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Alumni News

Drawing courtesy of the Granger Collection, New York.

At the Edge of the Known World

June 1, 2015

Imagine what it was like for the first African to explore the New World in the 16th century. For Estebanico, a Moroccan slave, arriving from Spain in 1527 to what is now the United States’ Gulf Coast was bittersweet.…

On the Banks of the Yalu River

On the Banks of the Yalu River

June 1, 2015

Two years ago, I stood on the easternmost section of China’s Great Wall looking across a narrow sliver of the Yalu River. There it was: North Korea — an empty landscape of white-capped mountains and snow-covered…

Illustrations by Nigel Buchanan for <em>USC Dornsife Magazine</em>.

The Great Explorers

June 1, 2015

Although born generations apart, Virginia Carter and Alexia Tsotsis let their passions be their guide and broke through in male-dominated fields. Carter earned her wings in the aerospace industry before taking an unexpected…

Psychology alumna Kina Grannis is a 29-year-old singer-songwriter who runs her own music label. Photo by Yoni Goldberg.

In Her Element: Kina Grannis

June 1, 2015

In the era of vinyl records, when the album’s lyrics were printed in full on the back cover, it was easy to see what a singer wanted to express. Even cassette tapes included a printed insert of lyrics. These days, with…

Akir Gutierrez ’95 found growing up near USC was a key factor to his academic and career success. Photos courtesy of Akir Gutierrez.

Independence Days

May 28, 2015

When Akir Gutierrez ’95 was growing up on 37th Street and South Normandie Avenue in Los Angeles, he wasn’t aware of the formal relationship between achieving dreams and the power of visualization. This much,…

Barbara Duffey laughs while comparing a student’s writing piece to a Taylor Swift song during her creative writing class. Photo by Matt Gade/Daily Republic.

Soul of the Machine

May 19, 2015

Longer than she can quite remember, the writer Barbara Duffey ’02 has been mesmerized by machines: both the gears and levers sort, as well as the mortal, warm-blooded kind. She knows that the working parts of most…

Touring the University Park campus on May 2 are, from left: USC President C. L. Max Nikias; Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, Akie Abe; and Niki C. Nikias.  Photos by Gus Ruelas.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Visits USC

May 2, 2015

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan could not leave the U.S. without returning to USC. Abe stopped at the University Park Campus on his way to Los Angeles International Airport on May 2, after a week of historic diplomacy that…

Soonja Choe, the first woman president of Inha University, talks with students. Choe has taught and conducted research there for 28 years. Photo courtesy of Soonja Choe.

Strength of Spirit and Mind

April 29, 2015

Growing up in Incheon, South Korea, Soonja Choe’s family was very poor. Her mother never went to school and her father had a limited grade-school education. Choe was just 12 years old when he died, leaving her mother to…

First-year student Benjamin Sturgess talks with Larry Singer, professor of chemistry and faculty adviser for USC Dornsife’s Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program (PPP), at a mid-semester program meeting. Photo by Kelsey Rupp.

A Change of Heart

April 1, 2015

In 1996, John Michels’ dream came true. After graduating from USC Dornsife with a bachelor’s in religion, the former Trojans offensive tackle was a first-round NFL draft pick by the Green Bay Packers. During his…

Alumna Alison Harmelin anchoring for CBS MoneyWatch in December 2014. Photos courtesy of Alison Harmelin.

On the Pulse

March 19, 2015

“When there has been an earthquake, or a terrorist attack, or a hurricane is expected to hit soon and everyone is scrambling to evacuate, I am the person who is trying to go in the opposite direction, the one who is…