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Problems Without Passports News

Brian Rodysill ’12 is attending medical school at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minn. He graduated from USC Dornsife with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and a minor in natural science. Illustration by Niklas Asker.

The Environmentalists: Brian Rodysill

November 12, 2013

Why did you decide to go into medicine? My drive crystallized after suffering severe spinal trauma in a skiing accident in 2010. Shattered bone fragments punctured my spinal canal, resulting in a lack of feeling and movement…

Laura Wang ’12 is an executive fellow for renewable energy in the office of California Gov. Jerry Brown. Previously, she worked for the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Wang graduated from USC Dornsife with a progressive master’s degree in environmental studies. Illustration by Niklas Asker.

The Environmentalists: Laura Wang

November 12, 2013

Describe your job working on Gov. Jerry Brown’s renewable energy team. I work in the executive branch on energy and environmental policy for the state, preparing talking points and memos on issues, and managing some of…

Undergraduates in the Problems Without Passports research trip to Oxford, England, contemplated the lavender beardtongues (<em>Penstemon cobaeo</em>), yellow coneflower (<em>Echinacea paradoxa</em>) and tall red Scarlet bugler (<em>Penstemon barbatus subsp. coccineus</em>) at the University of Oxford Botanic Garden, and learned about medicinal values of plants and flowers. Photo courtesy of Oxford Botanic Garden.

Planting Thoughts on Global Health

September 24, 2013

Strolling among the lavender, bell-like beardtongues and enchanting weeping willows, Erin Walker got more than eye candy at one of the world’s oldest scientific gardens. During her visit to the University of Oxford…

In addition to their research, the undergraduates had time for sightseeing in both countries. In Cairo, the group 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.

Climbing to the Light

August 20, 2013

During a recent Problems Without Passports (PWP) course, eight international relations undergraduates saw firsthand a parliamentary democracy at work when an environmental demonstration meant to save Gezi Park in Istanbul,…

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…

Problems without Passports: Rwanda

Courage After Genocide

July 17, 2013

On a quiet hilltop in southern Rwanda is a panorama of captivating beauty: rolling hills, pastures, open sky and on the horizon, small farms and pastoral villages. But the beauty is deceptive. This hilltop, the site of a…

In March, students traveled to Russia, where they crossed five time zones on the Trans-Siberian Railroad en route from Moscow to Lake Baikal in central Siberia. The trip included cultural sightseeing in Moscow and on-site lectures by the Russian Academy of Sciences on environmental issues affecting the lake. Photo by Francesca Martens.

Breaking the Ice in Siberia

June 5, 2013

Spring break tends to conjure up images of tropical beaches, sunshine and around-the-clock swimsuit fashion. There’s one thing it definitely does not bring to mind: Siberia. Putting the “alternative” in…

Arriving as a global health major at Keck School of Medicine of USC, Otana Jakpor decided to add a major in biological sciences in USC Dornsife after taking a Problems Without Passports (PWP) biology course at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Photo by Erica Christianson.

Hard Work Meets Glamour

April 15, 2013

A Southern California native whose father is Nigerian, Otana Jakpor visited Nigeria for the first time last Christmas. In addition to spending time with cousins and extended family she didn’t before know existed, the…

Robert English, the new director of USC Dornsife’s School of International Relations, has tales to tell about his overseas exploits. Photo by Dietmar Quistorf.

Front-row Seat to the World

November 8, 2012

There’s no learning experience quite like getting out of the classroom — especially when the focus is on global politics. For Robert English, incoming director of USC Dornsife’s School of International…

The Arch of Sorrow marking the entrance to the museum built on the site of The Akmolinsk Camp for the Wives of the Traitors of the Fatherland (ALZHIR). Photo by Azade-Ayse Rorlich.

Steppes Ahead

October 1, 2012

Descending from the upholstered comfort of their van into the vast, windswept steppe of Northern Kazakhstan, six USC Dornsife students gazed about them at an abandoned guard tower and the futuristic-looking Arch of Sorrow…