Merrill Balassone is a media representative for USC University Media Relations. She writes about public policy, education, online learning, the humanities, admissions and student life, and is a contributing features writer for Trojan Family Magazine.
Stories by Merrill Balassone:
Standout students abound in the class of 2018
USC welcomes nearly 3,100 diverse and accomplished freshmen from 48 states and 52 countries.
Voters split on whether children crossing border illegally should stay
But nearly three in four Californians support proposed path to citizenship legislation.
Most Californians don’t feel mistreated by police, poll reveals
One-third of voters say police are tougher on African-Americans than any other group.
Advanced degree scholarships to boost students in Mexico
New agreement builds upon economic ties for both countries.
California voters reject tenure, layoff rules for public school teachers
A new PACE/USC Rossier Poll also shows voters have soured on Common Core State Standards despite increased awareness.
In latest poll, Californians say drought is a crisis that has little effect on daily lives
California voters prefer addressing water problem with conservation efforts rather than taxpayer dollars.
LA lands access to $1.3 billion for manufacturing thanks to USC-LA effort
Mayor Eric Garcetti and President C. L. Max Nikias announce federal designation with big implications for Southern California.
Students earn fruits of hard work at commencement: diplomas in droves
More than 15,700 diplomas and certificates awarded.
Commencement speaker Marc Benioff urges grads to ‘do something for others’
Alumnus addresses thousands of members of the Trojan Family celebrating the Class of 2014.
MBA grad will become eighth USC alum in his family over five generations
Dean Croshere’s great great grandfather graduated only 18 years after USC was founded.
Graduating? USC leaders and mentors share some words of wisdom
From a historian and best-selling author to an Olympic gold medalist and coach, USC's faculty and staff have a few choice lessons from experience for graduating seniors.
USC’s most selective admit group ever
One in eight admitted students would be the first in their families to attend college.
Rights, writs and rulings
The suit was filed by students who claim state laws governing teacher tenure deprive them of their right to a good education.
Online graduate education grows at USC
Despite moving with her family from Utah to Georgia and then Alaska, Janessa Hatch never misses a class thanks to USC's online program.
USC, Harvard, Stanford top 2013 fundraising
USC was recognized as one of the nation’s top three universities for fundraising in fiscal year 2013 by the Council for Aid to Education.
NYC Garment District designers: always in fashion
The authors found that 77 percent of all trips made by fashion designers across the region were logged within the boundaries of the Garment District.
College admissions officers ask: What is merit?
The nation’s top admissions officers came together at a USC conference to debate how best to define merit among America’s college hopefuls.
Expo Line leads to drop in driving
Los Angeles residents who live near a Metro Expo Line station on Exposition Boulevard tripled their ridership since the rail opened last year, according to a new USC study.
USC student-athletes turn out for typhoon relief effort
USC’s student-athletes recently turned their competitive focus to typhoon relief efforts, packing 40,000 meals to be sent to victims in the Philippines.
Ways to avoid becoming academic ‘roadkill’
In his most recent book, The Scholar’s Survival Manual, USC Professor Martin Krieger offers advice on how to avoid becoming “academic roadkill.”
USC Rossier pledges professional support to all graduates
The USC Rossier School of Education has announced a groundbreaking pledge to ensure the success of its graduates in support of their professional education careers.
USC study examines higher education decisions by Latinos
What’s behind the college-going gap for Latino students in California?
USC leads nation in international students for 12th year
For the 12th year in a row, USC accounted for more international students than any other American institution of higher education, according to the annual Open Doors report released on Nov. 11 by the Institute of International Education.
Driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants narrowly approved
By a slim margin, Californians approve of the new state law granting driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.
Petraeus leads a surge across campus
Retired Gen. David Petraeus officially became “Professor Petraeus” to USC students — lecturing on energy and the U.S. economy, meeting with student veterans and cheering the football team to a win in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
New Trojans, fresh challenges
USC's class of 2017 has set new standards of quality and diversity for the university, according to Timothy Brunold, dean of admission.
Californians want do-over on high-speed rail vote
Thirty-nine percent of Californians say high-speed rail would be their preferred mode of travel between Southern California and the Bay Area.
California voters strongly support student testing
Despite calls from Sacramento to reduce standardized testing in California public schools, voters strongly support the use of state standardized tests.
Welcome to Trojan football: A USC staffer and other female fans go to pigskin school
Football 101 brings the female Trojan faithful an up-close-and-personal insight into the complexities of the gridiron.
USC report ranks top California charter schools
A USC report developed to strengthen accountability among California’s charter schools includes a ranking of the state’s top charter schools.
USC students quiz Petraeus on international relations
A group of USC undergraduates became students of retired Gen. David Petraeus, who was named as a USC Judge Widney Professor in May.
USC study analyzes possible effect of anthrax attack on a major city
An anthrax attack centered on downtown Seattle could cripple the region’s real estate market, according to the results of a new study.
Gen. Petraeus named Judge Widney Professor at USC
Retired Gen. David Petraeus, architect and namesake of the counterinsurgency doctrine that stabilized Iraq under U.S. and allied forces and former director of the CIA, will join the USC faculty this fall.
Dark-horse department rises in rankings
In recent rankings of graduate philosophy departments across the country, USC’s department has surged to No. 11, up from the 46th spot just a few years ago.
USC releases fall admission statistics
More than 47,000 accomplished high school seniors from the United States and 144 other countries applied for an estimated 2,650 places in this fall’s entering class.