The 2009 Kyoto Prize laureate in arts and philosophy was awarded in mid-November to Maestro Pierre Boulez, an internationally acclaimed composer, conductor and author. In addition to daring innovations in musical composition, Maestro Boulez has devoted himself to the development of software and hardware for computer-based real-time audio processing, and is considered a pioneer in the advancement of computer music. He will be featured at the annual Kyoto Prize Symposium at USD on April 22 in Shiley Theatre. Along with Boulez, prizes were awarded to Isamu Akasaki (advanced technology), Peter Grant and Rosemary Grant (basic sciences).

Poet Jericho Brown, an assistant professor at USD, was recently awarded the prestigious Whiting Award, which recognizes young writers for extraordinary talent. His debut book of poetry, “Please,” received the 2009 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. He is currently working on his next book while on a fellowship at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies.

USD’s new vice president for business services and administration is a retired rear admiral, Leendert “Len” Hering Sr. He served in the Navy for 32 years and was responsible for all fleet support within the Southwest United States. Hering is a nationally recognized leader in sustainability efforts; he was directly responsible for a Navy program that reduced energy consumption by nearly 42 percent, diverting 75 percent of Navy waste from landfills and reducing water consumption by more than one billion gallons within a three-year period.