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Alumni News

A close-up shot of oyster mushrooms (<em>Pleurotus ostreatus</em>).

The Search for a Wild Weed

November 10, 2014

A native New Yorker from Flushing, Queens, Ava Chin forages throughout the five boroughs and the Tri-State Area, writing about her finds for publications such as The New York Times and Saveur magazine. Her memoir Eating…

Singer-songwriter and musician Aloe Blacc ’01 aims to create positive social change, including working to eradicate food deserts. Photo by Reid Rolls.

The Man

November 4, 2014

Before he was global Top 40 sensation and socially conscious singer-songwriter Aloe Blacc, he was Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III, a linguistics and psychology major at USC Dornsife. Even then, Blacc was determined to use his…

USC alumna Barbara Saltzman holds aloft a Jester and Pharley doll as she helps launch a read-a-thon at Lenicia B. Weemes Elementary School near USC. The read-a-thon, which is co-organized by the Joint Education Project's USC Readers<sup>Plus</sup> program, will benefit sick children. Photos by Susan Bell.

Release the Jester Within

October 30, 2014

Peals of laughter echoed off the walls of Lenicia B. Weemes Elementary School’s auditorium near USC’s University Park campus. Dozens of 5th graders were delighting in The Jester has Lost his Jingle. The children…

Virginia Carter in 1972 in her Aerospace Corporation lab holding a device to measure air density. The device would be bolted to a satellite, which circled the Earth, yielding data to improve the guidance of satellites. Photo courtesy of the  the <em>Los Angeles Times</em> photographic archive, UCLA Library.

Hollywood Via Aerospace

October 28, 2014

A bachelor’s degree with honors in math and physics under her belt, Virginia Carter was ready for the job market. She was living in her native Canada. The year was 1958. Her best offer? Working as a clerk at a…

Professional skateboarder and alumna Amelia Brodka produced <em>Underexposed: A Women’s Skateboarding Documentary</em> for her capstone project in the narrative studies program at USC Dornsife. Photo by Dan Sparagna.

Kickflipping the Story

October 28, 2014

Skateboarding professionally since age 16, Amelia Brodka was invited to compete as an alternate in the 2010 X Games’ skateboarding competition for women. Although the then-sophomore at USC Dornsife didn’t…

Former Secretary of the Navy Paul Ignatius speaks during the Washington, D.C., ship naming ceremony for the future <em>USS Paul Ignatius</em>. In the foreground is a representation of the ship. The alumnus will be inducted into the Half Century Trojans Hall of Fame. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Arif Patani.

Hall of Famer Ignatius

October 24, 2014

Arriving at USC in 1938, Paul Ignatius has witnessed the catapulting rise of the university over the past 86 years. “It was a good school in my day,” said Ignatius, who earned his bachelor’s degree in…

Raymond Stevens (right) and Peter Kuhn’s laboratories will bring a cohort of approximately 50 researchers to USC. Their labs will be housed in the new USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience, which broke ground on Oct. 23. Photo by Ryan Young.

USC Dornsife Recruits Renowned Leaders in Molecular Research

October 23, 2014

Raymond C. Stevens and Peter Kuhn have been named Provost Professor of Biological Sciences and Chemistry and Dean’s Professor of Biological Sciences, respectively. The announcements were made by Provost Elizabeth Garrett…

After an injury that ended his NFL career, USC Dornsife alumnus Thomas Williams raised himself up  to launch a successful new profession as a motivational speaker and author. Photos courtesy of Thomas Williams.

Permission to Dream

October 21, 2014

When Thomas Williams was 12 years old, his mother attended his 6th grade parent-teacher conference. There, Williams’ teacher told her that by the time her son was 16 he would be a gang leader, a drug dealer or dead.…

Alumnus Rodney Swan owns and operates Swan Farms, comprised of 4,000 acres of agricultural land in the vicinity of Blythe, California. Here, Swan’s daughter, Emma, stands in a field watching the thresher machine. Photo courtesy of Rodney Swan.

From Finance to Farming

October 21, 2014

Rodney Swan is most comfortable in jeans and a T-shirt. Not only did he grow up on a small family farm cultivating cotton near Blythe, California, as a young man he worked in the fields of several local farms. After earning a…

Two children carry containers filled with water in Northern Uganda. Drinking unclean water can lead to many diseases. More than 3.4 million people die each year from water, sanitation and hygiene-related causes. Photos by Justin Arana.

My Name Is Water

October 16, 2014

Justin Arana was traveling the world on a spiritual quest to find himself. The journey was spurred by his grandfather, who had asked if Arana would be happy with the worth of his life if he died the next day. It was 2008,…