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Define Scholarship of Consequence for the 21st Century

Being at the frontlines, we understand the complex problems facing us in human health, the environment and our communities. We also see the paths forward to real solutions. While each is unique, there is one common thread to forging them all: your support. By investing in the USC Dornsife Initiative, you empower our students and faculty to take bold, daring leaps to improve our world. Discovery can’t wait. The time to act is now.

Take a moment to meet just a few of our faculty, students and alumni, who through your support, are pushing the boundaries of their fields as they train and become the next generation of problem solvers.

Meet more frontline scholars through the Frontline Scholars video series


Frontline Biochemist: Tiffany Lian ’17

Inspired to find answers by her grandfather’s heart disease, Tiffany Lian is conducting research on taste receptors that may benefit drug discovery and development. Read more >

Frontline Convergent Scientists: The Bridge@USC

USC Dornsife researchers are combining the best minds from the arts and sciences to create a virtual model of the human body as The Bridge@USC aims to catalyze a new era of biotech leadership in the Los Angeles area. Read more and watch video >

Frontline Physician: Morgan Hawkins ’08

After Hurricane Katrina blew Morgan Hawkins off his path to medical school, with the help of USC Dornsife, the alumnus got back on course to realizing his dream and is now a captain with the U.S. Army Medical Command. Read more >


Frontline Environmental Problem Solver: James Moffett

James Moffett, professor biological sciences and earth sciences, has found surprising levels of iron in the depths of the Southern Pacific Ocean that may be linked to global climate. Read more >

Frontline Marine Biologist: Bonita Lam

Graduate student Bonita Lam investigates how some bacteria can naturally break down toxins in our environment. Watch video >

Frontline Educator: Steven Lamy

Led by Professor of International Relations Steven Lamy, 17 undergraduates travel to Iceland, Norway and Finland to study climate change in the Arctic as part of a Problems Without Passports course. Read more >


Frontline Psychologist: Carlos Rodriguez

Graduate student Carlos Rodriguez is examining the efficacy of Forgotten Memories, a fotonovela co-authored by Professor of Psychology Margaret Gatz. The pamphlet — akin to a comic book — was created to educate the Latino community about the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Read more >

Frontline Community Builder: Manuel Pastor

Manuel Pastor, Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society and Social Change and professor of sociology and American studies and ethnicity, grew up at the tail end of the 1960s, the son of an immigrant parent. The influences of his youth and his family history inspired this first-generation college student to conduct social justice research in collaboration with social movement organizations to change policy for the benefit of communities. Watch video >

Frontline Lawyer: Anna Walther ’04

Human and civil rights lawyer Anna Walther ’04 defends those on the fringes of society who are made more vulnerable by their social invisibility. Read more >