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USC trustee Steven Spielberg, who received an honorary degree from USC in 1994, visited professor Drew Casper’s cinematic arts class on Nov. 4.

A standing room only crowd at the Norris Cinema Theatre hung on the Academy Award-winning director’s every word during the Q&A session moderated by Casper.

“Truly, we are desperately in need of all of you to be part of this industry,” he told the crowd. “To make movies, to make television and to make art in mediums we haven’t yet dreamed of.

“You couldn’t be at a better place to find out what your art is and to go out and spread the wealth to the world. So I want to thank all of you for that. I’m depending on you.”


Glenn Ault has been appointed to the new position of associate dean for clinical administration (LAC+USC Medical Center).

Ault, an assistant professor, will represent the school in day-to-day operations with the hospital.

His new appointment took effect Oct. 1.

Ault will collaborate with the chairs of the clinical departments, division chiefs and administrative staff at LAC+USC to ensure the clinical and academic missions of the medical school are realized. He will provide oversight of the contract between the County of Los Angeles and USC that covers the provision of clinical care, resident supervision and clinical research.

He also will be responsible for ensuring that the Keck School meets its obligations under this agreement and for helping to resolve issues that may arise. The current contract was signed in 2008 and runs through 2013.


Jonathan Samet, holder of the Flora L. Thornton Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, reached an international audience with messages about global health during two sessions at USC’s 2009 Global Conference in Taiwan.

Held in Taipei on Oct. 29-31, the sold-out conference brought together leading experts in economics, energy, health and digital technology to examine current global challenges and explore the potential for change.

Attendees included USC trustees, alumni, friends and business leaders from around the Pacific Rim.

On Oct. 30, Samet, the founding director of the USC Institute for Global Health, delivered a keynote presentation titled “Global Health: Saving Billions at a Time.” The speech was an overview of health challenges, including chronic diseases, spreading epidemics, obesity and tobacco. In addition, Samet touched on recent initiatives for promoting global health and possible solutions for positive change.

In his speech, Samet noted that “we face ever more complex problems with global reach, but we are also gaining experience with developing global solutions.”

He also participated in an Oct. 31 panel discussion about air pollution in Asia. Joining him on the panel was Junfeng (Jim) Zhang from Rutgers University and Chang-Chuan Chan from National Taiwan University.


Impact, the award-winning television newsmagazine produced at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, is going global.

Distributor Global Broadcasting has picked up the series to run in several countries throughout Europe.

The series explores issues and stories in and around Los Angeles and wherever USC Annenberg students travel.

Recent programs have included stories featuring L.A’s architecture, street musicians and the Los Angeles Unified School District’s music program.?This year’s team consists of supervising producer Kim Daniels, second-year students Adrianna Weingold and Jennifer Aidoo, and first-year students Sam Osborn and Sharis Delgadillo – all graduate students in journalism.

Impact has received several college television awards in the documentary and newsmagazine categories announced by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

In addition to the new European broadcasts, the program is carried by some 50 cable franchises in California and Nevada.


Olga Solomon, research assistant professor in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, has received a National Institutes of Health grant for $1.25 million to study autism.

This two-year project will examine health and service disparities in the diagnosis of African American children in Los Angeles.

Solomon proposes to follow 16 children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, their primary caregivers and extended kin and social networks, and the practitioners who serve them.

The project will be carried out at the USC University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and the San Gabriel/Pomona regional center.

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