressional staff interested in the issue and we believe we influenced their thinking,” he said. The subject long had strong bipartisan support.
In January 2021, then-President Donald Trump signed the “No Surprises Act.” Starting Jan. 1, 2022, it will be illegal for health care providers to bill patients for more than the in-network cost-sharing due under patients’ insurance in nearly all situations in which surprise out-of-network bills arise, with the exception of ground ambulance transport.
“The team’s work continues with additional research on surprise billing and a number of policy analyses designed to influence those in the Biden administration who are writing the regulations to implement the law,” Ginsburg said.
Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs Neeraj Sood praised Ginsburg for his work in helping generate a key policy change at the federal level. “Paul’s work identified the problem, put it on the radar of policymakers [and] did the policy analysis to figure out what the potential solutions might be,” Sood said.
Ginsburg has moved from the Washington, D.C. area to Northern California. He continues to teach and conduct research at the Price School.
Throughout its 92-year history, the Price School has understood that providing an excellent education requires outstanding employees. These awards are just one way to say “thank you” to our staff and faculty’s ongoing dedication to further the School’s mission to improve people’s lives worldwide.