School and division appreciation, recognition, and awards

In addition to university-wide efforts, schools and divisions across the university recognize their employees in a variety of ways – ranging from formal to fun. Have a program to add, or an update to share? Please email us at and we will ensure your school or unit is recognized for how you recognize employees!

Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

Annenberg hosts a series of Staff Appreciation Days to recognize staff for their dedication and hard work throughout the year. Available faculty are invited as well. Summer Appreciation events have included perks such as catered pancake or omelets breakfasts, team trivia competitions, afternoon coffee breaks at Illy Cafe, happy hour at Banc of California Stadium and a summer finale with an In-N-Out truck. Additionally, the division enjoys a Staff Appreciation Day during fall break. At the annual dean’s holiday reception, employees participate in a raffle of sports event tickets, spa and travel gift cards, wine baskets, home and tech appliances – with winners announced that evening!

Dornsife School of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Dornsife names a monthly Spot Award to an employee, who receives a certificate, a Visa gift card and an email of congratulations that is copied to their manager and the nominator. In addition, Dornsife awards a few exceptional staff members each year an annual staff award – a formal process that includes a higher monetary prize and lunch with the dean.

Facilities Management Services

FMS recognizes its employees at the annual FMS Recognition Day lunch during Commencement, taking a break from the effort putting in for graduation setup. FMS gives employee awards and a manager award.

Financial and Business Services

USC’s Finance Division recognizes one employee each quarter for their strong commitment to Trojan Values. Recipients of the Finance Staff Recognition Award are celebrated with an award ceremony attended by colleagues, friends and family. For more information, or to nominate a Finance Division employee for this award, visit the Finance Staff Recognition award site.

Human Resources Division

The HR Division celebrates employees with quarterly lunch events in honor of employee birthdays, employee anniversaries, and holidays (with a costume contest at Halloween). At the last holiday luncheon, the division announces and celebrates the highlights and accomplishments from the year.

Keck Medicine of USC

Keck Medicine recognizes an Employee of the Year and Employees of the Month.
In addition, Keck Medicine gives recognition specifically to nurses. These programs include the DAISY Awards, Nursing Week awards and Choi Awards for Patient Experience – see the 2018 Choi Award winners.

Office of Revenue Cycle Management, USC Care Medical Group Inc.

One individual group at Alhambra has their own special way of boosting moral. The group passes around a stuffed pickle, Señor Pepino, to teammates recognized for their hard work and team values. That team member gets to take Señor Pepino on an adventure!

Price School of Public Policy

Price holds an annual barbecue luncheon each May to name faculty and staff for their exemplary performance, creativity, leadership, innovation, service, achievements and collaborations. Winners receive a $1000 gift. The Price outstanding performance awards were created by Carl and Sterling Franklin through a gift from the Morris S. Smith Foundation. Since 1998, these have included the Robert Biller Outstanding Faculty Award, the Sterling Franklin Outstanding Staff Award and the Margaret Harrington Outstanding Staff Award. Price recognizes employees achieving service milestones at the event as well.

Provost Shared Services

Provost Shared Services names a “Star Player” every month. The winner receives a certificate and Amazon gift card – and gets to hold the Hall of Fame football for that month. See all winners on the Provost Shared Services site.

School of Cinematic Arts

Annually after the new fiscal year, employees enjoy a barbecue lunch – during which they receive free movie tickets and get to go home early after the picnic. At Commencement, the school gives out a Staff Recognition Award. The winner receives a trophy with their name on it.

Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

Each year, Social Work names a Wendy Smith Humanitarian Award and an Outstanding Achievement Award. Throughout the year, the school engages staff with wellness initiatives available to them during working hours, inviting guest experts to provide tips and tools to use on the job. Staff also enjoy an annual “thank you” breakfast during spring break, and receive from the dean’s office a gift card for the holidays.

Thornton School of Music

Staff at the Thornton School of Music are recognized annually by the Dean with an end-of-the-year picnic and a holiday party. The annual Staff Recognition Award is peer-nominated and goes through a committee selection process. The recognition comes with a certificate, a monetary prize, and is presented to the staff member by the Dean at the annual Honors Convocation breakfast.

The Thornton Staff Council hosts a series of social events during the year, as well as awards a Staff Member of the Month, which is peer-nominated and selected by the Council and their Events and Recognition Committee members. The monthly award comes with a gift card and certificate presented by the Council Chair.

Viterbi School of Engineering

Each spring, the dean hosts the Faculty and Staff Appreciation Luncheon. Along with sharing the school’s and employees’ exceptional accomplishments and upcoming opportunities, select faculty and staff receive awards.

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