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Alumni News

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…

Geraldine Knatz

Raising the Anchor

November 13, 2013

Growing up in Wayne, N.J., Geraldine Knatz loved nothing more than going crabbing with her family on the Jersey Shore. Until, heading home one summer evening, she was overcome by remorse. Insisting her father turn around, she…

Brian Rodysill ’12 is attending medical school at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minn. He graduated from USC Dornsife with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and a minor in natural science. Illustration by Niklas Asker.

The Environmentalists: Brian Rodysill

November 12, 2013

Why did you decide to go into medicine? My drive crystallized after suffering severe spinal trauma in a skiing accident in 2010. Shattered bone fragments punctured my spinal canal, resulting in a lack of feeling and movement…

Stephen Holle ’13 is a reserve administrator at the Los Angeles environmental nonprofit Climate Action Reserve. He graduated from USC Dornsife with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies with a concentration in sustainability. Illustration by Niklas Asker.

The Environmentalists: Stephen Holle

November 12, 2013

Describe how your current job helps implement California’s landmark cap-and-trade* program. The Climate Action Reserve specializes in the regulatory and voluntary carbon offset market. We work on projects related to…

International relations alumna Molly Beckert sits with students during lunchtime at the Awoo Primary School in Gulu, Uganda. Echoing Good, the nonprofit Beckert founded, raised funds to create a farm and lunch program at the school. Photos courtesy of Molly Beckert.

Echo Effect

November 7, 2013

While studying abroad in the northern Uganda city of Gulu, Molly Beckert learned that children were dropping out of the nearby primary school at a high rate. “Families were faced with the decision of whether to send…

Alumnus Michael Dawson, Ph.D., '67 has taught psychology at USC Dornsife for nearly 30 years. He is well known for his application of psychophysiology to schizophrenia. Here, he teaches his class on emotion and the heart. Photo by Matt Meindl.

Preventing Relapse

October 16, 2013

One in a hundred people suffers from schizophrenia. Characterized by hallucinations, delusions and gross disorganization of thought and speech, schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and disabling brain disorder. During a…