This past spring semester was very busy, but also really rewarding and fun!
For the Thematic Option program I’m in, I took a really interesting class called Aural Culture. It involved studying sound from a physics perspective (sound waves and acoustics) as well as music’s cultural implications. For my final, I interviewed a researcher at the Brain & Creativity Institute who studies how musical training in children and college musicians affects each group’s neurological and social development. This is a topic that as a pianist myself I found really fascinating, so completing the final for this class was actually very enjoyable!
Outside of academics, this spring I submitted two posters for the USC Undergraduate Research Conference, one from each lab I work at. Preparing for this conference was a lot of work, especially while also juggling my classes and other extracurricular activities, but the hard work paid off because my group project studying adolescent jurors in the LA Teen Court Program won second place! The win was an unexpected, yet awesome, surprise, but more than this, it was so inspirational to see all of the impressive, high caliber projects submitted to the conference.
As part of my internship at Hillel this year, I also served as a university fellow for a non-profit organization called the Jewish World Watch. This group raises awareness about the genocides occurring in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo and does humanitarian work in those regions. I had the opportunity to work with other USC non-profit organizations such as the Shoah Student Association and STAND to create genocide-awareness events throughout the month of April, which is Genocide Awareness Month. Among the many events I helped lead, one was the Jewish World Watch’s annual Walk to End Genocide, a 5K walk in Pan Pacific Park in Los Angeles to raise money for the JWW’s humanitarian efforts. I coordinated and led a USC team for the Walk, and it was great to see so many of my fellow Trojans join me in this cause.
This summer, I stayed on campus and worked at two research labs — I was even able to get a SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Funding) grant to conduct my own unique mini-research project, which was a very rewarding experience.
Lastly, to leave this post on a bit of a cliff-hanger, I will be studying abroad this fall semester in LONDON at the University College London! In fact, I’m in London right now (yay!) and have had a blast exploring the city so far. I know that this experience will be an extremely exciting and enriching one — more detailed updates of my adventures abroad will be coming soon, I promise!