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Community Engagement News

James, who was incarcerated in state prison for 33 years, is the subject of a student-produced video centered on The Francisco Homes, a Los Angeles charity that helps “ex-lifers” re-integrate into society following their release.

Class brings together writing, film and community engagement

May 23, 2016

OPEN ON BLACK CUT TO: INT. VEHICLE, VIEW THROUGH WINDSHIELD – DUSK. The vehicle heads north up a freeway onramp, passing under several bridges. The hum of the vehicle in motion is all we hear. The camera’s focus…

Neuroscience major Adrienne Visani will be honored as one of two Class of 2016 salutatorians at USC's 133rd Commencement.

Sleep is a waste of time for salutatorian Adrienne Visani

May 12, 2016

Adrienne Visani gets very little sleep. That’s the only rational explanation for her extraordinary resume. Fortunately, her body demands only five or six hours a night. Even that small concession she makes…

Through a writing course led by Assistant Professor (Teaching) of Writing Mark Marino (kneeling, holding flyer), students undertook service-learning projects with organizations that serve the homeless and underprivileged. Photo courtesy of Mark Marino.

Writing students break away from the classroom to help the homeless

May 10, 2016

For Mark Marino, writing is about more than just staring at a computer screen. His students in “Advanced Writing” (WRIT 340) are expected to transform life experiences into thinking. Marino, associate professor…

Students at Leichty Middle School transplant seedlings into their new aquaponics system. Photo by Linda Chilton.

USC Wrigley Institute introduces aquaponics to local K-12 students

April 21, 2016

Although the term “aquaponics” was coined in the ’70s, the practice of cultivating food by using the by-products of one aquatic species as fertilizer for another has been used for almost a millennium. In…

“We try to make the focus for the organizations less about fundraising and more about making a meaningful impact with the funds they receive," said Drops founder Shea Rouda. Illustration by Matthew Pla Savino.

USC Dornsife student Shea Rouda develops philanthropic startup

April 21, 2016

“Buy a zombie survival kit. Buy garden gnomes. Buy shoes. Buy more shoes.” So entreats the homepage of Drops.la, the brainchild of junior Shea Rouda. But there’s a critical second step to these entreaties:…

Frontline Scholar: Justin

Frontline Scholar: Justin

April 20, 2016

Justin Arana ’05 was searching for purpose in his life when he traveled to Mozambique. There he encountered firsthand the country’s water crisis and founded the nonprofit organization Water Underground to address…

Proudly sporting USC Dornsife’s Young Scientists t-shirts, two young participants in the program learn basic coding during the computer science and robotics workshop held April 6 at 32nd Street USC Performing Arts Magnet. Photos by Susan Bell.

Bringing the art of robotics to underserved kids near USC

April 13, 2016

Fourth-grader Cody Cartier proudly held aloft a bristlebot, a tiny robot he had made by attaching a vibrating motor and a battery to a toothbrush head. Grinning happily, he dipped his bristlebot into a bowl of blue paint and…

Thousands will gather at USC’s University Park campus to share their love of the written word and enjoy readings, panel discussions, music and more at the 21st annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Photo by Gus Ruelas.

USC Dornsife faculty and students highlight the L.A. Times Festival of Books

April 8, 2016

USC Dornsife Provost’s Fellow in the creative writing and literature Ph.D. program Robin Coste Lewis recently won the National Book Award for Poetry. This Sunday she will read from and discuss her debut book, Voyage of…

USC Dornsife junior Cashae Ellis discusses 2016 Ballot measures with a group of high school students studying local government. Photos by Mike Glier.

Undergraduates lead civic engagement program for local high school students

April 4, 2016

Despite most being bilingual themselves, New Designs Charter Schools students Michael, Cora, Joselyn, Emmanuel, Eduardo and Alejandro finished their group discussion on California’s Multilingual Education Act, split on…

Frontline Scholar: Manuel

Frontline Scholar: Manuel

March 22, 2016

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…