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Community Engagement News

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…

History in a Box

October 1, 2014

Video by Matt Meindl and Mira Zimet. Read more here.

Freshman Newal Osman shows off her scarf collection. Photos by David Sprague.

Islamic Faith Gives Her Heart

August 26, 2014

USC Dornsife freshman Newal Osman wraps a colorful hijab on her head, steps back and considers her reflection in the mirror. She likes what she sees. “Hijab goes beyond the head scarf,” she said. “You become…

Students in Lori Meeks’ “Introduction to Buddhist Literature” Maymester class visit the Zenshūji Sōtō Mission, a Japanese Sōtō Zen Buddhist temple in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo district. Here the Rev. Shūmyō Kojima speaks about his personal experiences as a Zen priest. Photos by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

The Many Faces of Buddhism

July 10, 2014

Lights low, the meditation room gives off an aura of peace. After removing their shoes, the students quietly file in. Each stands before a zafu, or meditation cushion, placed on top of a zabuton, or square mat. Guided by a…

The eternal flame of memory was used to launch Kwibuka20, the international commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide in which between 500,000 and a million ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by extremist Hutus in 100 days. Photo courtesy of the USC Shoah Foundation.

Commemorating Genocide with Kwibuka20

July 7, 2014

Earlier this year, as Rwanda prepared to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the most painful period in its history, a single flame crisscrossed the central and east African sovereign state. The flame symbolized remembrance,…

Ishan Shah, the youngest person and the first Indian-American to be elected to the Ohlone College Board of Trustees in Alameda County, California, will return to USC Dornsife in the Fall to finish his degree in political science. Photos courtesy of Ishan Shah.

A Student with Experience

July 3, 2014

Last Fall, Ishan Shah was a senior with only weeks left before he was due to graduate from USC Dornsife with a degree in political science. Then disaster struck. Shah’s mother was stricken with cancer. Interrupting his…

This portrait of Christine Hameline was painted as part of The Face of Malibu project, which highlights some of Malibu’s biggest movers and shakers. Each honoree is painted in a single, live sitting. Portrait by artist Johanna Spinks.

Face of Interdisciplinary Success

July 1, 2014

A true Renaissance woman, Christine Hameline double majored in international relations and art history, graduating from USC Dornsife in 2008. Now she works as the managing associate of RE/MAX ELITE in her native Malibu,…

Chris Lee, CEO of Kitson, who participated in the Joint Educational Project (JEP) while an economics major at USC Dornsife, is now giving back to JEP. Photo by Matt Meindl.

A Visionary Entrepreneur

June 26, 2014

An economics major at USC Dornsife in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Kitson CEO Chris Lee retains fond memories of participating in the Joint Educational Project (JEP) as a math tutor at Manual Arts High School near the USC…

Deborah Kolodji finds inspiration for writing haiku during a visit to the Japanese garden at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Garden in San Marino, California. Photo courtesy of Deborah Kolodji.

The Art of Haiku

June 26, 2014

Haiku poet Deborah P. Kolodji was recently caught in dense traffic on the 10 Freeway. Looking up, a V-formation of birds flew overhead. Nearby, an airplane cut across the sky. Things were in motion. She saw poetry: migrating…

Alumnus Richard "Jake" Jacobsen was director of the Mecklenburg County Department  of Social Services from 1994 to 2007, when the department became recognized as among the nation’s most effective urban social service agencies. Photo courtesy of Jake Jacobsen.

Helping People Help Themselves

June 24, 2014

As director of the Department of Social Services (DSS) in Charlotte, North Carolina, Richard “Jake” Jacobsen recalled a customer whose drug and alcohol addiction prevented her from holding down a job and caring for…