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January 2014 News Archives

USC Dornsife Dean Steve Kay (center) with University of Bristol's Alistair Hetherington, Melville Wills Chair in Botany, and the university's chancellor The Right Honourable the Baroness Hale of Richmond. Photo by Ede and Ravenscroft Photography Ltd.

USC Dornsife Dean Receives Honorary Degree

January 30, 2014

A native of the British island of Jersey located off the coast of France, USC Dornsife Dean Steve Kay remembers arriving at the University of Bristol on the United Kingdom’s mainland as a wide-eyed 17-year-old. Devoting…

USC Dornsife's Daphna Oyserman, Dean's Professor of Psychology, shares her research during a Jan. 22 Dean's Special Lecture, explaining why we often achieve less than we aspire to and offering solutions to help attain our goals. Photos by Matt Meindl.

Meet Your Future Self

January 30, 2014

“If it’s not cool for a teenage boy in inner-city L.A. to do his science homework, then how will he ever become a brain surgeon?” This thorny question was asked by USC Dornsife Dean Steve Kay as he…

Boys sleep on the floor of a Edhi Foundation home in Karachi, Pakistan, praying and talking about how much they miss their families. This is a scene in <em>These Birds Walk</em>. Still courtesy of Valentina Canavesio.

These Birds Walk

January 30, 2014

Bathed in the golden hue of a few flickering candles, the boys lay barefooted on the cold stone -speckled floor. Huddled together, one asked, “Do you believe in God?” before they all whispered a prayer. “I…

Sean Curran and Shanshan Pang studied <em>C. elegans</em>, a one-millimeter-long worm that scientists have used as a model organism since the 1970s. Image by Alexander Lopez.

You Are as Old as You Eat

January 29, 2014

Your best friend swears by the Paleo Diet. Your boss loves Atkins. Your sister is gluten-free, and your roommate is an acolyte of Michael Pollan. So who’s right? Maybe all four. In new research published this month in…

Arriving from the University of Oxford, philosopher Ralph Wedgwood is drawn to the abstract. His desire to ask the big questions and challenge the norm goes way back. Photo by Roger Snider.

On the Origin of Ralph

January 28, 2014

First you should know that Ralph Wedgwood’s first name is pronounced the old-fashioned English way so that it rhymes with waif. He explained the history of this pronunciation on his USC Dornsife School of Philosophy…

Hailing from China, history major Songyu Zhu is an aspiring writer and teacher who mentors elementary school students through USC Dornsife’s Joint Educational Project and preschoolers through USC's Jumpstart program. Photo by Michelle Boston.

From China to L.A.

January 28, 2014

The first time USC Dornsife senior Songyu Zhu visited her history student adviser Joseph Styles during her freshman year, she knew she was following the right path. “I still remember the red bricks of the Social…

The breakthrough research of USC Dornsife’s Moh El-Naggar has earned him the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stage of their careers. Photo by Matt Meindl.

A Presidential Honoree

January 28, 2014

USC Dornsife’s Moh El-Naggar first got an inkling he was being considered for a presidential award several months ago when he received an email requesting his permission to authorize an FBI background check. But it…

Susana Smith Bautista, a USC Dornsife alumna and Provost Fellow, pens a book giving social and cultural context of how arts organizations are using new technologies. Photo by Alexander Lopez.

Museums in the Digital Age

January 27, 2014

USC Dornsife alumna Susana Smith Bautista, a lecturer at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, has authored a new book about the changing roles of museums. Bautista, a Provost Fellow, received her master…

Joseph Hawkins is a professor of anthropology at USC Dornsife and director of ONE Archives at USC Libraries. But in a former life, he was at the epicenter of fine dining in Los Angeles. Photo by Dietmar Quistorf.

The Corner Booth

January 24, 2014

For students of USC Dornsife anthropologist Joseph Hawkins, fieldwork could require a reservation at Spago. Fortunately, Hawkins has the connections to make those kinds of arrangements. Wolfgang Puck’s legendary…

Volunteers might become more effective by spending the same amount of time as activists pressuring politicians to change policies, says Professor of Sociology Nina Eliasoph in her new book, <em>The Politics of Volunteering</em>. Photo by Erica Christianson.

Volunteering Vs. Activism

January 24, 2014

Volunteering is considered almost sacred in modern society. But in her book The Politics of Volunteering (Polity Press, 2013) Nina Eliasoph, professor of sociology at USC Dornsife, says that along with the good, volunteers and…