USC faculty members Estela Mara Bensimon, Yang Chai, Steve Kay and Shrikanth Narayanan have been named University Professors, and Susan Forsburg, Sherman Jackson, Behrokh Khoshnevis, Mahta Moghaddam and Pedro Noguera have been named Distinguished Professors.
"These exceptional faculty members have brought great distinction to the university," USC Provost Charles Zukoski wrote in an email sent Tuesday to the university community. "Recognizing each of them is an honor for President [Carol L.] Folt and me."
Both recognitions are awarded very selectively. The University Professor distinction is awarded by the president based on multidisciplinary interests and significant accomplishments in several disciplines. The Distinguished Professor distinction is awarded by the president to those whose accomplishments have brought special renown to USC.
Sherman Jackson is the King Faisal Chair of Islamic Thought and Culture, and Professor of Religion and American Studies and Ethnicity in the USC Dornsife College. Jackson, who teaches classical Islamic Studies, including law, theology and intellectual history, focuses his research on the realities of modern Islam in the West, especially Muslim communities in America.
Jackson is a co-founder, core scholar and member of the Board of Trustees of the American Learning Institute for Muslims, an academic institution where scholars, professionals, activists, artists, writers, and community leaders come together to develop strategies for the future of Islam in the modern world. He has been named among the world's 500 most influential Muslims by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre.