The USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce the class of Dornsife Scholars for 2013.
The six outstanding graduating USC Dornsife seniors were selected based on their academic achievements across all spheres of knowledge that address basic questions of human value and vital social challenges facing the nation and the world.
“The collective accomplishments of this year’s cohort of Dornsife Scholars are extraordinary,” said Steve Kay, dean of USC Dornsife. “Their passion for discovery and knowledge will propel them forward in making a true difference in our communities and our world.”
Honoring Dana and David Dornsife, renowned philanthropists with the highest regard for education, the program underscores the importance of core academic disciplines of the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. USC Dornsife believes that a liberal arts education is the best preparation for students who wish to make a positive impact in the world.
The Dornsife Scholars program combines the talents sought in USC’s Discovery, Renaissance and Global Scholars programs with an added emphasis on positive human impact. Offering university-wide recognition, the designation is available exclusively to outstanding graduating seniors whose major course of study is in USC Dornsife.
The six Dornsife Scholars will be each awarded $10,000 to be used for graduate or professional school studies.
2013 Dornsife Scholars
Travis Glynn is an international relations major with minors in cultural anthropology, German, and international policy and management. Glynn, a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honors society, is the recipient of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, which he will use to complete a research project on the effects of drug trafficking in post-conflict societies. He also received a Fulbright Scholarship, which he will use to teach English and conduct research in India. For the past four years, he has been a program assistant in USC Dornsife’s Joint Educational Project. In addition to leading trainings and coordinating volunteers to foster service-learning ideals, he created JEP Explore, which trains international relations students to teach local grade school students about global issues. After pursuing a master of public policy degree with a focus in international affairs, Glynn plans to become a foreign service political officer stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Marina Tolchinsky is a double major in economics and international relations. Since 2010, Tolchinsky has been a program coordinator for the USC Center for Active Learning in International Studies (CALIS), managing outreach programs and placing undergraduates in local high schools to teach international relations theory and ethical philosophy. She is currently an intern with the International Rescue Committee, which responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. In 2009, Tolchinsky developed a youth leadership and mentorship program in Los Angeles middle schools and high schools. The summer after freshman year, Tolchinsky participated in a USC Dornsife Problems Without Passports (PWP) course exploring issues of nuclear nonproliferation in Russia. She has studied abroad in South Africa and has conducted research on access to public health services in Mali.
Michelle Banh is a double major in health and humanity, and biological sciences with a minor in medical anthropology. She is a recipient of the USC Provost’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship. Since 2011, Banh has conducted research in Susan Forsburg’s laboratory. During her junior year, Banh traveled to South Africa where she volunteered in the pediatric ward of a tuberculosis hospital and a mobile medical clinic. She also observed surgeries as a member of the University of Cape Town Surgical Society. Banh, a member of the national pre-medical honor society Alpha Epsilon Delta, will earn her master’s in molecular genetics and biochemistry through the USC Dornsife Department of Biological Science’s progressive degree program. She plans to pursue a career in pediatric surgery.
Rebecca Braun is an international relations major with a minor in French. Braun is a USC Presidential Scholar and member of the Phi Beta Kappa honors society. During her junior year, Braun studied abroad at Instituts d'Études Politiques in Paris, taking courses in both French and English on politics and international relations. She has interned with the U.S. Department of State in the Office of European Union and Regional Affairs, and with the Institute for European Studies in Brussels. She is on the editorial board of the Southern California International Review, USC’s undergraduate journal of international studies. Braun also participated in the Teaching International Relations Program (TIRP), which she said was an “invaluable experience.” It gave her the opportunity to instruct high school students in the community and see the world from their perspective.
Rebecca Wertman is an international relations major with minors in French and economics. She is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honors society and the Phi Sigma Alpha international relations and political science honors society. Wertman spent the summer after her sophomore year studying international affairs and multilateral governance at the Graduate Institute of Geneva in Switzerland. She also studied international relations, economics and French at Sciences Po in Paris during her junior year. Wertman has interned with United Nations Watch, a non-governmental organization in Geneva, Switzerland, and at the American Red Cross in Los Angeles. At the Red Cross, she established an international humanitarian law curriculum program for use in secondary and post-secondary schools.
Scarlett Royston is an international relations major with an emphasis in global business, and is minoring in public health. She is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honors society and is a USC Trustee Scholar. Since her freshman year in USC Dornsife, she has been a program coordinator for the Center for Active Learning in International Studies (CALIS), managing operations for the Teaching International Relations Program (TIRP) and the Teaching Ethics Program (TEP). TIRP and TEP bring social studies curriculum to local high school students. Royston spent spring of her junior year in São Paulo, Brazil, studying international relations at the Pontifica Universidade Católica de São Paulo. A talented singer, Royston is a member of the USC Sirens a cappella group. She also serves as the group’s business manager.