Ohlander Wins USC Viterbi School Service Award

April 29, 2004

Information Sciences Institute Deputy Director Ronald Ohlander received the USC Viterbi School of Engineering Service Award at a ceremony April 28 in USC's Town and Gown Foyer.

Ohlander was one of five standout performers in Engineering honored at the annual awards luncheon.

"I am now pleased to present the 2004 Award for Service, which goes to our longtime deputy director of ISI," began Dean C.L. Max Nikias, after calling to the podium ISI's veteran administrative wizard, holder of both a Ph.D. in computer science and an MBA.

"Ronald Ohlander has served in that capacity for close to 20 years. He has contributed to huge gains in research revenue for ISI; he has instituted many cost-cutting initiatives while also improving job security for our most talented individuals. Ron has also helped maintain excellent relations with DARPA and helped spin off the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority.

"Before coming to USC, he was an officer in the U.S. Navy for two decades. During that he headed the basic AI research program at DARPA and received numerous medals and ribbons for his contributions.

"For his enormous impact on ISI and the Viterbi School, we are proud to present our 2004 Award for Service to Ronald Ohlander," Nikias concluded.

Also honored at the ceremony were:

Kurt Palmer, assistant professor in the Epstein Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering, who was awarded the 2004 Teaching Excellence Award.
Chongwu Zhou, assistant professor of electrical engineering, who was awarded the Junior Faculty Research Award.
Richard M. Leahy, professor of electrical engineering, who was awarded the Senior Faculty Research Award.
Julieta de la Paz, budget analyst in the department of computer science, who received the Staff Achievement Award.

Nikias himself received a surprise award at the ceremony. Michael Safonov, chairman of the Engineering Faculty Council, recognized the dean for his "extraordinary leadership, foresight and guidance in the advancement of the Viterbi School of Engineering."

Safonov presented a ceremonial plaque marking the honor to the dean, who vowed to display it proudly in his office.

At the luncheon, attended by several hundred faculty and staff, the dean unveiled a new initiative to add five "star- level" full professors.

"Anyone who has a name to suggest - it can be in any discipline - please talk to me, " said Nikias.