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Undergraduate Research News

In Cairo, Egypt, USC Dornsife undergraduates studying religion and democracy braved temperatures of nearly 120 degrees Fahrenheit to visit the Great Pyramid of Giza. They are shown here at stone blocks of the pyramid's base. Photo by Steven Weier.

Major Gift to Support Scholarships

December 10, 2013

A new $20 million gift from anonymous donors will endow student support at USC Dornsife, the USC School of Social Work and the USC Marshall School of Business. This is one of the largest individual gifts for student support in…

In celebration of International GIS Day, Sarah Ellis and Haijing Lin, both undergraduates at USC Dornsife's Spatial Studies Institute (SSI), launch a weather balloon with an infrared GoPro camera attached to demonstrate aerial mapping technology. Photo by Matt Meindl.

A Bird’s Eye View

December 4, 2013

The passing troupe of blue-uniformed grade school children on a visit to University Park campus nudged each other and pointed at the sky as, 250 feet up in the air, a large white weather balloon sailed over Alumni Park. On…

A 22-year-old Greta Garbo poses with a USC track coach on campus in 1926. Photo courtesy of Charles Epting.

Bet You Didn’t Know

November 13, 2013

Remember in The Graduate, when a desperate Benjamin Braddock (played by Dustin Hoffman) sped to “northern California” in his beat-up Alfa Romeo Spider to find Elaine? USC stood in for the University of California,…

Tiffany Pereira ’11 is a research associate at the San Diego Zoo’s Desert Tortoise Conservation Center located in the Mohave Desert in Nevada. She graduated from USC Dornsife with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and a minor in fine arts from the USC Roski School of Fine Arts. Illustration by Niklas Asker.

The Environmentalists: Tiffany Pereira

November 12, 2013

Why do you love working in conservation? We take in desert tortoises, a threatened species, and rehabilitate them, raising public awareness while conducting research. After tortoises are released for relocation, they are…

USC Dornsife’s John Pollini (third from left) and some of his students at their excavation site in Ostia Antica, southwest of Rome, Italy. Photos courtesy of John Pollini.

They Dug Rome

November 7, 2013

Some 20 centuries ago, an ancient Roman was entombed in a mausoleum along the road leading to the sea. A countryside burial wasn’t unusual, since it was forbidden in Rome to bury bodies inside the city. What was odd is…

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…

At times, students traveled by camel during their research trip this summer for the "Field Geology" course taught by Meghan Miller, assistant professor of earth sciences at USC Dornsife. Photo courtesy of Meghan Miller.

Shaking it up in Morocco

July 31, 2013

The dusty Land Cruiser bumped and rumbled along the Moroccan desert floor as our caravan approached the village of Merzouga under the light of a waxing moon.  A long day of travel behind us, the dunes in the distance…

In Hong Kong (pictured here), USC Dornsife students sat down for tea with Jiang Yu, deputy commissioner at the foreign affairs ministry, to discuss Chinese international policy and the relations between Hong Kong, Macau and China. In Hong Kong, students also met with Mike Chinoy, former CNN senior Asia correspondent and now a senior fellow at the USC US-China Institute.

Twin Cities of China

July 31, 2013

During a tropical downpour, Fan Fan and several of her classmates entered Victoria Park in Hong Kong one night in June. In every direction, people huddled under umbrellas, dressed in mourning black, and held flickering…

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…

Recent high school graduate David Zimmerman prepares cultures of <em>Shewanella onedensis</em> in USC Dornsife's Steven Finkel's laboratory. Zimmerman's research on the bacterium has earned him top prizes at local and international science fairs. Photo by Michelle Salzman Boston.

Fair Becomes Excellence

June 27, 2013

Recent high school graduate David Zimmerman stands at a bench in Steven Finkel’s laboratory preparing cultures of the bacterium Shewanella oneidensis — “Shewy” as he and others affectionately call…