Creates a Family Atmosphere at Honors House
As one of USC’s longest-serving resident faculty members, Jim Moore, vice dean of academic programs for the Viterbi School of Engineering, creates a home away from home for the small community he serves at Honors House in North University Park.
“My goal is to have residents who are compassionate and like to get along and to create a very family-like atmosphere,” said Moore. “It took me a while to admit that is what I was trying to do, but it is and it is working.”
Part of that atmosphere involves programming that draws the 36 residents together, including special meals and discussions at the Honors House dining hall as well as at off-campus restaurants.
“I go with what works, and what always works 100 percent of the time is food,” said Moore. “We start the year off typically with a trip to Taix French Restaurant on Sunset in Echo Park. The price of admission is you have sit still and try some escargot.”
With the Emeriti Center, he also hosts a monthly current events discussion group called the Intergenerational Forum for Global Change.
“We try to keep it highbrow,” Moore said. “Retired and current faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and alumni come. We have dinner and discussion based on the last two issues of the Economist magazine. It is just an enormous amount of fun.”
Stacey Parker, assistant director of Residential Education for the North University Park Community, noted that Moore won the Outstanding Resident Faculty award at the 2012 Residential Education banquet.
“He is an extremely caring, honest and dedicated resident faculty who has positively impacted many lives during his tenure at USC,” said Parker. “Whether you’re in need of a word or two of encouragement or a reality check, Jim is ready to be of service.”
Moore signed up for the resident faculty program not long after joining the USC Viterbi and USC Price School of Public Policy faculties in 1988. His first assignment was at the Greek Honors House on 28th Street, where he stayed for five years. He took a year off before coming back to lead the Honors House community.
Moore first came to USC after a two-year teaching stint in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at Northwestern University, where he received bachelor’s degrees in industrial engineering and in urban planning in 1981, followed by a Master of Science in industrial engineering from Stanford in 1982, a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from Northwestern in 1983 and a Ph.D. in civil engineering from Stanford in 1986.
When he came to USC, “it was clear USC was positioned for transition,” he said. “ I tried to imagine what that transition would look like in the next 20 years. They covered that ground in the first 10 years. The next 15 years was just a wild, unexpected ride full of privilege and fun.”
As for the future, Moore intends to continue working with the students at Honors House.
“I have settled into a life that I like and find rewarding, he said. “I am here to serve the university, and my target is to serve the university by serving the students.”