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Christopher Cox ’73, an immediate past chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Myron T. Steele, chief justice of the Delaware Supreme Court, will be keynote speakers at the fourth annual USC Corporate Governance Summit set for Nov. 12-13 at the Davidson Continuing Education Center.

Organized by the USC Marshall School of Business in 2006, the summit is designed to give directors and executives the information they need to meet the current challenges of governance.

The event will feature experts from USC Marshall and the USC Leventhal School of Accounting.

USC Marshall associate professor of clinical finance and business economics Duke Bristow will chair this year’s conference.

Online registration is available until Tuesday at After that day, call (213) 740-8990.


In a newly created position, Albert “Skip” Rizzo will be responsible for advancing and overseeing the use of virtual reality and game technology in a wide range of medical domains for training, therapy, diagnostics and other forms of intervention at USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies.

Beginning with his work using a virtual classroom presented through a head-mounted display that could help diagnose children with attention-deficit disorder, Rizzo has been a leader in using virtual reality for clinical purposes.

More recently, his efforts to use virtual reality for post-traumatic stress disorder therapy have led to promising results.

Rizzo is also one of the principal investigators on the SimCoach project, which will provide information and resources to returning veterans and their families experiencing post-deployment problems.


Peter Chernin, former chairman and chief executive officer of the Fox Entertainment Group, will speak at the Communication Leadership CEO Series at Bovard Auditorium on Nov. 16.

USC University Professor Geoffrey Cowan will lead a conversation with Chernin about the transformation of the media industry and corporate social responsibility, followed by a Q&A session.

USC Marshall School of Business Dean James Ellis and USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism Dean Ernest J. Wilson III also will speak.

Admission is $10 for the public and $5 for USC faculty and staff. USC students with a valid ID can attend at no cost. Tickets can be obtained through the USC Ticket Office or by calling (213) 740-2167.


Mark Benthien, director of communication, education and outreach for the Southern California Earthquake Center, testified at a hearing held on Oct. 26 in Hayward, Calif., by the Senate Select Committee on Earthquake and Disaster Preparedness regarding results of the Great California ShakeOut.

Benthien summarized a discussion about schools, hospitals and state agencies in addition to providing the big picture of what occurred across the state during the ShakeOut on Oct. 15. He also discussed plans for the future.


Poet, author and lecturer David Whyte spoke to an audience of USC senior leaders attending an executive leadership program held by the department of professional development on Oct. 23.

The theme was “Life at the Frontier: Leadership Through Courageous Conversation.”

Whyte outlined the three “marriages” which are a part of everyone’s life – one with a significant other; another with work or vocation; and a third with ourselves.

Conversations need to occur (especially with one’s self), he asserted, so that individuals can be open to needed changes.

He stressed the need for leaders to have these conversations with employees in order for everyone’s individual “genius” to emerge.


USC Marshall School of Business associate professor Gregory Patton, who teaches in the Global Executive MBA at Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, was interviewed about teaching in China for an issue of the business magazine China Economic Review.

“Chinese businesses and business leaders in the decades to come will continue creating a global presence likely to exceed their domestic activities,” Patton told the magazine. “To prepare, we need to bring together students from China and other nationalities from throughout the Pacific Rim to ensure various perspectives in the classroom and then to focus on developing these future leaders’ core communication and leadership skills.

“In this environment, we’ve had a lot of success,” he said. “We typically have many students who are technical experts – they may be a banker, CIO or engineering expert – but we teach them to refocus on being effective leaders first.”


Christie D’Zurilla ’87 is joining the Los Angeles Times entertainment team as a celebrity blogger on

D’Zurilla, a former stand-up comic and Screen Actors Guild member, has been a copy editor and backstop for the Dish Rag blog since it launched on the site in 2007.

D-Zurilla has worked on the features and entertainment copy desk since 2003. She joined the Times newsroom from the Orange County Register.

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