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Undergraduate Diversity News

USC Dornsife senior Anneleise Azúa and her mentor George Sanchez, professor of American studies and ethnicity, and history, and vice dean of diversity, at the Rhodes Memorial on Devil's Peak near the University of Cape Town. Photos courtesy of Anneleise Azúa.

Mellon Mays in Cape Town

February 12, 2014

As a USC Mellon Mays fellow, I rang in the New Year by boarding a plane with fellows Rachel Jones and Adeel Mohammadi, and our mentor George Sanchez of USC Dornsife. We flew across the Atlantic Ocean and Africa and made our…

A successful career woman, mother of six and grandmother of eight, Cynthia Maxwell-Dillard is just getting started. Illustration by Robert Neubecker.

In My Opinion

November 13, 2013

Sustainability usually refers to issues of maintaining the environment and ecosystem or improving the ozone layer. How about personal sustainability? For nearly 60 years, my determination to fulfill a commitment never…

USC Dornsife junior Eduardo Mollinedo-Piñon (standing) co-directs as Foshay Learning Center's music director, Vincent Womack, plays the trumpet during a rehearsal of the Foshay Symphonic Band. Front row (from left) Audrey Burke, Leslie Romero, Amber Johnson, Emmanuel Marquez and Christopher Ayuso. Second row (from left) Herman Lorenzo, Byron Gomez and Melvin Perez. Photo by Erica Christianson.

Playing It Forward

October 24, 2013

First the high, brassy notes of the trumpets sound, followed by the mellow, reedy tones of the alto saxophones. Tumbling piano scales join the cacophony accompanied by rolling drum beats and the slow groove of an electric bass…

USC Dornsife senior Jasmine Torres greets a young student at the Trojan Guardians Scholarship Program (TGS) booth during the Sept. 28 College Within Reach event on the University Park campus. Photo by Erica Christianson.

Guardian Angel

October 8, 2013

As winter break approached, Jasmine Torres’ roommate innocently asked her where she’d be spending the break. Surprised, the then-freshman replied, ‘What are you talking about? I’m staying here.’…

USC Dornsife’s Steven Finkel works in his laboratory with biological sciences senior Christopher Geiger. Photo by Matt Meindl.

Diversifying the Lab

September 23, 2013

For more than a decade, USC Dornsife’s Steven Finkel has been working to diversify the field of biological sciences. “It’s not a secret, academic research departments don’t look like America,”…

HSBC fellow Melvin Earl Villaver Jr., a junior majoring in sociology, was accompanied to the event by one of his faculty mentors, Shana Redmond, assistant professor of American studies and ethnicity. Villaver researched the history of Filipino hip-hop. Photos by Pamela J. Johnson.

Limitless Potential

September 13, 2013

Feeling her notes, her fingertips following lines of raised dots, Karen Arcos eloquently spoke about her research on schizophrenia before an audience at USC’s University Club. The psychology junior shared her work…

Incoming USC Dornsife freshman John Marot holds up a T-shirt declaring him a new member of the Trojan Family, while his father gets choked up with pride. Photo by Pamela J. Johnson.

‘Nervous and Excited’

August 22, 2013

Inside a dormitory room at Fluor Tower, John Marot unpacked a cardinal T-shirt emblazoned with the gold words: Trojan Family Member Since 2013. His father, John, who had traveled from South Korea where he is a history…

Incoming USC Dornsife freshman Ashley Knight is considering involvement in USC Greek Life, intramural sports, a cappella groups, and the USC Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs. Photo by Lillian Insalata.

From Kansas to California

August 9, 2013

Initially attracted to USC because of its location and the Southern California weather, incoming freshman Ashley Knight decided to join the university after learning about pre-health programs at USC Dornsife. An aspiring…

Environmental studies undergraduate Iñaki Pedroarena-Leal is in Panama for a summer internship at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. In underwater research, he is collecting data to assess the health of coral reef communities in the Bocas del Toro archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. Photo by Eleni Petrou.

Taking the Bull by the Horns

July 26, 2013

Wielding a machete one day this summer, Iñaki Pedroarena-Leal slowly but surely bushwhacked his way through dense, humid Panamanian jungle. From their tree perches, three-toed sloths looked down at the…

While caring for his family during Hurricane Sandy, Luis Hernandez was preparing for an interview in New York for acceptance into the USC Posse Scholars Program. He arrives at USC Dornsife in August. Photo by Bethany Bandera.

Hurricane-Force

May 31, 2013

Luis Hernandez was hunkered down at his older sister’s home in Jamaica, Queens while Hurricane Sandy carved its destructive path. Hernandez, his mother and 13-year-old brother had been evacuated from their apartment at…