Trojan Family Magazine Winter 2011

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uscTrojan F A M I L Y Winter 2011


USC researchers challenge conventional wisdom.

Troy Camp Love

Learning English, American Style

New Hip, New Life

We create

possibilities for

young people who

Be part of their dream.


Contribute to the legacy. Every contribution transforms a student’s tomorrow.

USC Latino Alumni


Get involved. Call us at (213) 740-4735.

A legacy of the USC Mexican American Alumni Association since 1973 ||







Troy Camp Love

We Are Addicts

Gained in Translation

Freedom of Movement

By Matthew Kredell

By Suzanne Wu

By Liz Segal

By Amy E. Hamaker

The 62-year-old USC summer camp is still going strong, bringing adventure and growth to inner-city kids.

USC researchers construct a nuanced framework of addiction that challenges conventional wisdom.

At USC’s Language Academy, international students learn English, American style.

USC surgeons help hip replacement patient Chuck Lerette return to a pain-free and active lifestyle.



02 Editor’s Note

04 Mailbag

USC’s new graphic identity signals continued evolution and ascent.

07 Trojan Beat

03 President’s Page The Trojan Family asks a simple but important question: How can we help others?

Thinking globally, lab work, shelf life and more

12 Support Report USC celebrates historic campaign launch.

52 Last Word

37 Family Ties

Name the mystery languages and you may soon be telling friends how zorioneko you feel.

Connecting Trojans worldwide

42 Class Notes

On the cover: Jeffrey Hamilton/Getty Images



editor’s note

The quarterly magazine of the University of Southern California

New Era, New Identity EDITOR




Shirley S. Shin 1880




Sheharazad P. Fleming

USC TROJAN FAMILY MAGAZINE ’S NEW LOOK is another reminder of USC’s continuing evolution.

Last summer, the magazine was redesigned to complement the new online edition,, reaching Trojans worldwide. This time, a new cover and updated typefaces showcase USC’s new graphic identity, which reflects the university’s continued ascent among the world’s top academic research institutions. Following the launch of the groundbreaking $6 billion Campaign for the University of Southern California in September, USC strengthened its graphic identity to mirror the outstanding caliber of its students, faculty, academic units and programs – clear evidence of which you’ll find in this issue. The graphic identity, as you can see in the logo at the lower right of this page, conveys both tradition and progress. It emphasizes the university shield, taken from USC’s historic seal that was introduced in 1908. And the bold classicism of its typefaces befits an institution whose 131-year history in Los Angeles parallels a rise to global prominence. The images above show that this is not the first time USC has updated its graphic identity. The last time it did so was in 1994 – before the Web, video, smartphones and tablets became as prevalent as print media. USC’s new logo and typefaces look as crisp digitized as they do on paper. Whichever format you’re using to read about the Trojan Family, our new look will underscore USC’s passage into an exciting new era. We wish you a safe and happy holiday season. LAUREN CLARK D I R E C T O R O F P U B L I C AT I O N S



Mike Cullity, Amy E. Hamaker, Timothy O. Knight, Matthew Kredell, Ross M. Levine, Robert Perkins, Starshine Roshell, Liz Segal, Suzanne Wu ADVERTISING MANAGER


Vickie Kebler USC Trojan Family Magazine 3375 S. Hoover St., Ste. H201 Los Angeles, CA 90089-7790 | (213) 740-2684 USC Trojan Family Magazine (ISSN 87507927) is published four times a year, in March, June, September and December, by USC University Communications.


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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 winter 2011

president’s page BY C. L. MAX NIKIAS

As we celebrate another holiday season,

our thoughts invariably turn more gentle. We all become a little more compassionate, a little more caring, a little more generous. The warmth of our friends and families – and for each of us, our Trojan Family – nourishes us, and we begin to ask a simple but important question: How can we help others?


President Nikias takes questions from students during a tour of USC neighborhood schools.

Each of us has our own answer to this question, but as members of the USC family, we don’t answer it alone. As Trojans, we are part of a much larger community that tackles this question every single day. After all, this is what USC and all great universities do: We better lives. Consider our faculty. At the September kickoff celebration for the Campaign for the University of Southern California, three members of our faculty described their innovative, thought-provoking work. The audience burst into spontaneous applause as professor Mark Humayun demonstrated a retinal prosthesis that literally helps the blind to see. Professor Ange-Marie Hancock prompted us to consider public policy matters in a new light, having brought her intellectually engaged voice to issues of race, gender, class and sexuality politics. And professor Paul Debevec drew cheers as he showed how his work with image-based modeling translates to the silver screen, driving films such as Avatar. Their presentations reminded everyone in Bovard Auditorium of a simple fact: USC faculty advance thought and creativity in an array of important areas, all of which improve the quality of our lives. But it’s not just our esteemed faculty. Consider our staff as well. Earlier this year, LA Weekly included Kim Thomas-Barrios in its “Best of L.A. People” issue. She oversees our Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI), and the piece highlighted NAI’s magnificent work in our neighboring communities. Readers could hear Thomas-Barrios’ voice as she challenged and inspired students, encouraging them in ways that will alter the entire course of their lives as well as their family’s lives. Let’s also consider our students. In this issue, you’ll learn about Troy Camp, USC’s oldest, most

active and most diverse philanthropy organization. Entirely student-run, Troy Camp brings 200 children from our surrounding neighborhoods to a weeklong summer camp. In the year that follows, student volunteers remain friends with the children, reaching out with a combination of gettogethers, fun trips and tutoring. In that feature, you’ll also learn about alumnus Otis Healy, one of the project’s founding members, who has remained personally invested in its growth. For Healy, the question How can we help others? took firm root during his time at USC, and he has continued to ask this question in the intervening six decades. During that entire time, USC has helped him formulate the answer. Healy brings me to another vast segment of the Trojan Family that remains dedicated to bettering lives: our remarkable alumni. I am always amazed by the contributions of our alumni and the deeply meaningful lives they lead. We could fill this entire magazine with their accomplishments and still only touch on a small fraction. But here, I’d like to mention Lisa Barkett, president of the USC Alumni Association’s Board of Governors. She has chosen to focus her philanthropy, her volunteerism on her alma mater. She and her husband Bill are foot soldiers for USC, supporting USC’s entire mission. This includes the groundbreaking work of professors Humayun, Hancock and Debevec, the stellar work of Thomas-Barrios and the NAI, and the heartwarming mentoring of students at Troy Camp. In answering the question How can we help others? she summons her entire Trojan Family. I want to close by saying this is a milestone holiday season for my family and me. Niki, our daughters and I have been at USC for 20 years now. Each year, we look forward to our warm exchanges with trustees, faculty, staff and alumni at our Thanksgiving dinner and holiday parties. All the while, we ask ourselves, How can we help others? and our focus always returns to USC. We want you to know that we are truly grateful for the support you give us, your fellow Trojans, and the farreaching work of our beloved university. ●



mailbag Campaign for USC In your article, “Fas Regna Trojae: The destined reign of Troy” (Autumn 2011, p. 12), your chart conveniently omitted the University of Texas-Austin endowment of $7.2 billion as of 2008. Darrell Hanshaw MBA ’72 AUSTIN, TX

Editor’s Note: The chart that appeared in the article only highlighted other private universities for comparison to USC.

Hollywood Left and Right

Pats & Pans Love the online version of the magazine. My wife, Bobbi, and I met at USC and married during our senior year. Three members of our family also attended USC, and as of last year, we have a great-grandson – a future Trojan. With my mother still living, we have a five-generation Trojan family! David N. Hepburn Jr. ’64

In his piece on politics and Hollywood (“Little Caesar and the McCarthyist Mob,” Autumn 2011, p. 16), Steven J. Ross states that the “longstanding conventional wisdom that Hollywood has always been a bastion of the political left is wrong on two counts,” those being that Republicans were the first to establish a “political beachhead in Hollywood,” and the Hollywood right has had a greater impact on American political life, citing Ronald Reagan. Sorry, though Hollywood may have been more politically conservative in its earliest stages or populated by a few notable conservatives over the years, this does not deny the fact that Hollywood has been an active and effective monopoly of the political left for more than half a century. As evidence, count the flood of dollars from the Hollywood community to left candidates, the high-profile Hollywood activism on behalf of left causes and the impact of content promoting the political left. Weigh these against a barely perceptible trickle to the right. Or, better yet, try working in Hollywood as a conservative. Constance Dunn MA ’06 LOS ANGELES, CA

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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 winter 2011

Have we made no progress since 1950? “His Stress, Her Stress” (Trojan Beat, Autumn 2011, p. 7) was sadly archaic. The opening repeatedly describes how wives do the chores and husbands don’t. I like to hope that heterosexual couples are moving beyond this stereotype. Saxbe’s final statement, that it is healthy to divide housework fairly with your partner, seems to be the true kernel of the article. Yet the author continues to dwell on the “war between the sexes” rather than writing a forward-thinking piece using Saxbe’s research. Heather Pennington ’07 LOS ANGELES, CA

What a pleasure to see that the USC Alumni Club of London is active (Family Ties, Autumn 2011, p. 38) and no doubt will be more so when the Olympic Games go to London in 2012. When I was in London in 1968 at the founding of the club, I wondered, would it still be there decades later? The answer is clearly a resounding “Yes.” Louis C. Kleber ’51 LAS VEGAS, NV

The beautiful Autumn 2011 edition spends many pages praising the new $6 billion dollar fundraising campaign. Meanwhile, the many past students who gave for years to the university through tuition moneys are



relegated to name, city and age at death (In Memoriam, Class Notes, p. 46). They deserve more consideration. William Leavenworth ’51, MA ’67 SAN DIEGO, CA

One of the sections my alumni friends and I have enjoyed over the years was the obituary. You eliminated a tradition. Although the full obituary can be pulled up online, to many older alumni, it may not be as easy or accessible. The old obituary form allowed us to read about the life accomplishments of alumni. For the sake of this great magazine, the only contact for some to the university, don’t forsake tradition: Bring back the old obituary form. Donald Young ’57 V I S TA , C A

Per“Soni”fied Those three letters criticizing Dr. Varun Soni (Mailbag, Autumn 2011, p. 4) reflect

a level of misunderstanding that permeates Americans’ beliefs today. The first letter ignores our diversity. Although our forefathers were predominantly Christians, religion in the U.S. is characterized by a diversity in religious beliefs. In the second letter, the changes that Dr. Soni helped those spiritually wanting to achieve are a deeper understanding of spirituality. As to the third letter, I agree that you cannot “study anything ... without dealing with spiritual meaning.” However, the reader may have taken this out of context, as the following sentence suggests the need for spiritual inquiry within the classroom environment. Joseph Giuliano MS ’66, PhD ’70 LOS ANGELES, CA

It was with interest, but ultimately sadness, that I read your portrayal of Varun Soni, USC’s official “spiritual leader” (“The Un-Chaplain,” Summer 2011, p. 18). Soni is part of the mysticism-embracing, multi-

cultural gobbledygook that renders religion and spirituality meaningless. His fusion of Buddhism and Hinduism represents hundreds of “gods,” and while it may sound hip to be an Eastern mystic, Soni’s message of experience over doctrine is the kind of message that leads students astray. Greg Halvorson MPT ’95 PORTLAND, OR

Notice Board I am writing a history biography of the late Dr. Frank Baxter, USC English professor and famed TV/film educator of the 1950s and ’60s. I’m seeking former students who might agree to interviews, by phone or writing, on Baxter both in and out of the classroom. Anecdotal stories and memories are welcome. Contact or 4252 Solar Circle, Union City, Calif., 94587. Eric Niderost UNION CITY, CA

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My Fellow Trojans and Friends: As I noted last year, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has directed us to publicize the violations and sanctions included in the NCAA’s June 10, 2010 Report each year during our probation. The university has been publicly reprimanded, censured and placed on probation from June 10, 2010 through June 9, 2014. With regard to football, the NCAA reported violations involving agent and amateurism issues, lack of institutional control, impermissible inducements, extra benefits, coach staff limits and unethical conduct. The penalties include: a post-season ban for the 2010 and 2011 seasons; a vacation of wins and the individual records of a former football player from December 2004 through the 2005 season, and the reconfiguration of the records of the university and the head coach to reflect those actions; a limit of 15 initial scholarships and 75 total scholarships for 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14; a $5,000 fine; disassociation of a former football player; and prohibition of nonuniversity personnel traveling on team charters, attending practices and camps, and having access to sidelines and locker rooms. In men’s basketball, the NCAA violations involved agent and amateurism issues, lack of institutional control, impermissible inducements and extra benefits. The penalties include: a post-season ban for the 2009-10 season; a vacation of wins and the individual records of a former basketball player from the 2007-08 season, and the reconfiguration of the records of the university and the head coach to reflect those actions; a limit of 12 scholarships for 2009-10 and 2010-11; one fewer coach permitted to recruit off campus in the summer of 2010; a reduction of recruiting days by 20 for the 2010-11 season; the return of funds received for appearing in the 2008 NCAA men’s basketball tournament and forfeiture of any future scheduled distributions; disassociation of a former men’s basketball player and a representative of the university’s financial interests; the release of three recruits from their letters of intent; and prohibition of nonuniversity personnel traveling on team charters, attending practices and camps, and having access to sidelines and locker rooms. With regard to women’s tennis, the NCAA sanctions involved lack of institutional control and extra benefits. The penalties include: a vacation of wins and individual records in which an ineligible women’s tennis player competed between November 2006 and May 2009, and the reconfiguration of the records of the university and the head coach to reflect those actions. Thank you for your continued support. Rest assured we will be vigilant in complying with all governing rules and regulations, and competing and winning with integrity. Fight On Patrick C. Haden Athletic Director


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

trojan beat


Why We Wolf Down Junk


Habit makes bad food too easy to swallow. DO YOU ALWAYS GET POPCORN at the movies? Or snack on chips and cookies while watching TV? A new study by USC psychologists helps explain why these bad habits are so hard to break – even when the food tastes lousy. In an experiment, researchers gave moviegoers a bucket of popcorn as they entered a theatre. Some buckets contained freshly popped kernels; others contained week-old stale kernels. When the movie ended, researchers measured how much popcorn got eaten, and by whom. Turns out moviegoers who don’t usually buy popcorn at the movies ate far less stale popcorn than fresh popcorn. The week-old popcorn just didn’t taste good to them. But moviegoers who routinely munch on popcorn weren’t as discriminating. They ate about the same amount of popcorn whether it was fresh or stale. In other words, for those in the habit of eating popcorn at the movies, taste made no difference. The data undercuts a common assumption among dieters. “People believe their eating behavior is largely activated by how food tastes,” says Wendy Wood, Provost Professor of Psychology and Business at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. “Nobody likes cold, spongy, week-old popcorn. But once we’ve formed an eating habit, we no longer care whether the food tastes good. We’ll eat exactly the

same amount, whether it’s fresh or stale.” The study, published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, has important implications for understanding overeating and the conditions that may cause people to eat even when they aren’t hungry or don’t like a specific food. “When we’ve repeatedly eaten a particular food in a particular environment, our brain comes to associate the food with that environment and makes us keep eating as long as those environmental cues are present,” says lead author David Neal, who was a USC psychology professor when the research was conducted and now heads a so-

cial and consumer research firm. Researchers factored in hunger and whether the participants liked the popcorn they received. They also gave popcorn to a control group that watched movie clips in a meeting room, rather than a theatre. In the meeting room, it mattered a lot if the popcorn tasted good. Outside of a theatre context, even habitual movie popcorn eaters ate much less stale popcorn than fresh, demonstrating how environmental cues can trigger automatic eating behavior. “The results show just how powerful our environment can be in triggering unhealthy behavior,” Neal says. “Sometimes willpower and good intentions are not enough, and we need to trick our brains by controlling the environment instead.” In a related experiment, researchers tested a simple disruption of automatic eating habits. Again using stale and fresh popcorn, they asked participants about to enter a film screening to eat popcorn either with their dominant or nondominant hand. Using the nondominant hand seemed to disrupt habitual eating and cause people to pay attention to what they were eating. As a result, they ate much less of the stale than the fresh popcorn. This method worked even for those with strong eating habits. “It’s not always feasible for dieters to avoid or alter the environments in which they typically overeat,” Wood says. “More feasible, perhaps, is for dieters to actively disrupt the established patterns of how they eat through simple techniques, such as switching the hand they use to eat.” SUZANNE WU

The Mind’s Touch As you look at an object, your brain not only processes what that object looks like, but also remembers how it feels to the touch. At USC Dornsife’s Brain and Creativity Institute (BCI), Antonio and Hanna Damasio led a team of neuroscientists in a study where participants were shown video clips of hands touching different objects. Researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to scan the part of the subjects’ brain responsible for processing touch sensations. That data was then fed to a custom-programmed computer, which accurately predicted – based only on how the “tactile” part of the cerebral cortex reacted – which video clips the participants had viewed. “Our results show that ‘feeling with the mind’s touch’ activates the same parts of the brain that would respond to actual touch,” says BCI researcher and lead author Kaspar Meyer. The findings appeared in the September issue of Cerebral Cortex. ROBERT PERKINS




Divine Trash USC’s James Egan compiles the first collection of John Waters interviews. John Waters: Interviews



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

Legendary filmmaker John Waters, left, with longtime friend James Egan of the USC School of Cinematic Arts at a sold-out Visions and Voices event launching John Waters: Interviews, which Egan edited.

East Coast launch came Nov. 17 at a similar event held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Waters reminisced and took questions from the USC audience. He explained the 1972 film’s enigmatic name, which refers to the ubiquitous lawn ornaments – to him a symbol of perfect honesty about having bad taste – of his native Baltimore. Setting the film in context, Waters noted that it was made around the time Deep Throat was pushing the boundaries of what’s vulgar. Pink Flamingos was Waters’ attempt to push them even farther. “The film was political action against the tyranny of good taste,” he said at the screening. EGAN FIRST MET the “Pope of Trash” in 1974, when a roommate dragged him to a birthday party for the cross-dressing starlet Divine. A self-described “uptight preppie” recently graduated from Amherst College and working in the family insurance business, Egan was totally unprepared for the Dreamlanders, Waters’ bizarre troupe of actors. There in the grungy Fells Point waterfront bar, he beheld the Egg Man from Pink Flamingos, completely naked and playing pool. Nearby, a slender dark-haired beauty caught Egan’s eye, only to turn around and reveal herself to be a wizened old man. “I have to say, I got sick,” Egan recalls with a chuckle. “It was a pretty crazy scene.” But he stuck around long enough to get introduced to Waters and to ask actress Mary Vivian Pearce out on a date. (Egan ended up taking the blonde bombshell to his parents’ box at the Preakness, Baltimore’s version of the Kentucky Derby. “She wore a see-through dress,” Egan says.

“Needless to say, it was quite the shockeroo of the clubhouse.”) Soon after, Waters called about production insurance for his next project. Egan obliged, successfully writing a policy through Lloyd’s of London, having misrepresented the raunchy Female Trouble as a children’s fantasy. When Egan’s father found out, he insisted his son be on the set every day “to keep an eye on our exposure,” Egan recalls. “And that’s how I fell in love with the film business.” Egan provided insurance for Waters’ next film, Desperate Living, and spent many hours on the set. In the evenings, they would go to see horror flicks at Baltimore’s run-down old Hippodrome Theatre. Waters asked Egan to read the script for Polyester. By then, Egan had decided he wanted to be a filmmaker, too. When he applied to UCLA’s MFA program, Waters wrote a letter of recommendation. He even promoted Egan’s student films. “John brought Paul Morrissey and all these amazing filmmakers to my first screening,” Egan says. The two have stayed tight over the years, even though Egan’s cinematic path couldn’t have been farther from the extremes of vulgarity that Waters was exploring. Right out of graduate school, Egan went to work in the documentary department at BBC, writing screenplays about literary lions, such as Aldous Huxley and D. H. Lawrence. In recent years, through his production company Wild At Heart Films, Egan has concentrated on documentaries and feature films about everyday heroes. His producing credits include Kimjongilia, about the struggles of a North Korean refugee born in a concentration camp; Angels


JAMES EGAN AND JOHN WATERS go way back. The USC faculty member vividly recalls that Christmas party at the legendary filmmaker’s Baltimore apartment, circa 1975. Instead of decorating a tree, Waters had hung Christmas lights from the electric chair he’d used as a prop in Female Trouble. Egan also remembers when Waters first dreamed up “Odorama,” his idea for introducing the smell of pizza, glue, feces and sweaty sneakers into the 1981 comedy Polyester. Theatres would distribute scratch-and-sniff cards embedded with these odors, Waters had excitedly revealed, having first sworn his friend to secrecy. “I have seen John from a very personal perspective that very few people have access to,” says Egan, who teaches screenwriting at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. “He allowed me to see scripts, to be on the set. I became friends with many of his actors, and still am today. It was a privilege for me to be there at John’s most formative stages in filmmaking.” Who better, then, to compile the official Waters interview book for the prestigious Conversations with Filmmakers Series published by the University Press of Mississippi? John Waters: Interviews is the first collection of Waters Q&As to appear in print, and an important scholarly contribution to the understanding of this pioneer in shock comedy, horror and reality TV. “He has redefined cinema,” Egan asserts. “Wes Anderson, Jonathan Demme, Todd Solondz – these are directors who look to John as an inspiration to their work.” Released Oct. 14, the book had its official launch party at a sold-out Visions and Voices event at USC’s Eileen Norris Theatre. Waters was on hand for a special screening of Pink Flamingos, followed by a conversation with Egan and a book signing. The book’s


Waters introduces his film Pink Flamingos, starring the infamous Divine.

in the Dust, about a woman who started an orphanage for South African children infected with HIV; and The Defector, about the high-ranking Soviet official who, at the cost of his own life, first exposed Stalin’s crimes. Through his involvement with the Wounded Marine Careers Foundation, Egan also trains returning veterans at Camp Pendleton and Twentynine Palms for careers in the film industry. His next book project, a history of the treatment of returning American veterans, dovetails with this work (See related story at woundedmarines). The contrast between the two men isn’t as stark as it would seem. Appearances notwithstanding, Waters turns out to be a profoundly serious person. “He reads voraciously, reads every magazine and several newspapers a day. His house is literally a library,” Egan says. “He could be a professor of American culture: He knows more about the arts, music, literature than anyone I have ever met.” All of which makes Egan’s collection of interviews that much more interesting. The volume, described as “meticulously curated” by LA Weekly, is organized chronologically, one interview per film. From the article in the May 1973 issue of Andy Warhol’s influential Interview magazine to the 2007 article in, the book presents Waters, across the decades, in his own words. It concludes with an expansive new interview by Egan, titled “Where Will John Waters Be Buried?” (The answer, by the way, is in Baltimore, next to Divine.) Putting it together wasn’t easy. Waters’ archives at Wesleyan University have yet to be annotated and organized. Thanks to a grant

through the USC Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences initiative, Egan traveled to Connecticut with an archivist in tow. After combing the Wesleyan archive, he proceeded to New York, Baltimore and Provincetown, Mass., – Waters’ perennial summer retreat – in search of every interview ever given by the filmmaker. Among Egan’s rare finds was a 1965 interview from a gossip column in the Baltimore Evening Sun. The newspaper clipping was literally stapled to a card in the antique library catalogue of Baltimore’s venerable Enoch Pratt Library. It was Waters’ first-ever interview. Repositories such as the Juilliard School’s library and the Museum of Modern Art also proved helpful, as did USC’s own Doheny Memorial Library and the USC-based ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives. Having unearthed each and every interview, Egan’s next challenge was whittling them down to the two dozen most important ones. “My editors were very generous. Mine is one of the longer books in the Conversations with Filmmakers Series. Still, there’s a page count limit,” Egan sighs. Fortunately, his exhaustive search is captured and preserved in the bibliography at the end of the book. Egan also presented a complete set of the interview clippings to Doheny Library’s film school archive as a resource for future Waters scholars. Of course, the job isn’t really done. At age 65, Waters probably has many more interviews ahead of him. For the past decade, he has been making headlines as an artist. A retrospective of his work – mostly photographic assemblage – was organized in 2004 by the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, and he continues to show in museums and galleries around the world. As a filmmaker, Waters continues to shock, or at least to try. His latest screenplay, Fruitcake, currently is in search of funding. “The world of independent financing is very, very challenging, and even an icon like John Waters faces difficulties in getting his film made,” Egan says. When and if Fruitcake is produced, Waters may well achieve new heights of bad taste. “It’s his Christmas movie,” Egan explains, “and I would love to see John Waters make a Christmas movie.” Expect something ho-ho-horrible. DIANE KRIEGER

Trustee Christopher Cox ’73, former chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, was elected to the USC Board of Trustees. He is a partner in the international law firm of Bingham McCutchen LLP, and president of Bingham Consulting LLC. Previously, Cox served in Congress for 17 years, representing Orange County’s 48th district. He also served in the Reagan administration as a White House counsel. A USC graduate with majors in political science and English, Cox earned his MBA and J.D. degrees simultaneously from Harvard University.

Trustee Chengyu Fu MS ’86, chairman of Asia’s largest refiner, China Petroleum & Petrochemical Corporation (known as Sinopec Group), was elected to the USC Board of Trustees. Until 2010, he was president and CEO of the state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation. In January 2010, Harvard Business Review included him in the top 50 of its “Best-Performing CEOs in the World.” Born in Heilongjiang Province, Fu holds a bachelor’s degree in geology from China’s Northeast Petroleum University and a master’s in petroleum engineering from USC.

Administrator Thomas E. Jackiewicz was appointed USC senior vice president and CEO for health, effective Jan. 1, 2012. Jackiewicz, former CEO of UC San Diego Health System and associate vice chancellor of the University of California, San Diego, Health Sciences, will oversee USC’s private practice clinical activities, including Keck Hospital of USC, USC Norris Cancer Hospital and the faculty physician practice USC Care Medical Group Inc., collectively known as the Keck Medical Center of USC. ● U S C T R O J A N FA M I LY M A G A Z I N E



Science Abroad Study abroad is increasingly popular – and doable – with science, technology, engineering and math majors.

Sur’s trips to Guam and Palau were led by professor Jim Haw, environmental studies director at USC Dornsife. Every year, Haw takes students who have completed a scientific research diving course at the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies to the South Pacific to do hands-on environmental science. The experience left Sur with skills that she now is putting to use studying the density of sea grass at Big Fisherman’s Cove on Catalina Island. HILTON RECOMMENDS that STEM students wishing to study abroad start planning no later than early in their sophomore year. But his office does not turn away students later in their undergraduate careers. Take Uyeda. He didn’t submit an application to study abroad until the spring semester of his senior year. The overseas studies office and his academic adviser helped him find classes that would fulfill his USC requirements. He still needed an extra semester to finish his coursework, but Uyeda says he has no regrets. “I thought I needed to graduate and get a job quickly,” Uyeda says. Now he’s considering graduate studies in biomedical engineering. “It’s OK to wait,” he adds. In the meantime, the Australian Consulate has hired him to promote study abroad in Australia to students at USC. “It’s not really a difficult sell,” he says.

books about global health problems, USC biological sciences major Katherine Lubina was encountering them firsthand. She spent last spring in Nicaragua studying the prevalence of pesticide poisoning. “It’s the best decision I’ve made to date,” Lubina says of her choice to leave the security of home to get hands-on experience in public health. Lubina is among a growing number of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors at USC who are embracing the challenges – and opportunities – of study abroad. Traditionally STEM majors have viewed study abroad as an unnecessary digression that only delayed graduation. But increasingly, people like Lubina and Kotaro Uyeda (pictured right), a sports science and kinesiology major, are rejecting that conventional wisdom. “You feel like you’re more limited than you actually are,” says Uyeda, who studied anatomy


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

in Australia last spring. With the right planning, study abroad can fit into even the most rigorous academic schedule, says Peter Hilton of the Office of Overseas Studies, based at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Hilton’s office has stepped up its recruiting of STEM majors over the past decade. The effort appears to be working. In the 2002-03 school year, STEM majors had accounted for just 4 percent of students studying abroad. Last year, they made up more than 17 percent. Most take a semester at a foreign university; others take shorter trips led by faculty or by the student-run organization Engineers Without Borders. Study abroad was “such an important part of my coursework,” says Christine Sur (pictured above), an environmental studies major who has traveled to Australia, Belize, Guam and Palau through USC. “It was a completely different experience than I could have gotten [on campus].”

For more information on study abroad programs, visit and ROBERT PERKINS

D I V E P H O T O B Y G E R R Y S M I T H ; K O A L A P H O T O C O U R T E S Y O F K O TA R O U Y E D A

WHILE HER PRE-MED PEERS were reading text-

Some heroes choose lab coats over capes. Our world-class doctors are here, every day, delivering personalized care and treatment. Providing hope where none existed. Giving our patients peace-of-mind and strength to carry on. Because what makes us different isn’t the name on the door, but the people who walk through it. The people we treat, who inspire us every day. Congratulations to all our USC Super Doctors honorees chosen by physicians across the region.

Fight On. Keck Hospital of USC USC Norris Cancer Hospital | 1-800-USC-CARE


President C. L. Max Nikias and first lady Niki C. Nikias, center, and USC supporters celebrate amid fireworks above Widney Alumni House.

USC Celebrates Historic Campaign Launch Amid a festive atmosphere, the university kicks off its $6 billion fundraising drive. THE TROJAN FAMILY celebrated the launch of

the Campaign for the University of Southern California, the largest campaign in the history of USC and of American higher education, at two events in September. On Sept. 15, more than 1,000 USC alumni and friends gathered for “Dinner Under the Stars,” a concert performance and gala at Widney Alumni House. Before the festivities, USC president C. L. Max Nikias asked the audience to reflect on the university’s extraordinary journey, which began as the dream of Judge Robert Maclay Widney in what was once a


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

remote outpost of the American West. “A global university was humbly born, as 53 students and nine teachers made their way into this building in early October of 1880,” Nikias said. “Judge Widney could not have imagined, even in his wildest dreams, what USC is today – a rising global powerhouse in the cultivation of the human mind, body and spirit.” Standing not far from the iconic statue of Tommy Trojan, and borrowing its Latin motto, Fas Regna Trojae – “the destined reign of Troy” – Nikias exhorted the university community to reach higher and far-

ther than may seem possible. “Ours today are times of uncertainty, but uncertainty is always the beginning of adventure,” he said. “With this $6 billion campaign goal, we are embarking on our own adventure of a lifetime – one that will allow our university to maximize its presence both locally and globally, setting the standard for community service and global academic outreach and collaboration. “This campaign is ultimately an investment in people – faculty and students of unmatched ability and ambition,” Nikias continued. “It will allow USC to move to


xx endocrinologist Jaime Guevara-Aguirre, above, worked on the study with USC’s Valter Longo (shown below at left)

the vanguard in the sciences and the social sciences, in the humanities and engineering and medicine and patient care, in professional practice and athletic and cultural excellence.” Nikias highlighted USC’s history of implementing ambitious and successful fundraising campaigns, beginning in the 1960s under President Norman H. Topping. At the time, national media wrote off the university’s chances and some predicted that 20 years would pass before USC reached its goal. Instead, the university raised close to $1 billion in today’s dollars in only five years. Subsequent campaigns culminated in President Steven B. Sample’s historic $3 billion drive, which cemented USC’s status as a leading national research university. The next step for USC, Nikias said, is to build its endowment. “It must rank in the top tier of private institutions, if we want our university to have the resources to

compete for the long term.” On Sept. 16, USC trustees, faculty, staff, students and friends gathered at Bovard Auditorium to celebrate the university’s academic achievements with student performances and faculty presentations, as well as remarks by Nikias, USC provost and senior vice president for academic affairs Elizabeth Garrett and USC senior vice president for University Advancement Al Checcio. Addressing a full house, Nikias announced that USC raised a record $1.2 billion in the past 12 months. He emphasized that this figure was made possible not just because of the kind of large gifts that make headlines, but also because of the support the university receives at all levels. “You have shown that every gift, no matter how small and humble, makes a bold statement about what we value,” Nikias said. Provost Garrett outlined how the campaign will build the university: by recruiting

“[USC founder] Judge Widney could not have imagined what USC is today – a rising global powerhouse in the cultivation of the human mind, body and spirit.” – President Nikias

and retaining more exceptional researchers, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows; by increasing financial aid and reducing student debt; by funding pressing academic priorities in all schools and units; and by funding capital projects, including new research offices and laboratories, buildings for patient care, and residential housing for graduate and international students. “What happens at USC has an impact that resonates far beyond Los Angeles and Southern California,” Garrett said. Checcio concluded by noting that the campaign is an initiative to accelerate the academic ascent of the university. “The campaign will touch each and every area of USC, and it will touch each and every one of us,” he said. “This is just the beginning.” ● To learn more about the campaign, go to U S C T R O J A N F A M I L Y M A G A Z I N E






“What happens at USC has an impact that resonates far beyond Los Angeles and Southern California.” – Provost Elizabeth Garrett


AN EVENING TO REMEMBER: 1) Addressing the gala audience, President C. L. Max Nikias talks about the historical significance of the campaign. 2) World-renowned violinist Midori, holder of the Jascha Heifetz Chair in Violin at the USC Thornton School of Music, performs with the USC Thornton Symphony before the gala dinner. 3) Widney Alumni House serves as the backdrop for the gala dinner festivities. 4) Provost and senior vice president for academic affairs Elizabeth Garrett discusses the university’s strategic vision and academic priorities. 5) The university celebration concludes with the entrance of the USC Trojan Marching Band and Song Girls.

›› 14


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

CAMPAIGN BY THE NUMBERS Endowment: Faculty / Research

$ 2 billion

Endowment: Scholarships

$ 1 billion

Endowment Subtotal

$ 3 billion

Immediate Support: Academic Priorities

$ 2 billion

Immediate Support: Capital Projects

$ 1 billion

Immediate Support Subtotal

$ 3 billion

Campaign Total

$ 6 billion

A time of great opportunity, unbounded optimism, and infinite possibility‌ USC is an agile, innovative, and vibrant university—a global destination for explorers and dreamers, artists and entrepreneurs. The recently announced Campaign for the University of Southern California will touch and transform every aspect of the university. There has never been a better time to make a planned gift to USC. Gift planning experts in USC’s OfďŹ ce of Planned Giving are ready to help with: life along with signiďŹ cant tax beneďŹ ts,

the campaign for the University of Southern California FA S R E G N A T R O J A E

To learn more, please call or email: USC OfďŹ ce of Planned Giving (213) 740-2682


The stunning vistas of the San Bernardino Mountains are part of the magic of Troy Camp. From left, David Melendez, 10, of Hoover Street Elementary School; Kyren Johnson, 10, of John W. Mack Elementary School; and Jenny Rosales, 10, of James A. Foshay Learning Center, spend a few quiet moments with Troy Camp founder Otis Healy.


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

For the Love of

Troy Camp


The summer camp Otis Healy started 62 years ago is still going strong, bringing friendship, adventure and personal growth to inner-city kids and the USC student volunteers who watch over them.

On an 80-degree day late in May, Otis Healy ’50 watches as schoolchildren run past to play in the sand and swim in the lake up in the San Bernardino Mountains. With his white hair and aged skin, Healy stands out among the kids and college students who have taken over Forest Falls’ Lakeview campsite for this year’s installment of USC Troy Camp, which Healy, 84, started more than six decades ago. As he watches kids climb a makeshift waterslide and bounce around on an inflatable water toy, he is beholding his legacy. It was 1949 when Healy, then an undergraduate student at USC, raised $3,500 to organize Troy Camp with five of his friends. They aimed to give underprivileged children in the neighborhoods surrounding the university an opportunity to get away from the troubles of inner-city life and experience a week of summer-camp activities in the wilderness. Today, Troy Camp continues as the oldest and largest student-run philanthropic organization at USC – passed down and carried on by a new group of student volunteers every year. Thanks to Troy Camp, more than 10,000 South Los Angeles third-, fourth- and fifthgraders have ridden a horse, shot a bow and arrow, gone swimming in a lake, experienced nature and camaraderie, and received positive feedback and mentoring from college students. “It gives me a great feeling of satisfaction to see something I started that kept on going and growing,” says Healy, who checks in on the camp each year on Visitor’s Day, the second-to-last day of camp. “It’s also great that every year it seems to be a little bit better than the previous year.” Healy came up with the idea for Troy Camp after a friend told him about UCLA’s UniCamp. “I thought, if UCLA could do

it, then USC can do it too, only we’ll do it better!” Healy recalls. “And I think we are doing it better.” While UniCamp is run by paid staffers, Troy Camp has always been operated by student volunteers. There are no paid employees (unless you count faculty adviser Heather Larabee, assistant dean of students and director of campus activities). Running the entire camp are a pair of co-executive directors and 12 executive board members, all USC students. Another 77 volunteers serve as counselors. A camper-to-counselor ratio of less than 3-to-1 allows USC students to provide attention to and form personal bonds with every child. Another difference: While UCLA takes lots of kids – around 1,100 a year – for one of eight weeklong camp sessions, Troy Camp treats a smaller number of kids – roughly 170 to 200, depending on funding – to a year’s worth of activities, starting with the visit to Forest Falls and culminating with graduation. “We have activities for the kids every month for a truly year-round program,” Healy says. “The counselors really get to know the kids.” And it shows. As graduation nears, the kids scramble around to get the counselors to sign their Troy Camp T-shirts. Soon the colorful shirts are covered front and back with nicknames, such as “Loafer,” “Pilgrim,” “Bowflex” and “Kung Pao.” “They are like celebrities to us,” says Diamond Robinson, a fifth-grader at 52nd Street Elementary School. “I want to grow up to be just like them.” Troy Camp accepts kids from 19 neighborhood elementary schools. Prospective campers submit a short essay on why they want to participate. Their teachers make recommendations, identifying the students they think most deserve to go to camp as a reward. U S C T R O J A N F A M I L Y M A G A Z I N E


Left: Counselors and campers discuss the upcoming evening bonfire while reflecting on their experiences at Troy Camp. Center: Oswaldo Aquine, 10, of Norwood Street Elementary School, left, and Darnay Jointer, 9, of The Accelerated School, watch fellow campers taking a swimming test. Right: Hugo Mercel, 10, of Dr. Theodore T. Alexander Jr. Science Center School, sits on his cabin bunk, ready for a water fight.

School principals value Troy Camp so much that they let kids miss a week of classes to attend. Camp is held in late May so it won’t interfere with USC student volunteers’ summer jobs or travel plans. (It doesn’t interfere much with the elementary school curriculum either, because camp takes place a week or two after the California Standards Tests, when schools typically take a well-earned breather.) “Even for young children, school is so test-driven these days,” laments Lynn Brown, principal of Lenicia B. Weemes Elementary School. “Troy Camp shows children that there’s more to life than tests. I wish all our children could go.” In its 62 years, Troy Camp has become a

South Los Angeles institution. Polly Bravo, office tech at Weemes, has seen three generations of her family go through the program. Her younger brother and sister took part in Troy Camp in the early 1970s, her daughters went about a decade later, then her grandson had his turn in 2009. “Troy Camp is the most beautiful thing in this neighborhood,” Bravo says. “Kids look forward to it all year. If you didn’t go to Troy Camp, it was the end of the world.” Saroya “Joystick” Sandiford fondly remembers her time as a camper during her third and fourth grades at Weemes. When she entered USC as an undergraduate, becoming a Troy Camp volunteer was her top priority. Now a junior, she was a counselor

for the first time last May and a volunteer the year before. “Troy Camp gave me the greatest two years of my life,” Sandiford says. “I wanted to give back to others from my community and to show kids that there is more out there than our neighborhood.” There is no shortage of like-minded students. About 500 apply each fall for approximately 80 counselor spots. Each counselor ends up volunteering about 250 hours a year. Even though it may be difficult to achieve the grades and test scores needed to attend USC, involvement in Troy Camp can make a child and his or her family aware of the many USC community programs at their disposal. Former Weemes student Jairo “Tinkles”


“I wasn’t old enough to ˜t their minimums,” Healy recalls, “but they hired me anyhow. I think one of the great reasons was that I had started Troy Camp. It showed some initiative and put me just a little bit ahead of the next applicant.” Healy went on to become senior vice president and regional director with the company, in charge of branch o° ces across the southern half of the United States. A shining example of doing good and doing well. Born in Los Angeles, the only son of a claims

adjustor who spent 40 years working for Hartford Insurance Co., Healy is perhaps best described as steadfast. After that ˜rst interview with Dean Witter, he stayed on for 26 years. It was only when the ˜rm wanted to transfer Healy to its San Francisco headquarters in 1976 that the company man parted ways with his employer. “I said, ‘No, I’m not going to move to San Francisco. I h ave family here.’˛” Four children, to be speci˜c – three of them Trojans – w hom he raised with his wife of nearly 50 years, Betty. (The family has since expanded to 11 grand-

Long before college career counselors were touting community service as a s ure path to employment opportunities, Otis Healy was, to paraphrase the Nike ads, “just doing it.” So, on the eve of his 1950 graduation with a bachelor’s in business, when the founder of Troy Camp marched over to the career placement center, he was pleasantly surprised to land an interview with the brokerage house of Dean Witter.


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



Hernandez followed his two years at Troy Camp by joining USC’s Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI) program in middle school and staying on through high school graduation. By taking coursework at USC, dedicating his Saturdays to learning, and receiving 800 extra hours of instruction in mathematics and language arts, Hernandez completed the rigorous NAI program. NAI graduates who gain admission to USC – as Hernandez did – are awarded a four-and-ahalf-year, full-tuition scholarship. “Troy Camp for sure helped me get to college,” says Hernandez, now a senior who completed his second year as a counselor in May. “Whenever I got tired of school, I thought about all the people who had

pushed me. I didn’t want to let them down.” Another former camper, José “Dr. J” Avalos, has never forgotten the impact Troy Camp had on his life. After graduating from UC Berkeley and completing medical school at UCLA, he returned to Troy Camp as its camp doctor. For the past three years, he has taken time off from work as a family physician at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center to bandage scrapes, treat insect bites and take care of asthma attacks during the weeklong excursion. At the first night’s campfire in May, Avalos introduced himself as a former camper who once was just like them. Before going to Troy Camp as a fifth-grader from Norwood

Street Elementary School in 1990, Avalos had never stepped foot outside South Los Angeles. College was never talked about in his Mexican immigrant family. His mother’s goal was for him to be the first in his family to graduate from high school. “The big impact Troy Camp had on my life was to open my mind to going to college,” Avalos says. “I always wanted to give something back in general, but particularly to the people who helped me. By the end of the week, you really see in kids’ faces the huge impact. Troy Camp gives kids the gift of possibilities.” ●

children and three great-grandchildren, with a fourth one on the way. Betty passed away in 2000, and Healy’s second wife, Barbara, died in 2010. He recently married for a third time, to Joanne Akerman ’55, a dental hygiene alumna.) When Dean Witter didn’t budge on the San Francisco transfer, Healy accepted a senior vice presidency with Smith Barney, overseeing that ˜rm’s western region until 1989. That year, Healy retired and moved the family to Laguna Beach, where he has lived ever since. The distance didn’t stop him from serv-

ing as president of the USC Alumni Association in 1990-91 and on USC’s Board of Trustees from 1989 to 1995. Before that, he was president of the USC Commerce Associates, the precursor to today’s 600-strong USC Marshall Partners network. In 2004, Healy was honored with the Arnold Eddy Volunteer Service Award, presented by the Skull and Dagger Society for exemplary volunteer service to the university. Even now, at age 84, Healy remains active in USC a˝ airs. That includes keeping faith with his ˜rst USC commitment – Troy Camp.

Every summer, he makes the trek to Forest Falls on Visitor’s Day. He usually gives the campers a s hort pep talk about appreciating their counselors, honoring parents and valuing education. Every fall, he meets with the incoming co-directors to share “a few thoughts or ideas.” Asked to account for his steadfastness with respect to Troy Camp, Healy explains: “Once you start something like that and it starts to take o˝, why, you’re drawn to it, and you stay with it.” If you’re Otis Healy, you do.

To learn how to send more kids to Troy Camp, go to




[ understanding addiction ]

WE ARE ADDICTS Across USC, researchers are probing the mysteries of addiction, constructing a nuanced framework that challenges long-held conventional wisdom. BY SUZANNE WU

Almost half of us are addicts. In a given year, of the U.S. adult population will suffer from a severe addiction.

47 percent

j e f f r e y h a m i lt o n / g e t t y i m a g e s


ike many researchers during their lean early years, Steven Sussman practically lived in the lab, sleeping in a chair on the nights he was too tired to make the 72-mile drive home. During one bad stretch – a grueling marathon session preparing a grant application – he was working 21 hours at a time and didn’t change his clothes for four days. “I started to smell bad,” Sussman recalls. He was a workaholic. “Addicts aren’t just pathological hedonists,” Sussman explains. “Many are not particularly pathological or hedonistic.” Now a professor of preventive medicine and psychology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, Sussman earlier this year published an ambitious article in Evaluation & the Health Professions that sought to make sense of data from 83 studies about addiction. His conclusions were an eye-opening challenge to the idea that addicts are a rarity, the lunatic fringe. In a given year, Sussman found, 47 percent of the U.S. adult population will suffer from a severe addiction. Almost half of us are addicts. Sussman may even have underestimated. His study didn’t include coffee or smartphone use. It included workaholism, but, Sussman acknowledges, most addictions that don’t result in legal consequences or treatment records are difficult to track: If you are a young scientist in your 20s without a family to ignore, your problem might not be recognized, much less diagnosed. Similarly, addiction among retirees and older adults is likely underreported, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Of course, some addictions are more problematic than others. “To the extent that people are harming themselves, I have less of a problem with [drug use],” says health economist Joel Hay, who studies the costs of legalizing substances such as marijuana. “But when you

start to harm others, that’s when it affects the rest of us. Those are social consequences,” says the founding chair of the USC School of Pharmacy’s Titus Family Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Economics & Policy. The repercussions of addiction are well documented – extending beyond broken relationships to accidents, lost productivity and health care costs. Alcoholism alone costs the United States an estimated $185 billion per year, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Addiction, then, often is framed by policymakers not in terms of patterns of behavior but in terms of its aftermath – like a deeply personal form of disaster relief. How much damage was caused? Is your life in shambles? But it’s hard to understand storm patterns by looking at the wreckage. Underlying the social harm caused by addiction is a more fundamental question: Why do so many people become addicts in the first place? Scientists at USC are working across departments and campuses to identify the underpinnings of addiction – the piece of our inner workings that goes awry and leads us to self-destruct. The more they discover, in conjunction with researchers across the country, the more it becomes clear that there’s no separate pathology for addiction – it’s bound up in who we are as humans. “We are all born with the systems of addiction,” says neuroscientist Antoine Bechara, professor of psychology at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. “Addiction is a disease of decision-making and bad choices, just as there are diseases of memory. Addiction is the failure to learn from mistakes.”

What Is Addiction?

The American Psychiatric Association currently distinguishes between substance dependence and impulse-control disorders,

such as compulsive gambling, sex or eating. In the organization’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which serves as a guide for most clinical therapists and helps determine whether a treatment is likely to be covered by insurance, physical withdrawal symptoms are a key item on the addiction checklist. So, “psychological addictions” don’t count. Alan Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and former director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), has long cautioned that hinging addiction on physical withdrawal is misguided and outdated, even within the category of substance dependence. It’s easy to see why. With some substances, such as alcohol, physical withdrawal symptoms are intense, even fatal; with other substances, such as marijuana, crack cocaine and methamphetamine, the addict experiences less severe physical withdrawal symptoms. Yet, these addictions are no less difficult to kick. What do different kinds of addictions have in common? Literature has reinforced the idea that both substance and behavioral addictions tap into a core brain system: the mesolimbic pathway governing pleasure and reward. Unlike obsessive-compulsive behaviors, which are governed by anxiety, addiction is governed by nothing less than the pursuit of happiness. As early as the 1950s, researchers at McGill University showed that lab animals receiving mild electrical stimulation directly to this part of the brain after pushing a button would thereafter push the button compulsively, ignoring water and food. Different addictions work on the brain in different ways, as biologist and USC executive vice provost Michael Quick has shown in his research on how recreational and therapeutic drugs alter the signaling properties of nerve cells. But they all appear to intersect at the mesolimbic

U S C T r o j a n Fa m i ly m a g a z i n e


pursuit of pleasure

“addiction – ­ the compulsive ­– is evolutionarily adaptive. it’s not just crazy behavior.”

pathway, which regulates behavior through a chemical called dopamine. Generally, dopamine binds with neuron receptors to produce feelings of pleasure, encouraging us to repeat certain behaviors again and again.

Biology and Opportunity

“Addiction – the compulsive pursuit of pleasure – is, in a sense, evolutionarily adaptive. It’s not just crazy behavior,” says Adam Leventhal, director of the Health, Emotion & Addiction Laboratory at USC. “We are wired to want to feel good.” Leventhal, assistant professor of preventive medicine and psychology at the Keck School, studies why some people become addicts after trying a substance just once, while others might have little susceptibility to certain drugs and use recreationally for years. In a sense, he studies moral luck. “If the addictive personality is so harmful, why would it have been passed on from generation to generation?” Leventhal wonders. He points to people with impulsive tendencies, a trait that has a high correlation with addiction. Such people tend to think and act quickly, without considering long-term consequences. Impulsive personality types also tend to be extroverted and brave – the sort who are not afraid to talk to strangers. They have a gift for improvisation. They are creative. All desirable traits, in some settings. The addictive personality, Leventhal says, “is an adaptive feature gone wrong in certain contexts.” Just how much context matters to addiction has been the focus of Carol Prescott’s research for more than a decade. A professor of psychology at USC Dornsife, she seeks precision in the gray areas, examining how addiction is the result of both genes and opportunity – of nature and nurture. There is plenty of conflicting data. On the one hand, Dana Goldman, director of the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health

Policy and Economics at USC, recently tied prescription drug addiction to rising Internet use. Goldman and a colleague at Massachusetts General Hospital found that states with the greatest expansion in high-speed Internet access from 2000 to 2007 also had the largest increase in hospital admissions for prescription drug abuse. On the other hand, James A. Knowles, professor of research psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Keck School’s Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute, found genetic causes for several psychiatric disorders, including addiction. Knowles was senior researcher on a 2007 study linking opiate addiction to the presence of chromosome 14q, a genetic predisposition much more prevalent among certain ethnic groups. So which is it? Genetics or environment? “It’s both, and that’s not a cop-out,” says Prescott, who is perhaps best known for her work studying substance abuse among twins. She has shown that in early adolescence, family and social environment is the most critical indicator of whether a child will try alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana. But once the brain has been exposed, there is more of a role for biology. By adulthood, the identical twin of a drug addict is much more likely than other siblings to be an addict as well. Interestingly, though, the twins often are not addicted to the same thing. That could be a case of pursuing the same end by different means. “Certainly if the reason for substance abuse is self-medication, then different substances may serve similar purposes. Xanax can have similar effects to alcohol,” Prescott says. There also may be such a thing as “addictive potential” in general – some underlying function that would put a person at risk for many addictions. With the emergence of new research into addiction, the establishment position is starting to shift. A long-awaited revised

edition of the DSM is scheduled for release in 2013. The changes under consideration for the fifth edition of the manual include grouping compulsive gambling with substance addictions. It’s a nudge toward a more inclusive idea of addiction and reflects the growing consensus that behavioral and substance addictions share common root causes in the brain. “The more we understand about the biology of addiction, the more the lines among chemical, physical and psychological addiction begin to seem arbitrary and break down,” Leventhal says. The NIDA already is funding studies of compulsive gambling that may pave the way for new insights into addiction. A gambler provides a model of an addicted brain, but one not affected by chronic drug intake. At the same time, there’s a push to unify addiction research under one umbrella at the federal government level. Earlier this year, the National Institutes of Health, the primary U.S. government agency overseeing biomedical research, reviewed a recommendation that would merge disparate addiction institutes and parts of the National Institute of Mental Health to create one national entity for funding research on the causes of addiction. “For those of us who study risk factors of addiction, this makes sense,” Prescott says. “It’s impossible to study the root causes of, say, alcoholism and not ask about depression or about other drugs. They’re too overlapping.”

Redefining Addiction

A few years ago, neuroscientist Bechara, with Brain and Creativity Institute (BCI) co-founder Hanna Damasio and colleagues from the University of Iowa, found that smokers with lesions on a deep-seated, prune-sized part of the brain called the insula were able to quit smoking immediately,


U S C T r o j a n Fa m i ly m a g a z i n e winter 2011

“The more we understand about the

biology of addiction,

completely and easily. “My body forgot the urge to smoke,” one study participant said. Nora Volkow, director of the NIDA, which funded the smoking study, called the findings “mind-boggling.” The New York Times said they were “likely to alter the course of addiction research.” For decades, the insula, which exists in all mammals, was dismissed as a part of the brain with little to tell researchers about human consciousness – a dispatch center for primordial signals from the body’s nerve endings, alerting us to full bladders, empty stomachs and pain. About a decade ago, a team of researchers from Newcastle University Medical School showed that people with insula damage had trouble understanding the emotional content of music. Even though their ability to hear was intact, they did not perceive music as music, only noise. Similarly, smokers with insula damage no longer wanted nicotine – smoking had lost its emotional edge. The findings from the BCI are exciting. But think of this breakthrough another way, and it puts the challenge of kicking addiction in stark perspective: One of the most promising new directions we have for a cure is brain damage. The growing realization that there is no separate brain pathway for addiction raises the possibility that we can’t treat harmful compulsions without affecting other behaviors we value. Would it be worth being able to easily quit smoking if the price were losing the ability to understand music? “We happened to do the study with smokers, but we believe that the findings extrapolate to other addictions,” Bechara says. Which brings us back to the problem of trying to cubbyhole addictions in terms of substance versus psychological dependence, ranking them by the strength of their withdrawal symptoms or prioritizing them by the damage they wreak on society. The more we

know, the more the rules change. In most psychological studies of typical human behavior, addicts have long been screened out for possible aberrant behavior. Not smokers. Simply as a practical matter, it would have been difficult a few decades ago to find enough nonsmokers to fill a study sample. Thinking of addiction in terms of visible consequences also has played a role in separating smokers from other addicts. The immediate harm of having one more drink may be huge. The immediate harm of having one more cigarette is harder to quantify. Over time, the scientific community has reconsidered these definitions. “If you had asked me 40 years ago if smoking is an addiction,” Bechara says, “I would have said no. We didn’t know smoking was harmful then. But now we know it is harmful. Addiction is about persisting in a behavior despite knowledge of negative consequences.”

the more the lines among chemical, physical and psychological addiction seem arbitrary and break down.”

A Disease of the Will

In addition to exponentially increasing the likelihood of certain diseases through prolonged substance exposure, addiction has other long-term consequences. Volkow has shown that even after cocaine addicts are clean for a sustained period of time, there seems to be a permanent decrease in their dopamine receptors, making it more difficult for former cocaine addicts to feel pleasure. Last year, professors Daryl Davies and Ronald Alkana of the USC School of Pharmacy identified a molecular ion “gate” in the brain that actually mutates when exposed to alcohol. Such brain changes have contributed to the compassionate characterization of addiction as a disease. Like many other diseases – skin cancer and hypertension among them – addiction is associated with voluntary choices that can, over time, interact with genetics and environmental factors,

U S C T r o j a n Fa m i ly m a g a z i n e


“Addicts are


such as stress, to compromise our health. Unlike other diseases, though, with addiction the symptoms burden the cure: Bad choices compromise our very ability to make choices. If addiction is a disease, it is a disease of self-destruction – as if people with skin cancer kept sneaking outside without sunscreen on cloudless days. In 2009, Harvard psychologist Gene Heyman wrote Addiction: A Disorder of Choice, which challenges the idea that addiction is a disease, since it can be overcome by sheer will. Going cold turkey, and prevailing, is possible with addiction, yet inconceivable with other brain diseases, such as schizophrenia or Alzheimer’s. It’s precisely the element of will that makes addiction such a poignant window on human behavior, says Drew Pinsky, clinical professor of psychiatry at the Keck School. Pinsky, more popularly known as Dr. Drew, started appearing on the syndicated radio show Loveline while still a medical student at USC, and now also appears on an eponymous talk show and three additional reality television shows. As the most prominent public face of addiction medicine, he has done more than anyone in the last two decades to deprive addiction of its greatest enabler: secrecy. “Addicts are responsible for their own treatment,” Pinsky says, “but they are not responsible for the disease. I’ve never met an addict who was happy with being an addict.” At USC’s Self-Control Neuroscience Research Lab, John Monterosso studies the denouement of the addiction narrative: how we sometimes say no, or, perhaps more accurately, no more. Just as researchers have isolated the brain’s reward mechanisms that spiral habit into addiction, Monterosso is approaching willpower as a matter of biology, not metaphysical strength. “When people start talking about addiction as a ‘brain thing,’ they stop acting like

for their own treatment, but they are not responsible for the disease.”

people have control. It puts an upper bound on what humans are capable of,” says Monterosso, associate professor of psychology at USC Dornsife. But willpower, he notes, also is a “brain thing.” Building off the large body of research into dopamine and reward systems, Monterosso examines which parts of addicts’ brains (he studies smokers and methamphetamine users) are active and which are suppressed when the addicts are trying to resist temptation. His work prompts the question of whether we will one day be able to bolster the parts of the brain that help addicts make better decisions. “Yes, we are drawn to rewards, but we are able to control ourselves if there are consequences for seeking that reward,” says Bechara, one of the first researchers to examine the role of the prefrontal cortex in mediating decision-making. “There are areas in the brain that are in charge of this ability to self-control. It’s a new way of looking at addiction.” Under the right circumstances, a rat will become addicted to almost any substance that humans might crave, be it sugar or nicotine. But animal models, Monterosso notes, only capture one side of the motivational struggle people experience. “Addiction is not just about seeking reward. It is about being conflicted,” he says. As humans, we have the capacity to make the big conceptual maneuver required for trading short-term pleasure for long-term goals. Therein lies perhaps the most human aspect of addiction and the chance of weathering the storm of self-destruction. All animals have the capacity for addiction – humans included. But only humans get to participate in their own redemption narrative. We have it in ourselves to get better. l If you have questions or comments on this article, go to


U S C T r o j a n Fa m i ly m a g a z i n e winter 2011

A New Treatment for Alcoholism? IVERMECTIN THERAPY could enable alcoholics to consume a drink or two without losing control. Daryl Davies is shedding new light on one of the key molecular culprits of alcoholism. Davies co-directs the Alcohol and Brain Research Laboratory at USC, the only lab in the world focused on how alcohol affects a littleknown family of brain molecules: purinergic, or P2X, receptors. “In our group, almost every researcher has seen first-hand the devastation caused by addiction,” says the associate professor of clinical pharmacy at the USC School of Pharmacy. “It’s how I became interested in alcohol research. Why can’t we cure alcoholism?” Beginning a decade ago, Davies – who still has the same office since his days as a doctoral student at USC – made the first in a series of breakthrough discoveries. Notably, he and longtime collaborator Ronald Alkana, professor of pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences at USC, found that P2X4, a subtype of P2X, contains an ion “gate” that stops working when exposed to ethanol, the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages. If flooded with enough ethanol over time, the ion gate actually mutates and stops working altogether. “You know the saying, ‘Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic’? It’s true,” Davies says. When exposed to enough alcohol, the brain’s molecular structure can change – permanently. By happenstance, Davies’ lab then found another chemical, ivermectin, which works on the same ion gate as ethanol. Initially, Davies and his colleagues were using ivermectin to isolate P2X4 molecules from other subtypes, say, P2X3. An anti-parasitic used worldwide on humans and animals, ivermectin is commonly found in the United States as an additive to flea and tick medication applied to the necks of cats and dogs.

“In our group, almost every researcher has seen first-hand the devastation caused by addiction.”

The substance appears to significantly inhibit the effects of alcohol on P2X4 receptors. In a flurry of research released this year, a collaborative team of USC researchers showed that alcohol-dependent mice drink much less – about 50 percent less – when taking ivermectin. Davies doesn’t yet know why ivermectin limits alcohol intake in mice or why it helps signal that it’s time to stop drinking. Using it to treat alcohol abuse in humans would be a departure from abstinence-based models of addiction treatment. Of the three main drugs currently approved for treating alcohol dependence, all try to make alcohol undrinkable or undesirable. All, even in conjunction with therapy, have a success rate of less than 10 percent. Ivermectin therapy could enable alcoholics to consume a drink or two, without the compulsion to drink to the point where they start to lose control, according to Davies. That ivermectin already is approved for human use is critical, and not only to help bring the drug to market relatively quickly and inexpensively. Its long history of ingestion, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, means that ivermectin is unlikely addictive itself, Davies says. With Nicos A. Petasis, the Harold E. and Lillian M. Moulton Professor of Chemistry at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, and Stan Louie, associate professor of clinical pharmacy at the USC School of Pharmacy, Davies and Alkana now are working on developing an entirely new class of drugs based on ivermectin’s molecular structure. “If there was already a drug that was 95 percent effective, I might not be studying ivermectin. I might not even be in the alcohol field,” he says. “The funding for alcoholism research hasn’t caught up with the magnitude of the consequences of not finding a cure.” SUZANNE WU

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Gained in TRANSLATION For the 800 ‘internationals’ who pass through USC’s Language Academy each year, intensive English study opens eyes, ears, mouths and minds. By Liz Segal | Photographs by Roger Snider


otato salad, fried chicken, coleslaw and Cokes – what better way to entertain scores of “internationals” on a hot Friday afternoon in July? The students have gathered for opening day of USC’s Language Academy, an intensive English-immersion program based at the University Park campus. It is a colorful and eclectic crowd: young Asian women wearing rhinestone-studded sunglasses; heavy-accented young men in oversized shorts and Vans; brightly smiling Middle Eastern women in jeans and headscarves. They seem excited, making side plans to see Yellowstone and New York City. “This is America!” says one beaming Saudi woman when asked if she will learn to drive here. They have come to learn English, American style. Beginners might land in a level one reading and writing class, where they are drilled on the basics. A week into the summer program finds some of them producing compound sentences at the direction of Language Academy instructor Priscilla Caraveo: “I have to do my homework, but I don’t have time!” volunteers one playful student to a chorus of laughter from her classmates. Advanced students might land in level six (the penultimate level), where expectations are much higher. A visit to instructor Steve MacIsaac’s class finds some international students, a week into the program, analyzing an article from The Nation. “We’re stair-stepping them to learn to write an M.A.- or Ph.D.-level paper, to familiarize them with the American style of thinking, writing, research and academic synthesis,”


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Though Surachart Ratchajanda comes from a small town three hours northeast of Bangkok, Thailand, at age 26 he already is world-traveled and head of his own NGO. He speaks English with some ˙ uency, but this summer found him brushing up his skills at the Language Academy as a prelude to entering USC’s IPPAM program in the fall. It all sounds pretty remarkable, but what makes it downright amazing is that Ratchajanda is blind. An accident at age 15 took his vision, but gave him a new purpose in life: to serve the cause of the blind in his homeland. Through his NGO, Ratchajanda has traveled to schools for the blind across Thailand, including rural areas. “I like to persuade people that they can do anything, even if they’re afraid it’s dangerous,” he says. Ratchajanda seems quite fearless. “People ask, ‘How can you come alone on a 23-hour plane ride to the U.S.?’ I say, ‘It’s no di˝ erent than in Thailand: here, there are still big holes in the pavements, tra° c jams, low-hanging trees. As long as I know English, I can get by.’ ” The potholes, tra° c jams and trees may be the same, but the professional opportunities available to the blind are profoundly di˝ erent. “There is a lack of job diversity for

the blind in Thailand,” Ratchajanda says, his eyes hidden behind stylish mirrored glasses. “Even college graduates can barely work as teachers, operators or o° cers in blind associations. Those who aren’t college graduates work as masseurs or selling lottery tickets. They don’t get much government help right now, about $20 a month. So I asked myself, ‘What could the government do better?’ ” He hopes to ˜gure that out while studying at USC, and he’s already brimming with ideas. “In the United States, the blind use guide dogs, but in Thailand they are only able to use canes. I want to observe what they do here for the blind, study it and make recommendations back home.” His English-language learning will be critical not only in his master’s studies, but in making deeper connections with international organizations for the blind. He waxes philosophical about the accident that forever changed his life. “If I hadn’t gone blind, I would never have gone abroad,” he says. “I got a lot of experience and knowledge this way – experience that sighted people haven’t gotten. So perhaps by becoming blind, you see more.”

Surachart Ratchajanda



No jacket, no tie, no bowing at the waist. For a Japanese businessman, Norio Kaji is disarmingly informal in his ˙ ip-˙ ops, form˜tting T-shirt and loosely slung student bag. Having been a buttoned-down manager not long ago, Kaji is digging the mellow SoCal existence. This isn’t Kaji’s ˜rst experience in America. “I was working for six months in the accounting department of a private cable company in Colorado,” he explains. Sent by his Japanese employer as a management trainee, he had to abruptly return when the parent company sold its interest in his ˜rm. By then Kaji had developed a taste of the United States, and with the advice of his Colorado co-workers, he quit his cable job and applied to USC Marshall’s IBEAR program. Despite his already top-notch spoken English, Kaji’s admission was contingent on a refresher course at the Language Academy. He could have chosen a Japanese MBA program, but opted instead for a school with a global reputation and an international student body. Back in Colorado, he had been struck by the way his colleagues communicated. “So many of my American co-workers with MBAs not only knew how to do business and manage people e° ciently, but

they knew how to discuss and argue e˝ ectively, something we don’t see in Japan a lot,” Kaji says. “Sometimes it’s hard to decide anything in Japan because it’s all about consensus, so a company will lose opportunities while trying to make decisions.” After graduating from USC Marshall, Kaji hopes to ˜nd work in a multinational communications company in Japan. Once there, he’ll try to change the rigid Japanese management culture little by little, from the inside. “I’m not sure if it’s possible, but I’m looking forward to facing this challenge,” he says. Kaji is delighted by the many cultural di˝ erences he encounters here. “L.A. is a much more international city than where we lived in Colorado,” he says. “I thought at ˜rst this is another country, with so much Spanish!” When he goes to sporting events, he ˜nds the crowd almost as interesting as the game: “Watching the people cheering, shouting and drinking beer. So exciting!” he says. Even a walk in the park is a cultural eye-opener. “When my wife and I go out with our baby in the stroller, people take so much care for the baby, asking questions,” he says. In Japan, strangers keep much more to themselves. “Here we get to talk to them. It’s fun.”

Norio Kaji MacIsaac explains. “Many of them have never written a paper in English, let alone the other stuff.” But they soon would. This particular class is earmarked for a cohort of internationals who, come fall, would start graduate studies in communication management through the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. Each year, USC receives more than 7,000 students from abroad (almost one-sixth of the student body). For some of these students, academic ability may be on target, but English usage falls short. Enter USC’s two English as a Second Language (ESL) programs: the American Language Institute (ALI) and the Language Academy.


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

The former, founded in 1959 and run by the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, offers ESL courses for academic credit. It is required for matriculated USC undergraduate and graduate students who score below six (on a seven-point scale) on the ALI-administered International Student English placement exam. Approximately 1,000 students take this test every year, and more than 600 of them end up receiving instruction at ALI. The program also offers advanced electives in academic and spoken English as well as dissertation writing. Additionally, in collaboration with USC’s Center for Excellence in Teaching, it provides a weeklong training session for all new international teaching assistants.

The Language Academy fills a different niche. Founded in 1993 in affiliation with USC’s Rossier School of Education, it provides academic English and English for professional advancement, and it prepares students for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and other standardized tests, such as the International English Language Testing System, the GMAT and the GRE. Available year-round and open to anyone, the Language Academy hosts nearly 800 internationals each year, hailing from more than 30 countries. Students can enroll in one of two six-week summer sessions and 14-week fall and spring sessions, receiving 18 to 21 hours a week of intensive English instruction, including oral skills

With her pretty, moon-shaped face and broad smile, Dilyara Kenzhegaliyeva is a walking advertisement for her native Kazakhstan. She speaks glowingly of her hometown, Karaganda, “a not-so-big town near the country’s capital, which is why it’s beautiful and famous.” Well, relatively famous in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Kenzhegaliyeva is one of 10 Kazakhs attending the Language Academy this year. Since 1993, the country has sent hundreds of students abroad on Bolashak (“future”) Presidential Scholarships. Kenzhegaliyeva snagged this scholarship right out of high school – one of only two women to do so – thanks to her strong performance in math, physics and chemistry. She is on track to study engineering and hopes to be admitted to the USC Viterbi School of Engineering after sitting for her TOEFL and SAT exams. Though she dresses as fashionably as any native Southern Californian on a shopping spree at the Beverly Center, Kenzhegaliyeva will return to the Kazakh steppes when her education is complete. There, she will don a greasy hard hat, gloves and apron to work the oil rigs of her country’s booming state-owned petroleum industry. Under the terms of her scholarship, she will be obliged to do

so for ˜ve years. Not many women do this kind of work in her homeland. “Usually they marry ˜rst, then have children, then maybe a job,” Kenzhegaliyeva says. Increasingly, Kenzhegaliyeva looks to American women as her role models. She says she is impressed by what she has seen, in terms of their grit and professional know-how. Such inspiration has come in handy at times. “Taking grueling exams, coming to a new country, missing my home – it’s been a lot,” she admits. “But still, I can do this!” When asked what professional qualities she hopes to bring home from the United States, she says: “I want my co-workers to think I’m tolerant, honest and trustworthy. I don’t want them to lie to me, so I can’t lie to them.” While she’s here, Kenzhegaliyeva wants to see many of the sites both on and o˝ the usual tourist map. She has already walked the streets of Hollywood – and found them disappointing. “Everything was so dirty,” she complains. Still on her to-do list are New York City and the Grand Canyon. Her No. 1 destination, though, is de˜nitely o˝ the beaten track: Kenzhegaliyeva hopes to tour one of the many oil re˜neries that dot Southern California’s coastline.

Dilyara Kenzhegaliyeva classes and language labs. “I’m always excited to welcome our Language Academy students,” says education dean Karen Symms Gallagher. “USC Rossier prides itself on its global engagement, and I know what a unique and positive experience it is for these young people to immerse themselves in our language and culture to enhance their academic and career pathways.” Beyond the basics of American English usage, students get drilled in business English, project presentation skills, and the proper format and style of the American essay. Politics, history and culture are woven into the program, and so are field trips across the Southland. A Fourth of July outing to the

Hollywood Bowl – to see fireworks and hear power-pop band Hall & Oates – was this summer’s highlight. Different students come for different reasons. About a third come just to learn English, either for personal or career-enhancement reasons. Twenty percent will later transfer to programs at other universities, colleges or language programs. Almost a third come through special one-year master’s cohort tracks, which run in conjunction with several university academic units. In addition to USC Annenberg’s Master of Communication Management and Master of Strategic Public Relations programs, there are tracks for students in the International Public Policy and Management (IPPAM)

program at USC’s School of Policy, Planning, and Development, the Summer Law & English program at the USC Gould School of Law, and the International Business Education and Research (IBEAR) MBA program at the USC Marshall School of Business. (Enrollment in the Language Academy is, in many cases, a prerequisite for admission into these programs.) It isn’t easy catering to so many different types of students at so many different English-learning levels coming from such a variety of lands, cultures and educational backgrounds. Indeed, cultural differences in learning styles occupy a fair portion of Language Academy director Kate O’Connor’s time and attention. She points to instructor



Director Kate O’Connor and immigration and admissions adviser Gilbert Cho of the USC Language Academy

MacIsaac’s level six USC Annenberg cohort class, composed almost entirely of Asian women. Though these students all possess advanced English skills, drawing them out isn’t easy. “In some cultures, there’s a natural reticence to offer opinions,” O’Connor says. “It can be a real challenge that goes on all semester: fear of making mistakes, lack of comprehension, sometimes feeling the need to defer, due to gender. So we’ve developed a whole list of strategies.” For example, she says, breaking classes down into smaller groups. Warming to the subject, O’Connor delivers a little cross-cultural grammar lesson. “In Arabic, for example, there is no ‘to be’ verb. In our beginning level class, that’s a whole new concept. Some students are really puzzled by that. But when they get it, the door opens, and there’s that ‘aha’ moment. It’s very grand, indeed, when that happens,” she says. One might wonder, in these wired-up times when it’s easy to download a digital book, buy a Rosetta Stone CD or peruse the BBC Learning English website, is it really necessary for internationals to come all the way to Los Angeles to become fluent? Many say yes with their feet, despite the Language Academy’s not-inconsequential fees. The


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six-week summer sessions are $2,800, while 14-week semester sessions cost $5,350, not including housing, meals or transportation. How do they afford it? “Some students are government-sponsored by companies or ministries of education,” O’Connor explains. “Some are wellto-do. But the majority are self-paying and come from cultures where entire families will pool resources to get them over here.” She recalls one student, a young Saudi Arabian man, who’d lost both parents in a car accident and was left to care for a disabled brother. “This guy had tremendous fortitude,” O’Connor says. “Both he and his brother were driven to learn the language.” He persisted for two years at the academy. In recent years, the demographics have been changing. Whereas the academy used to attract mostly undergraduate applicants, these days it sees far more students preparing for graduate study in the United States. “This may be due, in part, to increased efforts by universities overseas to enhance English-language and undergraduate programs in general, in an effort to capture a greater percentage of their own 18- to 22year olds interested in English,” explains Gilbert Cho, the Language Academy’s immigration and admissions adviser. “At the same time, foreign governments and NGOs [nongovernmental organizations] have increasingly invested in scholarships to support workers who seek advanced training abroad in science, technology, engineering and math fields,” Cho says. Upon graduation, these students will return home to work in professions that support national and community development, infrastructure improvements and education reform. Cho notes that the Language Academy has seen this trend particularly among students from Libya and Saudi Arabia. The global economic downturn actually works to their advantage. Exchange rates are favorable for the majority of internationals, who come primarily from China, Taiwan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia. Recently there has been an uptick in science and technology students from Kazakhstan. This summer saw 10 of them at the Language Academy, all here on government grants. Banish any associations with Borat. The Kazakhs are “the new nerds on campus,” says Language Academy student Dilyara Kenzhegaliyeva, in wonderfully idiomatic English. “All we do is study and nod, passing each other in the library.” There’s nothing provincial about them.

“At home, we only have organic food,” notes Kenzhegaliyeva, expressing disapproval of the junk food and hamburger joints ubiquitous to Los Angeles. Many of her countrymen say they miss their native cuisine, which normally includes a lot of beef prepared in spices they can’t name in English. When asked at the opening day picnic in July how they fill the void, several brightly chirped in unison: “Chipotle!” referring to the popular burrito franchise. Homesickness can be intense for international students. They beat it by spending quality time with peers in student housing – for those lucky enough to get the assignments. There aren’t enough spaces to accommodate every Language Academy attendee: Only 40 can live on campus. The cultural adjustments can be equally stressful. O’Connor tells of an excursion to a Lakers game and a close encounter with the largerthan-life Jumbotron. During a break in the game, two Korean students – just classmates sitting next to each other – were shocked when the ’tron captured them from on high during the popular “Kiss Me” diversion. The crowd spontaneously started to cheer, egging the two on, demanding some public display of affection. “They were completely embarrassed,” O’Connor recalls. “Should they shake hands? Hug? Kiss?” Finally, with great hesitation, he gave her a friendly peck on the cheek, to the approving roar of the stadium. They immediately sent photos home to friends and family, their 15 seconds of fame. “We see this kind of thing a lot,” O’Connor says. “Students can be utterly baffled by certain customs, games, expressions. But they learn fast and are often happy to do so.” O’Connor finds it interesting when Saudi nationals come to the program as a couple. While the women, most of whom wear headscarves, don’t exactly let their hair down, they do start to become more vocal in a coeducational classroom, which is completely new for most of them. This is not to say that the international students embrace America uncritically. Many comment on how rampant homelessness is in Los Angeles and wonder why nothing can be done about it. But in the next breath, they’ll express enthusiasm for American individualism, the American style of teaching and anti-rote methods of learning. ● If you have questions or comments on this article, go to



Mazin Alahmadi With his gleaming-white smile, Mazin Alahmadi would make a ˜rst-rate recruiter for USC and the Language Academy. “They give us motivation to be excited!” he practically yells in ringing endorsement. A popular student, he participated in every activity available during the ˜rst summer session, even winning an award for his editing of the academy’s student newspaper. Alahmadi comes from Saudi Arabia, attending USC on a government-sponsored scholarship through his employer, King Abdulaziz University, where he is an instructor in industrial engineering. Now he’s at USC for a yearlong English course at the Language Academy, which he hopes to use as a springboard for admission to USC Viterbi’s doctoral program in industrial engineering. His classroom experiences in America already have made quite an impression. “The teaching style is especially so di˝ erent,” he says in still-evolving English. “At home, as a teacher, I explain. You just sit and listen. It’s traditional.” Attending the Language Academy has emboldened Alahmadi to dream of being a change agent. Upon returning home, he hopes to move his country’s rigid academic culture away from rote learning to a more integrative style, with lots

of back-and-forth between teacher and student. “Things are changing in Saudi Arabia,” he says, with a wink and a nod. “I will change what I can; other more traditional methods will change with time. I will start by asking the director of the university to make all the courses more interactive. If he says no, I will simply start in my department.” Changes in educational style are only the beginning. Speaking of the “limitation on technical innovation in my country,” he tells of a computer scientist who, after ˜ve years wasted in fruitless pursuit of government funding for his research, was so discouraged that he took his own life. “We have to take the lead as pioneers on these things,” Alahmadi insists. In his domestic life, Alahmadi has already begun to plant the seeds of change. Anticipating that his wife would join him in America to pursue advanced training in nutritional analysis, Alahmadi started preparing her for the transition back in July. “I started to give my wife ideas on the phone about what will happen,” he says. “I need to prepare her. I’ve made a lot of friends with both boys and, yes, girls, too – which is not usual in Saudi Arabia. She says she can imagine our lives as more modern. I know she will adjust to this,” he says con˜dently.




USC surgeons help hip replacement patient Chuck Lerette return to an active lifestyle.

Freedom of


Imagine leading an active life: participating in sports, hiking, kayaking, snowboarding and running on trails. Now imagine hip pain becoming so severe that activities are no longer possible – even standing for a short time has suddenly become a form of torture. That’s exactly what happened to Chuck Lerette, 53, of Moorpark, Calif. He found himself in extreme hip pain and acutely felt the loss of mobility. Osteoarthritis runs in his family. Lerette’s son, a doctor, referred him to Daniel A. Oakes, associate professor of clinical orthopaedics at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and director of the Joint Replacement Program at Keck Hospital of USC. That meeting changed Lerette’s life for the better. Between January 2010 and March 2011, Oakes replaced both of Lerette’s hips using a hip resurfacing technique. The Joint Replacement Program at Keck Hospital is a regional center of excellence for hip- and knee-joint replacement surgery. Oakes, a nationally recognized joint replacement specialist, along with colleagues Donald Longjohn, assistant professor of clinical orthopaedics, and Lawrence Menendez, professor of clinical orthopaedics, are dedicated to providing patients with outstanding, compassionate care. The program offers minimally invasive hip and knee replacement, hip and knee surgery, and total joint replacement. “Our surgeons do 300 to 400 hip and knee replacements per year, and we offer a coordinated patient experience from door to discharge – a team of skilled individuals who are committed to getting patients back to an active lifestyle as quickly as possible,” Oakes says. “Essentially, we want you to get back to being you faster.”


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

DISCOVERING OPTIONS After losing most of the mobility in his hips, Chuck Lerette turned to USC’s Joint Replacement Program for help. Hip resurfacing gave Lerette enough freedom of movement to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Los Angeles Dodgers game in July.


Replacement and resurfacing

Among the largest joints in the body, the hips and knees can become weakened from repetitive wear, causing pain and loss of mobility. Arthroplasty – any surgery that relieves pain and restores mobility through repairing, reconstructing or realigning a joint – is often the best choice for people who suffer from hip and knee wear problems. “The goal [for any arthroplasty] is to restore patients’ mobility and function,” Oakes says. “As the population ages, they

put wear on their hips and knees, and it’s adversely affecting their quality of life. Our older patients are more active than prior generations, and they’d like to stay active. With the right treatment, people can maintain their activity level and do what they like to do without pain, including hiking, biking and travel.” The most successful and common of all orthopaedic surgical procedures is total joint replacement – specifically, total hip replacement. The operation dates back to the early

1920s, although widespread success in outcomes was not seen until the early 1960s. In general, hip replacement surgery can help patients with debilitating pain that is not alleviated by using other control methods, such as pain medications, weight loss and exercise. During total joint replacement, a prosthetic cup (the “socket” portion of the joint) is secured in place, then a metal head and stem (the “ball” portion of the joint) are secured into the femur. The surgeon then U S C T R O J A N FA M I LY M A G A Z I N E


made from a porous metal. These metal prostheses, usually made of pure titanium, have “pores” that are set into them to help stabilize the bone, making them rough and pitted, the same as natural coral. Bone cells also can interact with the rough surface of the metal, helping the bone adhere better to the metal’s surface and, in effect, extend the life of the replacement. Oakes believes that hip resurfacing is a good alternative for patients like Lerette who are younger and more active. The technique features greater stability and less risk of dislocation than total replacement. “Joint resurfacing conserves bone,” Oakes explains. “The data show that males who are less than 60 years of age who have a degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis are the best candidates. These tend to be patients who desire a slightly higher level of activity.” Patients who have struggled with pain may be surprised at how quickly the pain is relieved after surgery. “I had the operation done and, in a way, it was like having a root canal,” Lerette says. “The hip pain I’d lived with was instantly gone.” Rehabilitation may take less time for resurfacing than for replacement, and

proper preparation can make a difference in recovery time. Lerette learned the importance of physical preparation after his first hip resurfacing. “I lost a lot of muscle mass in my legs during recovery,” Lerette says. “Before I had the second hip done, I worked out a lot. I told my [physical fitness] boot camp instructor about the operation. I had to stop doing long-distance workouts, but I did a lot of squats and other exercises to build leg muscle.” His plan worked. Immediately after his second surgery, Lerette was able to lift his affected leg. “I was only off of crutches for three weeks when I asked Dr. Oakes if I could ride my motorcycle,” Lerette recalls. “He said ‘yes’ because I’d done one hip already and knew how to care for myself.” However, joint resurfacing is not without its drawbacks. The same risks associated with total hip replacement also are associated with hip resurfacing, and the implants, particularly those made of porous metal, lack complete long-term data on longevity and side effects, Oakes says. “We don’t yet know the 20-year survivorship of these types of implants,” Oakes cautions. “We have some data that survivorship is comparable to hip replacement, but this technique requires a metal-onmetal articulation [using porous metal prosthetics], and we don’t know the long-term impact of metal ions in the bloodstream. Some patients have developed adverse reactions to metal debris.” Minimally invasive options

At Keck Hospital, both hip replacement and hip resurfacing can be done using minimally invasive techniques. These techniques involve creating a much smaller incision – 4 inches to 5 inches long, compared to 8 inches to 12 inches long for traditional joint surgery. Special instruments are used to make the small incisions, and fluoroscopy, the use of X-rays in real time, is used to help guide surgical instruments. This approach leads to fewer cut muscles, RESTORING MOBILITY USC orthopaedic surgeon Daniel Oakes believes that joint prosthetics, like the artificial hip he holds, can help people stay active as they age.


places the ball into the socket and makes sure that the new hip joint will cover a reasonably wide range of motion and be stable enough to withstand weight and some stress. Incisions can be made in a posterior approach, which curves backward toward the buttocks, or in a lateral approach, which goes over the front of the body to the bony prominence on the side of the hip bone. After a few days of hospital care, patients receive physical therapy that may last several weeks to several months, depending on the extent of the surgery and the condition of the joint. There are some risks associated with total hip replacement, including infection, bleeding, dislocation, nerve injury and blood clots. Patients also need to follow some precautions and may need to make lifestyle changes to accommodate the new prosthetic hip, including avoiding high-impact exercises such as running and jumping. Another option for relieving pain and restoring mobility is joint resurfacing, a form of joint replacement. During resurfacing, the ball and socket are not completely replaced and no extra pins are used. Instead, the surface of the joint where the bones meet is replaced with a prosthesis, often

AN ACTIVE LIFE Thanks to hip resurfacing, Lerette has returned to a high level of physical activity. Here, he tosses a baseball with his grandson at Dodger Stadium before a game on July 25.

less pain and faster rehabilitation. “You can also avoid the side effects of general anesthesia,” Oakes adds. Patients who have minimally invasive hip arthroplasty are encouraged to become mobile much earlier than they would be with standard methods of hip arthroplasty. Many patients find that they are able to get out of bed either the same day or the next day following surgery with the help of a physical therapist. Moving forward

Oakes believes that the need for hip replacement and resurfacing is not likely to decline anytime soon. “It’s hard to improve

on the surgery. There is ongoing research to regenerate cartilage and bones, but it’s a long way to being applicable in a clinical setting,” he says. “For some patients, these are truly life-changing operations. Patients who haven’t walked in three to four years are now walking. As our patients continue to demand to be more active, we’ll develop implants that will allow them to continue their high activity levels.” Although Lerette is less than a year out from his surgery, he has already started walking and hiking, and will soon participate in a physical fitness boot camp. “My friend wants me to learn tennis, but Dr. Oakes is making me wait a year after sur-

gery,” he says. “I do power walks, mountain bike and ride my motorcycle, but I think I’ll drop snowboarding.” Would Lerette recommend the surgery for others? Absolutely, he says. “I really don’t even notice I had it done,” he adds. “I’m not at 100 percent yet because of having my second hip go out, but I’m almost completely rehabilitated. It’s like getting your freedom back.” ● For more information or to make an appointment with the orthopaedic surgeons of the Keck Medical Center of USC, call (323) 442-5860 or visit keckmedicalcenter

Hip Revision – the “Do-Over” At some point, a patient may need hip revision surgery due to pain or mobility loss in the replaced or resurfaced joint or a loose or damaged prosthesis. A number of factors determine if and when a revision will need to be done, including the design and materials of the prosthesis used and the patient’s activity level. Hip revision surgery is a much longer and more complicated procedure than hip replacement. During hip revision surgery, the orthopaedic surgeon removes a previously implanted artificial hip joint and replaces it with a new one. Hip revision surgery also may involve the use of bone grafts. Risks following this type of surgery are similar to those following hip replacement or resurfacing. New technology in joint prosthetics may mean that patients can go much longer without needing revision, says Keck School of Medicine’s Daniel A. Oakes, who specializes in the technique. “With new cross-linked plastic, implants at 10 years in vivo are showing almost no wear,” Oakes says. “That’s a marked difference from the early 2000s – the old plastic had a longevity of approximately 10 years. We can optimistically say that today’s implants have a 95 percent chance of functioning well at 10 years from surgery [and] that 90 percent should still be working well 20 years from surgery. They may even last beyond that.” AMY E. HAMAKER



family ties


USC Alumni Club of the East Bay

USC Alumni Club of Northern Nevada

First Impressions

USC Alumni Club of London

For freshmen about to enter USC, SCend Offs help ease the transition from high school to college. SCend Off time for the Trojan Family, as USC alumni clubs worldwide host informal receptions welcoming new students to the university. Connecting the students and their families and friends to local alumni and alumni groups, SCend Offs are usually hosted by alums in their own homes and often attended by special guests, such as university faculty or administrators. This past summer, more than 50 SCend Offs took place around the world from Southern California to Mumbai, India. Jenn Buckner ’81, host of this year’s USC Alumni Club of San Diego SCend Off, describes the gatherings as “a great way to experience the complete Trojan life cycle in one afternoon. You’re elbow to elbow with kids who have yet to experience a game day, current stu-


dents and graduates from three months to over 50 years out. It’s the Trojan Family at its best!” Providing an international perspective, Jen Ladwig ’99, president of the USC Alumni Club of London, explains that because many international families are unfamiliar with the American university system and alumni traditions, SCend Offs are an important way to introduce them to the Trojan Family and the lifelong USC experience, as well as to encourage them to join university activities. “This year, we held our SCend Off at a popular London cupcake shop owned by a Trojan!” she adds. Capturing the point of view of new USC parents, Gary Stone ’90, president of the USC Alumni Club of Colorado, quotes a note he received from parents John and Elizabeth Armine: “What a great introduction to the USC family in Colorado! We successfully dropped Katie off at ’SC last week as she begins her five-year architecture program. As USC Alumni Club of Shanghai

USC Alumni Club of Mexico

USC Alumni Club of the Nation’s Capital

USC Alumni Club of Mumbai

this is our first child in college, your SCend Off helped us, as well as Katie, with the transition.” For new students and their families, SCend Offs are not only an enjoyable and instructive summer highlight, but also a powerful initiation into the Trojan Family. ROSS M. LEVINE




Honoring Those Who Give Back 2011 Volunteer Recognition Dinner lauds dedicated Trojans. PAYING TRIBUTE TO THE “LIFEBLOOD of the Trojan Family,” the 2011 Volunteer Recognition Dinner was held on Sept. 16 at Town & Gown. Co-hosted by USC Alumni Association (USCAA) CEO Scott M. Mory and USCAA Board of Governors president Lisa Barkett ’81, the event celebrated alumni volunteers, organizations and friends who contribute to the advancement of USC. Sixty-three volunteers from alumni clubs and university groups received Widney Alumni House Awards, which recognize volunteers for their loyalty, support and dedication to the university. Patrick Auerbach EdD ’08, executive director of USCAA alumni relations, received the Volunteer Friend of the Year award, which is given to a USC faculty or staff member for outstanding support of alumni volunteers. Three alumni groups were named Volunteer Organizations of the Year for their efforts to engage USC alumni and build a culture of philanthropy among the Trojan Family: the Herman Ostrow School

of Dentistry of USC’s Century Club, the USC Alumni Club of Colorado and the USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association. The President’s Award, the evening’s final honor, is presented annually to volunteers in recognition of exemplary leadership, achievement and overall contributions to USC. This year, seven Trojans were honored. Here’s what each had to say about what the award means: LINDA BALL ’83 USC Marshall School of Business Trojan League of Orange County Alumnae Coordinating Council

“Almost 30 years ago when I was an ’SC undergrad, I worked as a USC Alumni Association campus tour guide and shared our university with prospective students and visitors from around the world. After graduation, I joined some women’s support groups, which started my wonderful journey as a volunteer and led me to receiving this award. I have always felt it was impor-



tant to be an active member and leader. Our time is a valuable gift, and I have met so many incredible Trojans who share my passion for USC. I am so proud to be a Trojan daughter, a Trojan sister, a Trojan Greek, a Trojan alumna, a Trojan wife and a Trojan mom. Yep, my dad was right. There’s nothing better than the Trojan Family!” ALAN BERLIN ’57 USC Marshall School of Business USC Davis School of Gerontology

“I’m flattered to receive the President’s Award. There are so many active USC alumni who deserve to be chosen. When I attended USC in the 1950s, my overriding goal was to graduate and begin my business career. Little did I realize that some years later, I would become involved in promoting and assisting our great university. A fellow Trojan and close friend introduced me to the members of the USC Davis School of Gerontology Board of Councilors. I joined the board and ultimately served for 25 years, including three as chairman, before recently retiring. My USC education has been very good to me, so helping my alma mater in this way was the right thing to do.”

“During my first week at USC, Dean [of Women Emerita] Joan Schaefer invited me to have a cup of tea. Our conversation still inspires me to this day. ‘You have so many opportunities to be involved in this campus,’ she said. ‘Many people graduate after four years and wonder what they missed. USC is a smorgasbord – you can choose how you want to make your mark on this university, but Kathleen, you need to pick up a plate!’ I am still picking up plates as an alumni volunteer, and I have yet to lose my appetite. From left, Lisa Barkett ’81, Linda Ball ’83, Kathleen Campos ’83, Stephanie Farmer MHA ’95, George Stoneman MD ’65, Alan Berlin ’57, Lisa Malec ’77, Sean Kearns ’97 and Scott Mory


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


KATHLEEN CAMPOS ’83 USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences Trojan League of Los Angeles

Pictured here, the 2011 Volunteer Organizations of the Year award recipients: the USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association; the Ostrow School’s Century Club (represented by Donna Smith ’74, MS ’82, bottom left); and the USC Alumni Club of Colorado (represented by Robert “Bob” Serocki MBA ’90, Suzzanna Martinez ’99, club president Gary S. Stone ’90 and Dave Johnson MPA ’95)

Receiving this award has reenergized my passion for USC and the Trojan League of Los Angeles. Why do I volunteer? My son Devon said it best: ‘Because it makes you feel good!’ ” STEPHANIE FARMER MHA ’95 USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development USC Black Alumni Association (BAA) USCAA Board of Governors

“I have been a Trojan most of my life (I grew up going to USC home football games with my family), and I was thrilled when I received the opportunity to attend graduate school [at USC]. After graduating, I started volunteering with the BAA because of its mission to provide much-needed scholarships to African-American students and valuable networking opportunities for students and alumni. From 2008 to 2010, I served as BAA president. Today, I’m the BAA representative on the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors. It’s been an inspirational experience because it’s enabled me to network with fellow Trojans who love USC as much as I do. Receiving this award motivates me to continue volunteering for USC. I look forward to the future!”

gious award, and my hope is that my best days of serving USC are still ahead of me.”

SEAN KEARNS ’97 USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism USC Alumni Club of New York USCAA Board of Governors

LISA MALEC ’77 USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences Trojan League Associates of San Diego County USC Alumni Club of San Diego

“I love USC and the experiences and education that I received here. I’ve always wanted to give back to my alma mater so that future generations can have the same or even better experiences. This university is a special place where I’ve made many lifelong friends, first as a student and now as a volunteer. Anytime I meet fellow Trojans, there is an instant bond. I’m not sure that connection happens so readily for alumni of other universities. Even though I moved to New York City 10 years ago, my volunteer efforts allow me to stay connected to USC. I never thought I would win such a presti-

“I know it’s a Hollywood cliché, but it is truly an honor just to be nominated for the President’s Award. On a personal level, this award is a wonderful reward for the hours I spend volunteering on behalf of USC and sharing my Trojan pride with others. When I first started volunteering for USC, my inspiration was my son, Brett. He was applying to USC and it made me want to reconnect with the university. I knew that if he were accepted, Brett would be walking in my campus footsteps, both literally and figuratively. So I got involved and began contributing to USC, for my son and all the

other fabulous Trojan students. That is the essence of the Trojan spirit – Trojans supporting Trojans!” GEORGE BEATTIE STONEMAN MD ’65 Keck School of Medicine of USC USCAA Board of Governors Keck School of Medicine of USC

“It’s a privilege to receive the President’s Award, and I feel honored to accept it. The accomplishments are really a team effort made by many loyal Trojans working for a great cause. I am inspired to volunteer for USC and the Keck School of Medicine because the reward is seeing all the talented, altruistic medical students who will be the next generation of true, caring physicians. Another reward is to give all the proud parents and families of medical students a true connection to USC and to let them know they are all members of the Trojan Family.” TIMOTHY O. KNIGHT



alumni SCene From O.C. to D.C. and beyond



1. Orange County aSCendant On Aug. 20, the USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association’s (APAA) Orange County Committee held its inaugural event at William R. Mason Regional Park in Irvine, Calif. Approximately 65 Trojans attended the family-friendly picnic, which helped kick off the committee’s programs. Pictured here among the participants are committee chair Wesley Mizutani ’77 (front right, in cardinal shirt and cap) and APAA president Rod Nakamoto ’83, MBA ’94 (back row, second from right). 2. USC Provost in London Elizabeth Garrett (center), USC provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, is flanked by Trojans Matthew F. Dresch ’01 and Nancy Hillgren ’76 at the city’s venerable Cavendish Hotel on July 5. Approximately 60 alumni, friends and 40

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

4 overseas guests in the London area were in attendance, including USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development dean Jack H. Knott and USC Alumni Association (USCAA) Board of Governors president Lisa Barkett ’81.

3. Trojans on the Hill U.S. labor secretary Hilda Solis MPA ’81 (left) poses with USC Alumni Club of the Nation’s Capital president Ellen Badger ’07 (center) and USC University Advancement vice president for development Courtney Surls at the Rayburn House Office Building in D.C. on Sept. 7. The occasion was a Golden State Roundtable breakfast where Solis was the guest speaker. These regularly held events feature a prominent business leader, policymaker, journalist or academician from or with ties to California who addresses issues of interest to the Golden State.

4. Leading the Way On Sept. 16, the USCAA held the 2011 USC Alumni Leadership Conference. After a day of workshops, presentations and university briefings by USC provost Garrett and senior vice president for University Advancement Al Checcio, the conference concluded with a leadership master class “Building Your Volunteer Career.” USCAA CEO Scott M. Mory moderated the panel discussion featuring four alumni leaders pictured here: (from left) Barbara Cotler ’60, the intercollegiate athletics representative on the USCAA Board of Governors; Richard DeBeikes Jr. ’78, USC trustee and past president of the USCAA Board of Governors; Mory; Maria Jones ’87, chair of the USC Latino Alumni Association Board of Directors; and Sean Kearns ’97, co-chair of the USCAA Board of Governors’ Club Affairs Committee. ●



lifelong and worldwide

class notes 1940s

An Olympic World Record HARRY R. NELSON ME ’51

doesn’t hold the world record for hurdles or shot put. Rather, he holds one for attendance. Guinness World Records this year cited Nelson, who lives in Torrance, Calif., as the only person to have attended 17 Summer Olympic Games. He began this lifelong endeavor as a 10-year-old at the 1932 games in Los Angeles and plans to continue it by going to his 18th Olympics in London next year. His wife, Delores Henson Nelson ’58, ME ’78, will accompany him. Nelson worked at USC from 1954 to 1964 as an adviser in the Dean of Students office and then as assistant director of the Extension Division. He has crossed paths with numerous USC Olympians over the decades, including gold medal-winning hurdler Rex Cawley ’64, pictured right with Nelson at the 1964 Tokyo games. In 2008, Nelson self-published a book about his Olympic experiences, Following the Flame: A 76-Year Olympic Journey, which can be obtained by contacting the author at (310) 324-7282. ●

›› 42


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

Jim McGregor ’44 was elected to the Sports Hall of Fame at Grant High School in Portland, Ore. He served as a freshman track coach at USC from 1948 to 1950 and coached basketball for 45 years mostly overseas. He lives in Bellevue, Wash.

1950s George Ciampa ’52, a U.S. Army World War II veteran, formed the Torrance, Calif.based nonprofit Let Freedom Ring to stress the importance of freedom through education. His organization has produced several award-winning documentaries, including The Lesson is Priceless and Memories of France. He spent nearly 40 years in advertising at various newspapers. Frank Cortez Flores ’55, DDS ’57, MS ’88 of San Dimas, Calif., is a member of the Supercourse faculty at the University of Pittsburgh’s World Health Organization Collaborating Center. The Supercourse provides Internet-based, distance-learning materials for medical, nursing, dental and veterinary students. He is a retired faculty member of Loma Linda University.

1960s Carl Francis Forssell MS ’63 of Oro Valley, Ariz., is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Big Nick in Alaska, which is in demand in 12 countries, including Japan and India. He recently released the ebook version. John W. House ’64, MD ’67 received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. He has served on the board of directors for the academy for the last seven years. He is a clinical professor at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, a physician at the House Clinic and president of House Research Institute. He lives in Los Angeles. Faith Porter ’64, MA ’66 of Los Angeles is

a featured artist at the Craft and Folk Art Museum’s current exhibition Golden State

alumni profile ’80 of Craft. Her work also was included in the American Museum of Natural History’s exhibition Pearls. She is a 25-year member of the USC Associates and the USC Roski School of Fine Arts’ Board of Councilors. Dale S. Gribow ’65 has been practicing law

in the greater Palm Springs area for 18 years and was selected as one of the top four personal injury lawyers by Palm Springs Life Magazine. He recently started Imprint Media Productions with his wife, Patti. He served as president of the Trojan Club of the Desert for two years. Hamid Naficy ’68 released A Social History

Bound and Determined Kathy (Keeler) Seid ‘80 can’t pop into a dry cleaner’s, step onto a golf course or set foot in a doctor’s office without sensing untapped potential. “There’s just not any place I go that I don’t see an opportunity,” she says. Seid is enthusiastic about a new product that she and her husband, David, created out of their printing business: the MiniBük. The pocket-sized books are proving popular as a

of Iranian Cinema, a comprehensive social history of Iranian film that unfolds across four volumes. He is a professor of radiotelevision-film and the Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Professor in Communication at Northwestern University.

tangible and clever way for businesses and

Larry Fowler ’69 released Lincoln’s Diary,

Seid doesn’t miss a chance to spread the word. She has engaged potential customers in eleva-

which follows a young woman as she weighs the price of truth against the cost of keeping secrets. He lives in Gig Harbor, Wash.

tors, on airplanes and at museums.

individuals to market themselves. Customers are using the format to create compact how-to guides, industry primers and product explainers. “It’s little and cute, but people are intrigued by how much focused information you can get in a small package,” says Seid, who has printed 200,000 MiniBüks since starting the venture in 2010. Drawing on skills she learned majoring in marketing at the USC Marshall School of Business,

“When I took our dog to the vet,” she says, “I sold her on the value of doing a MiniBük about the importance of dental health for pets.” Hailing from a family of entrepreneurs and Trojans (“I was indoctrinated very early,” she jokes),

1970s Richard Boudreau DDS ’71 of Marina del

Rey, Calif., is board certified in oral and maxillofacial surgery, forensic medicine and forensic dentistry. He is a practicing attorney licensed in three jurisdictions. He has several academic degrees, including an MBA from Pepperdine University, where he was a 2011 George Award recipient. He received his doctorate degree in bioethics from the University of Oxford’s Christ Church in August.

Seid entered USC as an accounting major but switched to marketing after a life-changing class taught by the late Ralph Carson. In 1947, Carson co-founded the Carson/Roberts agency, which grew into Los Angeles’ largest advertising firm until it merged with Ogilvy & Mather in 1971. He later founded USC’s Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. “I don’t think there was a person in the class who wasn’t inspired by him,” Seid recalls. “His passion about business, marketing and advertising was infectious, and he made you feel you could be successful at whatever your passion is.” She and David launched their printing business in 1985, publishing mainly software manuals until a customer made a special request: He wanted to print a very small book. David, the engineer of the operation, made it happen, and they soon began offering the minibook to other clients. It took off. Customers have ordered MiniBüks on topics ranging from social media to event planning to emergency preparedness. They’ve used the books as table favors at fundraising events and as

Dean T. Reuter ’74 of Redondo Beach, Calif.,

was honored with the 2011 Distinguished Citizen Award by the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce. He serves as senior assistant governor for membership for Rotary District 5280. He also was selected for the Torrance YMCA’s board of governors. James E. Smith MS ’75, PhD ’79 was

appointed president of the Rockville, Md.-based Westat, a research corporation providing services to agencies of the U.S. government, businesses and foundations.

ski-trip guides, complete with maps and roommate assignments. The IT company Oracle recently used MiniBük as part of a nationwide direct-mail campaign, and a trio of authors hired by Facebook wrote a miniguide on using Facebook for teaching and learning. And Seid convinced USC alumnus John McKinney ’74 – co-founder of the USC Hiking Club and author of several books about hiking – that MiniBük was the perfect size for his new trail guides, starting with Hiking 101: Great Trails and Beach Walks Surprisingly Close to USC. Entrepreneurship, Seid says, “is not for the timid or shy. You must wear many hats and network all the time. You need to be a multitasker and have a team of competent people behind you.” Even 30-some-odd years later, the enthusiasm modeled by Carson still fuels her. “He had fun with being an entrepreneur,” she says. “And that’s what I’m having.” STARSHINE ROSHELL



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Keck Hospital of USC USC Norris Cancer Hospital

alumni profile ’95 He has been a corporate officer at Westat since 1988 and a member of its board of directors since 2006.

The Spy Who Loved Wine

Robert Leach ’76 wrote Never Make the Same Mistake Once, a book about legendary USC baseball coach Rod Dedeaux. He lives in Azusa, Calif.

On his business card, Brandon Stauber MPP

Robert Michael Wilson MPA ’76 of Las Vegas was interviewed for the “True Grit” episode of The Real Story, a show on the Smithsonian Channel that tells the stories behind feature films and iconic characters. He has been researching the Old West for 15 years and has several books and articles to his name.

The Wine Spies LLC, with partner Jason Seeber,

Janalyn Glymph ’78, MA ’82 was appointed

on the vineyard. Featured wines, produced in small quantities and usually not found in grocery

personnel director of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Personnel Commission, where she will head human resources operations and staff for more than 30,000 classified employees. Previously, she worked as an examining assistant and a senior personnel analyst with the commission.

stores, are sold at a discount for one day only.

Denys “Dennis” Mueller ’78 of Encinitas,

Calif., was selected as 2010 Project Manager of the Year for Hewlett-Packard Co.’s Software Division. He has worked at HewlettPackard for 13 years, starting out as a field services consultant. Previously, he worked in the aerospace and information technology industries.

’95 identifies himself as “Agent White.” Relax. He’s talking about wine. In 2007, the 41-year-old oenophile launched who goes by “Agent Red.” The company’s ecommerce site ( sells a different wine each day, offering wine lovers a “confidential wine dossier” on each daily pick. Dossiers include a review, an interview with the winemaker and background information

“We came up with the concept of ‘spying out’ family wineries and introducing them to a wider public,” Stauber says, explaining his company’s cloak-and-dagger conceit. The website plays the espionage theme to the hilt. Members are called “operatives,” and they can earn “spy points” by contributing wine reviews, inviting friends to join or buying wine. As they accumulate points, operatives can be promoted to “field agent” or “station chief,” making them eligible for special promotions and gifts. The Tom Clancy-esque trappings of the site reflect its founders’ belief that wine should be fun, not intimidating. “The ultimate goal is to make wine accessible, to get it off the pedestal and into the glass, where you can enjoy it,” Stauber says. Since going live, the site has attracted nearly 30,000 members, and its 2010 sales were about $1.5 million, according to Stauber. It moves 15 to 25 cases a day, with most bottles selling between $20 and $50. The Wine Spies is the second entrepreneurial venture for Stauber, who credits USC’s Master of Public Policy program at the School of Policy, Planning, and Development for teaching him


the strategic thinking necessary to succeed in business. “It’s given me a framework for looking at challenging problems and finding effective solutions,” he says.

Don Muehlbach MS ’81 received consecu-

tive Wayne E. Meyer awards for Teaching Excellence in Systems Engineering at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., where he is a professor of systems engineering.


Andrew Ratner MBA ’81 was appointed ex-

ecutive vice president and senior managing director of CB Richard Ellis in Los Angeles. He spent the past 25 years with Cushman & Wakefield/Cushman Realty Corporation in various senior management positions, most recently as executive managing director in charge of the global consulting group. Kurt Jose Ayau ’82 wrote The Brick Murder:

In 1999 the Los Angeles native, who also holds a B.A. in public administration from San Diego State University, launched an online event-management firm. After selling that company in 2004, he worked as a business consultant. In 2006, a friend from the Sonoma Valley asked Stauber to write a business plan for a venture exporting California wines to Europe. Although that business never got off the ground, the friend – Seeber – partnered with Stauber to create The Wine Spies. It remains a small enterprise, with Stauber and Seeber the only full-time employees. An operations whiz, Stauber works remotely from his Exeter, N.H., home, while creative guru Seeber oversees marketing from the company’s Santa Rosa, Calif., headquarters. Sharing an equal passion for wine, the partners personally taste and review each vintage they sell, Stauber says. If one of them doesn’t like a wine, they won’t sell it. “We’re actually taking a lot of time with each wine to try to give it its due,” Stauber says. “Every wine has a story, and winemakers are in the business because they have a particular skill and passion for a product. If we can reveal what that passion is, then we’ve done a good job.” MIKE CULLITY

A Tragedy and Other Stories, a collection of U S C T R O J A N F A M I L Y M A G A Z I N E


funnily tragic stories that won the Tartt First Fiction Award. He is the co-author of What the Shadow Told Me, the 2003 winner of the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society’s Faulkner/ Wisdom Creative Writing Competition for the novel. He is an associate professor of English at Virginia Military Institute. Roger L. Haley ’83 is city manager of the city of Lynwood, which won the National League of Cities’ 2010 All-America City Award. Mark R. Henschke PharmD ’83 of Newing-

ton, N.H., was selected as one of “America’s Top Physicians” and was listed in the 2011 edition of the “Guide to America’s Top Physicians.” He is a board certified physician in both internal medicine and medical management. Beth Kase JD ’83 was elected chair of the

Los Angeles County Bar Association’s

Healthcare Law Section. She is head of the Transactional/Healthcare Regulatory Department of Fenton Nelson LLP, a healthcare law firm in West Los Angeles. Steven Travers ’83 of Marin County, Calif.,

released The Last Icon: Tom Seaver and His Times, a detailed look at the life of the New York sports icon. He is a former pro baseball player and author of several published books.

Hawaiian Humane Society. She is an animal photographer in Honolulu. Michael Thorburn MS ’87 was appointed

head of the Department of Engineering at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, the largest existing astronomical project that boasts a partnership between Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. He lives in Providencia, Santiago, Chile.

Blake Christian MBT ’85, a Long Beach,

Calif.-based certified public accountant, received the Public Service Award by the California Society of CPAs. He is a tax partner at Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt LLP. He is the 2011-12 president of the Rotary Club of Long Beach. Deb (Szijarto) McGuire ’85 released her first book, Hawaii’s Pets: Photos of Our Animal ’Ohana, with author Tim McGuire. A portion of the profits will go to benefiting the

John H. Carter MS ’89 received Alpha Phi

Alpha Fraternity Inc.’s Award of Merit during the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial dedication in Washington, D.C. As the initial project manager of the memorial, he coordinated site and design selection and raised more than $15 million. He and his wife, Susan, manage their consulting firm, Carter & Carter LLC. Brian Cherry MBA ’89 was appointed vice


An Evening of Art & Legacy Thursday March 22, 2012


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


president of rates and regulation of Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Previously, he served as vice president of regulatory relations. He lives in Orinda, Calif. Matthew D. Heller ’89 of Encino, Calif., was

elected chairman of the Parks, Recreation and Education Commission for the city of Calabasas. He has served as a commissioner with the city since 2006. Alan Sitomer ’89 released Nerd Girls: The

Rise of the Dorkasaurus, a novel about three middle-school outcasts. In addition to being an inner-city high school English teacher and former professor in the Graduate School of Education at Loyola Marymount University, he is an award-winning author and California’s 2007 Teacher of the Year.


Andrew Apfelberg ’93 received The M&A Advisor’s 40 Under 40 Award, which recognizes individuals for their deal-making success nationally and internationally. He is a corporate and finance attorney at Rutter Hobbs & Davidoff in Los Angeles.

She is senior vice president of investments and senior financial adviser for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. She is involved in numerous community activities, including the U.S. Navy League and the Girl Scouts of America.

Michelle (Inouye) Schultz ’93 of Burbank,

David Chapel EdD ’95 was appointed to the Orange County Transportation Authority Citizens Advisory Committee. He lives in Santa Ana, Calif.

Calif., was promoted to vice president and senior litigation counsel of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Previously, she was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP. David Flaherty MA ’94 received a 2011 Gold

Quill Award of Excellence in the issues management and crisis communications category from the International Association of Business Communicators. He is director of internal communications at Molina Healthcare in Long Beach, Calif. Courtney Liddy ’94 of San Diego was recog-

nized as “America’s Top 100 Women Financial Advisers” in Barron’s magazine.

Raymond Egan DMA ’96 premiered his self-composed piece Mass for St. Luke’s at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church in Rolling Hills Estates, Calif. He directed the performance. Audra Priluck ’97 of Northridge, Calif., was

named vice president of business development at Ipsos OTX MediaCT, a global market research company. She is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and is part of its Interactive Media Peer Group’s Executive Committee.

Wayne H. Bowen ’90 of Cape Girardeau, Mo., released Spain and the American Civil War, a comprehensive look at relations between Spain and the two antagonists of the American Civil War. He is professor and chair of the Department of History at Southeast Missouri State University. Scott J. Thompson ’90, MFA ’94 was appointed director of the Graduate Screenwriting Program at Boston University. He has been a full-time screenwriting professor at the College of Communication since 2005 and has worked as a screenwriter for production companies in Los Angeles, Boston, New York, Montreal and Germany. Scott Allen MPA/MPL ’92 of Waukesha,

Wash., released Success Guide for Real Estate Sales Thriving in Tough Times. Nick Demopoulos ’92 is a guitarist and the

leader of Exegesis, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based jazz trio that released its second album, The Harmony of the Anomaly. He also is featured on Revelation, an album by NEA Jazz Master and drumming jazz legend Chico Hamilton. Paul M. Walters MPA ’92 was appointed interim city manager for the city of Santa Ana. Previously, he was chief of police and a member of the city’s Executive Management Team since 1988. U S C T R O J A N F A M I L Y M A G A Z I N E


Carlos Canedo Jr. ’98, MS ’99 and his wife, Erin Canedo ’98, are world travelers who

have taken the USC flag to places like Florence and Siena, Italy; Jungfrau, Switzerland; La Paz, Bolivia; and Machu Picchu, Peru.


Fernando Valley. She is a family law attorney who joined the firm in 2003. James Nussbaumer ’04 of Portland, Ore., joined the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State. His first tour is in Monterrey, Mexico.

Steve Boman MFA ’09 wrote Film School:

The True Story of a Midwestern Family Man Who Went to the World’s Most Famous Film School, Fell Flat on His Face, Had a Stroke, and Sold a Television Series to CBS, a memoir that chronicles his journey at USC. He splits his time between Edina, Minn., and La Cañada Flintridge, Calif.

Wendy Birhanzel EdD ’07 is principal of

Anela Freeman ’01 was appointed commu-

nity relations director at Pioneer House Senior Retirement Community in downtown Sacramento, where she leads advertising and marketing. Arwa Jumkawala ’03 was interviewed on about her custom jewelry eboutique, GemKitty. She is a jewelry designer in Portland, Ore. Vanessa Soto Nellis JD ’03 was promoted to

shareholder at Lewitt, Hackman, Shapiro, Marshall & Harlan, a law firm in the San

Wildflower Elementary, which was named one of only eight schools in Colorado where 100 percent of its third-grade students scored proficient or advanced in reading. Tom Prieto MBT ’07 wrote “Tax Efficient Asset Allocation,” an article in Practical Tax Strategies. He lives in Valencia, Calif. Courtney R. Wise MS ’07 was named 2011 Young Professional of the Year by the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. She is executive director of Take Care Advisor, a geriatric care management company in Sarasota, Fla.

Dallas Woodburn ’09 won first place in the Ninth Glass Woman Prize for her short story “Woman, Running Late, in a Dress.” She is a master’s student in fiction writing at Purdue University in Indiana, where she teaches undergraduate creative writing classes and is assistant fiction editor of literary journal Sycamore Review.


Norwegian twins Einy Paulsen ’10, MAcc ’11 and Kine Paulsen ’11 of Los Angeles


for CEOs, Would-be CEOs and Managers Seeking Improvement TALES FROM THE TOP


The HUMAN DIMENSION in Management

A Sense of Humor is a Powerful, Mandatory Tool

“Ramo’s tales, the plots and characters, are skillfully designed to illuminate human relating basics. I felt this so strongly that I employed Tales From The Top as the text for a course I now teach.” James Ellis, Dean, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California

“The wit of Si Ramo is inextricably interwoven with his wide-ranging wisdom so when he tells us that wit is an indispensable management tool we best pay heed.” Steven B. Sample, President Emeritus, University of Southern California

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Simon Ramo was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Carter and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the U.S.’s highest civilian award, by President Reagan. One of the nation’s most successful hi-tech entrepreneurs, his businesses have been acquired by the likes of General Electric, General Motors and Northrop. Inducted into the Business Hall of Fame, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Smithsonian Institution.



in memoriam launched Ingri:Dahl, one of the first companies in the world dedicated to designing fashionable 3-D glasses. They have worked in sales, marketing and finance in Europe and the United States. ’11 was promoted to senior manager in the audit and business advisory services department at Haskell & White LLP, an Irvine, Calif.-based accounting, auditing and tax consulting firm. He has more than 10 years of accounting experience in both the public and private sectors.

J. Scott Goldstein PhD ’97 and Polly Primost


Cathy L. Hue ’00 and Julian Shah-Tayler Carol Whitney Crull Hali (Gewelber) Lieb ’01, MAcc ’04 and Greg Lieb ’02

MSW ’37, Bellevue, Wash.; July 7, at the age of 95

Ryan N. Lorenzen ’01 and Stacia Parker

Vincent C. Porter

Amy Deng ’02 and Jay Granzow

’48, Bakersfield, Calif.; July 26, at the age of 89

Gary Baum ’05 and Kieumai Vo ’05

John W. Eder

Katherine Borras ’06 and Desmond Reed ’07

’49, La Habra, Calif.; April 27, at the age of 94

Laura Nastase ’06 and Alexander Najemy.

Robert Arthur Allison

Sam Salty MBA

MARRIAGES Bob Graziano ’80 and Wendy Wachtell MA ’87

’51, Newport Beach, Calif.; May 19, at the age of 81 BIRTHS

Alisande Lisette (Sasha) Bernstein ’96 and

Stuart Williams

Richard Dorman

David L. Haserot ’51, a great-grandson, Jax

’51, Santa Fe, Calif.; April 3, at the age of 87

Carleton Grovers. He is the step-greatgrandson of Val M. Menendez ’50

Saul Altshuler

Paul Marks JD ’88 and Kerri Speck Marks ’94,

PhD ’52, Santa Barbara, Calif.; Oct. 10, at the age of 92

a son, D. Severin Charles. He joins sisters Maggie and Esme

Jack Breining Behrendt

John Patrick Nelson MFA ’98 and Alison Star Locke Nelson ’00, a daughter, Bethany

MBA ’54, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.; June 6, at the age of 85

Aurora Francis C. Hertzog Jr. Matthew Johnson ’99 and Jennifer (Ely) Johnson ’00, a son, Zachary Matthew

MD ’54, Long Beach, Calif.; Feb. 16, at the age of 85

Angela Monteilh Weedn ’99 and Isaiah Weedn ’99, JD ’03, a daughter, Parker

Othmar Walter Sailer

Sonnee Rose. She is the granddaughter of Sonnee Stallman Weedn ’68, MS ’73 and Robert Weedn ’70 Rosa Martinez-Genzon ’00, JD ’03 and Leonardo Genzon ’00, a son, Nicolas James. He is the nephew of Jessie Martinez ’07 Eric Kahnert ’02 and Allison Kahnert, a son,

MBA ’58, Redmond, Wash.; June 26, at the age of 90 Cody H. Unger

MS ’60, Brigham City, Utah; July 1, at the age of 91 Joseph Terrence “Terry” Lanni

’65, Pasadena, Calif.; July 14, at the age of 68

Kaden Eric Norman Perry Thompson Matt Cobo ’04 and Nicole Cobo, a daughter,

Helena Irene. She is the granddaughter of Mike ’78 and Jane Cobo ’78, and the niece of Kim Cobo ’05 and Ryan Steers ’07 Andrew Barton ’05 and Jennifer Barton, a

daughter, Braylin Nicole. She is the granddaughter of Carolyn and Rick Barton ’78.


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

DMA ’75, Newark, Del.; May 1, at the age of 82 Kevin McDonough

MA ’80, Richmond, Calif.; June 2, at the age of 63

Fred Steiner

PhD ’81, Ajijic, Mexico; June 23, at the age of 88 Nathan John Nouskajian

’01, Pasadena, Calif.; July 18, at the age of 32.


Jean Agee

Brea, Calif.; July 8, at the age of 74 David Beeler

Huntington Beach, Calif.; Aug. 3, at the age of 42 John Calley

Beverly Hills, Calif.; Sept. 13, at the age of 81 Tsen-Chung Cheng

San Marino, Calif.; July 12, at the age of 66

John Randolph “Jack” Hubbard John Randolph “Jack” Hubbard, the eighth president of

USC and U.S. ambassador to India from 1988 to 1989, died Aug. 21 in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was 92. A native of Belton, Texas, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served for five years as a naval aviator during World War II. In 1965, Hubbard served as chief education adviser in India for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Two decades later, Hubbard returned to India, this time as U.S. ambassador, and was later awarded for his services with the Alben W. Barkley Medal for Distinguished Service. Hubbard came to USC as vice president and provost in 1969. He served in that capacity for a year before his unanimous election to succeed Norman H. Topping as university president.

During his first year in office, USC became a member of the Association of American Universities, and over the course of his decade of leadership, USC rose from 33rd to 19th in National Science Foundation rankings for federally sponsored research. In 1975, Hubbard launched the Toward Century II campaign, a $265 million fundraising effort – USC’s most ambitious at the time – designed to prepare the university for its second century. The campaign generated more than $306 million for university programs and endowment. Hubbard is survived by his daughters Lisa, Melisse and Kristie, six grandchildren, his former wife, Lucy Hubbard Haugh, and his longtime partner, Marcia Adams. ●

Clifton O. Dummett

Los Angeles; Sept. 7, at the age of 92 John H. Marburger III

Port Jefferson, N.Y.; July 28, at the age of 70 Carol Nagy

Julian, Calif.; Aug. 8, at the age of 72 Thomas A. “Thom” Rhue

MA ’68, Los Angeles; Aug. 20, at the age of 67 Max Harry Weil

Rancho Mirage, Calif.; July 29, at the age of 84. ●



Norman Lewis Corwin Norman Lewis Corwin, professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism and one of the country’s greatest radio dramatists, died Oct. 18 in Los Angeles. He was 101. Corwin was a Bostonian who, at 17, started on a course that led him ultimately into almost all forms of media. After 10 years as a newspaperman, Corwin moved into radio and served as writer-directorproducer for CBS with such memorable series as 26 by Corwin and Columbia Presents Corwin. His most famous work was On a Note of Triumph, a celebration of the Allied victory in Europe. He wrote and directed stage plays, television dramas, motion pictures, three cantatas and even the libretto of an awardwinning one-act opera that was produced

by the Metropolitan Opera. Corwin also wrote the Oscarnominated screenplay for Lust for Life. He was the author of 12 published books and led two award committees for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 1979, Corwin joined USC, where he remained as writer-in-residence until his death. “His insightful, inspiring body of work has been absorbed into the American consciousness,” said USC Annenberg dean Ernest J. Wilson III. “He gave us the benefit of his knowledge, wit and keen observations through many decades, and he was a literary treasure.” In 1993, Corwin was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame. Corwin, whose wife died in 1995, is survived by children Diane and Anthony. ●



last word



POLYGLOT PLAYTIME Ziad Fazah is reckoned by some to be the world’s greatest living polyglot. The Liberian-born, Lebanese-educated Brazilian linguist claims he is fluent in 59 languages at last count. He learns a new one every few months. Impressive, but a drop in the bucket considering the nearly 7,000 tongues spoken in the world today. See how many of them you can identify from these clues.

2. The standard version of this modern language is influenced by the writings of a Renaissance poet, who consciously set about constructing a national language, drawing heavily on his own regional dialect. 3. Spoken by nearly 8 million people, this Bantu language is conspicuous for its use of 18 distinct consonant clicks, as demonstrated by the South African singer Miriam Makeba in the tongue twister “Qongqothwane.”

4. Calling it “Owhyhee,” British explorer James Cook first wrote of this Polynesian language in 1778. 5. While the people of this Asian country speak upward of 150 languages in the Austronesian family, a third of residents share a common mother tongue. It makes sense, then, that this dominant language – in its standardized form – would become the basis for the official national language. 6. The large number of words this language borrowed from Parthian originally led linguists to mistakenly classify it as an Iranian language. On closer scrutiny, it was found to be an independent Indo-European language. Its distinctive 38-letter alphabet was devised by a fourth-century saint.

7. This Turkic language is spoken by nearly 11 million people in Western China. It’s commonly written in an Arabic-derived alphabet. 8. The name of this artificial language derives from the pseudonym of the 19th century Russian-, Yiddish- and Polish-speaking dreamer who invented it. It means “one who hopes.” Up to 2 million people, living in 115 countries, speak it today. 9. “Nu scilun herga hefenricæs uard” is the first line of the oldest-surviving text of this West Germanic language. It has since evolved into the third most common language in the world, spoken in 104 lands by close to 340 million native speakers. ●

CONTEST RULES Name the mystery languages described in the nine clues and you may soon be telling

Submit your answers by Jan. 15 online, by mail to

friends how zorioneko or mapalad you feel. The five best entries will earn $30 gift certificates from Amazon. If more than five perfect entries are received, winners will be drawn by lot.

Last Word c/o USC Trojan Family Magazine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-7790, or by email at


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


1. Though geographically surrounded by Romance languages, this region is home to an ancient tongue – spoken by about a half million people today – that is unrelated to any other known language. Linguists believe it’s the last remaining descendant of languages spoken in prehistoric Europe.

Cellists Patrick Demenga

Mischa Maisky

Thomas Demenga

Miklós Perényi

Evan Drachman

Jean -Guihen Queyras

Narek Hakhnazaryan

Nathaniel Rosen

Frans Helmerson

Andrew Shulman

Gary Hoffman

Jeffrey Solow

Terry King

Peter Stumpf

Ralph Kirshbaum

Raphael Wallfisch

Steven Isserlis

Jian Wang

Ronald Leonard

Alisa Weilerstein

Laurence Lesser Antonio Lysy

Members of the L.A. Cello Society



Ayke Agus

John Rubinstein

Bernadene Blaha Rina Dokshitsky Kevin Fitz-Gerald Jeffrey Kahane Antoinette Perry

Conductors Neeme Järvi Courtney Lewis Hugh Wolff

Connie Shih



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