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Alumni News

Bita Shahian credits her liberal arts education at USC Dornsife for helping her to cultivate her diverse interests in technology, design and psychology. She aims to foster opportunities for minorities and women in the technology industry. Photo courtesy Bita Shahian.

Tech Talk

February 25, 2014

Bita Shahian believes the future lies in technology. Since she also believes in the future of college students, she wants to help them jump into the tech world. “Technology is transforming a lot of industries and making…

Professor of International Relations at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran, Iran, USC Dornsife alumnus Mahmood Sariolghalam is a specialist in Middle East politics, and Iranian foreign policy and political culture. Photo courtesy of Mahmood Sariolghalam.

Shaping Foreign Policy

February 21, 2014

A quick lesson in Farsi: Sariolghalam, literally, means “quick pen.” Apt nomenclature for a devoted academic who has written more than 68 articles and 11 books in English, Farsi and Arabic. Mahmood Sariolghalam,…

Boys sleep on the floor of a Edhi Foundation home in Karachi, Pakistan, praying and talking about how much they miss their families. This is a scene in <em>These Birds Walk</em>. Still courtesy of Valentina Canavesio.

These Birds Walk

January 30, 2014

Bathed in the golden hue of a few flickering candles, the boys lay barefooted on the cold stone -speckled floor. Huddled together, one asked, “Do you believe in God?” before they all whispered a prayer. “I…

Susana Smith Bautista, a USC Dornsife alumna and Provost Fellow, pens a book giving social and cultural context of how arts organizations are using new technologies. Photo by Alexander Lopez.

Museums in the Digital Age

January 27, 2014

USC Dornsife alumna Susana Smith Bautista, a lecturer at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, has authored a new book about the changing roles of museums. Bautista, a Provost Fellow, received her master…

Nestled at the foot of Gemu Mountain on China’s Tibetan Plateau is Lugu Lake, the site of several villages where executive producer Ankur Poseria ’09 and a film crew lived with members of the Moso ethnic group for an upcoming National Geographic documentary. Photo by Ricky Qi.

On Lugu Lake

January 23, 2014

During an extended stay with the Moso people, a small ethnic group living in China’s Yunnan and Sichuan Provinces, Joseph Rock carefully detailed his observations for an early issue of National Geographic magazine. The…

Devoting mornings to what he calls “the carpentry” of writing, in which he frames and builds on ideas, Kirk DeMicco ’91 admits that creativity is hard work. However, <em>The Croods</em> director also relies on his subconscious to find unexpected solutions to creative challenges. Photos by Max S. Gerber.

Crood Awakening

January 16, 2014

As the drum rhythm and stirring horns build in intensity, the high adrenaline chase gathers momentum as the Crood family hunts down and steals a giant, blue-and-orange-speckled egg from a ramu — a hybrid of ram and emu…

Alumnus Anthony Marra's debut novel was longlisted for the National Book Award in fiction, among other laurels. Set in wartime Chechnya, the story was inspired by his study abroad in Russia, which exposed him to Chechnya and ignited a keen interest in the country, its culture and history. Photo by Smeeta Mahanti.

A Constellation of Accolades

December 17, 2013

It’s not bad when the fiction editor of The Washington Post names your first novel his favorite book of 2013. And when President Barack Obama is caught on camera purchasing said novel, that’s also pretty…

We See Snow Differently

We See Snow Differently

December 9, 2013

Share USC Dornsife’s holiday greetings with your family and friends on YouTube.

USC Dornsife alumnus Bill Altaffer is among the most traveled people in the world. He has exhausted 12 passports and 130 visas, visiting all 192 United Nations countries plus 300 island groups. Here he is pictured on the summit of China's Mount Hua Shan surrounded by red Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags. Photo courtesy of Bill Altaffer.

Trojan Globetrotter

November 15, 2013

William “Bill” Altaffer has feasted on boiled cobra washed down with warm snake’s blood from a street stall in Bangkok, Thailand. He’s polished off a plate of baked crocodile skewered on a Masai sword…

The Ananias sisters, pictured here with their parents, are USC alumni. The family survived the <em>Costa Concordia</em> shipwreck in 2012. From top left: Georgia, Dean; From bottom left: Debbie and Valerie of USC Dornsife and Cindy of Keck School of Medicine of USC. Photo by Arturo Montoya.

Five Hours of Terror

November 15, 2013

When the theme song from the movie Titanic boomed from speakers, Georgia Ananias remarked to her husband maybe that wasn’t the best song to play on a cruise ship. An hour later, just as their dinner salads arrived at…