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Undergraduate Research News

"We want undergraduates, graduates and colleagues not to take their visual surroundings for granted. And to think intelligently and questioningly about what use we make of images. And, in a sense, the use that images make of us." - Kate Flint, Provost Professor of English and Art History, leader of the USC Dornsife 2020 research cluster “Seeing 20/20: The USC Visual Studies Research Institute.”

The Future...Not What It Used to Be

January 31, 2012

A New American Narrative The year is 2042. If you are white and living in the United States, you are a minority, according to Census Bureau projections. “By 2042, the U.S. is going to look completely different in terms…

Steven Lopez, professor of psychology in USC Dornsife, addresses a group of promotoras and family members of relatives who are mentally ill at a Casa de Salud private home in Puebla, Mexico. Photo by Ava Casados.

Mexico Program Targets Care for Mentally Ill

January 19, 2012

In a neighborhood in Puebla, Mexico, a dozen promotoras — health care workers who screen ill people to determine what level of doctor care they need — gathered at a private home for a platica — or chat…

In the Fall special topics course "The Fantastic in Modern East Asian Literature and Film," USC undergraduates and graduate students learned the film <em>Godzilla</em>, created by Japanese film director Ishirō Honda in 1954, represents the United States and Japan’s fears about the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Image credit: 1954 © Toho Co., Ltd.

A Fantastical Take on Reality

January 17, 2012

Watching the film Godzilla with his classmates, USC senior Elton Keung initially saw the scaly creature as nothing more than a monster stomping through the streets of Tokyo, Japan. Keung was surprised to learn that the…

Valencia, Spain was home to a group of USC students this summer when they visited the country during the inaugural Valencia Summer Program offered by USC Dornsife’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese and School of International Relations.

A Romance Language Perfected

January 9, 2012

Inside a Taper Hall classroom, USC Dornsife senior Bridget McDonald chatted with classmates, effortlessly transitioning from English to Spanish. The Pasadena, Calif., native’s confidence faltered, however, when native…

Monica Valencia, a sociology major in USC Dornsife, is one of more than 500 student veterans at USC. Photo by Dietmar Quistorf.

U.S. Air Force Vet Turned Trojan Honors Fallen Soldiers

November 14, 2011

Monica Valencia’s parents divorced when she was 12, forcing her mother to raise her and two younger brothers as a single parent. With limited resources and eviction notices following the family from Los Angeles to…

A rainstorm closed Mole National Park when the Ghana fellows visited to take a safari ride. Just as they were turning back to the lodge, a procession of elephants crossed their path. Photo by Elisabeth Wolfenden '13.

Not Following the Herd

November 7, 2011

A newborn goat, umbilical cord still attached, stumbled across the dusty road, bleating in wonder. From the airplane window a day earlier, eight USC Dornsife undergraduates had watched the Los Angeles sprawl and jammed I-405…

Follow Your Inspiration

Follow Your Inspiration

November 3, 2011

Introduction by Pamela J. JohnsonProfiles by Ambrosia Viramontes-Brody   So you’re undecided. That’s OK! Finding your place in the world has just become easier. Launched officially this Fall, First-Year…

Illustration by Joel Kimmel

First-Year Investigations: Brendan Dugan

November 3, 2011

Brendan DuganSummit, New JerseyMathematics As others may rush by abstract paintings, Brendan Dugan methodically observes the seemingly nonsensical swirling lines and bold dots on display. Abstract art reminds the 18-year-old…

Illustration by Joel Kimmel

First-Year Investigations: Tienju Wang

November 3, 2011

Tienju WangDallas, TexasBiological Sciences It took nine hours of studying for an advanced placement biology exam and a touch of delirium for Tienju “Nikky” Wang to make up her mind. At a young age she aspired to…

Illustration by Joel Kimmel

First-Year Investigations: Justin Farshidi

November 3, 2011

Justin Farshidi San Marino, California Undecided Justin Farshidi openly admits he can’t envision himself in a specific career. With interests from biology to business, the incoming student is searching for his…