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Alumni News

From English Degree to Grammy Award

Music Man

December 16, 2011

In 1993, in a small, dingy apartment in Berkeley, Calif., Warner Bros. Records producer Rob Cavallo sat on an overturned bucket. He listened, rapt, while a punk band of three scruffy 20-somethings belted out their latest…

Peter Berton, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of International Relations at USC, was born in Poland and at age 6 moved to Harbin, China, one of the largest Jewish communities in the Far East. He studied violin in Japan and after waiting 12 years for a visa to come to the United States, began graduate studies at Columbia University. Berton became a consultant for the Library of Congress one year after his arrival to the U.S. Photo by Jie Gu.

The "Godfather" of Japanese Studies

December 8, 2011

Dapper in a formal tailcoat, Peter Berton stood between American and Japanese flags as he accepted the Order of the Rising Sun. The Japanese government honored the Distinguished Professor Emeritus of International Relations…

USC Dornsife alumna Dawn Powell spent her Fulbright year investigating Sino-Brazilian economic relations in Brazil. Powell enjoys the sunset on Sugar Loaf mountain after a day of interviews in Rio de Janeiro. Photo courtesy of Dawn Powell.

Brazil Should Welcome Chinese Investors, USC Dornsife Fulbright Fellow Says

December 1, 2011

On a humid August day in Rio de Janeiro, USC Dornsife alumna Dawn Powell boarded an un-air-conditioned bus bound for Luís Eduardo Magalhães, an agribusiness town in western Bahia. An hour into the trip, the…

Gary Lee - An American Dream

An Uplifting Tale

November 14, 2011

Is there a general fatigue from an oversaturation of American dream stories? I can’t say (because I don’t know), but I do think we take our parents’ sacrifices and uniquely American opportunities and…

A rainstorm closed Mole National Park when the Ghana fellows visited to take a safari ride. Just as they were turning back to the lodge, a procession of elephants crossed their path. Photo by Elisabeth Wolfenden '13.

Not Following the Herd

November 7, 2011

A newborn goat, umbilical cord still attached, stumbled across the dusty road, bleating in wonder. From the airplane window a day earlier, eight USC Dornsife undergraduates had watched the Los Angeles sprawl and jammed I-405…

Sonia Narang (B.A., psychology, '99) is director of leadership and development for Sony Pictures Entertainment in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo by Carlos Puma.

The Morale Booster

October 18, 2011

Sonia Narang was living in New York City when during her sister’s visit they found a rat in the apartment. “Remember this was New York City, OK?” Narang said. The pair stayed up all night cleaning. Narang…

Matthew Michael Carnahan (B.A., international relations, '95) is a screenwriter in Arlington, Va. Photo by Jeffrey MacMillan.

Silver Screen Storyteller

October 6, 2011

Banging out scripts from his home office in Arlington, Va., Matthew Michael Carnahan finds that real-world stories drive his creativity. One night while searching for a USC Trojans football game on television, a blip of news…

Wayne Wu (M.S., mathematics, '92) is president and CEO of Pacific Health Investment, Inc. in Orange County, Calif. Photo by Carlos Puma.

Beam of Hope

September 15, 2011

A benign brain tumor was pressing against a young woman’s optic nerve. She faced a medical Catch-22: remove the tumor via a complicated surgery with a high likelihood of destroying the nerve, or closely monitor the tumor…

Téa Obreht, who graduated from USC Dornsife in 2006 with degrees in creative writing and art history, is the youngest winner of the Orange Prize for fiction for her first novel <em>The Tiger's Wife</em>. Portrait photo by Beowulf Sheehan.

An Unforgettable Year

September 14, 2011

The past year has been a whirlwind for Téa Obreht. The USC Dornsife alumna was named one of The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40” and selected as one of the “5 Under 35” by the National Book…

From Undecided to M.D.

The Language of Medicine

September 8, 2011

Unlike many of her peers, Heather Rosen didn’t always know she wanted to be a doctor. Now a seventh-year general surgery resident, it’s hard to imagine Rosen as anything else. In her crisp white coat and blue…