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Alumni News

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…

John Monterubio, who earned a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from USC Dornsife in 2006, is general counsel and chief operations officer at ReefCam LLC. Photos courtesy of John Monterubio.

Hero of the Reefs

March 9, 2015

When USC Dornsife alumnus John Monterubio was six years old, his parents gave him a book about fish. “There were pictures of all these different types of fish and I still remember how the barracuda always stood out to…

Ray Irani’s gift also establishes the Ghada Irani Chair in the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Photo courtesy of Occidental Petroleum Corp.

Irani Pledges Support for Residential College

March 2, 2015

USC Trustee Ray Irani Ph.D. ’57 has pledged $20 million to the university, of which $15 million will create the Ray Irani Residential College at the new USC Village. The additional $5 million will endow two faculty…

Alumna Jenny Wu believes her education at USC Dornsife helped prepare her to meet the challenges of being a contestant on <em>The Amazing Race</em>. Photo courtesy of CBS Television Inc.

Racing with Style

February 25, 2015

On the 26th season of The Amazing Race premiering on CBS Television on Feb. 25, contestants must plunge into a giant man-made pool of mud near Castaic Lake north of Los Angeles and wade through it as fast as they can. Among…

Self-proclaimed visionary Maria Paula Acuña holds a Polaroid photograph taken by a follower purporting to show proof of the presence of the Virgin Mary. Photo by Matt Gainer.

Looking the Wrong Way

February 20, 2015

Standing amid the desolate beauty of the California desert, hundreds of people raise instamatic cameras to snap pictures of a cloudless, cerulean sky. Others drop to their knees beside their cars and pick-up trucks, yet more…

Based in Singapore, Kaitlin Solimine splits her time between running the online academic magazine <em>Hippo Reads</em> and finishing her first novel. Photo courtesy of Kaitlin Solimine.

Her Heart’s in the Far East

February 13, 2015

A simple twist of fate launched the trajectory of Kaitlin Solimine’s academic pursuits. As a high school student at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, Solimine, who earned her master’s in East Asian area…

Alumnus Oscar Balderrama is a script coordinator on the popular television show <em>Arrow</em>. He earned his bachelor's degree in creative writing from USC Dornsife in 2005. Photo courtesy of Oscar Balderrama.

Write on Target

February 6, 2015

For five years, Oliver Queen was presumed dead. Unbeknownst to his family and friends, the billionaire playboy survived a shipwreck only to be stranded on a remote island in the Pacific. When he finally returns home, he finds…

In the new Fisher Fellows Program, USC Dornsife first-generation undergraduates will participate in international travel, field research and community service. Sam Fisher graduated from USC Dornsife in 2011. Photo by Matt Meindl.

Becoming a Giver

January 28, 2015

When it comes to fly fishing, Sam Fisher may have the patience of a monk. But in regard to giving back, the USC Dornsife alumnus refuses to wait. “You’ve gotta give back when something is given to you,”…