Illustration by Jason Holley of a jogger running in smog An individual's risk can be a combination of several things, and chemical pollution are high on that list. (Illustration/Jason Holley) Alzheimers, TFM, air pollution

Your Brain on Air Pollution

Research at USC is helping define the environment’s impact on the brain. Growing evidence links the long-term effects of dirty air to accelerated cognitive decline and dementia, and USC researchers hope to better understand environmental effects and gene-environment interactions on brain health.

11 min readHealth, Social Impact
School of Dramatic Arts alumnus and voice actor JP Karliak poses for a photograph outside USC’s Widney Alumni House, where he worked for several years after earning a bachelor's degree in theater from the School of Dramatic Arts at USC, May 4, 2022. (Photo/Gus Ruelas) LGBTQ+ voice actor animation

Raising Voices

Actor JP Karliak ’03 founded nonprofit Queer Vox to train LGBTQ+ voiceover actors and help them network and find mainstream roles in animation and video games.

10 min readAlumni Life, Arts, LGBTQ
12 USC staff and alumni pose for a group photo at the Alumni Awards 2022 event. 2022 Alumni Awards winners pose with USC administrators: (Left to right) Associate Senior Vice President for Alumni Relations Patrick E. Auerbach, Beth Petak-Aaron, Adam Goldston, Alumni Awards Co-Chair Mary Tee, Ryan Goldston, Ramona Cappello, Mike Nyeholt, Alumni Awards Co-Chair Kevork Zoryan, President Carol Folt, Mary Bono, Jules Buenabenta, President, USC Alumni Association President John Iino. (Photo/Steve Cohn) Alumni Awards

Exemplary Trojans Honored at 2022 USC Alumni Awards

At the 88th annual Alumni Awards gala in April, the Trojan Family celebrated notable leaders who showcase the best of the Trojan spirit. The 2022 USC alumni awards recipients were recognized for bringing distinction to the university.

7 min readAlumni Life, Athletics, Business, University
Black-haired woman poses for a photograph at USC Commencement, life at USC

Four Years Later: New Graduates Reflect on USC Experience

Four years ago, Nadia Filanovsky, Lauren Gilmour, Anthony Llamas, Neysa Sanghavi, Meg Schwartz and Leily Zhu were new Trojans. Now, these members of the Class of 2022 talk about how USC lived up to their expectations.

8 min readAlumni Life, Student Life, University, Commencement 2022
Japanese American family of USC alumni view a rock garden on campus Niki Kawakami – "Us being here today, it’s a very reflective time. I used to share a lot of stories and I think that’s something that should be emphasized more, that connecting with your history, learning from the lessons and seeing how you can be better." (Photo/Damon Casarez) Nisei, rock garden, Japanese American

‘You Feel Like You’re Connected to Something More’

USC rock garden, opened in April, creates a contemplative space for Trojan family of 1940s dental student Tadashi “Tad” Ochiai.

3 min readAlumni Life, University, Japanese American, Nisei
Cities are getting hotter, and that means dire consequences for our physical and mental well-being— more so for some. Trojan experts respond with community collaboration, climate curricula and cooling strategies. Cities are getting hotter, and that means dire consequences for our physical and mental well-being— more so for some. Trojan experts respond with community collaboration, climate curricula and cooling strategies. Climate change

Hot Enough for You? Why City Dwellers Say Yes—and What They Can Do About It

Cities are getting hotter, and that has dire consequences for our physical and mental well-being. The solutions? Community awareness and cooling strategies.

11 min readHealth, Science/Technology
The Cicada synthesizer vibrates in the same way that insects produce a loud and recognizable sound in the wild. (Photo/Federico Chiesa) Music, Innovation

The Cicada Creates a Buzz

Some people have a flair for playing instruments. Ho-Chun “Herbert” Chang PhD ’23 has a knack for inventing them. A trained violinist and scientist, Chang wanted to bring an “acoustic sound and feeling to electronic music.” So he created an electronic instrument that did just that: the Cicada synthesizer.

4 min readArts, Humanities, Science/Technology, Student Life, Video, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
A collage of comics scenes by Isabella Melendez and Knox Lopez, including a scientist in aquamarine and red tones and a guitarist with blue hair and a shiny blue guitar An online anthology showcases student work from a USC comics design course. (Illustrations/Isabella Melendez and Knox Lopez) Comic Relief

A Comics Class Gives Student Artists a Creative Outlet to New Worlds

USC art students pen graphic stories during their pandemic time apart that capture adventures in ancient Rome, futuristic robots and more.

2 min readArts, Student Life, Digital Arts, Students, Visual Arts
Just as Gale Sinatra handed her publisher the © rst draft of her book, COVID-19 struck. Science Denial: Why It Happens and What to Do About It would turn out to be more timely than she ever imagined. Science denial isn't new - but we may have new ways to tackle it. (Photo/© M. Cody Pickens Photography) What to do About Science Denial

Bridging the Great Science Divide

Professor Gale Sinatra, an expert on climate science education, explains the divide between belief and doubt and answers the question: Is it possible for us to come together on science education?

3 min readHealth, Science/Technology
Illustration of a map of the United States made up of images of people of different ethnicities With the help of USC law students, a woman wins a 16-year case to remain in the U.S. (Illustration/iStock/SiberianArt) A Wait Rewarded

At Last, This Single Mom Wins Her Case, Thanks to Gould Students

Pro bono teaching clinics like the USC Immigration Clinic are a lifeline for people without resources to navigate America’s complex legal system; it also gives USC Gould students real-world experience working with clients who have undergone trauma.

3 min readPolicy/Law, University
A colorful illustration of a mother, father and daughter embracing with desert plants and small animals in the foreground and a tree, a man holding a cactus, a woman and girl wearing masks, and a skeleton playing guitar in the background Muralist Paul Botello’s imagery aims to increase vaccination rates among Latinos as part of the “Stay Connected Los Angeles” public health campaign supported by USC. (Illustration/Paul Botello) An Equal Shot

Vulnerable Groups Came First in USC’s COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

When COVID-19 hit Southern California, Keck Medicine of USC mobilized to protect the hardest-hit, highest-risk communities.

8 min readHealth, Social Impact, Community Health, COVID-19, COVID-19 Heroes, Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Health Care, Medicine, Public Health
At Keck Medicine of USC, keeping both organ transplant recipients and their donors healthy is all part of the plan. At Keck Medicine of USC, keeping both organ transplant recipients and their donors healthy is all part of the plan. (Illustration/Simone Noronha) Medical innovation

Living Donor Program From Keck Medicine of USC Is a Win-Win

The shortage of organs for transplants is an issue for patients. Living donors are one key. Another: Helping them get healthier to ensure successful outcomes for the donor and the patient.

7 min readHealth, Social Impact, Health Care, Innovation, Keck Medicine, Keck School of Medicine
USC alumni day of scervice volunteers on beach Trojans filled trash bags with cans, bottles, face masks, cigarette butts and more during a USC Alumni Day of SCervice event. (Photo/Michael Owen Baker) Pitching In

2021 USC Alumni Day of SCervice Welcomes Back Trojans After a Year Apart

Volunteers clean up a Santa Monica beach in one of scores of service projects worldwide.

5 min readAlumni Life, Alumni, Alumni Association, Sustainability
California state architect Ida Clair USC School of Architecture alumna Ida Clair is the first woman to serve as California's state architect. (Photo/Courtesy of Ida Clair) A Blueprint for Change

USC Alumna Prioritizes Sustainability and Access as California’s State Architect

As California state architect, Ida Clair ’87 helps set the standard for building sustainability, accessibility and safety.

3 min readAlumni Life, Architecture, Housing, Schools, Sustainability
Mark Cunningham USC heart surgery specialist Mark Cunningham feels right at home with robotic surgical devices, less invasive procedures and new high-tech medical tools. (Photo/Richard Carrasco III) Change of Heart

To Heal His Patients, This Heart Surgeon Turns to Tech

An engineer-turned-surgeon advances next-generation tools.

4 min readHealth, Science/Technology, Biotech, Innovation, Medicine, Robotics, Technology
Illustration of a delivery person carrying a package crossing from the Eastern hemisphere to the Western hemisphere on an arrow-shaped tightrope Many companies seek cheaper manufacturers, even if they are thousands of miles away from end users. (Illustration/Raymond Biesinger) Supply and Demand

The U.S.’s Supply Chain was a Ticking Time Bomb. Here’s How to Rebuild It

COVID-19 revealed the fragility of our complex supply chain logistics. Expert Nick Vyas believes we can make it strong, sustainable and pandemic proof.

9 min readBusiness, COVID-19, Economics, Faculty, Globalization, Research
Illustration of an eye with computer parts and electrical current diagrams against a mint green background A retinal prosthesis for people with vision loss is only one example of the groundbreaking bionics research happening at USC. (Illustration/Mike McQuade) Body Builders

The Paralyzed Will Walk, the Blind Will See: The Bionics Revolution Is Coming

Electronic eyes, robotic arms and exoskeletons? USC experts meld man (and woman) with machine.

10 min readHealth, Science/Technology, Biomedical Engineering, Biotech, Medicine, Neurosciences, Research, Technology
A screenshot of the virtual reality project showing four caribou standing in a grassy field with mountains and a stream in the background The changing climate’s effect on caribou comes to life in a unique student-led project. (Photo/Courtesy of Robert Hernandez) Reality Check

Stunning Virtual Reality Project Takes You to the Arctic — and Into Climate Change

Think caribou in the arctic tundra have nothing to do with you? USC students use immersive technology to explain their urgent message for us all.

7 min readScience/Technology, Social Impact, Climate Change, Innovation, Journalism, Students, Sustainability, Virtual Reality
alumni from usc david meniane and lev peker USC alums David Meniane and Lev Peker turned CarParts.com from financially troubled to wildly successful. (Photo/Courtesy of CarParts.com) Up to Speed

A Simple Strategy Helped These Trojans Create an Online Business Success

USC alums put a once-struggling automotive parts company on the fast track. Here’s how they made it work.

3 min readAlumni Life, Business, Accounting, Alumni, Business Strategy
USC Trojan Knights crest Century of Service

Trojan Knights Share Memories from a Century of Spirit, Service and Stunts

A campus cornerstone, the Trojan Knights mark 100 years of dedication to USC tradition and school spirit.

6 min readAlumni Life, Student Life, Alumni, Students, USC History
Painting of two men seated in chairs holding hands with a group of people standing around them watching Can virtual reality and interactive media help us find common ground and embrace healthy behaviors? (Painting/Sally Deng) Walk in my Shoes

Tech Can Push Us Apart, but These Games and VR Build Empathy

Meet the digital creators who are using tech to make us feel a little more human.

11 min readScience/Technology, Social Impact, Digital Media, Emerging Technology, Innovation, Interactive Media, Technology, Video Games
South side of Leavey Library USC student study area (Photo/Ed Carreon) Chill Out

We Asked for Your Top USC Campus Spots. Here Are Your Faves

The Trojan Family shares favorite hidden gems and secret study nooks on the University Park Campus.

7 min readAlumni Life, Student Life, Alumni, Buildings, Students, USC History
A wooden gavel on top of a cardinal mortarboard with a red and cardinal tassel (Photo/iStock) Setting a New Bar

USC Gould Alums Pave the Way for Next Generation of Diverse Law Students

Two longtime friends pair up to create a scholarship for future lawyers following their dreams at the USC Gould School of Law.

3 min readAlumni Life, Policy/Law, Alumni, Gould School of Law, Scholarships
Taylor Donsker furniture designer Taylor Donsker draws on his architecture background to design furniture inspired by nature. (Photo by Jack Strutz) Against the Grain

How a USC Architect Turned His Design Talents to Making Innovative Furniture

An architect-turned-woodworker draws inspiration from the natural world.

3 min readAlumni Life, Arts, Alumni, Architecture, Design, Entrepreneurship
(Photo/Steve Cohn) Alumni Aces

7 Outstanding Alumni Who Bring Honor to the Trojan Family

The university honors outstanding Trojans at the 87th USC Alumni Awards ceremony.

3 min readAlumni Life, University, Alumni, Alumni Association, Awards
Geometric illustration of people holding hands in a circle The USC Arts in Action program helps students flex their creative skills to advance inclusivity. (Illustration/Antonio Rodriguez) Arts in Action

Inclusive Student Projects Make Space for Marginalized Communities

USC students use podcasts, performances and workshops to open public platforms for kids and adults.

6 min readArts, Social Impact, Student Life, Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Students
lIlustration of COVID-19 viruses on a green circuit board. (Illustrations/Josh Cochran) Marvelous Machines

Five Ways Artificial Intelligence Promises to Change Our Lives

USC scientists use smart machines to treat and cure disease, build safer cars and much more.

2 min readScience/Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Emerging Technology, Research, Technology
three cute robots Cuddly, expressive or functional, these bots aim to help their human keepers thrive. (Photos/Teri Weber) Got bots?

Cute, Innovative Robots Are Coming to Help You Live Your Best Life

USC researchers are testing next-generation droids that can clean, explore and play.

3 min readScience/Technology, Engineering, Research, Robotics, Technology
A student wearing a stethoscope helps another student adjust a blood pressure cuff USC's free community programs put Los Angeles students and residents on the path to health care careers. Field Guide

L.A. Residents Get Their Start in Health Careers Through These USC Programs

USC offers workforce development programs to help kids, teens and adults find their future in the medical industry.

4 min readHealth, Social Impact, Civic Engagement, Community, Community Outreach, Health Care
USC alumni Manuel Carmona, Kellee O'Rourke, Angelo Reyes, Matthew Feaster and Adrienne Kung stand in an outdoor corridor at Pasadena City Hall From left: USC alumni Angelo Reyes, Manuel Carmona, Kellee O'Rourke, Matthew Feaster and Adrienne Kung helped Pasadena achieve one of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the state. Their Best Shot

How USC Alumni Led Pasadena to One of California’s Highest COVID Vaccination Rates

Five Trojan public health experts share their personal stories about facing down a global health crisis.

7 min readHealth, Social Impact, Alumni, Alumni Life, Community Health, COVID-19 Heroes, Public Health
Najuma Smith-Pollard wears a black jacket and jeans as she sits in a red pew inside the Word of Encouragement Community Church in Los Angeles. Rev. Najuma Smith-Pollard, founding pastor of the Word of Encouragement Community Church in Los Angeles, has seen Black churches drive social change in the city. Acts of Faith

Why Activism Thrives in L.A.’s Black Churches

Pastors advocate for their people from the pulpit and on the streets — and training at USC gives them the tools to take their work further.

12 min readSocial Impact, Black History Month, Civic Engagement, Community, Religion
Students line up to enlist at USC in World War II In this picture taken on Dec. 17, 1941, USC students volunteered to support the war effort 10 days after the attack on Pearl Harbor. (Photo/Courtesy of USC University Archives) A Call to Duty

World War II Shaped USC History — and the Face of the University

Nearly every corner of campus life transformed as students joined the war effort at home and abroad.

2 min readStudent Life, University, Military, Student Life, Students, USC History
Photo of Mike Washington who kneels on one knee with his hands touching a tombstone engraved with his son's name and military service milestones. Mike Washington fell into a mental health crisis after the loss of his son, Michael T. Washington, who died in combat at the age of 20. (Photo/ Erika Schultz/The Seattle Times) Call of Duty

Veteran and Firefighter Who Saved Countless Lives Struggled to Save His Own

Burdened by tragedy and pain, USC alumnus Michael Washington almost gave up on life. Now he helps other first responders find hope and healing.

6 min readAlumni Life, Social Impact, Alumni, Mental Health, Social Work
Animation of a neon sign to flashes between the words "Bar" and "Lab Bar Exam

Wait. It’s a Bar and It’s a Lab? Yes, and It May Help Unravel the Riddle of Problem Drinking

COVID-19 got people drinking — a lot. USC experts are looking for solutions to the long-term effects of alcohol and their harmful impact.

11 min readHealth, Addiction
Emily Hsu finds that violin and business are in harmony with each other. Emily Hsu finds that business and music are in harmony. Doubling Up

Art or Science? Dance or Math? USC Students Can — and Do — Choose Both

Trojans embrace a Renaissance mindset, blending their creative and artistic passions with entrepreneurship, medicine and more.

10 min readStudent Life, Education, Students
Solar panels atop Galen Center at USC Solar panels atop Galen Center are a big step in USC’s move toward sustainability. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas) ASSIGNMENT EARTH

5 Ways USC Is Going Green

Little things can make a big difference — especially when they’re done on a grand scale. Check out these ways USC is working toward a sustainable tomorrow.

2 min readUniversity
Class of 2021 students of Helenes yearbook photo A century of service: The Helenes have a proud history of volunteering their time for the betterment of the university and the community. UNBROKEN BONDS

USC’s Helenes Mark a Century of Service, Spirit and Sisterhood

The group supports all manner of initiatives that improve life on campus and off, but its members also benefit, often establishing lifelong friendships that continue long after they have graduated.

5 min readStudent Life, University, Alumni, Community Outreach, Student Life
Hunter playing piano at Playa in Summer Lake, Oregon In a Landscape concerts have taken place largely in Oregon and the West, but Noack hopes to expand his geographic boundaries. “I get so excited and want to go everywhere,” he says. (Photo/ Ed Schmidt) MOVING TO A DIFFERENT BEAT

Getting in Tune With Nature Around the West

USC alum and classical pianist Hunter Noack performs BYOS—bring your own Steinway—concerts at some of the most stunning outdoor sites in the U.S. The results? Pure magic.

3 min readAlumni Life, Arts, University
The FAME Church of Los Angeles and the Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture contributed VHS recordings of sermons by Rev. Cecil “Chip” Murray capturing pivotal moments in U.S. life, including the acquittal of police officers who beat Rodney King. (Photo/Courtesy of USC University Archives) A MORE INCLUSIVE HISTORY

Voices From Oft-Overlooked Communities Enrich L.A.’s History

More than 15,000 documents that chronicle the lives of underrepresented communities in L.A. The materials are available to the public through several websites, including the USC Digital Libraries.

4 min read
a large - scale tuna sculpture on a chopping board, composed out of recyclable, unrecyclable, and combustible mat erials: paper, cardboard, and plastics. It is being prepared, chopped, and consumed by anonymous, grey human hands coming off from the floor: one hand holding chopsticks, another holding forks Untitled (2021) by Listy Gao ’25 portrays her concern over the dismal state of today’s oceans: overfishing, microplastics and waste pollution. The large-scale tuna is composed of recyclable, unrecyclable, and combustible materials: paper, cardboard, and plastics. (Photo courtesy of Listy Gao) SUSTAINABILILTY

Art Reflects Two Worlds: One of Peril, One of Possibilities

Students from USC Roski School of Art and Design use their creative talents to reflect on nature, how it has endured, how it struggles, and most important, how humankind has used—and misused—it.