I am the Resident Faculty Fellow in Trojan Hall in South Area. I live with my wife, Lynn Ta, and our three boys, Zeke (4), Eli (2), and Caleb (4 months) in Trojan Hall. If you want a good overview of what resident faculty are all about, check out this story by Annenberg TV News on resident faculty in South Area and this wonderful profile of Oliver Mayer, the faculty master in the Parkside Residential College.
The core of South Area's faculty programming is our Tuesday Nights with the Faculty dinner series, hosted in the apartment of Tim Biblarz, the South Area Faculty Master. Every Tuesday night, students have a chance to break bread with a great mind in an informal setting. Guests include politicians, writers, artists, business leaders, and academics, speaking to one of two related themes: "from college to career" and "stories of upward mobility." The talks are short and informal, and the Q&A runs long, often continuing well after the events formally end.
In addition to the speaker series, I also run 2-3 signature South Area outings per semester, each one showcasing history, culture and food in a different LA neighborhood: in 2015/2016 I expect to take students out for a walking tour of Chinatown and some authentic dim sum; a trip to Watts Towers and brunch at the historic Watts Coffee House; the Japanese American Museum and a ramen lunch in Little Tokyo; and a hop down the expo line to Crenshaw for good food and good music at the Taste of Soul Festival. I've posted a few photos from past events.
I will also be hosting a "home-office hour" during the fall semester (2015), which is open both to residents and to students enrolled in my courses. I'll be available 2:15-3:15 in TRO 172, so come by for a cup of coffee and say hi!
One of the themes I try to work into my programs as a resident faculty is connecting college to careers and getting students to think strategically about their career early in their time at USC. In the past we've had a number of great guests speaking with students on this topic including a hollywood writer, a creative director from an advertising firm, the communications director for Mayor Garcetti, and the CEO of a data analytics firm. I'm always happy to talk these things over students, so just drop me an e-mail or come by my home-office hours.
A Little About Us
Lynn, Zeke, and I arrived at USC the summer of 2012, Eli joined us the summer of 2013, and Caleb last winter. Lynn is a social justice attorney with a Ph.D. in Literature from UC San Diego and a J.D. from Berkeley.
I also received my Ph.D. from UC San Diego, and when I'm not doing my research I like to get outside and hike, bike, rock climb, ski, and generally ramble about.