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2014 News Archives

Oleg Prezhdo, a native of Kharkiv, Ukraine, joins the USC Dornsife Department of Chemistry this Fall as professor of chemistry. His research centers on efficient and cheaper solar energy production and biological nanotechnology. Photo by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

An Energetic New Professor

August 7, 2014

Growing up in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Oleg Prezhdo loved mathematics, not unlike his mathematician mother. But ultimately, his physical organic chemist father encouraged him to pursue chemistry. Prezhdo earned his Ph.D. in…

Michael Messner, who has taught sociology at USC Dornsife for 27 years, will be honored with the Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) Feminist Mentoring Award at an August 18 ceremony in San Francisco. Photo by Erica Christianson.

Messner Wins Feminist Mentoring Award

August 5, 2014

Michael Messner, professor of sociology and gender studies at USC Dornsife, will receive the Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) Feminist Mentoring Award on August 18 at a banquet and awards ceremony, held at the City Club…

Professor Emeritus of Political Science Michael B. Preston  was an expert in urban politics, dissecting political changes that have shaped Los Angeles since the early 1980s when Tom Bradley was mayor. Photo by Phil Channing.

In Memoriam: Michael B. Preston, 80

July 31, 2014

Former USC Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives Michael B. Preston, professor emeritus and former chair of political science at USC Dornsife, an expert on racial and ethnic politics, has died. He was 80. Preston of Baldwin…

PWP: GeoDesign

Dutch Lessons on GeoDesign

July 31, 2014

With a GoPro camera strapped to the front of her bicycle, Nicole Bosetti rode through the streets of Amsterdam. Whirring past brick-front cafes and canals, she captured footage of the safe and efficient bike paths available to…

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…