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Alumni News

Illustration by Matthew Pla Savino.

Remaining Present

November 16, 2015

I grew up in the 1970s and ’80s, a Hispanic boy living in the shadow of USC. One would think that there could be no greater divide. On my side a poor working-class neighborhood; two blocks away, an enclave of students…

Photos by Djak Azran.

No RuPaul-ogies: Alpha Mulugeta

November 16, 2015

“I like my body,” Alpha Mulugeta ’06 declared with a subtle rasp to his voice. A midsummer cold belied his normally dulcet tone. “I’m gender variant, but that doesn’t mean I want to be a…

Photos by Daryl German.

Racing With Style: Jenny Wu

November 16, 2015

A leading voice on the style scene, Los Angeles fashion lawyer-turned-fashion blogger Jenny Wu ’03 is known among her devotees for cutting an elegant figure in the alluring designer outfits she dons on her blog Good,…

Alumnus Albert Lee draws parallels between teaching and consulting. Photo by Matt Meindl.

Modeling the Future

November 5, 2015

As an undergraduate majoring in mathematics and economics at USC Dornsife, Albert Lee tutored some of USC’s best known athletes, including Olympian volleyball players Nick Becker and Brian Ivie, and NFL quarterback Todd…

Professor of Anthropology Eugene (Gene) Cooper was a devoted teacher and mentor to generations of students. Photo by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

In Memoriam: Eugene Cooper, 68

October 22, 2015

Eugene (Gene) Cooper, professor of anthropology, has died. He was 68. Cooper died at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, Calif., on Oct. 18 from pneumonia and septic shock. His death came just days after announcing his…

Alumna Anna Walther represents 20,000 California grape pickers in a multimillion dollar wage-theft lawsuit.

Defending the Invisible

October 9, 2015

For years, grape pickers in California’s San Joaquin Valley say they were obliged by their employer to arrive up to 30 minutes before their shift started and work “off the clock.” Now, alumna Anna Walther is…

Alumnus Dave Detwiler is a pastor and amateur tuba player who published research on the early history of the sousaphone. Photo courtesy of LCBC Church.

A Sousa-phony Exposed

October 6, 2015

Vacationing with his family at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen, Michigan, three years ago, alumnus Dave Detwiler remembered that the music school held in its possession the first sousaphone ever made —…

Mark Darrah says his law practice is the closest you can get to a small-town practice in the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Photo courtesy of Mark Darrah.

A People Person

October 1, 2015

Growing up in Oklahoma in the late ’60s and early ’70s, Mark Darrah lived in five different towns before graduating from high school in Tahlequah, the capital of the Cherokee Nation. His father, a Methodist…

Alumnus Morgan Hawkins overcame many obstacles to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming a physician in 2014. Photos courtesy of Morgan Hawkins.

Surviving the Storm

August 27, 2015

When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans on Aug. 29, 2005, Morgan Hawkins was holed up in a dorm room at the city’s Xavier University where he was about to begin his sophomore year as a premed student. “Most…

Abigail Gregg (left) and Laura Wang, the first USC students to receive Fulbright-Clinton Fellowships, are both graduates of USC Dornsife. Photos courtesy of Abigail Gregg and Laura Wang.

Toward a Better World

August 24, 2015

USC Dornsife alumnae Abigail Gregg and Laura Wang are the first USC graduates to receive Fulbright-Clinton Fellowships. Wang, a Trustee Scholar who graduated from USC Dornsife in 2012 with bachelor’s and master’s…