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Alumni News

Former Secretary of the Navy Paul Ignatius speaks during the Washington, D.C., ship naming ceremony for the future <em>USS Paul Ignatius</em>. In the foreground is a representation of the ship. The alumnus will be inducted into the Half Century Trojans Hall of Fame. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Arif Patani.

Hall of Famer Ignatius

October 24, 2014

Arriving at USC in 1938, Paul Ignatius has witnessed the catapulting rise of the university over the past 86 years. “It was a good school in my day,” said Ignatius, who earned his bachelor’s degree in…

After an injury that ended his NFL career, USC Dornsife alumnus Thomas Williams raised himself up  to launch a successful new profession as a motivational speaker and author. Photos courtesy of Thomas Williams.

Permission to Dream

October 21, 2014

When Thomas Williams was 12 years old, his mother attended his 6th grade parent-teacher conference. There, Williams’ teacher told her that by the time her son was 16 he would be a gang leader, a drug dealer or dead.…

Alumnus Rodney Swan owns and operates Swan Farms, comprised of 4,000 acres of agricultural land in the vicinity of Blythe, California. Here, Swan’s daughter, Emma, stands in a field watching the thresher machine. Photo courtesy of Rodney Swan.

From Finance to Farming

October 21, 2014

Rodney Swan is most comfortable in jeans and a T-shirt. Not only did he grow up on a small family farm cultivating cotton near Blythe, California, as a young man he worked in the fields of several local farms. After earning a…

Two children carry containers filled with water in Northern Uganda. Drinking unclean water can lead to many diseases. More than 3.4 million people die each year from water, sanitation and hygiene-related causes. Photos by Justin Arana.

My Name Is Water

October 16, 2014

Justin Arana was traveling the world on a spiritual quest to find himself. The journey was spurred by his grandfather, who had asked if Arana would be happy with the worth of his life if he died the next day. It was 2008,…

Alumnus Caleb Farro shows his Trojan pride while skiing Mount Cook in New Zealand. Photos courtesy of Caleb Farro.

Alumnus Goes Pro

August 22, 2014

While an undergraduate at USC Dornsife, Caleb Farro and the rest of the USC Ski and Snowboard Team would head to Mammoth Mountain each weekend and make videos of their ski trips. He could not have imagined these escapades…

Alumna and pearl biologist Tina Weier conducts an underwater environmental resource survey in the Cook Islands. Photos courtesy of Tina Weier.

A Pearl of a Job

August 19, 2014

Growing up in Florida, Tina Weier dreamed of being a marine biologist on a tropical island. “My mom has a picture book I made when I was in first grade that has a photo of me next to a giant fake shark,” she said.…

The Moor's Account author Laila Lalami, who earned her Ph.D. in linguistics from USC Dornsife in 1997, speaks Arabic, Spanish and French in addition to English. Her linguistics training informs her writing. “When you’re a writer everything you experience goes into your writing,” Lalami said. Photo courtesy of Laila Lalami.

Estebanico’s Turn to Speak

July 29, 2014

In 1527, Spanish conquistador Pánfilo de Narváez led 600 men across the Atlantic Ocean to what is now the Gulf Coast of the United States. Their goal was to claim land for the Spanish crown. From the get-go, the…

USC Dornsife Dean Steve Kay, Hashem Pesaran, Kenneth Nealson and Ray Stevens are among those deemed by Thomson Reuters to have the most scientifically influential minds in the world.

World’s Most Influential Scientists

July 17, 2014

Four researchers at USC Dornsife have been named by Thomson Reuters as having “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” for 2014. Based in New York City, the multinational media and information firm…

Alumna Angela Johnson Meszaros works in environmental justice, focusing on air quality, as general counsel for the organization Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles. Photo by Ana Mascarena.

Helping Us Breathe Easier

July 14, 2014

In Los Angeles and Orange counties in the past year, the oil industry has used more than 45 million pounds — 22,500 tons — of toxic air pollutants as part of its 477 hydraulic fracturing (fracking), acidizing and…

USC Dornsife alumnus Augustus Vogel (left) meets members of the Ghana Navy aboard a U.S. vessel during Vogel’s work with U.S. Naval Forces Africa. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Campbell.

Alumnus Goes Full Speed Ahead

July 10, 2014

Augie Vogel came to USC Dornsife in the late 1990s with a bachelor’s degree in biology and three years of experience in the Peace Corps. He left USC Dornsife in 2006 with a Ph.D. in biology, a NOAA Sea Grant Knauss…