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Class of 2017

With Freshman Orientation in full throttle, Lillian Insalata of University Communications caught up with a few incoming USC Dornsife undergraduates.

Incoming freshmen receive instruction for a solid and strong transition during orientation at USC University Park campus. Photo by Lillian Insalata.
Incoming freshmen receive instruction for a solid and strong transition during orientation at USC University Park campus. Photo by Lillian Insalata.

The newest members of the Trojan Family hail from throughout the nation and world. The admitted USC freshman class, selected from a pool of 47,300 applicants, boasts SAT scores of 2040-2250. These freshmen bring a diversity of experiences, intellectual integrity and personality to USC Dornsife. Fall semester classes begin Aug. 26.

Proving Her Point

Lorelei Christie, a Trustee Scholar from Fairfax, Va., had two jobs in high school — one at Carvel Cinnabon and the other as a tutor. As the head manager of her high school’s writing center, Christie researched tutoring pedagogy and the “re-humanization of our educational system.” She has given presentations at national conferences on non-hierarchical, non-competitive learning environments for teachers, tutors and administrators. Christie is majoring in philosophy, politics and law because, she said, “I have this obsession with proof.”

WHO Hopeful

Kshitij Kumar is a self-described “bio-nerd” from Ferndon, Va., who will major in international relations and global health. Fluent in French and Hindi, Kumar served as an intern for the State Department’s Office of Language Services, which included accompanying a French-speaking delegation to Africa. At his high school, Kumar helped establish Humanity Plus, a club where members could “talk about medical ethics and how technology is becoming symbiotic with humanity.” His dream job is working for the World Health Organization.

Teen Cancer Survivor

Jordan Hancock had just finished swimming at the 2012 Olympic trials when she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Hancock, from Sugarland, Texas, then underwent a complete thyroidectomy and the removal of 24 lymph nodes. In the midst of grappling with health issues, Hancock took four AP classes and applied to 16 universities. “I’m someone who likes to try to accomplish things on my own,” Hancock said. “I’m a capable person when I persevere.” Hancock will continue to fight on as a pre-med mathematics major and hopes to explore computational oncology at USC.

From Nigeria to Washington to USC

Chetachinyere Okereke, the daughter of Nigerian immigrants, is interested in pediatrics and African American studies. While completing the academically rigorous International Baccalaureate program at her high school, Okereke recalled that, “for any major papers we ever had to do, I wrote about something from African American history.” In her hometown of Edmonds, Wash., Okereke volunteered as a tutor and mentor to schoolchildren and assisted intensive care patients at Swedish Medical Center. Okereke is majoring in biology.