Top Trojan scholars rewarded with academic honors

The annual awards recognize graduating students with the highest academic performance, as well as the Class of 2020’s valedictorian and salutatorian.

April 30, 2020

The university has recognized its top graduating students with its highest academic honors — including the naming of the valedictorian and salutatorians of the Class of 2020. Faculty academic honors that also are traditionally presented at the end of the school year will instead be presented at a ceremony later in the year.


Emma Josephine Bradley Bovard Award: Awarded to the graduating students who have attained the highest scholarship average of all undergraduate women at the university.

  • Savannah Benz
  • Rose Bueno
  • Danielle Collins
  • Isabella S. Hauptman
  • Sarah E. Leitner

University Trustees Award: Awarded to the graduating students who have attained the highest scholarship average of all undergraduate men at the university.

  • Nihar Agrawal
  • Neelesh Bagrodia
  • Rae Lan
  • Michael J. Wong
  • Jingyun Yang

USC Provost’s Award: Awarded to the graduating students who have attained the highest scholarship average of all undergraduate transfer students at the university.

  • Annelisse Cuellar-Montes
  • Honor Hayball
  • Mami Horikawa
  • Aris Mangasarian
  • Danielle Morales
  • Zhonghao Shi
  • Adrien Verus
  • Elizabeth Winnicki

Phi Kappa Phi Student Recognition Award: Founded in 1897, Phi Kappa Phi is the oldest interdisciplinary honor society at USC. It recognizes scholarship and awards prizes annually to graduate and undergraduate students for creative and scholarly achievements.

  • Nikki Darling
  • Sophie Hammond
  • Xiaochen Li
  • Danielle Takahashi

Phi Beta Kappa Undergraduate Awards: Devoted to liberal learning in arts and sciences, Phi Beta Kappa, founded in 1776, presents two undergraduate awards to honor creativity, scholarship and leadership in faculty-student community relations.

  • Jane Clark
  • Isaiah Smith

Rockwell Dennis Hunt Award: Awarded to an alumna or alumnus of USC who is pursuing a graduate or professional degree at the university and who is most representative of the Trojan Family’s traditions and values.

  • Mackenzie D. Postel

University Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award: Awarded to three graduate teaching assistants – from diverse areas such as the natural sciences and engineering, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts – who have exhibited consistent excellence in the classroom and thus symbolize the university’s dedication to the education of scholar-teachers.

  • Nina C. Christie
  • Zhanerke Temirgaliyeva
  • David Velasquez


Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies FellowshipOffers promising graduate students a year of funding so that they can focus their attention on completing projects that form the foundations of their scholarly careers.

  • Sarah E.K. Fong

American Association of University Women Fellowship: Awarded for full-time study or research in the United States to women who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

  • Conscience Princesse Bwiza

Class of 2020 valedictorian and salutatorians: At USC, it is the custom to name one student to serve as the university valedictorian and one or more students to serve as university salutatorian. The USC selection process recognizes the very highest levels of academic achievement, but it is also more holistic and takes into consideration service and leadership as well.

  • Valedictorian: Isabella S. Hauptman
  • Salutatorians: Thomas J. Kim, Gavin Kress