Valedictorian Isabella Hauptman focuses on health in ways big and small
Isabella Hauptman plans to continue her studies at USC, where she will obtain her master‘s degree in applied biostatistics and epidemiology. (Photo: Gus Ruelas.)

Valedictorian Isabella Hauptman focuses on health in ways big and small

Since she was 11 years old, the cognitive science major wanted to be an epidemiologist. Now, as she prepares to graduate during the COVID-19 pandemic, USC’s 2020 valedictorian sees that career becoming more important than ever. [1 min read]
ByGrayson Schmidt

Before deciding to come to USC, Isabella Hauptman found herself in a predicament. The Los Angeles native knew she wanted to become an epidemiologist but didn’t quite know which specific degree path — or even which specific university — would help get her there.

“I’ve wanted to be an epidemiologist since I was 11 years old, which is a very odd thing for an 11-year-old to stumble across,” she said. “Growing up telling people I wanted to be an epidemiologist was very weird, because nobody knew what it was.”

Despite growing up less than 20 miles north of USC’s University Park campus, being a Trojan was not always on Hauptman’s mind. It wasn’t until she took a closer look at the progressive degree program offered at USC — along with a scholarship — that Hauptman decided to stay home.

After four years of classes, several internships and countless volunteer hours, Hauptman graduates from the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences on May 15 with her bachelor’s degree in cognitive science and a minor in public health. The 22-year-old has already started working towards her master’s degree and was named USC’s valedictorian for the Class of 2020.

For more about valedictorian Isabella Hauptman, see the full story from USC News >>