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T F M . U S C . E D U


Dana and David Dornsife: Transformational Gift, Inspirational Name PAGE 11

Also in this issue: USC Libraries collections include movie props, clothing and fossils. page 16 Varun Soni, a non-ordained Hindu attorney, is USC’s un-chaplain. page 18 Using keystrokes, USC architects reshape urban spaces. page 22



106 BAA Scholars Strong & Growing!







Transformational Gifts

Unexpected Treasures

The Un-Chaplain

Digital Builders

By Susan Andrews

By Annette Moore

By Diane Krieger

By Candace Pearson

The Dornsifes honor USC with an historic naming gift, the Mork Family gives scholarships to future leaders and the Engemanns bestow the gift of healthy living.

View a cache of scholarly artifacts and memorabilia found in the many specialized collections of USC Libraries.

Meet Varun Soni: A Hindu and Buddhist by calling, a humanistic scholar by profession, a lawyer and entrepreneur by training

Professors from the USC School of Architecture are reshaping our urban spaces – one keystroke at a time.



02 Editor’s Note

04 Mail Bag

03 President’s Page

Readers give us a piece of their minds.

Philanthropists are optimists who reflect a love of humanity.

08 Trojan Beat

32 Extra! Extra!

34 Doctors of USC

USC alum Larry “Bozo” Harmon was the man behind the nose.

Physicians at USC University Hospital recharge a patient’s zest for life.

52 Last Word

39 Family Ties

Things are getting spicy! Test your knowledge of the exotic sights and sounds of India.

The USC Alumni Association welcomes Half Century Trojans back to campus.

Thinking globally, lab work and shelf life

44 Class Notes On the cover: Longtime USC supporters Dana and David Dornsife in their home Photo by Philip Channing



editor’s note


The quarterly magazine of the

Tangible Transitions

University of Southern California EDITOR


Allison Engel Diane Krieger ART DIRECTOR


Susan Andrews Holly Bridges Lenora Chu Robin Heffler Maria Henke Timothy O. Knight Ross M. Levine Sam Lopez Carl Marziali Annette Moore Candace Pearson Shirley S. Shin David McKay Wilson Suzanne Wu MANAGING EDITOR

In this issue of USC Trojan Family Magazine, you’ll encounter a new design – a tangible shift that makes concrete the myriad changes happening at USC in President Nikias’ tremendous first year. We also are launching a full-featured online magazine to reach the Trojan Family worldwide and to share our stories in a way that takes full advantage of the interactive, digital and creative prowess for which USC is lauded. So much at USC is rooted in tradition, yet innovation drives our faculty to push the boundaries of their disciplines along the cutting edge. Our students are drawn to USC by its legacy and reputation, and depart innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders. Becoming a part of the Trojan Family changes people in significant ways, and we hope you’ll embrace the changes in the magazine for the spirit of progress they represent. The redesign is a visual marker of a new phase in our history, and we hope the magazine will be as engaging on your phone or iPad as it is on your coffee table. No matter what your preference, be it paper or digital, find your “seats of meditative joy” and read and reflect on the stories of those who are leading USC into the future. Nicole M. Malec A S S O C I AT E S E N I O R V P U S C C O M M U N I C AT I O N S

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U S C T R O J A N FA M I LY M A G A Z I N E summer 2011



Vickie Kebler | (213) 740-3162 USC Trojan Family Magazine 3375 S. Hoover St. Los Angeles, CA 90089-7790 (213) 740-2684 | USC Trojan Family Magazine (ISSN 8750-7927) is published four times a year, in March, June, September and December, by USC University Communications.

MOVING? Send your updated mailing address to:

president’s page By C. L. Max Nikias

Philanthropy, or “the love of humanity,”

can seem like such a modern concept, but the word actually comes to us from Prometheus Bound. In this ancient Greek drama, Aeschylus describes primitive creatures devoid of knowledge and culture.


Dean Howard Gillman, left, Dana Dornsife, David Dornsife and USC president C. L. Max Nikias

They lived in the dark and hid fearfully in caves. Zeus wanted to destroy them, but Prometheus gave them two gifts: fire, which symbolized all knowledge, and blind hope, which we understand as optimism. These gifts complemented each other; with fire, the creatures could be optimistic, and with blind hope, they could use fire to improve their condition. From this marriage of gifts, a new word emerged: philanthropos. Philos means “loving” or benefitting, while anthropos means “human being” or humanity. Prometheus saw these creatures’ potential – what they could achieve with fire and optimism – and these two gifts nourished them. The creatures became civilized. They became human, and this laid the foundation for civilization. I bring this up because our Summer issue celebrates the philanthropic vision of some of USC’s most illustrious donors. Our cover story introduces you to an extraordinary couple: Dana and David Dornsife. These international humanitarians have long supported USC, and their recent gift of $200 million stands as the single largest in the university’s history. They have faith in our community, and see that USC will soon reach even loftier heights. Their generosity motivates us! Also in this issue, you will read about Julie and John Mork and their family, whose stellar gift of $110 million establishes the USC Mork Family Scholars Program. This program will help USC support superbly accomplished and deserving students, advancing their dreams while altering the university’s educational landscape. You will also learn about Roger and Michele Dedeaux Engemann, whose gift of $15 million will name a new student health center on our University Park campus. As USC becomes increasingly residential, their gift answers a very pressing need among our

students, and we warmly honor their forethought. These gifts build on the landmark contributions I announced at my inauguration. On that day, Wallis Annenberg donated $50 million toward a new building for the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, while Ming Hsieh contributed $50 million to create a permanent endowment to support research and development in the burgeoning field of nanomedicine for cancer. Also since then, four trustees have stepped up to fund the new John McKay Center for our athletics program, collectively committing $50 million. On a personal level, I find each of these gifts deeply inspiring – all the more so because they come during a time of economic uncertainty. As newspaper headlines routinely remind us, we live in a period of rapid change, a time in which governments topple seemingly overnight, and disasters destroy vast landscapes, swallowing homes and scattering possessions. Meanwhile, the effects of the economic downturn continue to linger, shaping our sense of the world and how we approach our lives. Given all this, it might be tempting to retreat in fear, to hide in the mythical caves described by Aeschylus. But steadfast philanthropists such as the Dornsifes, the Morks and the Engemanns choose life! They remain optimistic. They marry their hope with their fire, bringing a bounty of science, art, humanities, medicine, architecture and technology. Their work is constructive, and their love of humanity nourishes an ideal, a vision of what education can offer society. We all want to make our mark on this world. And helping others is perhaps the noblest path to an enduring legacy. With their superb gifts, the Dornsifes, the Morks and the Engemanns etch their names into the glorious story of our beloved university, assuming their places among our community’s most treasured benefactors. Generations from now, Trojans will learn about their philanthropy – and will continue to revel in its benefits. Today, we salute their passion for USC, and their dedication to our community. But perhaps most of all, we salute their love of humanity. l N O W O N L I N E :


mail bag


A Splash of Welcome Cash

Thanks to our valued supporters, a new fundraising record was set at the 31st Swim With Mike at USC’s McDonald’s Swim Stadium on April 16. When all the pledges are in, the event is expected to raise $1.5 million, a sum that includes the largest single gift to the event – $500,000 from Karin Larson, a coworker at the Capital Group with Mike Nyeholt ’78, the swimmer whose accident inspired the creation of the program. Larson’s gift will go toward an endowment to fund an executive director’s chair for Swim With Mike, a program that supports physically challenged athletes. Swim With Mike now has five satellite swims – at the University of Hawaii, Stanford University, the University of Connecticut, Cal Berkeley and this year, the University of California, San Diego. There are 45 current Swim With Mike scholarship recipients at 36 universities around the country. In all, 101 scholarships have been granted, representing 20 sports. This year’s Claire Snow Volunteers of the Year Award went to Jack and Barbara Cameron, who have been part of Swim With Mike since the beginning. Ron Orr ’79 S E N I O R A S S O C I AT E AT H L E T I C D I R E C T O R CAMPUS

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U S C T R O J A N FA M I LY M A G A Z I N E summer 2011

Poverty = Failure The deck preceding the stimulating interview with gaming experts (“Deep Play,” Spring 2011, p. 30) announced that online games “may help salvage our failing schools.” The experts interviewed made an excellent case for games, but our schools are “failing” for only one reason: poverty. Studies show that American students from well-funded schools who come from middle-class families outscore students in nearly all other countries on international tests. Our average scores are less than spectacular because the United States has the highest percentage of children in poverty of all industrialized countries (more than 20 percent; in contrast, high-scoring Finland has less than 4 percent). Poverty means inadequate nutrition, inadequate health care, exposure to environmental toxins and little access to books, all of which are strongly associated with lower school performance. If all of our children had the same advantages middle-class children have, our test scores would be at the top of the world. Stephen Krashen PROFESSOR EMERITUS U S C R O S S I E R S C H O O L O F E D U C AT I O N CAMPUS

Carved Resemblance The Ree Drummond ’91 alumni profile in the Winter 2010 issue, page 57 (Class Notes, “Pioneer Woman”) reminded me of the pioneer woman statue in Ponca City, Okla., which is only a few miles

west of Pawhuska. This bronze statue of a woman and a small boy stands about 30 feet high, and was dedicated in 1930 by the late humorist Will Rogers. Elmer R. Woodburn ’51

versity. And those who choose to hide their agendas and complete identity have no place in our society. Mara Fein MBA ’81, PhD ’95 LOS ANGELES, CA


Full Disclosure In “Mailbag” for Spring 2011, R. A. Feight from Fort Thomas, Ariz., wrote that “the ‘Obama’ article had convinced me to cut back on what we contribute … ” because the article praised President Obama’s speech at USC (What’s New, “Another Presidential Milestone,” Winter 2010, p. 13). The essence of the article was the president’s warning concerning “phony political front groups spending millions of dollars without disclosing donors.” USC alumni should be proud that a president who believes that all people have a right to be heard in our democracy chose to speak at our great uni-

Do Tell In response to a letter I wrote, there was a response from a Walter M. Clark MSEd ’78 from Pullman, Wash. (Mailbag, Winter 2010, p. 7). Not only do I know that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (Don’t Pursue, Don’t Harass)” was voted into law by a Democratic congress, I also know that it was an archaic, dehumanizing law. Clinton initiated it as a stepping-stone to dismantling the even more ridiculous and redundant ban on gays in the military. Just because it’s a law doesn’t make it right. Remember segregation in the military? Robin Rumack ’06

Archives Request We need your assistance in preserving the heritage of our university. The USC University Archives exist to collect, preserve and make available records having permanent value in documenting the history of the university, its administrative offices and academic departments, and USCrelated organizations as well as the activities of faculty, staff and students. Books, manuscripts, USC periodicals and newspapers, posters, photographic images, disc and tape recordings, and other archival items are available for research under supervised conditions. Gifts will be greatly appreciated and carefully preserved. Please contact me at (213) 740-2587 or, or visit us at arc/libraries/uscarchives Claude Zachary USC UNIVERSITY ARCHIVIST CAMPUS


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P H O T O S B Y A I J A Z R A H I , M A R K B E R N D T, D I E T M A R Q U I S T O R F






Happiness – the basic human goal – depends upon good ethical conduct, regardless of one’s religious beliefs, said the 14th Dalai Lama during his first visit to USC on May 3. “An open heart helps us become aware of our potential,” His Holiness told 4,800 people at the Galen Center, then later, more than 1,200 in Bovard Auditorium. Students, who made up most of the attendees, had invited him to campus. Wearing a traditional Tibetan robe, the Dalai Lama elicited loud cheers from both crowds when he donned a USC cap. He had been forced to cancel earlier appearances in Long Beach and at UCLA due to illness, but appeared to be in fine form. He kicked off his shoes and made himself comfortable sitting cross-legged on a chair.

The nation’s largest literary festival – the 16th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books filled the University Park campus with Angelenos on April 30 and May 1. Children and families gathered everywhere on campus, particularly McCarthy Quad, where the Target Stage hosted presentations by popular children’s authors such as R. L. Stine and Jamie Lee Curtis. For adults, discussion panels featured authors as diverse as Patti Smith, Dave Eggers, T. C. Boyle and Jennifer Egan. One of the highlights of this year’s festival was a book drive to benefit local schools: 4,000 new and gently used books were collected, compared to about 800 last year. USC student volunteers read to students, guided guests and performed on the USC stage on Hahn Plaza.

For the first time, USC commissioned a graduating student to write and perform a song expressing the feelings and experiences of students who are transitioning to life after the university. Derik Nelson, an accomplished singer-songwriter in the USC Thornton School of Music’s Popular Music Program, composed “Take Chances,” encouraging students to “fight on” for “a shot to change the world.” Directed and edited by USC alumni, and produced by USC University Communications, a music video featuring Nelson and his band (all of whom are Trojan alumni) was enjoyed by thousands of people in the days surrounding the 128th Commencement on May 13. The Commencement speaker was Microsoft CEO Steven A. Ballmer.




N O W O N L I N E :


trojan beat



USC president C. L. Max Nikias presents USC trustee Ratan N. Tata with a Trojan Cricket Club jersey as USC Board of Trustees chairman Edward P. Roski, Jr., looks on.

The Road to India Trustees and administrators make Trojan connections in the world’s second-most populous country.


U S C T R O J A N FA M I LY M A G A Z I N E summer 2011

to the development of international commerce and culture in the 21st century. USC trustee Ratan N. Tata, head of the Tata Group who serves as an icon of India’s global emergence, hosted the delegation. Tata arranged a courtesy meeting between Nikias and Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh on Feb. 23 in New Delhi. “It was very special hearing directly from the prime minister regarding how strongly he feels about strengthening India-U.S. relations,” Nikias said. USC has 1,600 students from India, the most at any American university, along with generations of alumni located in Mumbai,

USC global offices in Mumbai and Bangalore, which support the university’s efforts in student recruitment, alumni relations, fundraising and faculty research. Four USC deans accompanied the delegation: USC Viterbi School of Engineering dean Yannis C. Yortsos, who signed memoranda of understanding between USC Viterbi and IIT Delhi and IIT Hyderabad during the visit; USC School of Cinematic Arts dean Elizabeth M. Daley; USC Marshall School of Business dean James G. Ellis; and USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism dean Ernest J. Wilson III. “It was a phenomenal trip, and I’d say that everyone on the delegation felt that the end of the trip felt more like a beginning,” said Varun Soni, dean of religious life at USC and a native of India. “With the bonds that were formed here, USC now has the opportunity to be a major player in connecting the United States to one of the fastest-growing cultures and economies of the coming decades.” l




IN LATE FEBRUARY, a USC leadership delegation led by President C. L. Max Nikias, First Lady Niki Nikias, Board of Trustees chairman Edward P. Roski, Jr., and Gayle Garner Roski traveled across India. “With our many connections to India, we believe we have an obligation to build even more bridges between Southern California and the educational, political and technological hubs of India,” Nikias said at the outset of the weeklong journey. The delegation met with entrepreneurs, educators and elected officials to exchange ideas about new avenues for collaboration in a nation that is widely expected to be pivotal

New Delhi and Bangalore – the three cities the delegation visited. In each city, the delegation showcased pioneering work by USC faculty in presentations attended by local media and dignitaries. In Mumbai, neuroscientists Antonio and Hanna Damasio presented cutting-edge developments in brain research, and cinematic arts expert Paul Debevec discussed new visual technologies that earned him an Academy Award for his work on Avatar. In New Delhi, professors Stephen Hora and Erroll Southers of USC’s National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events discussed science’s contributions to the war on terror; Debevec again offered his presentation in Bangalore. In addition to Tata and the Roskis, other trustees representing USC were David and Dana Dornsife, Stanley and Ilene Gold, Ming and Eva Hsieh, David and Ellen Lee, John Mork, and Bruce and Madeline Ramer. The delegation also met with some of India’s most successful business leaders, including Shri Mukesh D. Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries Limited, and Sunil Kant Munjal of Hero Corporate Service Limited. A meeting with leaders at the elite Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Bombay resulted in the signing of a memorandum of understanding regarding academic cooperation between the two institutions.


Marilyn’s Lost Mementos

XX Three linegreeting aption here Holiday to Marilyn from abouther thissecretary. WU telegram XXX “Marge Stengel” day’s was XXX aaddress. pseudonym used to confuse fans and reporters.

By David M. Carter STANFORD BUSINESS BOOKS, $29.95

MM – Personal: From the Private Archive of Marilyn Monroe

by Lois Banner photographs by Mark Anderson ABRAMS, $35

her fatal overdose on barbiturates and sedatives, Marilyn Monroe purchased two lockable filing cabinets, one tan and one gray. She filled them with receipts and canceled checks, private letters, family photos and mementos, including half-used powder compacts and a jewelry case embossed with the initials J DiM (referring to her former husband, Joe DiMaggio). “It’s the Rosetta Stone of Marilyn scholarship,” says Lois Banner, professor of history and gender studies at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. “It was thought to be the one source that might unlock the mysteries of Marilyn’s life and death.”


Compiled by Shirley S. Shin Money Games: Profiting from the Convergence of Sports and Entertainment

Historian Lois Banner examines the long-lost private papers of Marilyn Monroe.


new releases

For four decades, the filing cabinets were thought to have been destroyed or lost. They were last seen on the night of Monroe’s death, when her former business manager, Inez Melson, allegedly was seen removing papers and stuffing them into a plastic bag. In 2007, after being quoted in an LA Weekly piece about Monroe fan clubs, Banner received a call from magazine photographer Mark Anderson about a trove of Monroe documents he’d been asked to photograph in a living room in Rowland Heights, Calif. After being appointed administrator of the Monroe estate, Melson had the tan filing cabinet shipped to her home office. She liquidated Monroe’s other belongings and, under a fake name, purchased the second filing cabinet at auction. Melson kept the cabinets in her house until her death. In their lavishly illustrated new book, MM – Personal: From the Private Archive of Marilyn Monroe, Banner and Anderson finally reveal the contents of Monroe’s filing cabinets, more than 10,000 largely unseen and previously unpublished documents. “Nearly every receipt is here,” Banner told Vanity Fair. “Marilyn kept them for tax purposes.” 
 “Taken as a whole, the collection provides an intimate portrait of the private Marilyn: her skill at making friends, her humanity and concern for others,” says Banner, author of such landmark books as Women in Modern America: A Brief History and American Beauty. “It offers poignant testimony about the frustrations of a woman who understood the power of being a ‘blond bombshell’ but also subtly rebelled against it.” SUZANNE WU

“Sports and entertainment have been converging since the dawn of capitalism, if not before,” writes USC Marshall professor David Carter. “Businesspeople were just slow to notice and identify the monetizing opportunities this trend offered.” This book examines how industry stakeholders have capitalized on the convergence, reaching consumers at home, away from home and at venues.

Celebrity Culture and the American Dream: Stardom and Social Mobility

By Karen Sternheimer ROUTLEDGE, $29.95

Why are people so fascinated with celebrity culture? USC Dornsife sociologist Karen Sternheimer draws examples from the first fan magazines of 1911 to present-day scandal sheets to shed light on how celebrity culture is manufactured, and to explain how and why this helps us understand America.

A Discovery of Witches

By Deborah Harkness VIKING, $28.95

The first in a planned trilogy, this novel by USC Dornsife history professor Deborah Harkness is a witch-meets-vampire story, with elaborate plot twists and surprising discoveries involving magic and the supernatural. Equal parts history and fiction, the story revolves around a reluctant witch who accidentally uncovers an enchanted manuscript that unleashes a host of characters from the underworld. N O W O N L I N E :



Small Wonder A gene linked with dwarfism may provide protection from diseases. A STUDY of abnormally short individuals suggests that a growth-stunting mutation also may stunt two of humanity’s worst diseases. An international team led by USC cell biologist Valter Longo and Ecuadorean endocrinologist Jaime Guevara-Aguirre followed a remote community on the slopes of the Andes over a 22-year period. The community includes many members with Laron syndrome – a deficiency in a gene that prevents the body from using growth hormone. The researchers studied about 100 such individuals and 1,600 relatives of normal stature.


Over those 22 years, there were no documented cases of diabetes and just one nonlethal case of cancer among Laron subjects. Among non-Laron relatives living in the same towns, 5 percent were diagnosed with diabetes and 17 percent with cancer. “The growth hormone receptor-deficient people don’t get two of the major diseases of aging,” concludes Longo, a professor with joint appointments in the USC Davis School of Gerontology and the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. “They have a very low incidence of stroke, but the number of deaths from stroke is too small to determine whether it’s significant.” Overall life span for both groups was about the same, with the abnormally short subjects dying more often from substance abuse and accidents. The study did not include psychological assessments that could have helped explain that difference. Published in Science Translational Medi-


U S C T R O J A N FA M I LY M A G A Z I N E summer 2011

protective effect: It protected DNA against oxidative damage and mutations, as well as promoting the suicide of cells that became highly damaged. Laron subjects tend to have very low insulin levels and low insulin resistance, which may Ecuadorean endocrinologist Jaime Guevara-Aguirre, above, worked explain the absence of diabetes. on the study with USC’s Valter Longo (shown below at left) Artificial hormone blocking cine, the study raises the prospect of achievis not the only way to reduce growth horing similar protection in full-grown adults mones in humans. A natural method appears by other means, such as pharmaceuticals or to achieve the same effect – restriction of controlled diets. Any treatment for prevencalories or of specific components of the diet, tive reduction of growth hormone, howsuch as proteins. A recent study by Longo’s ever, would have to show fewer and milder group showed that fasting induces rapid side effects than drugs used against a conchanges in growth factors similar to those firmed disease. caused by the Laron mutation. If high growth factor levels “become a risk However, fasting for long periods can lead factor for cancer as cholesterol is a risk facto dangerous conditions, including anorexia, tor for cardiovascular diseases,” Longo says, reduced blood pressure and immunosupdrugs that reduce the growth factor could bepression. Longo discourages any changes in come the new statins. diet unless overseen by a physician. The U.S. Food and Drug AdministraLongo recently received an $11.5 million tion already has approved drugs that block grant from the National Institutes of Health growth hormone activity in humans. These for a research program focusing on dietary are used to treat acromegaly, a condition rerestriction and mechanisms of differential lated to gigantism. cellular protection. The work will contribute Exactly how growth hormone deficiency to the identification of interventions to treat protects a person is not fully understood. and prevent a variety of diseases of aging, inIn test tube studies, Longo’s team found cluding cancer and diabetes. that serum from Laron subjects had a double CARL MARZIALI

Know-It-All A study in the journal Science has measured the world’s total technological capacity – how much information we are able to store, communicate and compute. “This is the first study to quantify humankind’s ability to handle information and how it has changed in the last two decades,” says lead author Martin Hilbert, a USC Provost’s Fellow at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. Researcher Priscila López of the Open University of Catalonia co-authored the article. So how much information is there in the world? Prepare for some big numbers: • Looking at both digital memory and analog devices, the researchers calculate that humankind is able to store at least 295 exabytes of information. (That’s a number with 20 zeroes in it.) • In 2007, people successfully sent 1.9 zettabytes of information through technology such as televisions and GPS. That’s equivalent to every person in the world reading 174 newspapers daily. “These numbers are impressive, but still minuscule compared to the order of magnitude at which nature handles information,” Hilbert notes. “However, while the natural world is mindboggling in its size, it remains fairly constant. In contrast, the world’s technological informationprocessing capacities are growing at exponential rates.” Watch a video about the research at SUZANNE WU

Transformational Gifts Inspirational Names Throughout its history, the University of Southern California has relied on the generosity of alumni, friends, corporations and foundations that endorse the university’s mission of excellence. This support has played a vital role in propelling USC into the front ranks of the world’s premier private research institutions. In the next few pages, you’ll read about three exemplary USC Trojan families, starting with Dana and David Dornsife (pictured above), who, through their dedication and support, have made a profound and lasting impact on the future of USC.

Photographs by Philip Channing and Steve Cohn

N O W O N L I N E :



Dana and David Dornsife, Behind the Name David is president of the Herrick Corporation, the largest steel fabPresident C. L. Max Nikias and Dean Howard Gillman presided over a ricator on the West Coast, which provides steel for many of the buildspectacular ceremony featuring a stage set representing the archetypal ings forming the skylines of Los Angeles, San Francisco and other USC building. With the majestic notes of the USC Trojan Marching cities. He says his ability to run his company and oversee multiple Band ringing loud and proud as it played the “Reign of Troy,” the heart outreach projects is due in large part to having a wonderful partner of the university officially became known as the USC Dana and David in Dana. Dana says that she and David understand gratitude. “I think the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. During the Bovard Auditorium ceremony, Nikias presented Dana two of us together are one plus one equals 10,” she explains. “We and David Dornsife with the University Medallion, the highest honor have a common desire to use our blessings in a way that makes the given to those who have made major contributions to the univer- world a better place.” The Dornsifes believe higher education is the best hope for solvsity. The award has only been given once before, in 1994, to the late ing the biggest problems facing the world today. “Dana and I gave ambassador Walter Annenberg. As the words – USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, this gift because we firmly believe the College is the best place to Arts and Sciences – fired across the stage in a dramatic lighting dis- creatively address these significant challenges.” Dana and David have carried on a legacy of giving to the university play, the capacity crowd ignited in excitement and pride. All who spoke sang the praises of Dana and David, longtime sup- that was begun by his parents, Ester and Harold. With only 18 cents porters of the university and international philanthropists. They have in his pocket, Harold followed his compass westward in 1934. Harold’s long over-the-road journey from rural Indiana in a Studebaker given the largest single gift in USC’s history – $200 million – to name turned into a real-life tale of the quintessential Trojan Family. Gaining its college. entry to USC by way “I spent a good deal of a basketball scholof time when I was a arship, he used his USC student in Mudd enterprising nature Hall’s Hoose Library to finance his trip to because it is interSouthern California esting, beautiful and that what is going to happen here at USC in the years by dropping off a facinspiring,” David says. to come will be nothing short of phenomenal.” tory-minted car to its “Today, the library is new owner. Harold exactly the same as it later earned a bachwas when I was a student. But never once did I think when I was walking its floors that it elor’s degree from USC in 1938 and a master of science in 1942. The story goes that Harold, an engineering major, met his future wife, would one day be part of USC Dornsife.” David is a USC Presidential Associate, a USC trustee, vice presi- Ester, a premed student in the College, on the steps of Bridge Hall. But David says that his parents actually met a few days earlier, at dent of the Hedco Foundation, and chairman of the board of the USC a dance after a USC-Cal football game. They both pretended to be Brain and Creativity Institute. “The innovation and quest for excellence that I see in USC’s fac- from Cal, temporarily suspending their Trojan allegiance as a result ulty and students have impressed me,” Dana says. “They are fine of USC’s defeat in the game. “They had enjoyed each other’s company and were pleased to find stewards of the funds we have provided and bold visionaries who will the other at USC,” David continues. bring forward ideas and innovations that others might not.” Ester and Harold married and had a son, David, and a daughter, Dana earned her bachelor’s degree in business from Drexel University. She is a board member of the USC Brain and Creativity Dody Jernstedt. David, accepted also at the University of California, Institute and the USC-Huntington Institute, and president and Berkeley, and the University of Oregon, chose USC, where he studied business and graduated in 1965. Originally intending to play football, founder of Lazarex Cancer Foundation. “This historic investment by Dana and David in USC’s humanities, David opted for the shot-put and was a member of USC’s two-time social sciences and sciences – the largest naming gift in the history of national championship track and field team. Ester and Harold were the lead donors for USC’s Hedco Neurosciences higher education for a college of letters, arts and sciences – is both Building, Hedco Auditorium, and Hedco Petroleum and Chemical transformational and inspirational,” Nikias says. The unprecedented gift will expand core support for world-class Molecular Biology Laboratories. Ester was keenly interested in following the neurosciences. After she scholarly research, outstanding Ph.D. training and distinguished became wheelchair-bound, she asked David to attend the annual campus undergraduate programs throughout USC Dornsife. “The Dornsifes’ commitment to improving our world will be a conferences on neurosciences on behalf of the family. “While attending permanent source of inspiration for our faculty, students, staff and these events, I got to know several of the professors very well, finding their research fascinating and my association with them enjoyable,” David says. alumni,” Gillman says. ON MARCH 23, USC Board of Trustees chairman Edward P. Roski, Jr.,


U S C T R O J A N F A M I L Y M A G A Z I N E summer 2011


“We believe in our hearts

David and his sister, Dody, took the next big step in their alliance with USC by naming two professorships in the neurosciences in memory of their parents: the Ester P. Dornsife Chair in Biological Sciences, currently held by Norman Arnheim, and the Harold W. Dornsife Chair in Neurosciences, currently held by Irving Biederman. “In getting to know Norm and Irv, I soon realized that their work would greatly benefit from the addition of an imaging center on campus,” David says. In 2003, Dana and David provided the lead gift to establish the state-of-the-art Dana and David Dornsife Cognitive Neuroscience Imaging Center in USC Dornsife, which houses a powerful brain-imaging scanner. The center also was pivotal to USC Dornsife’s successful recruitment of pioneering neuroscientists Antonio Damasio and Hanna Damasio. The Dornsifes provided funding to endow chairs for the Damasios: Antonio holds the David Dornsife Chair in Neuroscience and Hanna the Dana Dornsife Chair in Neuroscience. In 2008, Dana and David were the guest speakers at a Visions and Voices signature event, “Safari of the Soul: The Quest for Water in Africa.” “After the lecture, we were inundated by students who wanted to help others and asked us how to take the next steps,” David says. “Dana and I are amazed and excited about what’s happening with this generation.” The Dornsifes marvel at how today’s students want to make a difference in the world at such an early age. David recalls that he was 38 or 39 when he first traveled to Africa. “I have been to Africa about 30 times since, and we have helped bring water to hundreds of thousands of people through World Vision,” he says. “This is part of what it means to be a citizen of the world.” A visit to their home makes it abundantly clear that Dana and David appreciate and embrace world cultures. As diverse and worldly as the Dornsife home is, so is the gamut of their philanthropic leadership, which extends beyond water-drilling in Africa to research associated with Alzheimer’s disease, the Yosemite Conservancy and support for people with end-stage cancer seeking medical breakthroughs through FDA clinical trials. Recently, the Dornsifes completed a world tour through the Smithsonian that they liken to a bird’s-eye tour of USC Dornsife. “We were guided or lectured on anthropology, art history, biological sciences, classics, Earth sciences, East Asian studies and cultures, environmental studies, history, international relations, philosophy, political science, religion, and, while we were in Peru, we spoke Spanish – all disciplines of USC Dornsife.” Traveling the world, the Dornsifes know firsthand the significance of having access to the wide range of academic disciplines of USC Dornsife. “History is critical,” David says. “Understanding the arts and how the Earth formed is essential. Gaining knowledge of the political implications of different societies and how they inform political and economic systems is of great consequence. Learning about the lost civilizations in Cambodia and observing Angkor Wat and what happened there – all of this is vitally important to our global community and helps our students be better citizens and world changers.”

A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE Traveling the world, the Dornsifes know firsthand the significance of having access to the wide range of academic disciplines of USC Dornsife College.

USC also will create a new Dornsife Scholars Program to recognize outstanding graduating seniors from USC Dornsife who pursue scholarly inquiry and progress on solving pressing social challenges for the nation and the world. The new Dornsife Scholar designation complements the university’s current undergraduate recognition programs, which are Sample Renaissance Scholars, Discovery Scholars and Global Scholars. “The more that we do, the more that we get involved, the more that we are enriched by others and new experiences,” Dana says. The Dornsifes wholly subscribe to the philosophy of the more you give, the more you get back. “We think this is a tremendous opportunity, and we are excited about the energy that we see and feel,” David says. “We believe in our hearts that what is going to happen here at USC in the years to come will be nothing short of phenomenal.” For the Dornsifes, the university is eternally and profoundly grateful. SUSAN ANDREWS

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DEVOTED PHILANTHROPISTS The Morks’ generous contribution is the single largest gift in the university’s history for student scholarships.

THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA has received $110 million – the single largest gift in the university’s history for undergraduate scholarships and one of only seven gifts to USC of $100 million or more – from USC supporters and devoted philanthropists Julie and John Mork. The gift provides support in perpetuity for the university’s most precious asset: its extraordinarily diverse, talented and ever more accomplished undergraduate student body. “Through their exceptional generosity, the Mork family has demonstrated their tremendous passion for higher education, ensuring that the life-changing gift of education will be available to many young men and women now and into the future,” says President C. L. Max Nikias. “Their gift forever changes the educational landscape at USC, and will help us attract the most talented and deserving students.” “The Morks embody the Trojan ideals, and they believe that higher education is vital to a robust and democratic society. This historic gift solidifies the Mork family’s inspiring legacy at USC. We will always be indebted to the family’s generosity.” The gift to create the USC Mork Family Scholars Program, which will benefit high school seniors of extraordinary intellectual talent and capability who have demonstrated the highest qualities of scholarship and citizenship, is the largest gift for student scholarships in USC’s history. “Attending USC is the dream of talented high school seniors from all walks of life who have incredible potential to effect positive change as tomorrow’s leaders,” John Mork says. “We hope this gift will help transform hundreds of young lives and, through them, allow the university to continue strengthening its reputation for excellence for generations to come.” The USC Mork Family Scholars Program will support current and

future generations of students who will become future leaders in science, engineering, social sciences, arts and humanities, and other fields for decades to come. The program will support undergraduates by providing full-tuition, four-year scholarships, with an additional $5,000 living stipend per year. In keeping with USC’s longstanding commitment to its neighborhoods, and the Mork family’s personal values, each year the USC Mork Family Scholars will include students from the USC Family of Schools. “The Mork family understands the incredible importance of undergraduate scholarships as an engine of opportunity and transformation,” says Katharine Harrington, USC’s vice president for admissions and planning. “For deserving students from all backgrounds, the USC Mork Family Scholars Program will open the doors not only to a university, but also to the future.” The program will award scholarships competitively, based on academic merit. Recipients will be required to maintain at least a 3.5 GPA – the same standard as for scholarship recipients under the Trustee and Presidential Scholars programs – and will enjoy the same benefits offered to Trustee and Presidential Scholars, including residence in the residential college for honors students and special programming throughout the academic year. USC Mork Family Scholars at the junior and senior class levels will have the opportunity to serve as mentors to USC Mork Family Scholars at the freshman and sophomore levels. The gift to fund the USC Mork Family Scholars Program comes five years after the Mork family contributed $15 million to the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, resulting in the naming of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science after the Mork family. Two years earlier, John Mork had received the USC Viterbi School’s

To learn more about how you can help support USC, go to: 14

U S C T R O J A N F A M I L Y M A G A Z I N E summer 2011


A Life-Changing Gift of Education from Julie and John Mork

Distinguished Alumnus Award. A 1970 graduate in petroleum engineering, Mork was named a member of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Board of Councilors in 2002. He was elected to the USC Board of Trustees in 2006. John Mork is chief executive officer of the Denver-based Energy Corporation of America (ECA). ECA is a privately held energy company engaged in the exploration, development, production, gathering, aggregation and sale of natural gas and oil, primarily in the Appalachian Basin and Gulf Coast region in the United States and they believe that higher and in New Zealand. He currently is a and democratic society.” member of the World Presidents’ Organization and Chief Executives Organization. Julie Mork is a director of Energy Corporation of America and managing director of the ECA Foundation, a private corporate foundation with a focus on youth and education. ECA commits 6.5 percent of its net

income annually to the ECA Foundation, which has distributed more than $13 million to individuals and communities across the country. The honorary USC alumna has volunteered with several organizations, including the Anchor Center for Blind Children, where she serves as a member of the advisory committee and is past president of the board. In 2004 she was elected to the National Board of Directors of College Summit, an organization dedicated to increasing college enrollment rate among lowincome students in the United States. She also serves on the board of trustees of Alliance for Choice in Education. education is vital to a robust The couple has two adult children. Kyle Mork currently serves as vice president of eastern operations for ECA and completed work toward a master’s degree in petroleum engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Alison Mork received a bachelor’s degree from the USC Marshall School of Business and a master of arts in teaching from the USC Rossier School of Education. ●

“The Morks embody the Trojan ideals

USC Breaks Ground for the Engemann Student Health Center A new five-story, 101,000-square-foot student health center is being constructed on USC’s University Park campus, supported by a $15 million gift from longtime USC supporters Roger and Michele Dedeaux Engemann. Michele is a trustee and alumna of the university, graduating in 1968 from the School of Theatre, and she and Roger are USC parents. Set to open in spring 2013 and named the Roger and Michele Dedeaux Engemann Student Health Center, the new facility will be located along Jefferson Boulevard adjacent to Fluor Tower and in close proximity to other student residences. “As USC becomes increasingly residential, it is vital that we have first-rate facilities for our students,” says President C. L. Max Nikias. “The Engemanns’ extraordinary support will enable us to offer our students a state-of-the-art health center, one that matches our world-class laboratories, libraries and classrooms. Thanks to this exceptional gift, our students will have exactly what Michele and Roger wish for them: excellent quality of health care.” “We see this as an opportunity to transform the well-being of generations of the Trojan Family and to shape the future health and wellness of the USC community,” say the donors. Michele adds: “Both of my parents graduated from USC, as did two of our children, and three of my siblings. The university is our family’s home, and we want others to share in that remarkable feeling – the incredibly warm embrace of the Trojan Family.” In addition to providing unlimited primary and urgent care, the Engemann Student Health Center will offer counseling and health-promotion services, and house specialty clinics in dermatology, orthopedics, oral health, allergy and gynecology. It also will house laboratory and medical imaging facilities, as well as a USC faculty and staff treatment clinic. BREAKING NEW GROUND From left, Michael L. Jackson, Lawrence Lawrence Neinstein, professor of pediatrics and medicine, Neinstein, Roger Engemann, Michele Dedeaux Engemann and USC executive director of the University Park Health Center and president C. L. Max Nikias celebrate the groundbreaking for the Roger and Michele Dedeaux Engemann Student Health Center. senior associate dean of student affairs, will lead the center. ●

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» Nazi Propaganda: NSDAP “red books” used for rallies, mid-1930s

» Microscope: manufactured in Germany by Ernst Leitz Wetzlar, circa 1925

» Possible mastodon bone: from La Brea Tar Pits, at least 10,000 years old


Not everything at USC Libraries can be neatly shelved in the stacks. Since 1911, when USC received its first donation of rare books, making it the earliest institutional collector of rare books in Los Angeles, the libraries’ diverse specialized collections have been a treasure trove of extraordinary items. The collections preserve and provide access to materials ranging from pointe shoes worn by dancers in the Bolshoi Ballet to letters written by a Union Army soldier to his mother during the Civil War to the signpost installed on University Avenue when it was closed to through traffic in 1953. Here is a sampling of what’s available. ORDER OF ORANGE-NASSAU 11 » Medal: awarded to Rufus

B. von KleinSmid, USC’s fifth president, by Wilhelmina, queen regnant of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, 1932



» Peritoneoscope: developed at USC by John C. Ruddock and Robert B. Hope, 1930s 16

Boeckmann Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies  | Cinematic Arts Library  | East Asian Library  | Hancock Memorial Museum  | Holocaust Studies Collection  | Norris Medical Library  | ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives  | Regional History Collection  | Special Collections  | Helen Topping Architecture and Fine Arts Library  | University Archives 11 | Jennifer Ann Wilson 12 Dental Library and Learning Center

U S C T R O J A N FA M I LY M A G A Z I N E summer 2011

» Kankai ibun: Japanese sea voyage illustrations, 1807

» Codex Bodley facsimile: documenting Mixtec history, 900 A.D. to 1521

11 » Art Deco El Rodeo: USC yearbook with airplane motif, 1931

» Smallest books: The Amazing Spider-Man

and the Columbia Phonograph Co., circa 1900

» Peep show: Interior of the Great Industrial Exposition, London, 1851

» Chinese porcelain vase: with a hand-painted carp inside, from the original Hancock Mansion

» Courtroom illustration: Angelo Buono Jr. (the Hillside Strangler), by David Rose, 1980s

» Poster: for Hatari!, directed by Howard Hawks and starring Trojan John Wayne ‘29, 1962

» Drawing: Wilshire Triangle Center office building, architect Sidney Eisenshtat ’35, 1961

» Matte painting: the Emerald City, from the MGM film The Wizard of Oz, 1939

12 » Frontier dental kit: instruments and foils for restorations, circa 1890

» Thomas Jefferson’s signature: from the first United States census, Thacher Tracts, 1790

» Motorcycle outfit: worn by Lee Leonard, Emperor XR of the Los Angeles Imperial Court, 1970s

» Phonograph cylinders: by Edison companies

and The Mighty Thor, Marvel Mini-Books, 1966

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ere’s something you probably didn’t know: Since 2008, the primary spiritual leader at USC has been a 36-year-old, Indianborn lawyer named Varun Soni. Not Reverend Soni. Not Father Soni. Just plain Varun, no honorific necessary. Soni is no clergyman. “I’m a non-ordained Hindu attorney,” he says with a sheepish grin. OK, it’s not as random as it sounds. In addition to his J.D. from UCLA, Soni holds master’s degrees in comparative world religions from Harvard Divinity School and from UC Santa Barbara. His bachelor’s degree, from Tufts University, is in religion and Asian studies. And he earned a Ph.D. in religious studies from the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Still, Soni acknowledges that his appoint-


ment is a little bizarre. He’s the only nonordained, non-Christian university dean of religious life in the United States. Reflect a little, however, and it makes perfect sense. Los Angeles is, after all, the most religiously diverse place on the planet. According to research by John Orr, religion professor emeritus and founding director of USC’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture, more than 600 separate faith communities were operating religious centers in the Southland as of 1999. USC sits at the crossroads of this incredible religious diversity. Just within a square mile of the University Park campus are 70 houses of worship. And the number is continually growing. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, perhaps the world’s most famous Hindu leader, recently opened the Los Angeles headquarters of his Art of Living Foundation in the

U S C T R O J A N F A M I L Y M A G A Z I N E summer 2011

iconic domed structure a few blocks from campus that was the former Second Church of Christ, Scientist. This religious diversity doesn’t just envelop USC. It permeates it. “We oversee more student religious groups and more campus religious directors than any school in the country,” notes Soni. “We have 90 groups, and 40 campus religious directors.” From Atheist to Zoroastrian, 13 major traditions are listed at the USC Office of Religious Life website. (That’s right. In USC’s pluralistic universe, the Secular Alliance historically has been certified as a religious group. According to its mission, it “seeks to bring together those whose beliefs and moral principles are grounded in rational thought.”) The list of major traditions also includes Jain, Sikh, Baha’i, Buddhist, Hindu,


The Un-Chaplain A Hindu and Buddhist by avocation, a comparative religion scholar by training, a lawyer and entrepreneur by trade, Varun Soni brings new meaning to the phrase ‘faith-based initiative.’ BY DIANE KRIEGER | PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK BERNDT

Muslim, Jewish, Falun Gong, Pagan/Wiccan and, of course, Christian – which comes in more than 50 varieties. Some of this diversity is related to another Trojan hallmark. USC has the highest foreign enrollment of any American university: nearly 8,000 international students during the 2009-10 academic year, according to the most recent Open Doors report of the Institute of International Education. All told, 110 countries are represented in USC’s study body, the largest populations being Indian (1,623) and Chinese (1,428). So in a way, it doesn’t matter what religion Soni practices, or whether he’s ordained, because USC’s dean of religious life isn’t an advocate for any one religion. He is an advocate for religious pluralism and interfaith harmony.

Unique as Soni is among university spiritual leaders, he follows in a pioneering USC tradition. His predecessor, Rabbi Susan Laemmle, was the first non-Christian chief religious officer of an American university. “She was the first, and I’m the second – so USC made two historic back-to-back hires,” Soni grins. Religion professor Donald Miller, who served on the committee that selected Soni, recalls a field of candidates who were hard to tell apart: hundreds of campus ministers with theological degrees. And then there was Soni. “He was the standout: extremely different from what one might expect from a dean of religious life,” says Miller, who directs the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture. These differences turned out to be assets.

“The fact that Varun represents personally a tradition that is itself extremely pluralistic, as Hinduism is, helps him really understand pluralism on a university campus.” Even so, appointing him required a leap of faith. At the time, Soni was teaching full time in UC Santa Barbara’s undergraduate Law and Society Program. In his spare time, he produced and hosted a monthly radio show on South Asian music for KPFK. He also was an entrepreneur, nursing along two fledgling enterprises: one, a graphic novel business; the other, an India-based legal document service providing immigration support for customers such as Microsoft. On the academic side, Soni was finishing up his dissertation in the funky field of religion and pop culture. His topic: the relationN O W O N L I N E :


ship between religious prophecy and recording technology, with special focus on reggae icon Bob Marley and Sufi singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Soni hopes to turn the dissertation, which he completed in 2010, into a book. The graphic novel business – a collaboration with film producer Deepak Nayar (of Bend It Like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice fame) – will debut its first title late this year, published and released by Houghton Mifflin. Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary, by Keshni Kashyap, is a satirical look at the foibles, adventures and coming of age of an Indian-American high-school girl growing up in the beach cities of Southern California. More graphic novels will follow. The immigration legal service business flourishes, although Soni ended his involvement when he joined USC. The radio show also ended, but Soni – a passionate worldmusic buff – has turned his attention to the task of saving vulnerable audio collections. For example, he is supporting Miller and the USC Libraries to establish an archive of oral histories documenting the lives of AfricanAmerican gospel artists. In a related project with USC communications scholar Josh Kun, Soni hopes to bring to USC several privately held music collections, including the largest reggae music archive in the world, an outstanding Sufi music archive, a rare collection of anthropological and ethnographic recordings from across Latin America and Africa, and a collection of field recordings of Buddhist chanting and Balinese rituals from the 1960s and 70s. The current state of musical preservation in the United States is dismal, says Kun, noting that last fall the Library of Congress released a comprehensive study showing that major areas of America’s recorded sound heritage are disappearing. Only 14 percent of pre1965 commercial recordings remain publicly accessible, the study found. As vintage record stores close and record labels go out of business, the race is on to salvage the physical back catalogues of LPs and master tapes. “Varun and I are both big music fans and very eager to see what USC’s role can be in pioneering forward-thinking archival steps to make sure these valuable collections don’t get lost,” says Kun. “We’re here in Southern California, the hub of the music world, and we think we can play a really important role.” Music collector, law professor, graphic novel publisher, legal services entrepreneur – just who is this restless polymath currently holding the position of dean of religious life? Even though Soni was born in Kanpur, India’s fifth largest city, he is thoroughly American. His parents were already established physicians living in New York City when they visited their homeland so that his


mother could give birth surrounded by her family. Baby Varun was 7 weeks old when his family returned to the United States for good. When he was 10, they left the East Coast and settled in Orange County. Being a South Asian teen in the OC was confusing. Soni’s parents were part of the first wave of Indian immigrants to come under the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act. “My generation was the first to really think about what it meant to be Hindu American or Indian American,” Soni says. “We didn’t have a lot of people around us to help us think through those issues.” His parents weren’t much help. Highachiever professionals from India’s elite caste, they were largely secular and gung-ho on American assimilation. “We weren’t raised speaking Hindi or going to temple,” says Soni. “We were raised playing basketball and soccer and piano. I grew up on McDonald’s.” The decisions to become vegetarian and to abstain from alcohol weren’t cultural or religious, but classic Gen-X American: “I don’t eat meat because I have seen how meat is manufactured in this country,” he says, “and I don’t drink alcohol because it puts me to sleep.” It was only after he graduated from Corona del Mar High School and went away to college that Soni was immersed in Hindu religion and culture. Though he had grown up listening to his parents speak Hindi and Punjabi, Soni never learned to read or write – much less converse – in his ancestral tongues. Until he started taking Asian studies courses at Tufts, that is. It was in religion classes that he first encountered the sacred texts of his forefathers. His senior honors thesis was on the Indian philosopher Nagarjuna and his notion of sunyata, or emptiness. “In a way,” says Soni, “I learned about my Indian culture and my religious identity in a Western research university.” Yet Soni firmly believes – and his own experience has borne this out – that truly transformational college learning happens Quotable

outside the classroom. A semester-abroad experience during his junior year brought him to a Buddhist monastery in the Indian village of Bodh Gaya, where he “took refuge” with a Tibetan rinpoche (respected teacher). Taking Buddhist vows, Soni notes, is not incompatible with Hinduism. The two faiths “come from the same Indian philosophical paradigm,” he explains. “I consider the Dalai Lama to be one of my spiritual teachers, so I’m a Hindu with a Buddhist mentor. I don’t see that as contradictory.” The five basic Buddhist vows, incidentally, required Soni not to lie, steal, engage in sexual misconduct, consume intoxicants or commit violence. The first four were easy, but the last one was an ordeal. “We were there during monsoon season,” he explains, and the mosquitoes were out in force. The nonviolent response to that high, thin whine, he discovered, is to gently blow on the tiny insect until it moves along in search of other prey. Soni persevered and gradually achieved “very profound experiences of meditation where I was able to understand the Buddhist tradition of contemplation as getting past ego.” The transformational moment came unexpectedly. “It was Sunday morning, Oct. 2, 1994,” he recalls. “Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday. It’s a big day in India. And I’m in Bodh Gaya, meditating under the tree where the Buddha was enlightened. It is considered the center of the Buddhist universe. I hear a commotion behind me, so I look over, and coming toward me is the Dalai Lama. Every time he’s in this area, he’ll come pay his respects.” The Tibetan holy man proceeded to lead Soni and some 20 disciples into a morning meditation. Later, Soni had a conversation with the Dalai Lama. “I could just tell by his demeanor, the twinkle in his eye, his laugh, that what I had briefly experienced – trying to awaken my inner mind – was something he was constantly experiencing,” says Soni, who has attended the Dalai Lama’s public speeches more than 50 times since then. “It


“When I went to college, I had a number of experiences that transformed the trajectory of my life, put me on a different path. What I’m doing now, I really planted the seeds for during my college years. I always tell our students to think about that: ‘The seeds you plant here at USC are going to blossom and grow in the next 10 years, and they’re going to shape your life. So be conscientious of how you use your time here.’ ”

U S C T R O J A N F A M I L Y M A G A Z I N E summer 2011

Varun Soni

›› the only non-ordained, non-Christian university dean of religious life in the United States

was a marriage of the theoretical and the actual at the moment.” (He, of course, plans to welcome His Holiness, the Dalai Lama to USC on May 3.) Other transformational moments were sadder and far more universal. In Soni’s senior year, a serious romantic relationship ended and a close friend died in a mountain-climbing accident. “What those two experiences taught me is that love is impermanent and life is impermanent. To lose a girlfriend and then to lose a dear friend, I felt more suffering than I’d ever felt before.” He eventually bounced back. Five years ago, he met his soul mate: a South African military doctor specializing in HIV/AIDS care. They found each other in a bar in Rio de Janeiro, of all unlikely places, and were soon deep in conversation about Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. “It was the best 20-minute conversation I had ever had,” Soni recalls. The couple married in 2007; Shakti Soni currently is doing her pediatric residency at LAC+USC Medical Center. At age 36, he still keeps the memories of college and its transformational moments fresh in his mind. And this helps him identify with the students he comforts, counsels and sometimes must reprimand in his job at USC. “This is a remarkable university for reconciliation and engagement. It’s tolerant, it’s engaged, it’s respectful. You have instances of bias that I’m aware of, but those are, more often than not, learning opportunities for students, rather than anything with malicious intent.” Soni sees remarkable potential in today’s youth. Research show that Millennials – those born after 1982 – are the first generation in our nation’s history to list “meaning” as one of their top goals in their careers. It’s also the most multicultural, multifaith and multidisciplinary generation in American history, according to Soni.

“Our students are good at making things work for them,” he says. “Taking values or religious faith that their parents have given to them and approaching them in a creative way that makes sense for them. They’re less interested in dogma and doctrine, and more interested in community service and religious experience.” However, questions of spiritual meaning and religious faith rarely come up in the classroom, nor should they in a secular research university. That’s where the Office of Religious Life can help. “What I love about this job is that it’s really about out-of-the-classroom pedagogy. And the reality is, my experiences and background are very similar to those of our students,” Soni says. “When I went to college, I had a number of experiences that transformed the trajectory of my life, put me on a different path. What I’m doing now, I really planted the seeds for during my college years. I always tell our students to think about that: ‘The seeds you plant here at USC are going to blossom and grow in the next 10 years, and they’re going to shape your life. So be conscientious of how you use your time here.’ ” l If you have questions or comments on this article, please send them to



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Digital Builders Meet seven USC architecture professors who are reshaping our urban spaces – one keystroke at a time.


The days when a building simply provided shelter are past. Today’s smarter buildings – some still imagined, some already here – can collect and save energy, reduce waste and monitor their own carbon footprints. ¶ Smart buildings require smart architects, and at the USC School of Architecture, tech-ingenious faculty members are advancing the latest digital technologies to rethink and reshape our urban spaces. ¶ These scholars are exploring fresh spatial possibilities, materials that react to temperature and light, better ways to build in seismic sustainability, handheld devices that let you “converse” with a room and boost energy efficiency, planning tools for multi-layered analysis, and digital fabrication processes. ¶ The latest technologies take computer-aided drafting to a whole new level. They enable architects and engineers to visualize an infinite set of possibilities and analyze tradeoffs (such as aesthetics, cost, safety, structural performance and environmental issues) with greater velocity than the human mind. Likewise, algorithmic design processes can generate intricate forms that defy our notions of what can be built. ¶ “Digital tools and sustainability are two ends of our mission,” says Qingyun Ma, dean of the School of Architecture. “What inspires me most is the possibility for life-altering architecture.” ¶ To prepare students for an industry that prizes digital know-how, the school offers cutting-edge coursework, including a research lab on robotic fabrication, and is planning an iconic digital media instructional center called DataSHOP. It will link the latest design and fabrication technologies into one central learning laboratory supporting experimentation and creativity among students and faculty. ¶ How will buildings help people live better lives? These inspired digital innovators are determined to find out.

Interviews by Candace Pearson | Photographs by Noé Montes


U S C T R O J A N F A M I L Y M A G A Z I N E summer 2011

Doris Sung Associate professor Principal, dOSu Studio Architecture Research: Smart materials, such as thermobimetals (two laminated sheet metals with different expansion coefficients) as breathable and sun-shading surfaces for building skins, as in the photo. As the outside temperature increases, pores automatically open to allow air to escape and block sunlight from penetrating. Sung uses digital-to-digital fabrication technology to construct screens, canopies, window systems, panels and blocks. Notable projects: “Armoured

Corset,” her first full-scale thermobimetal skin prototype, headlined the Surface Design Show in London. “Waist Tightening,” which debuted at the AIA DesCours event in New Orleans in December 2010. Coming this fall: a massive sun-shading canopy at Materials & Applications in Los Angeles

Recent highlights: Recipient of

the AIA Richard Upjohn Research Initiative Grant, ACSA Design Award and the Arnold W. Brunner Grant. Wrote a chapter for the upcoming book Aesthetics of Sustainability

Studio location: A converted barn in Rolling Hills, Calif. Quoted: “We now can form threedimensional shapes that are unimaginable, tessellate surfaces; test structures for all kinds of variables like heat or load distribution; sense various behaviors of occupants; fabricate multiple one-of-a-kind units cost-effectively; and, best of all, add greater intelligence to buildings.” Tool/app she’d like to see: A way to “read” buildings like barcodes. “Wouldn’t it be cool if smartphones could give us more insight beyond what we see?” Website:

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Roland Snooks George Issacs Distinguished Fellow in Digital Technology Partner, Kokkugia, architecture and urban design Research: Translation of abstract design research into built architecture. Specifically, generative designs that operate through the logic of multi-agent systems and swarm intelligence, an artificial intelligence technique based on the study of collective behavior. He is shown here with a computer-controlled mill for plywood or foam models.

Recent highlights: Curating the Australian section of the Architecture Biennial Beijing 2010 and being on the shortlist to participate in the design of the National Art Museum of China Studio location: New York City, Lower East Side Quoted: “The adoption of computer programming within design has enabled architects to engage with complex systems and their generative potential. The consequences are dramatically impacting all aspects of design – from the urban scale to the way we understand hierarchy and tectonics.” Tool/app he’d like to see: A greater proficiency among architects in writing code, an ability that could liberate them from software developers’ assumptions regarding the design process Website:,


Notable projects: Taipei Performing Arts Center, Taiwan; Yeosu Expo Pavilion, Korea; Babiy Yar Memorial, Kiev; Tori Tori restaurant, Mexico City

Anders Carlson

Assistant professor; director, Master of Building Science program Consulting structural engineer, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Research: Seismic sustainability. Carlson advocates for higher LEED (Leadership in

Energy and Environmental Design) certification of buildings to include seismic hazards. Among his concerns: Whether green-building designs in earthquake country will be sustainable during their lifetimes or if after even moderate earthquakes, landfills will be jammed with billions of dollars worth of nonrecyclable building materials. Notable projects: Seattle Central Library; Denver Art Museum; investigation of the collapse of WTC 7, New York City Recent highlights: Appointed director of Chase L. Leavitt Graduate Program of Building Science, where his goal is to integrate studies of the natural and manmade forces affecting the built environment with design, current practice and new tools “to make our school a paradigm of holistic architectural design” Studio location: 25th floor of a downtown L.A. high-rise facing USC Quoted: “Students are using new technologies to create forms they could not have imagined. The result is new realms of creativity. At the other end of the spectrum, building information modeling is changing the entire construction process, from design to post-occupancy systems monitoring.” Tool/app he wishes he’d designed: Grasshopper, a graphical algorithm editor that gives designers powerful generative tools without having to be a computer scientist Tool/app he’d like to see: User-friendly environmental and structural modeling tools that show designers the effects of changes and ways to improve building performance Website: N O W O N L I N E :


Greg Otto Assistant professor Principal, Buro Happold, Los Angeles Research: Enhanced, data-centric, data-rich environments. Otto, an architect-engineer, is interested in using new media and computing tools such as gaming interfaces and handheld devices to assemble and mine a growing spectrum of data. He has partnered with interactive media artist Scott Fisher of the USC School of Cinematic Arts to create a 3-D “building life-log” that would allow a building to report on its energy usage. Notable projects: Smithsonian Institution; Patent Office Building – Kogod Courtyard roof, a complex glass and steel canopy Recent highlights: Moved from New York City to establish Buro Happold Consulting Engineers’ Los Angeles office, 2006; USC appointment, 2009. Co-teaching a course on agent-based scripting (programming) using structural engineering fitness criteria Studio location: Buro Happold, Culver City Quoted: “Architecture remains principally focused on visualization and has yet to fully exploit the full benefit of computation. The potential to prototype buildings before being constructed could – and, I argue, will – transform an industry that has failed to make sizeable productivity leaps in design or construction in the last two to three decades.” Tool/app he wishes he’d designed: iPhone Tool/app he’d like to see: An icon/ graphic-based programming environment Website:

Neil Leach Visiting professor Architect, curator, theorist, writer Research: Critical theory and digital design. He views the primary purpose of his work as a theorist not to predict, but to sense and register new ideas in the air.

Karen Kensek


Notable projects: Twenty books as author, editor and co-editor, including Designing for a Digital World, Digital Tectonics, Digital Cities and Swarm Intelligence: Architectures of MultiAgent Systems (with Roland Snooks)

Assistant professor Past president, Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture Research: Computing methods in architecture, building information modeling (BIM), performative architecture and sustainable design. One of Kensek’s obsessions is incorporating sustainable design tools and methods into her courses so students can test their design projects and make informed decisions. Another is exploring the potential for interactiveness in architecture. “This must have been what it felt like the first time I was given a bucket of Legos.” Notable projects: Coordinates popular annual symposia on BIM at USC, addressing topics such as evidence-based design and construction/fabrication. The latest: “BIM Analytics 2010.” “Extreme BIM” will be offered in July. Recent highlights: Winner, Autodesk BIM Experience Award for innovative teaching. Led the school’s successful effort to win a 2010 AIA Technology in Architectural Practice recognition for the BIM academic program Studio location: USC Watt Hall (pictured here) Quoted: “The most exciting future advances may not even be seen by the occupant: buildings that stiffen or give gently in response to earthquakes; landscapes that collect water, filter it and return it to circulation; intelligent offices that adjust to your work preferences when you enter and to the outside environment.” Tool/app she wishes she’d designed: The “undo” command (“It gives me the opportunity to try new things and make mistakes without severe consequences!”) Tool/app she’d like to see: More ways to help people discover their hidden talents and explore the potential they have for improving the world Website:

Recent highlights: Co-curator of the Architecture Biennial Beijing, a major international exhibition (2004-2010). Awarded a USC Zumberge Research and Innovation Fund grant with cinematic arts professor Anne Balsamo for work on a cross-university collaborative exploring digital design issues Studio location: USC and virtual Quoted: “What the world of computation promises is a radically new way of approaching design, where we embed new computational techniques into evolutionary and emergent systems, and where we breed systems and test them out in real time, so that the diagram becomes the reality. Form should be seen as largely irrelevant within this new horizon. Instead, we should be focusing on more intelligent and logical design processes. Logic should be the new form.” Design term he coined: “Digital tectonics,” used worldwide to reflect the use of computation to promote a renewed interest in structure and growing synergy between architects and engineers Design term he’d like to see: A novel term to describe an emerging cultural idea that doesn’t refer to the past and doesn’t include “post” or “new,” as in “postmodernism” Website:


U S C T R O J A N F A M I L Y M A G A Z I N E summer 2011


“Design is the new integrator for science and technology.”

David Gerber

Assistant professor; joint appointment with USC Viterbi School of Engineering Architect, former executive with Gehry Technologies Parametric modeling, building information modeling and interactive architecture that integrates science, engineering and design domains through computation. Gerber is building a multidisciplinary, multi-domain “design-optioneering” platform that allows architects and engineers to analyze trade-offs and generate unexpected alternatives. Notable projects: One North, 30-year master plan in Singapore (project architect and manager with Zaha Hadid Architects); Cincinnati Art Museum Recent highlights: New book: The Parametric Affect: Computation, Innovation and Models for Design Exploration in Contemporary Architectural Practice. Currently fine-tuning ideas for a design-optioneering and computational research lab as part of the school’s plans for DataSHOP Studio location: In his Hollywood Hills home (pictured here) Quoted: “Design is the new integrator for science and technology. I’m all about integrating the complexity that exists within the world of the natural and physical with virtual worlds and systems. Design is subjective. It can’t be perfectly coded. The problems of gravity, weather, culture, social and space needs often are directly competing factors. If you can devise the parametric logics – consider design as a series of relationships – you can think of a network of cause and effect that starts to simulate life. But the person is the driver, not the technology.” Tool/app he wishes he’d designed: A semi-autonomous robotic colony that can build super-fluid forms Tool/app he’d like to see: A program that allows everyone to 3-D fabricate at home the things they need, including furnishings and toys Website: Research:


U S C T R O J A N F A M I L Y M A G A Z I N E summer 2011

Until there’s a cure.

Fight On. Early detection saves lives. Make your mammogram appointment today.


       OfďŹ cial Hospital of the Dodgers


From the book The Man Behind the Nose: Assassins, Astronauts, Cannibals, and Other Stupendous Tales by Larry “Bozo” Harmon

and Thomas Scott McKenzie. Photographs courtesy of Larry Harmon Pictures Corporation. © by The Susan Harmon Trust. Reprinted by permission of Igniter, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.


U S C T R O J A N F A M I L Y M A G A Z I N E summer 2011



THE MAN BEHIND THE NOSE Known to millions worldwide as Bozo the Clown, Trojan alumnus Larry Harmon ’50 soared to fame on the flying red wings of his signature hairdo and his unstoppable smile. In The Man Behind the Nose, Harmon, who died at the age of 83 in 2008, regales readers with his exploits, including those with the Trojan Marching Band. Threaded throughout is Harmon’s upbeat mission: to make people laugh. Read a longer excerpt from the book and see more photos at:

was lucky enough to finish my military stint and return to Cleveland in 1945 with my limbs intact and my full health, which was a far better deal than many of my friends. I applied to the University of Southern California as my first choice. It had one of the best marching bands in the country, and it was smack in the middle of the entertainment capital of the world. I left Cleveland during a terrible blizzard. I got off the train at Union Station in Los Angeles three days later. The sun was shining and I had earmuffs around my head, which I ditched pretty quickly. I thought, “I was born in Toledo, I was raised in Cleveland, and after a long career and exciting life, I’m going to be lowered into the earth in California.” The first time I marched in a USC drum major uniform, under the bluest sky you can imagine, I couldn’t believe my dreams had come true: from a child listening to Rose Bowl broadcasts in Cleveland to actually leading the Trojans into the grandeur of the Los Angeles Coliseum. Dedication, bullheaded determination, hard work, the love of music and entertaining, the inspiration of John Philip Sousa,


and years and years of dreaming – it all came together on that football field. Some people, however, have told me it was destiny. One of them was my parents’ friend from Toledo, who used to babysit me. She told me, “You were the only baby I’ve ever seen that laughed more than you cried. I watched you one afternoon while your parents ran some errands. My neighbor yelled out her window to ask if she could join us.” She went on to explain that her neighbor had a relative visiting. So the two ladies and the male guest set out on a stroll, pushing me in my carriage. “The neighbor’s guest, the visitor from out of town – do you know who that was?” she asked. “No,” I replied, curious. “That was John Philip Sousa! He pushed your carriage while we picked flowers along the walk.” I was floored. The greatest march king in the world pushing my baby buggy. It was just another one of the strange coincidences that punctuate my life’s story like the crescendos in a musical score. ●

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Back to Life Physicians at the Back and Spine Center at USC University Hospital recharge patients’ zest for life by robin heffler



out of its socket at her Pasadena home last fall, Elizabeth Huttinger fell off a ladder. She broke three ribs, fractured her shoulder blade and three vertebrae, and a week later suffered a collapsed lung. When images of her injuries were taken, it also was discovered that she had preexisting degeneration of her spine – spinal stenosis, or narrowing of the spinal canal, and bone spurs that were putting further pressure on the spinal cord. “I had no symptoms related to my back before the fall,” says Huttinger, 60. “After a painful recuperation from trauma surgery to save my lung and resting, mostly in bed, for two months, I started doing my normal exercises of yoga and circuit training. That’s when I started experiencing significant back and leg pain. The first doctor I consulted for this proposed two spine surgeries, weeks apart, which sounded very invasive, so I decided to get a second opinion.” Huttinger turned to Mark J. Spoonamore, an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. A year earlier, he had successfully operated on her mother, Dina Oldknow, now 86, for spinal stenosis. Spoonamore is one of a group of experts who see patients at the Back and Spine Center at USC University Hospital. They include highly trained specialists in orthopedics, neurosurgery, neurology, radiology, anesthesiology and pain management, physical and occupational therapy, and physical medicine and rehabilitation. Their collaboration in diagnosis and treatment results in care that is efficient, comprehensive and state-of-the-art. Oldknow had lived with spinal stenosis for many years, and while it had made walking increasingly difficult, it was not painful. Then, suddenly, Oldknow experienced excruciating pain that could not be controlled by medication. She turned to Spoonamore for help. Four months after fusion surgery, Oldknow’s back pain was gone and she had returned to an active, independent life. “I walk with a cane and a walker, but I’m back to being president of a charitable church organization and involved


U S C T R O J A N FA M I LY M A G A Z I N E summer 2011

LIVING WITHOUT PAIN When Elizabeth Huttinger (right) discovered she had a degenerative spine condition, she turned to USC, where her mother, Dina Oldknow (left), had been treated for the same condition.

in other groups, too,” says Oldknow, who also is a Pasadena resident. In January, Spoonamore performed spinal surgery on Huttinger at USC University Hospital, removing two discs and several bone spurs, and inserting spacers made of bone material between three vertebrae, which he then fused. While in the hospital, she was “very impressed not

just by the quality of the entire team of doctors, but by the excellent communication among the medical staff,” Huttinger says. “The nurses and therapists all knew exactly what post-op treatment program Dr. Spoonamore wanted for me and how he wanted it administered.” Patients with spine degeneration like Huttinger and Oldknow represent only

part of Spoonamore’s practice. A specialist in both minimally invasive and complexrevision orthopedic spine surgery, he performs procedures on patients who include children and young athletes, workers with industrial injuries and people whose previous surgeries have been unsuccessful. “The advantage of our Spine Center is that patients have easy access to all these

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disciplines in one place, and the professionals work closely together to produce the most effective patient care,” Spoonamore says. “A lot of patients are very hesitant to consult with spine surgeons even though they’re in pain. The doctors here are knowledgeable, friendly and readily answer questions so patients can know their treatment options.” Seven weeks after her surgery, Huttinger was feeling so well that she undertook a monthlong trip to Bangladesh and then went on to Africa, all part of her work designing and developing global health programs. “I’m just fine,” says Huttinger, who had physical therapy three times a week for six weeks after her spine procedure. “I stopped taking pain medications four weeks after surgery, and I’m doing all my regular physical activities, but I’m careful not to twist or bend too far. Dr. Spoonamore told me to slow down right from the start because bones take up to 12 months to solidify. I feel lucky to have caught the stenosis early.” When patients like Huttinger arrive at the center, they often first see Michael Huoh, assistant professor of clinical neurology and neurological surgery at the Keck School. A specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation, which includes electromagnetic testing and spine injections for pain, he also serves as the “triage” physician for the center. “In general, physiatrists [specialists in physical medicine – the treatment of musculoskeletal issues] act as the primary-care doctor for patients with spine pain,” Huoh says. “My role is to help make a diagnosis and first offer non-operative options, including referrals to physical therapists at the center – who also serve as faculty in the top-ranked physical therapy training program in the nation – and to occupational therapists and pain management specialists.” (See opposite page.) When patients receive the extensive nonsurgical care available through the center and still have life-affecting symptoms, such as pain that inhibits their work or enjoyment of regular activities, Huoh can refer them for a surgical consultation. Surgery also is available to those who have had unsatisfactory results from previous spine

surgeries or who have emergency conditions such as spine damage that is causing weakness, loss of sensation, or loss of bowel or bladder control. “As a tertiary, academically based center, we’re able to take complex cases that may not be able to be treated in the community,” Huoh says. “That’s the advantage of having an active training program, clinical research and physicians who are using the most cutting-edge medical treatments.” Patrick Hsieh, assistant professor of neurological surgery at the Keck School, specializes in complex spine surgery, including oncology and deformities. He often performs minimally invasive procedures to treat spinal diseases. These include decompression of the spinal cord and nerve roots, as well as spinal fusions for herniated discs, arthritis of a short segment of the spinal cord, some spinal tumors, spinal stenosis and spinal deformities such as scoliosis – curvature of the spine. “We offer some of the most advanced treatments for spine diseases and tumors, and some of these can prevent spinal-cord injury and progression to paralysis,” Hsieh says. “For example, when a tumor arises from the spine itself, we can achieve longterm disease control, and in some cases, a cure. Such treatments are only available at fewer than 10 spine centers in the nation. USC is one of those centers because its surgeons, radiation oncologists and rehabilitation specialists have the expertise.” Hsieh recently treated a physician colleague who returned to his practice within three weeks of having a tumor removed from the lumbar area of his spine. “For three and a half months, I had pain on the lower right side of my back, which got progressively worse, affecting my abil-

TEAMWORK Michael Huoh (left) and Steven Richeimer work together to provide multidisciplinary care for patients suffering from disease and injury of the back and spine. Cardiologist Henry Huang (right) turned to his USC colleagues after developing a spinal tumor.


U S C T R O J A N FA M I LY M A G A Z I N E summer 2011

ity to move around and waking me up in the middle of the night, despite my taking over-the-counter pain medications,” says Henry Huang, 36, a cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine at the Keck School. “When my internist ordered an MRI, it showed a large tumor, and I was referred to Dr. Hsieh, who evaluated me two days later and scheduled an operation for the following week.” Before the surgery, Hsieh told him that the tumor looked benign and that he expected a good outcome. “Dr. Hsieh’s confidence that I would bounce back quickly was very reassuring going into the operation,” Huang says. For his part, Hsieh credits teamwork and the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. “We have a group of experts, who work and function well as a unit so we can deliver optimal, multidisciplinary treatments for patients with spine-related problems,” Hsieh says. “No single member can offer the expertise we can offer as a group of multiple experts.” After five days in the hospital and two and a half weeks recovering at home, Huang went back to work. “I still have a little tightness in my lower back, which is normal, but the pain is gone, and overall I feel good,” he says. “I’m sure being young and in good health helped a lot, but I’m also sure that a big reason things went so well is the skill and caring of Dr. Hsieh and the entire surgical team at USC University Hospital.” ● For more information, or to make an appointment with the physicians of the USC Back and Spine Center, call (323) 442-5362 or visit:

ADVANCED TREATMENT FOR THE BACK AND SPINE USC orthopedic surgeon Mark Spoonamore (left) and neurosurgeon Patrick Hsieh (right) work together with colleagues in pain medicine and physical therapy to treat patients with complex back and spine problems. By having coordinated care of several specialties, patients can maximize their treatment options and improve their recovery.


Tools to Treat and Prevent Pain People with spine-related pain often can be helped by a number of treatments either in place of or in conjunction with surgery, depending on their condition. At the Back and Spine Center at USC University Hospital, pain management, as well as physical and occupational therapy, are integral parts of a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to care. “On the conservative end, we teach patients pain management through coping skills, lifestyle management and medical management,” says Steven Richeimer, chief of the division of pain medicine at the Keck School of Medicine and director of the USC Pain Center, who specializes in pain medicine, anesthesiology and psychiatry. “For those who need more, there are epidural injections, vertebral-joint injections and procedures to destroy small nerves. In severe cases, we use implant techniques.” Among the implants are spinal-cord stimulators, which Richeimer says provide significant relief to about 65 percent of those who haven’t improved with other treatments. Other patients can benefit from infusion pumps or peripheral-nerve stimulators, a relatively new, leading-edge treatment. “With the peripheral-nerve stimulators, which we’ve been using for four years now, we put wires under skin surrounding the zone of pain and get significant results without the risk of more invasive techniques,” he says. Pain and mobility issues also can be addressed by the center’s physical and occupational therapy specialists. USC faculty from the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy at the

Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC provide physical therapy in a program that is ranked No. 1 in the country by U.S. News & World Report. The faculty members, who practice at the USC Physical Therapy Associates’ clinic, all have doctoral training to treat orthopedic and neurologic patients, and specialize in mobilization of joints and muscle tissue. “We specialize in multiple areas of musculoskeletal injury, one being the spine,” says Yogi Matharu, assistant professor of clinical physical therapy and clinic director. “We do a biomechanical evaluation and can show people how to manage pain by changing the way they move or by using braces or equipment, with the goal of returning to normal activities and being functional without pain. We can also provide electrical stimulation, traction, ice, heat and topical medications for pain.” Help with learning lifestyle changes for optimal functioning is offered by the USC Occupational Therapy Faculty Practice, which can assist clients with managing weight, diabetes, chronic pain and other conditions that can be positively influenced by behavior and environmental adjustments. The Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy also is a program of the Ostrow School of Dentistry. “There are good data showing that people with chronic pain problems do better when they get coordinated care,” Richeimer says. “Also, when you only have one tool, it’s not as good as when you have dozens of them, which you can tailor to the needs of individual patients, like we do at the Back and Spine Center.” l

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78th Annual USC Alumni Awards

Asa V. Call Alumni Achievement Award RO N A LD N . TUTO R ’ 6 3

The USC Alumni Association proudly congratulates the recipien ts o f t h e 2011 USC Alumni Awards

Alumni Merit Awards LA RRY S. FLA X LLB ’ 6 7 , LL M ’ 7 1 BRYA N LO URD ’ 8 2

Young Alumni Merit Award M A RK SA N CHEZ ’ 0 9

Alumni Service Awards G EO RG E L. PLA M PA ’ 7 4 RO BERT E. PLUM LEI G H and ELI ZA BETH PLUM LEI G H M L A ’ 8 4

Fred B. Olds Award J O A N N KO LL

Honorary Alumni Awards C. L. M A X N I KI A S and N I KI C . N IK IA S

President and First Lady of USC

family ties


Janet Evans ’95, five-time Olympic medalist in distance swimming, delivered the day’s keynote address.

Making a Positive Difference


A capacity crowd gathers to “Express, Encourage and Inspire” at the 2011 USC Women’s Conference. ON MARCH 11, THREE DAYS after women history, five-time Olympic medalist Janet around the world marked the centenary of Evans ’95 delivered the keynote address. A International Women’s Day, nearly 700 USC USC Annenberg School for Communication alumnae and friends gathered & Journalism graduate who has on the University Park campus found success outside the pool as to “express, encourage and ina public speaker and commen“It was spire” at the third annual USC tator for Fox Sports and ESPN, Women’s Conference. Fast beEvans set the tone for the day wonderful to coming one of the USC Alumni with her inspiring and humornetwork with ous account of what it means to Association’s most popular events, the daylong forum feaother women be a champion – i.e., learning to tured a range of panel discusenjoy more than winning – and sions and workshops on topics how she developed confidence and get new such as career development, while studying and swimming perspectives leadership and women’s health. at USC. The conference also gave atAnother highlight of the conon common tendees ample opportunity to ference was the panel discussion, network and share stories and “Expressions of Inspiration,” issues.” strategies for making a positive moderated by KABC-7 Eyewitdifference in the world. ness News reporter Alysha Del Debbie Chun ’79 first-time attendee Led by co-chairs Deena Lew Valle ’99. She interviewed three ’85 and Beth Petak-Aaron ’80, women who are committed phia host committee composed of USC alumni lanthropists, including Dana Dornsife, presileaders and volunteers, senior university dent and founder of Lazarex Cancer Founadministrators and Alumni Association staff dation, which provides resources to cancer assembled an impressive lineup of speakpatients exploring treatment options. Earlier ers from the worlds of journalism, philanthat week, Dornsife and her husband, USC thropy and sports. Widely considered the trustee David Dornsife ’65, had donated best American female distance swimmer in $200 million to name the USC College of

From top: Members of the 2011 USC Women’s Conference host committee, with event co-chairs Beth Petak-Aaron ’80 (second from left in back) and Deena Lew ’85 (far right in front). Julie Miller ’69, ME ’72, tells a packed crowd “How to Ignite the Self-Starter in You!” Alysha Del Valle ’99 moderates a panel featuring, from left, Dana Dornsife, Jordan Foxworthy and Elizabeth Rusnak Arizmendi ’85.

Letters, Arts and Sciences – the largest single gift in the university’s history. (See story on page 11.) Dornsife was joined by USC undergraduate Jordan Foxworthy, founder of the BITE BACK campaign, which raises funds and awareness to combat malaria, and Elizabeth Rusnak Arizmendi ’85, vice president of the Rusnak Auto Group, who develops the company’s relationships with nonprofits and the community. The conference ended with a champagne reception at Argue Plaza next to Widney Alumni House. According to Lew and PetakAaron, they had wanted “to provide women an opportunity to reflect, reconnect and refresh so they could leave feeling ready to take on the world.” Mission accomplished. T I M O T H Y O. K N I G H T

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alumni SCene P H O T O B Y D A N AV I L A

Trojans come to the table to socialize, support and celebrate.







3 1. Close Encounters

The USC Alumni Association and its student outreach program, Society 53, hosted the third annual Trojan SCupper dinners on Feb. 11-13. This year some 30 SCuppers provided more than 400 USC students with an opportunity to meet their peers and interact with more than 100 alumni hosts at these informal dinners. The SCupper pictured here was held at El Cholo Restaurant in Los Angeles and was hosted by Mark Krouse ’74, MPA ’77, seated at left.

2. Innovators Here and Abroad

“Shaping the World Through Innovation” was the theme of the USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association’s 2011 Scholarship & Awards Gala, held on April 8 in the Grand Ballroom of the Ronald Tutor Campus Center. Shown here (from left to right) are honoree William Wang ’86, CEO of Vizio; Grace


U S C T R O J A N FA M I LY M A G A Z I N E summer 2011

Shiba, senior director of alumni relations; honoree Michelle Park Steel MBA ’10, vice chair of the California State Board of Equalization; APAA president Mitchell Lew ’83, MD ’87; honoree Frances Hashimoto ’66, president of Mikawaya; honoree Garrick “Rick” Wang ’88, CEO of RetailCo Inc., Shanghai; and 2011-12 APAA presidentelect Rod Nakamoto ’83, MBA ’94.

3. The Legacy Continues

The 33rd annual USC Black Alumni Association Scholarship Benefit & Alumni Awards Dinner was held on April 14 at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Honored were Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. (Emé Award); Ambassador Nicole Avant (Kilgore Service Award); DeVon Franklin ’00 (Outstanding Alumnus Award); Tammara Anderson ’81, ME ’90 (Barbara Solomon Faculty/Staff Award); and Mira Gandy ’11 and Ashley Williams ’11 (Out-

standing Scholars Award). Pictured here are the members of the USC BAA Advisory Council with (front row, third and fourth from left) USC trustee Verna B. Dauterive ME ’49, EdD ’66 and USC BAA executive director Michèle G. Turner ’81.

4. Pride of Scholarship

The USC Latino Alumni Association held its 37th annual Scholarship Dinner March 4 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Seen here flanking USC president C. L. Max Nikias and first lady Niki C. Nikias are scholarship awardees, who graduated in May (left to right): Claudia Martinez (medicine); Carlos Hernandez (music); Gabriela Martinez (business); Amber Berrios (public policy, management and planning); Victor Paredes-Colonia (international relations and economics); and Victor Diaz (mechanical engineering). l

For Alumni Only



USC Hosts First-Ever West Coast Multi-School Alumni Career Fair

Job seekers meet representatives from firms and organizations from across the nation. With Elise Welch ’11 of the USC Alumni Association’s student outreach program Society 53 at the helm, three eager Half Century Trojans ride back to college for a day of intellectual and social stimulation.


Class Is Back in Session USC’s senior alumni hit the books at the USC Alumni Association’s third annual Going Back to College Day NOVELIST THOMAS WOLFE was wrong: You can go home again, especially if you’re a Half Century Trojan. On Feb. 17, nearly 250 members of USC’s senior alumni community – USC alumni, no matter their degree(s), who earned a bachelor’s degree from any university at least 50 years ago – returned to campus for the third annual Half Century Trojans Going Back to College Day, hosted by the USC Alumni Association with the support of several USC schools and divisions. Taking full advantage of what USC athletic director Pat Haden ’75 in his luncheon keynote called “the new knowledge percolating through campus,” Half Century Trojans attended a provocative series of lectures and seminars in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center. Faculty and guest lecturers addressed timely issues such as “U.S. Interests in the Americas,” “Planning the Future of California” and “Environmental Contributors to Chronic Disease” in hour-long sessions that prompted much discussion and friendly debate. A panel of experts, including USC Office of Planned Giving staff, provided nuts-and-bolts tips about estate planning and financial management in “Making the Most of Your Money.” The lunch program concluded with “Dessert with Deans and Faculty,” which gave attendees an opportunity to learn about the latest developments at some of USC’s schools and academic units. Of course, Going Back to College Day wasn’t just about academics. Haden regaled the audience in a packed Trojan ballroom

with his witty and engaging remarks, which touched on everything from his days playing football for USC coaching legend John McKay to his present work as USC’s athletic director. Many attendees took campus tours led by current students.

USC athletic director Pat Haden ’75, center, receives a commemorative plaque from 2011 Going Back to College Day co-chairs Sharon DeBriere ’55 and Jim Maddux ’56.

The record-setting turnout – up 50 percent from last year – did not surprise Half Century Trojans president Janet Ewart Eddy ’53, MS ’78, PhD ’91. Eddy said, “This is such a great day for all of us who were undergraduates many decades ago because we are privileged to hear some of the university’s marvelous faculty and to meet the newest generation of the Trojan Family – USC’s incredible students.” T I M O T H Y O. K N I G H T

As part of its efforts to address alumni career needs, the USC Career Planning & Placement Center partnered with the USC Alumni Association and to sponsor the firstever West Coast multi-school alumni career fair on March 18. More than 500 alumni from USC and 15 other universities packed the Ronald Tutor Campus Center Grand Ballroom, where they got to meet more than 50 employers. Participating employers included Northrop Grumman, Slalom Consulting, Experian, Eli Lilly, Fox Entertainment Group, Kaiser Permanente, Target, the U.S. Department of State and the CIA. Combining face-to-face and online engagement, the fair presented a new business model for improving alumni access to employers. According to MyWorkster founder Tarek Pertew: “Alumni are increasingly reaching out to their alma maters for career assistance, and employers are looking to cut costs in the recruitment process. This event addresses both needs.” USC Career Planning & Placement Center staffers led hourly tours and explained the professional development services and resources available to USC alumni job seekers of all ages. USC alumni feedback has been extremely positive. Richard Sprunger ’99 said he was impressed by the company representatives’ detailed responses to his questions. He called the fair “well-organized and very satisfying.” Lori Shreve Blake, USC’s director of alumni and student career services, said: “It was a win-win situation for alumni job seekers and employers recruiting talented alumni from America’s top universities at one premier event.” l



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ore than 4,000 USC alumni, parents and friends attended

nine special Trojan Family receptions across the country hosted by USC and the USC Alumni Association in honor of USC President C. L. Max Nikias and First Lady Niki C. Nikias.

Beverly Hills, January 27, 2011 Los Angeles, February 8, 2011

Orange County, January 18, 2011 San Diego, January 19, 2011

I ask you to join me in this great adventure of a lifetime. Work with me, to write together, the

most glorious chapter in USC’s history.

— USC President C. L. Max Nikias

Washington, D.C., April 13, 2011

Santa Barbara, March 24, 2011

San Francisco, March 31, 2011

Chicago, April 15, 2011 New York City, April 14, 2011 Photos: Steve Cohn, Peg Skorpinski, David Scavone, Joseph Lavignani & Andrew Campbell

class notes

[ SUMMER 2011 ]

1940s Elizabeth (Bowles) Spurr ’49 published her

30th picture book, Monsters, Mind Your Manners! She lives in Cayucos, Calif. 1950s

Bill Owen ’53 of Valley Cottage, N.Y., wrote

Adam’s Mom at USC Adam Chester was a sophomore at USC when he was in a serious car accident. His mother dropped everything to be with him, and for one whole month, she lived with her son in his dormitory on the University Park campus. Chester writes about this unconventional time in his just-published memoir, S’Mother, which includes many of the thousands of letters she’s sent him. Cardinal Gardens. 1983. I had been in a car accident near the school and was taken to County Hospital with a fractured hip, an injured eye, and various bloody cuts and bruises. My widowed mother, who lived in New York at the time, flew out the next morning. After the surgery, I soon hobbled back to campus on crutches. Funny thing was, my mother decided to join me. She’d stay in my living room while I recovered. You know. With my three other roommates. Little did anyone at the university ever realize that she’d be staying for the entire semester. Suddenly, my mother became everyone’s mother. 24/7. Around the clock. And whenever we all began to tire of her presence, there she was, going food shopping at 32nd Street Market. Cooking our dinners. Cleaning up after us to get back

›› 44

Runners-up, Bridesmaids and Second Bananas, a tribute to second-place finishers from all walks of life.

Leo D. Holmes ’59, a U.S. Navy veteran of the Korean War era, works to honor veterans and preserve their memory in Idaho’s Canyon County. He was a realtor until his retirement in 1993.

1960s Ernie Nagamatsu DDS ’63 of Los Angeles

wrote Foods of the Kingdom of Bhutan, a cookbook about the foods of Bhutan that won top honors in the Best Cookbook of the World - Asian Cuisine category at the Annual Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris, France.

Ronald J. Black ’68 of La Cañada Flintridge, Calif., is a principal of RJ Black Company, which provides security and code consulting as well as expert witness evaluation. He recently retired as chief inspector for the City of Los Angeles after 28 years of service.

into our good graces. Chester is a composer and singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles. He is married and has two boys. His mom now lives about 20 minutes away and still writes him at least four times a month. l


U S C T R O J A N FA M I LY M A G A Z I N E summer 2011

Stanley R. Surabian DDS ’69 and his wife, Cheryl, were honored by Community Medical Centers and their foundation with the Surabian Dental Care Center, a dental clinic in Fresno, Calif., named in their honor. Surabian is chief of dental services and residency director at Community Medical Centers. He has been on the medical staff since 1972.

1970s Jim Hodge ’71, DDS ’76 of South Pasadena, Calif., has earned accreditedmember status in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, joining only 331 dental professionals worldwide who have achieved this honor. He is the only dentist in the San Gabriel Valley to earn the accreditation.

alumni profile ’92

ville, Ky., released 15 Minutes: General Curtis LeMay and the Countdown to Nuclear Annihilation, which details the steps the U.S. military took to protect the country during the Cold War. He is a military historian and researcher, and co-founder of the Military Channel, where he hosted the series On Target.

John F. Shirey MPA ’73 of Sacramento

received the Lifetime Achievement in Economic Development Award in honor of Edward de Luca from the International Economic Development Council. He also received the Golden Bear Award from the California Association for Local Economic Development. He is executive director of the California Redevelopment Association.

Rodney Chang ME ’75 completed 25 26.2-mile marathons around the United States, wrote and published five novels and started the development of a threeacre spiritual retreat in the rain forest at Volcano Village, Hawaii. He is a dentist in Honolulu. Dennis Kirkpatrick MA ’75 is a professor at

the University of Arkansas’ Lemke School of Journalism. He also heads the school’s RazorVision Academy, which produces video and audio for the athletic website. He previously was a producer at Fox Sports in Los Angeles, specializing in Pac-10 sports, and served as a correspondent for CNN based in Los Angeles.

Building a Chinese ‘Supertall’ It was perfect timing. It was 2008 and the economy had tumbled. Christopher Chan BArch ‘92 was a design director at the Los Angeles office of the international design firm Gensler,


L. Douglas Keeney ’73, MBA ’76 of Louis-

but many U.S. architects were sitting on their hands. Meanwhile, halfway across the planet, China was experiencing one of the biggest construction booms in history. So when a Gensler board member told him the firm needed his talents in Shanghai, Chan sensed opportunity. He and his wife had just welcomed a baby boy and bought a home in the Los Angeles area, but they opted for adventure. ”I went from zero to 60 immediately after I left L.A.,” says Chan. “I walked in the door at Gensler Shanghai and they said ‘Chris, here’s four projects.’ And they were all huge.” Within six months, firm founder Art Gensler had asked Chan to take over for the original design director on the Shanghai Tower, which ultimately will define Shanghai’s skyline. One of the “supertalls” of the world, at 2,073 feet and 162 stories, the tower will be the highest building in China and the second tallest in the world when it is completed in 2014. Chan – who came on midway through the project – oversees all aspects related to design on a daily basis. “A collaborative team effort,” is how Chan describes the project, which at one point included up to 50 Gensler professionals. Many iconic buildings are designed around a fancy shape; the Gensler team instead believes design should be driven by function. Take the tower’s iconic twist. In a wind tunnel lab, Gensler architects rigorously tested different tapers and degrees of twisting, and found that a 120-degree turn was optimal. This concept reduced the size of the structure by 40 percent, at a savings of more than $60 million in building costs. Sustainability is another key driver. Wind turbines at the tower’s crown will generate more than 50,000 kilowatt/hours per year, and a rainwater collection

Rex McGee ’75 teaches screenwriting at

Southern Methodist University and the KD College Conservatory of Film and Dramatic Arts in Dallas. Raymond E. Smith MPA ’75 retired after 41

years of federal service. Three years later, he was rehired and sent to Bulgaria as a customs adviser, then served five years as pastor of the International Baptist Church Sofia. He published Realizing God or a Form of Godliness?, which describes the power of spiritual devotion. Berton Hamamoto ’77 was installed as the

system will deliver water for toilets, machine cooling and other “gray-water” uses. Chan credits his years at USC with inspiring his quest to travel abroad. “At USC, I was introduced to an immensely international pool of students and teachers,” he says. “I had not traveled internationally by myself at that time, so being exposed to this global community on campus was very impactful.” A European backpacking trip at age 25 sparked an epiphany: He quit his job at an architecture firm and bought a one-way ticket to Taiwan, insisting there had to be more to life and career. He informed his parents only a few weeks before departure. “I didn’t want them to waste too much energy trying to talk me out of it,” Chan explains. He had saved enough money to travel around Asia for two years, but he was recruited to a Taipei architecture firm several months after he arrived. In 1999, he returned to the United States to get his master’s in architecture at Columbia University, where he met his wife,

2011 president of the Hawai’i Association of REALTORS®. He is owner and principal broker of Property Profiles Inc., in Aiea, Hawaii.

Anny Shu BArch ’98. Chan then worked on large-scale projects in Asia at Kohn Pedersen

Michael Schuman MFA ’77 took home top honors at the North American Travel Jour-

leaves of a tree always fall back to its roots.”

Fox Associates in New York, before being recruited to Gensler. Although four generations of Chans have been born in the United States, he still sees China as a homeland. “It’s where we came from,” says Chan, reflecting upon a Chinese proverb: “The LENORA CHU

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alumni profile ’94

Norm Groot ’78 is executive director of the

Monterey County Farm Bureau, an advocacy trade group for agriculture in Salinas Valley, Calif. For 13 years, he served on the board of directors of the California Farm Bureau Federation. Renée JG Arnold PharmD ’79 of New York

City published Pharmacoeconomics: From Theory to Practice, which is based on her graduate school course at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She is president and chief executive officer of Arnold Consultancy & Technology LLC. She has been invited to speak at the first annual Inaugural Symposium of Human Papillomavirus in Beijing. 1980s Clement Reid MM ’80 premiered his “Trio for Tenor Saxophone and Percussion” for the Classical Tuesdays concert series in Tacoma, Wash. His piece “Summer Holiday for Band” was featured by the Sumner High School Symphonic Band at the Performing Arts Center last year. Grace Ho ’81, MA ’82 of Palos Verdes, Calif., is a feng shui expert who recently wrote One Minute Feng Shui for Prosperity, which made it to No. 1 on Japan’s Amazon best seller list. She serves as a board councilor for the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy in the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC. Paul W. Jones ’81, MPA ’84 was appointed

clinical assistant professor of surgery and subspecialties medicine at the Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy and at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is director of anesthesia services at Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna, Ohio.

Lisa Yee ’81 of South Pasadena, Calif.,

published four books for tweens and teens, Warp Speed, Bobby the Brave (Accidentally), Aloha, Kanani and Good Job, Kanani. She has more than one million books in print. Chris Padilla ’82 was elected vice chair

of the Barrio Logan College Institute, a

One Wild Life As series producer of National Geographic Channel’s Great Migrations, David Hamlin MFA ’94 put together an international team of cinematographers, scientists and writers to film wildlife on the move across the planet. The seven-hour series, National


nalists Association awards for excellence in travel journalism for his article “Science of Hocus Pocus,” which appeared in the Nashua Telegraph.

Geographic’s most ambitious project in its 122-year history, captured the stories of two dozen species on seven continents, documenting the fragile existence of these animals as they keep moving to survive. “Migrations was such an organic fit for National Geographic’s legacy of riveting storytelling and spectacular imagery,” says Hamlin, 50, who lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Julie, and two sons. “And the bottom-line mission is to inspire people to care about the planet.” The project included the seven-part series, a magazine cover story, coffee-table book, numerous children’s books and a robust website. Its premiere attracted 8.2 million viewers. Over three years, Hamlin coordinated crews on 83 locations around the world. He kept a phone by his bed – he’d often receive a satellite call from someone on location, be it southern Sudan, the Azores or Costa Rica, where decisions had to be made. But Hamlin didn’t remain in his editing suite. He led crews to film sperm whales in the Azores, pronghorn antelope in Wyoming and Rockhopper penguins on the Falkland Islands. Hamlin brought his crew to Guadalupe off the west coast of Mexico at a time when the Northern elephant seal and great white shark were known to migrate. The crew filmed the seals for a month, waiting for the collision between these giants of the sea. A day before the crew was ready to depart, the sharks attacked. “It was pretty gruesome, but we decided to show the raw reality,” Hamlin says. “It was an editorial decision, to show the brutal truth in all its gracefulness.” For Great Migrations, Hamlin tapped his broad range of expertise: the producer able to attract top international talent, the filmmaker with an eye for the dramatic and the storyteller able to edit down hundreds of hours of film into a spellbinding narrative. Hamlin learned the art of storytelling when he came in the early 1990s to earn his MFA at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. By then, he had assisted in writing scripts for Sesame Street, where he learned that television could be both educational and entertaining. “USC focused me on storytelling, on finding the narrative,” he says. “I let that concept drive the bus in every production.” At National Geographic since 1997, Hamlin has been a major player in the society’s development of television documentaries, producing segments for National Geographic Explorer and producing two series – Reptile Wild and Animal Genius. Hamlin still feels the thrill of documenting the natural world in these far-flung corners of the planet. He led a Great Migrations crew to Christmas Island, an outpost in the Indian Ocean that’s home to 50 million red crabs. There, he captured these dinner plate-sized crustaceans on their pilgrimage to the sea to breed. His crew then captured the return of millions of baby crabs to shore – an event that occurs once every eight to 10 years and has rarely been filmed. “Filming nature takes patience, skill and wisdom, and a bit of luck,” Hamlin says. “It was early in the process of making the series, but we knew we had to go for it. We took a big risk on Christmas Island, and got a big payoff.” D AV I D M C K AY W I L S O N

N O W O N L I N E :


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nonprofit after-school program that serves third- to 12th-grade children in the Barrio Logan area of San Diego. He recently organized the program’s first-ever college tour to USC. Stephanie (Barber) Buehler MPW ’84 of

Laguna Niguel, Calif., released Sex, Love, and Mental Illness: A Couple’s Guide to Staying Connected. She is the western regional representative for the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists.

Stephen D. Chamberlain ’84 of Annapolis, Md., is in his 17th year as a captain for Southwest Airlines, based at Baltimore Washington International Airport. Previously, he flew in the U.S. Navy for 13 years. Cynthia Eller MA ’84, PhD ’88 released Gentlemen and Amazons: The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory, 1861 – 1900, which traces the 19th-century genesis and development of a myth about human origins. She is a professor of women’s studies and religious studies at Montclair State University in New Jersey. Charles Goldwasser MS ’85, MBA ’94

joined Ernst & Young’s advisory services practice in Los Angeles and leads the people and organizational change practice in the West region. His past experience spans automotive, chemicals, consumer products, entertainment and the health sciences industries. He is the author of Action Management: Practical Strategies for Making Your Corporate Transformation a Success.

Lorence “Larry” Honda MM ’85, professor

of woodwinds, music theory and jazz improvisation at Fresno City College in California, was appointed chair of the music department.

Thomas Kolze PhD ’85 was named an

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers fellow, recognized for his contributions to physical layer architecture in communication systems. He lives in Phoenix. Michael Manchak ’85, president and chief executive officer of the Economic Vitality Corporation of San Luis Obispo County, Calif., was appointed to the Twin Cities Community Hospital Governing Board and the California Association for Local Economic Development.

Thomas Reynolds ’85, MM ’87 graduated

from Abraham Lincoln School of Law in Los Angeles.

Julie Hubbert ’87 edited Celluloid Symphonies: Texts and Contexts in Film Music History, a sourcebook of writings on music for film. She is an associate professor of music at the University of South Carolina. Douglas A. Schenck ’87 opened the law firm

MUSL-TV, an ultra-sports and lifestyle network in Los Angeles. He previously served as vice president of national accounts for Valassis Communications Inc., and as a recruiter for Advanced Athletic Representation. He is a former player with the Canadian Football League’s British Columbia Lions. Jodie Muller ’93, MPA ’94 was appointed

The Law Offices of Douglas A. Schenck in San Juan Capistrano and Costa Mesa, Calif. The firm specializes in catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases in courts throughout California and Nevada.

vice president of government and regulatory affairs for the Western States Petroleum Association, a nonprofit trade association that represents companies involved with petroleum exploration, production, refining, transportation and marketing.

Michael E. Flowers ’89 of Marietta, Ga., was

Lori Ward Jackson ’94 of Ladera Ranch,

appointed national director of federal accounts for UCB Pharmaceuticals, where he oversees all U.S. sales within the Department of Defense and Veteran Affairs. He also serves as a lieutenant colonel with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. 1990s

Calif., has served on the USC Alumni Coordinating Council for four years and is past president of USC Town and Gown Juniors of Orange County.

Celestine Samuel-Blalock ’94 received her master’s in nursing with a focus on nursing leadership in health care systems from Grand Canyon University in Arizona.

David Blakesley PhD ’90 was appointed holder of the Robert S. Campbell Chair in Technical Communication and professor of English at Clemson University in South Carolina.

Dana C. R. Gress ’95 was commissioned by Park City High School’s Wind Symphony in Utah to compose and conduct the world premiere of “The Unfailing Heart” in memory of longtime teacher James L. Santy.

Russell Todd Zink ’91 was recalled to active

Stephen Tropiano PhD ’96 of Los Angeles

military duty to lead a U.S. Marine Corps infantry battalion in Afghanistan. He is a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve and the battalion commander of 1st Battalion, 23rd Marines. He served as a deputy district attorney with the District Attorney’s Office of Los Angeles County.

Millicent Borges Accardi MPW ’93 was awarded a Formby Fellowship at Texas Tech University’s Special Collections Library for her research on the writer/activist Kay Boyle. Accardi published a poetry collection, Injury Eternity, last year. Jamia C. Jasper ’93 helped start the Ameri-

can Israeli Shared Values Fund in 2007, an equity mutual fund that invests in the stocks of Israeli and American companies. She is president of AmerIsrael Capital Management LLC, in New York City. Bruce Luizzi ’93 is vice president of

corporate development and sales at

published the third book, Cabaret, for the Music on Film series, which features photos and information about popular musical films. He is editor of the Journal of Film and Video and founding director of the Ithaca College Los Angeles Program, where he teaches courses in film and television history, theory and criticism.

Jin-Xing Cai PhD ’99 of Eatontown, N.J.,

was named an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers fellow for contributions to long-haul fiber optic transmission.

Karl A. Schulz ’99 has joined the Houston

office of Cozen O’Connor as an associate in the firm’s Global Insurance Group. 2000s

Timothy J. Becker JD/MBT ’02 was promoted to partner at international law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP,

N O W O N L I N E :


in memoriam

Otis M. Healy ’50 and Joann Peterson Akerman ’54

Christopher Hjorth ’02, MS ’05 was pro-

M. Baldo

moted to operations manager of the Enterprise Products’ north fractionation facility in Mont Belvieu, Texas.

Ryan Citro ’03 spent six weeks in Montevideo, Uruguay, as part of Ernst & Young’s Corporate Responsibility Fellows Program, which provides support and guidance to local entrepreneurs in South America. He is a valuation and business modeling senior manager at the company’s Los Angeles office. Stephanie Martin MA ’03 of San Francisco

was appointed chief communications officer of the America’s Cup Event Authority, which is responsible for staging the 34th America’s Cup and the America’s Cup World Series.

Toni Margarita Plummer MPW ’03 won

the Miguel Mármol Prize for her short story collection, The Bolero of Andi Rowe. She was promoted to editor at Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press in New York. Gary Rudolph MS ’04 of Los Angeles

co-founded Lolay, a company that helps businesses take advantage of the mobile market with products like the “Where U At?” application. He previously was vice president of technology for Citysearch/ CityGrid and director of engineering for eHarmony. Kendra Kozen MA ’06 is senior editor for

Aquatics International, a Los Angeles-based magazine for commercial aquatic center and water park operators. She received her second Jesse H. Neal Award from American Business Media for a story about child sexual abuse in the competitive swimming and aquatics community.

Gary Roughton EdD ’07 is principal of Vista

Verde Middle School in Moreno Valley, Calif., which was selected as one of five exemplary California middle schools by Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of public instruction.



where he focuses on the formation and operation of domestic and offshore private investment funds. He is a member of the firm’s tax practice in its New York office.

U S C T R O J A N FA M I LY M A G A Z I N E summer 2011

Stephen D. Chamberlain ’84 and Susan Scott Mitchell Spearman ’90 and Suzanne


Ilan Ben-Hanan ’00 and Sara Happ ’01 Matt Chang ’01 and Ivy Lit ’02

ALUMNI Aleathea (Dean) Stephens

’39, Kennesaw, Ga.; March 9, at the age of 93 Anne Brown O’Donnell

’44, Menlo Park, Calif.; March 11, at the age of 88 Perry Clyne Chapman

’49, MS ’61, Bristol, Tenn.; Jan. 9, at the age of 90

Annie Muske-Dukes ’05 and Johnny Driggs ’09

Wayne Scott

Benjamin Nussbaum ’08 and Cornelia

David R. Lukens Sr.

“Connie” Kiank. BIRTHS

John Rojas ’90 and Karen Skillin Rojas, a daughter, Marisa Anne. She is the niece of Michael Rojas ’81 Doug Dehlinger ’92 and Kelsey Dehlinger, a daughter, Stevie Lynn. She joins sisters Joey and Corey, 1 Mark Allenbaugh ’93 and Jacqueline Allen-

baugh, a daughter, Scarlett Isabella

Jodie Muller ’93, MPA ’94 and Jim Muller

MPA ’95, a daughter, Jillian Tiffany. She joins brother, Justin. She is the granddaughter of Linda Brougher Phillips ’61, MS ’62

MD ’50, San Bernardino, Calif.; March 6 MS ’54, Alpine, Calif.; Dec. 31 Warner Boone

’55, Jamestown, Tenn.; Jan. 1, at the age of 79 Eugene W. “Gene” Barrett

’56, Portland, Ore.; Feb. 3, at the age of 81 Roland L. Gilmore

MS ’57, Seal Beach, Calif.; March 6, at the age of 93 Ted Tajima

MS ’57, Altadena, Calif.; Feb. 20, at the age of 88 Frank Christian Hansen

’58, San Diego; Dec. 16, at the age of 74

Lori Ward Jackson ’94 and Jeff Jackson ’95, a daughter, Victoria Lynn. She joins Grace, 6, Ward, 4, and Kate, 2

’58, Century City, Calif.; Jan. 12, at the age of 74

David Brenneman ’95 and Rachel Bren-

John Walter “Walt” Quist

neman, a daughter, Tahlia Abigale. She is the niece of Andrew Katz ’93

’58, MS ’76, Oxnard, Calif.; Dec. 21, at the age of 76

David Eddings Jr. ’98 and Tracey Colclasure, a son, Hayden David. He is the grandson of David Eddings ’68 and Cheryl Eddings PharmD ’72

Suzanne Roessel Swanson

Luis Yataco ’98 and Janett Yataco, a daugh-

MS ’62, Apache Junction, Ariz.; Jan. 31, at the age of 94

Julie (DeRosa) Krueger ’00 and Nick Krueger, a daughter, Lindsay Ann. She joins sister, Allison, 1

William Warren Mohr

Cecilia M. Salazar ’04, a son, Aedan.

Marcia A. McVey

ter, Vanessa Lauren

David Nelson

’60, Sherman Oaks, Calif.; Sept. 5, at the age of 71 A. Byron Westlake

’66, Santa Monica, Calif.; Dec. 2, at the age of 68 PhD ’78, La Verne, Calif.; Feb. 10, at the age of 76

Barbara E. Boyd

PhD ’83, Northridge, Calif.; Feb. 14, at the age of 66 Daniel Pfisterer

’98, Santa Monica, Calif. FA C U LT Y, S TA F F & F R I E N D S Samuel P. Bessman

Los Angeles; Jan. 4, at the age of 89 Ruth Cox Britton

Rosemead, Calif.; Jan. 27, at the age of 88 Donald J. Lewis

Palos Verdes, Calif.; Dec. 29, at the age of 88 Doyce B. Nunis Jr.

MA ’58, PhD ’58, Los Angeles; Jan. 22, at the age of 86 Carolyn Jones O’Connell

Fontana, Calif.; Jan. 24, at the age of 83

Sidney Harman Sidney Harman, the USC Isaias W. Hellman Professor of Polymathy and husband of former Democratic congresswoman Jane Harman, died April 12 in Washington, D.C., of complications from leukemia. He was 92. A savvy businessman, Harman, together with Bernard Kardon, co-founded Harman/ Kardon Inc., in 1953 and led the way in developing home stereo systems at a time when “hi-fi” sound equipment previously had been available only in studios. After Kardon’s retirement in 1956, the company grew into audio-equipment giant Harman International Industries. Harman first came to USC as a visiting professor and entrepreneur in residence at the USC Marshall School of Business. He also served as a board member of the USC Leadership Institute. In fall 2007, he was

named Entrepreneur of the Year by USC Marshall’s Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. In 2008, Harman was named the first Judge Widney Professor of Business, a university-wide position that enabled him to lecture at a variety of schools. In February 2010, he was appointed inaugural holder of the Isaias W. Hellman Chair of Polymathy, another university-wide position. One year later, he founded the USC Academy for Polymathic Study, an academy that offers conversational encounters aimed at intensifying integrated interdisciplinary awareness, where he served as chairman. Harman is survived by his wife, children Lynn, Gina, Barbara, Paul, Daniel and Justine, stepchildren Brian and Hilary, and 10 grandchildren. l

Marjorie Spess Stegemeier

Anaheim, Calif.; Feb. 16, at the age of 77 Joyce “Sandy” Toscan

Long Beach, Calif.; Jan. 14, at the age of 70 Jean-Roger Vergnaud

Los Angeles; Jan. 31, at the age of 65 Harold von Hofe

Beverly Hills, Calif.; Feb. 3, at the age of 98 W. Ross Winterowd

Huntington Beach, Calif.; Jan. 21, at the age of 80 Barry Stanley Zwick

Encino, Calif.; Nov. 28, at the age of 68.



Warren Christopher Warren Christopher ’45, former

U.S. secretary of state in the Clinton administration and a prominent Democratic political figure, died March 18 at his home in Los Angeles of complications from bladder and kidney cancer. He was 85. At 16, he enrolled in what is now the University of Redlands on a debate scholarship. He later transferred to the Naval Officer Program at USC, where he was an active member of the Trojan Debate Squad, graduating as an ensign. In 1949, he graduated from Stanford Law School and became a clerk for U.S. Supreme Court justice William O. Douglas. After graduation, Christopher joined O’Melveny & Myers, where he eventually became a senior partner. A consummate lawyer-statesman, he enjoyed a multifaceted career as a public

figure. He was deputy secretary of state during the Carter administration, and later served as the 63rd secretary of state for President Clinton. During his years of public service, his major achievements included brokering the Bosnian peace agreement for the Clinton administration and leading a 1991 in­vestigation of the Los Angeles Police Department that brought important reforms. In 1981, USC presented Christopher with the Asa V. Call Alumni Achievement Award, the university’s highest alumni honor. He served as president of Stanford University’s board of trustees and was a longtime director of the Southern California Edison Company. He is survived by his second wife, the former Marie Wyllis, children Lynn Collins, Scott, Thomas and Kristen, and five grandchildren. l

N O W O N L I N E :


last word



A NEW PASSAGE TO INDIA India isn’t the inscrutable mystery it was in E. M. Forster’s day. Today, it’s a global player – the world’s largest democracy, its second most populous nation, an economic powerhouse and a vibrant educational force. No wonder President C. L. Max Nikias led a delegation of USC deans, trustees and administrators through Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore in February. In honor of that passage, we invite you to test your knowledge of all things Indian.

1. Though Albanian by ethnicity and Catholic by faith, she was undeniably one of the greatest and most celebrated Indians of all time. 2. They represent less than 2 percent of the country’s population, but members of this religious minority are very prominent in Indian life. There’s the current prime minister, for example. 3. An Indian emperor whose name means “without sorrow,” he helped make Buddhism a world religion. After witnessing the mass death caused by his own invasion of a neighboring state, this brutal conqueror embraced the principles of nonviolence and made Buddhism his state religion, while insisting on tolerance for all other sects.

4. Two objects closely associated with the emperor in question 3 have enduring significance for modern India. The first – an ancient monument crowned by four beasts – is the national emblem. The second – a spinning wheel representing 24 virtues – has vexillological importance. 5. This ethnic minority makes up 25 percent of Indians. Mostly clustered in the south, members speak a mind-boggling 73 distinct languages! 6. He was known the world over by this nickname, which means “great soul” in Sanskrit. In India, he also was known by another nickname, which means “father” in Gujarati.

CONTEST RULES Datto Vaman Potdar was known as “a living encyclopedia” of Indian history. See how close you can come to that designation. The five best responses will receive $30 gift certificates from Borders Books and Music. If more than five perfect entries are received, the winners will be drawn by lot.


U S C T R O J A N FA M I LY M A G A Z I N E summer 2011

7. Though they shared both his surname and his tragic end, these two Indian prime ministers were unrelated to the creator of satyagraha. They actually were the daughter and grandson of his political successor. 8. India’s richest state also is its smallest and one of the most recent – it only joined the republic in 1987. A Portuguese colonial heritage is strongly evident in the name of its largest city, population 100,000. 9. From the Sanskrit root for “to strike,” this important tenet of Indian religions is best understood as “do no harm.” It entails kindness and nonviolence toward all living things, which are seen as cosmically connected.

Send your answers no later than July 15 to The Last Word c/o USC Trojan Family Magazine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-7790. Submissions by fax (213-821-1100) and e-mail <> are welcome.

Teach It

FORWARD CONNECTING the dots… and the TEACHERS. The MAT@USC, our trailblazing Master of Arts in Teaching program delivered online, places student teachers into faculty-monitored, hands-on classroom experiences in schools around the world. Because of the extraordinary demand and growth of our program, we now need to vastly expand our global network of mentorship-placement schools and teachers that meet the high standards of the USC Rossier School of Education.

I was extremely happy to find

If you have personal or professional ties to an outstanding school and would like to play a role in mentoring the next generation of great USC-educated teachers, we’d love for you to introduce us. If a family member, friend or business acquaintance is a superintendent, administrator, or teacher anywhere in the United States or around the world, we’d love for you to introduce us.

an innovative program from such a prestigious university that incorporates new research,

In doing so, you will be playing a meaningful role in shaping communities, schools, teachers and, most importantly, the future generations of students across the country.

technology, and first class professors. I was delighted to be accepted and be part of the “new wave” of teachers who

get the best hands-on training available.


The Trojan Family network is strong. Fight On, and help us Teach It Forward!

Play a key role in mentoring our next generation of great teachers. To recommend a school district, charter management organization, school, administrator or teacher that you think should be part of our mentorship-placement program, please let us know at or 1-888-878-5370 x125. Recently awarded the Best Practices Award for Innovative Use of Technology by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). ©2011 USC Rossier School of Education. All rights reserved.

USC Trojan Family Magazine University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 90089-7790


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Trojan Family Magazine Summer 2011  

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USC Trojan Family Magazine Summer 2011

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