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By Samantha De Leve
This Fall 2018, the USC Iovine and Young Academy welcomes 11 distinguished faculty members from the fields of design, technology, music and audio, engineering and entrepreneurship. These hires will serve to augment the Academy’s existing esteemed faculty body to support the school’s latest curricular offerings in the undergraduate area — including new minors in Product Design, Designing for Experiences, Multimedia for Designers and Entrepreneurs, and Disruptive Innovation — and in the rapidly growing online Master of Science in Integrated Design, Business and Technology.
The group is comprised of accomplished professionals and gifted educators who bring deep knowledge and expertise in teaching, research and industry practices. "These faculty members will complement the Academy’s already exceptional faculty body, and expand upon our ability to provide our students with a first-class multi-disciplinary education," said Erica Muhl, dean of the Iovine and Young Academy. "As a group, their long list of professional accomplishments is matched only by their clear dedication to teaching and mentoring the next generations of leading arts, design and technology entrepreneurs. With these latest hires, the breadth of disciplinary expertise in the Academy is unmatched by any single degree program anywhere."
Michael Crowley joins the Academy as professor of teaching (technology) and director of online programs. Before joining the Iovine and Young Academy, Crowley was faculty in the Viterbi School of Engineering, teaching an extensive array of courses in the areas of computer science and information technology. From 2011 to 2018, he also served as director of the Information Technology Program (ITP), overseeing the launch of a very successful IT curriculum for majors and non-majors, as well as several ITP minors. Crowley spent nearly 20 years as a practicing engineer before coming to USC, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri, and Master of Science and PhD degrees in Computer Science from USC.
Grant Delgatty joins the Academy as assistant professor of teaching (design) and chair of product innovation. Delgatty has had an extensive career designing a wide range of consumer products, including a significant focus on the footwear industry with leading companies such as DVS and Vans Shoes. During his time as head of design for Vans Shoes (2001 to 2008), the company saw a 400 per cent increase in yearly revenue. As an entrepreneur, he founded a number of ventures, including the USC Village’s own URB-E (2013), which features Delgatty’s designs for personal folding electric vehicles that are addressing the growing market need for micro transportation in urban environments. Before coming to USC, Delgatty served for many years as faculty at Art Center College of Design, teaching courses ranging from product design to environmental and mobility design.
Matthew Manos, who joined the Academy as lecturer of design in fall 2017, has been appointed assistant professor of teaching (design). Called “crazy or genius” by Forbes and recognized as one of the 100 most influential creatives working today by HOW Magazine, Manos is the founder and managing director of verynice, a design consultancy that helps businesses, non-profits and governments expand their capacity for impact through design-driven innovation. He is also the author and creative director behind Models of Impact, Give All, How to Give Half of Your Work Away for Free, and Toward a Preemptive Social Enterprise. Manos holds a Bachelor of Arts in Design Media Arts from UCLA, and a Master of Fine Arts in Media Design Practices from Art Center College of Design. Among his many achievements, Manos was also an Arts and Culture Advisory board member for the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) from 2014-2018, and currently serves as a Science and Technology mentor for Code for America.
Davina Wolter joins the Academy as lecturer of design. Wolter brings vast experience to the Academy in a wide variety of design disciplines, including graphics and branding; object display and lighting; media; interior and furniture design; spatial planning; narrative experience; and branded environments. She is currently senior manager of design for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, having served previously as the institution’s senior exhibits designer. Her professional career also includes more than seven years as a designer for the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Wolter currently serves as an Education Advisory board member for the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA).
Wade Cleveland joins the Academy as lecturer of entrepreneurship. Cleveland holds a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art, a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from UC Irvine, and a Master of Business Administration in Business Administration and Management from USC. He brings extensive global experience in strategic planning, business development, business unit leadership, consumer product strategy, operational leadership, organizational structure, design and new product innovation. Cleveland was vice president of performance product for Fox Racing, and held several senior positions at Oakley, including Global Category Director for Eyewear.
Joshua Alexander joins the Academy as lecturer of entrepreneurship. Alexander holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Texas, Austin, and a Master of Business Administration in Finance and Strategic Management from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors in the tech and finance sectors, and has worked for many years as an advisor, analyst and portfolio manager. He is currently the director of project management and head of mobile identity and authentication for Salesforce. Alexander has a dual appointment with the USC Iovine and Young Academy and UT Austin’s McCombs School of Business, where he is adjunct professor of finance and associate director of the Hicks, Muse, Tate Private Equity Center.
Sue Tan Toyofuku joins the Academy as lecturer of design. Tan’s area of expertise sits at the overlap of design, people, and business. She worked at the design and innovation firm IDEO for seven years as a human factors researcher and lead design strategist, first in the Bay Area then across Asia, and has had similar adventures in the world of mobile app start-ups, end-of-life palliative care, and broad-based innovation. Tan co-authored a book about innovation called The Tao of Innovation: Nine Questions Every Innovator Must Answer, and recently founded an interdisciplinary design and innovation consultancy (along with three other partners, two of whom are USC alums) called MO Studio (“Magnum Opus”). Tan gained her foundation in creative problem solving while earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design at the University of Washington. She then integrated her business and strategic foci while earning an Master of Science in Technopreneurship and Innovation at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
Wayne Jones joins the Academy as lecturer of audio design. Jones is a composer for film, television and digital platforms, and a specialist in audio design, production and integration. He is best known for his work on television for shows such as White Collar, Graceland, The Flash, House M.D., Parenthood, and The Mentalist, and in film for major productions such as That Thing You Do and The Guilt Trip. His work for advertising includes for clients such as The NFL, Chrysler, Campbells Soup, Wendy’s, and the 2008 Obama presidential campaign. Jones holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Jazz from the USC Thornton School of Music.
Jay Clewis joins the Academy as lecturer of communication. Clewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts from Eckerd College and a Master of Science in New Media from Syracuse University. He has worked in the areas of social, digital and new media design and strategy, as well as market and design consulting. Clewis has a dual appointment with the USC Iovine and Young Academy and the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.
Estevan Carlos Benson joins the Academy as lecturer of technology. Benson is a professional web developer with extensive experience in user interface and user experience design. He is also experienced in multimedia integration and interactive design, having spearheaded project for clients such as Steinberg Architects, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and Radio Disney.
Brian Boctor joins the Academy as lecturer of technology. Boctor is a professional developer with an extensive history in the entertainment industry working with clients such as Disney and Warner Brothers, and in the financial and data security sectors providing expertise for clients such as JPL, Price Waterhouse Coopers, and Symantec. Prior to joining the Academy, he served as an adjunct instructor for the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.
Signaling A Bright Future for the Academy
On July 1, 2018, the Academy was named USC’s 20th professional school and remains under the leadership of Erica Muhl, the school’s founding executive director and inaugural dean. The program was founded in 2013 with a visionary gift from entrepreneurs Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young (Dr. Dre). In 2014, the Academy welcomed its inaugural class which graduated in May 2018. With this landmark faculty expansion at the Academy, students will benefit from an even deeper roster of educators and professionals with mastery in the fields and disciplines that are attracting Academy graduates.
"As the Academy enters this exciting new phase in its growth, we are thrilled to have these wonderful educators join us,” said Dean Muhl. “As the many great schools at USC have done before us, we are building a world-class faculty to guide and mentor our extraordinary students toward careers of greater impact and, to quote Steve Jobs, ‘making a dent in the universe’. As innovators themselves, our faculty members are dedicated to the Academy’s mission to create a unique and powerful learning experience for all students who wish to focus their lives on creating significant and positive change for society.”
In Spring 2019, the Academy will expand its physical presence at USC with the opening of Iovine and Young Hall, a state-of-the-art facility that will house new instruction, collaboration and creation spaces, including upon its completion more than 12,000 square feet of maker and media labs.