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2011 News Archives

A view from the iconic Hollywood sign into the expanse of the Los Angeles Basin.

Saga of the Southland

November 17, 2011

There may be few clashes in Los Angeles history that cut as deep as the rivalry between the USC Trojans and the UCLA Bruins. But this Fall, members of both sides are putting aside any contentions to study the city they call…

Laura Baker's Southern California Twin Project investigates the roles heredity and environment play in producing different behaviors in fraternal and identical twins.

Twin Study Offers Insight into Antisocial Behavior

November 16, 2011

There is good reason students and faculty walking the halls of the Seeley G. Mudd building think they are seeing double — they are. For the past 11 years, hundreds of sets of twins have visited the lab of Laura Baker,…

Duncan Ryûken Williams is the new director of the USC School of Religion, and the founder and co-director of the newly created USC Center for Japanese Religions and Culture.

Enlightening the West

November 16, 2011

Born in Tokyo to a Japanese Buddhist mother and a British Christian father, Duncan Ryûken Williams believes it is his destiny to serve as a bridge between the religions and cultures of his upbringing. “I’ve…

Gary Lee - An American Dream

An Uplifting Tale

November 14, 2011

Is there a general fatigue from an oversaturation of American dream stories? I can’t say (because I don’t know), but I do think we take our parents’ sacrifices and uniquely American opportunities and…

Monica Valencia, a sociology major in USC Dornsife, is one of more than 500 student veterans at USC. Photo by Dietmar Quistorf.

U.S. Air Force Vet Turned Trojan Honors Fallen Soldiers

November 14, 2011

Monica Valencia’s parents divorced when she was 12, forcing her mother to raise her and two younger brothers as a single parent. With limited resources and eviction notices following the family from Los Angeles to…

Antonio and Hanna Damasio, University Professors in USC Dornsife, receive their honorary degrees Oct. 15 from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. Here, Hanna addresses the audience. Photo courtesy of the Damasios.

Antonio and Hanna Damasio Honored

November 11, 2011

University Professors Antonio and Hanna Damasio — who together have challenged dominant 20th-century views about brain function and demonstrated how emotions play a critical role in high-level cognition — have been…

Dennis Hedgecock's 1986 article in <em>Bulletin of Marine Science</em> was one of the most cited articles in the journal's 60-year history. Photo by Dietmar Quistorf.

Academic Journal Honors USC Professor's Contributions

November 9, 2011

Early in his career, USC marine biologist Dennis Hedgecock explored a pair of hypotheses that since have significantly influenced science’s understanding of how marine animals pass genes on to future generations. In…

The world's oil and gas reserves are expected to run dry this century. USC Dornsife's George Olah and G.K. Surya Prakash's methanol economy has emerged as an alternative.

Sun Sets on Oil Wells

November 9, 2011

For more than 20 years, George Olah and G.K. Surya Prakash have quietly and consistently worked toward saving the world. The USC Dornsife professors’ solutions were recently featured in the Journal of the American…

60-Second Seminars: Ange-Marie Hancock

Rotary-Dial Politics in an iPhone World

November 7, 2011

Picture this scene from an episode of the NBC sitcom 30 Rock: Two characters Tracy Jordan and Jenna Maroney face off, both of them fuming. Tracy, a black male, is wearing a woman’s wig and a hot pink blazer, his face…

A rainstorm closed Mole National Park when the Ghana fellows visited to take a safari ride. Just as they were turning back to the lodge, a procession of elephants crossed their path. Photo by Elisabeth Wolfenden '13.

Not Following the Herd

November 7, 2011

A newborn goat, umbilical cord still attached, stumbled across the dusty road, bleating in wonder. From the airplane window a day earlier, eight USC Dornsife undergraduates had watched the Los Angeles sprawl and jammed I-405…