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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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News and Events
News and Events

Gelya Frank Receives Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Award
April 24, 2013

Awards Chan in the Media Events Faculty

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By Mike McNulty

Professor Gelya Frank received a Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award at USC’s 32nd annual Academic Honors Convocation for her latest book Defying the Odds: The Tule River Tribe’s Struggle for Sovereignty in Three Centuries published by Yale University Press. The book is co-written with renowned legal scholar Carole Goldberg, who is currently Vice Chancellor at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“It is very gratifying to have this book receive recognition from Phi Kappa Phi,” says Frank, who has been working with the Tule River Tribe since 1972. As the title suggests, Defying the Odds chronicles how the Tule River Tribe, an indigenous California tribe living in Tulare County, has survived and even flourished despite centuries of oppressive legal, political, and cultural conditions.

“My work with the Tule River Tribe has provided four decades of the most meaningful and rewarding experience of seeing how a distinct community organizes and reorganizes itself under challenging environmental and social conditions,” Frank explains. “Over the same period, the USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy has nurtured my theoretical development with respect to the role of occupations — meaningful, purposeful activities — in the achievement of health and well-being.”

Frank, who is jointly appointed in the Department of Anthropology at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, previously received a Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award in 2002 for her book Venus on Wheels: Two Decades of Dialogue on Disability, Biography and Being Female in America (University of California Press, 2000). Phi Kappa Phi All-University Honor Society is USC’s oldest academic honors society.

Gelya Frank at 2013 Academic Convocation

Gelya Frank at 2013 Academic Convocation