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2014 News Archives

Alumni and friends Dawn McDaniel and Marat Zanov work at Georgia-based Virtually Better, Inc., to develop virtual reality treatments for anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which frequently affects veterans. Both earned Ph.D.s in psychology at USC Dornsife. Photos courtesy of Marat Zanov and Dawn McDaniel.

Virtually Cured

July 31, 2014

Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often experience a cluster of symptoms, including flashbacks and nightmares, emotional numbness and hyperarousal, which results in difficulty sleeping, angry…

In her new book, USC Dornsife’s Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo of sociology examines the symbiotic relationship between immigrants and California gardens. Photo by Erica Christianson.

Paradise Transplanted

July 31, 2014

Tomatoes, radishes, chilies and corn flourish alongside avocado, mango and papaya trees in an inner-city Los Angeles community garden. This is where some of the city’s most marginalized newcomers — poor,…

“This has opened up communication and people are becoming more interested in working with results from our Mt. Wilson data study,” said Ph.D. physics and astronomy student Stephen Pinkerton, first place winner of poster contest in national contest, standing at the Mount Wilson Observatory in the San Gabriel Mountains near Pasadena. Photo by Steven J. Hale.

Pinkerton Wins Poster Contest

July 29, 2014

Physics and astronomy Ph.D. student Stephen Pinkerton has won first place in the 2014 American Astronomical Society Solar Physics Division Student (AAS-SPD) Poster Contest. Pinkerton’s award-winning poster described his…

Students from “The Global Performance of Healing” Problems Without Passports class in Brazil stand in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady of Aparecida in Brasilia, a planned city that replaced Rio de Janeiro as the capital in 1960. Photo courtesy of Erin Moore.

A Healing Experience in Brazil

July 29, 2014

On the first day, we sat in a room meditating for four and a half hours. With my eyes closed, it could have easily been seven hours — or two. It felt timeless. This is how sociology major Sarah Newell describes her…

The Moor's Account author Laila Lalami, who earned her Ph.D. in linguistics from USC Dornsife in 1997, speaks Arabic, Spanish and French in addition to English. Her linguistics training informs her writing. “When you’re a writer everything you experience goes into your writing,” Lalami said. Photo courtesy of Laila Lalami.

Estebanico’s Turn to Speak

July 29, 2014

In 1527, Spanish conquistador Pánfilo de Narváez led 600 men across the Atlantic Ocean to what is now the Gulf Coast of the United States. Their goal was to claim land for the Spanish crown. From the get-go, the…

Simons Foundation grant recipient Shang-Hua Teng, Seeley G. Mudd Professor of Computer Science at USC Viterbi School of Engineering, holds a joint appointment at the Department of Mathematics at USC Dornsife. Photo courtesy of USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

Teng Named Simons Investigator

July 25, 2014

Shang-Hua Teng will be a member of this year’s class of Simons Investigators, according to the Simons Foundation. He is one of the two outstanding computer scientists chosen nationwide. The five-year, $500,000 grants…

<em>Changyuraptor yangi</em> is considered the biggest of the four-winged dinosaurs. Illustration by S. Abramowicz/courtesy of the Dinosaur Institute, Natural History Museum.

The Case for Flying Dinosaurs

July 24, 2014

A newly discovered raptorial dinosaur fossil with exceptionally long feathers adds to growing evidence that dinosaurs flew before birds did. An international team of scientists from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles…

Elected as president of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, USC Dornsife's Wendy Wood will lead the organization in exciting new directions. Photo by Laurie Moore.

Wood Elected SPSP President

July 24, 2014

USC Dornsife’s Wendy Wood, Provost Professor of Psychology and Business and vice dean for social sciences, is the newly elected 2016 president of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP). SPSP promotes…

Henrike Moll (left) and Morteza Dehghani of psychology with books and toys they will use when they interview children for their study on how humans create alternative worlds to make decisions. Photo by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

Pretending: Not Just Play

July 24, 2014

We all wonder what might have been. How would reality be different if a certain event had not occurred? If you had taken that job or married that person? “People especially tend to do this when a negative event happens,…

Students in the International Geobiology Course enjoy an afternoon of field study as a break from intense analytical work at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island. Photos by Letty Avila.

Where Earth and Life Sciences Merge

July 24, 2014

Ooids are sediment grains generally composed of calcium carbonate formed on the sea floor. They fascinate geologists because they have appeared throughout the planet’s evolutionary history. Traditionally, earth…