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Alumni News

A determined problem-solver, Michael Bergmann oversaw development of the exceedingly durable compound XDR used in the soles of Nike tennis shoes today. Photos courtesy of Michael Bergmann.

High Performance

December 16, 2014

Throughout his 30-year career with Nike, USC Dornsife alumnus Michael Bergmann recalled how again and again he would be thrown into a situation where he had to think on his feet to solve a problem. In one scenario in 2004, a…

Alumnus Viet Luong, the first Vietnamese-born general officer in the United States military, seated in the cockpit of an AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter assigned to the Air Cavalry Brigade at Fort Hood, Texas. Photos courtesy of the U.S. Army.

Star Soldier

December 10, 2014

In 1975, when Viet Luong was 9 years old he escaped the ravages of wartorn Vietnam aboard a United States aircraft carrier along with his parents and seven sisters. The following day, Saigon fell. “My father, who had…

Angelina Jolie and Louis Zamperini, the subject of the upcoming film <em>Unbroken</em>. Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Trojan Band Honors Zamperini

December 9, 2014

Angelina Jolie introduced the USC Trojan Marching Band’s tribute to the late Louis Zamperini via video at halftime of the Notre Dame-USC game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Jolie is the director of Unbroken, the…

Many members of alumnus Judge Frederick Aguirre’s family served in the U.S. military. A California Superior Court judge, Aguirre shares the patriotic contributions of Latinos through his nonprofit  Latino Advocates for Education. Photo courtesy of Frederick Aguirre.

For the Record

December 4, 2014

As a young law student, Frederick Aguirre was in Washington, D.C., in 1970 interning with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. An exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution commemorating the 25th…

The granddaughter of Korean immigrants, Debbie Leilani Shon credits her education at USC Dornsife with fostering her intellectual curiosity and giving her a fearless approach to her life and career. Photo courtesy of Debbie Leilani Shon.

Woman of Steel

December 1, 2014

Roller skating along the tree-lined avenues of USC’s University Park campus as a child, Debbie Leilani Shon never doubted she would one day graduate from USC. The granddaughter of Korean immigrants, she lived next to…

CBS Chief Meteorologist Josh Rubenstein demonstrates the weather predicting facilities at his mobile weather van to young participants in the Joint Educational Project's WonderKids program at 32nd Street School/USC Performing Arts Magnet. Photos by Susan Bell.

Forecast Looks Sunny

November 25, 2014

“When thunder roars, go indoors,” CBS chief meteorologist Josh Rubenstein instructed children at 32nd Street School near USC University Park campus. Rubenstein visited the USC Performing Arts Magnet school…

Alumna, author and motivational speaker Barbara Jo “BJ” Gallagher is also an animal lover. Here, she holds her half Pekingese, half Chow, Fannie. Photo by Andy Stolarek.

Fan Your Feathers

November 19, 2014

It may look like she’s walking her dog, but Barbara Jo “BJ” Gallagher is actually sketching out plot lines for her next book in her head. Or she’s thinking about her next keynote speech. Gallagher is…

Growing up in a nonpolitical family, nothing predestined Sam Jammal for a political career. Now the USC Dornsife alumnus serves as a chief of staff on Capitol Hill. Photos courtesy of Sam Jammal.

View from the Hill

November 10, 2014

One of a handful of Latinos in American history to serve as chief of staff on Capitol Hill, alumnus and lawyer Sam Jammal, who is also of Arab American descent, is determined to help increase diversity in government while…

Fearless Foodies

Fearless Foodies

November 10, 2014

An English major becomes a grilled cheese goddess. A creative writing major finds her calling as a butcher. An international relations and German major is now assistant vice president of retail operations, overseeing the…

A close-up shot of oyster mushrooms (<em>Pleurotus ostreatus</em>).

The Search for a Wild Weed

November 10, 2014

A native New Yorker from Flushing, Queens, Ava Chin forages throughout the five boroughs and the Tri-State Area, writing about her finds for publications such as The New York Times and Saveur magazine. Her memoir Eating…