Each year, USC programs and faculty research are highlighted in print, broadcast and online stories throughout the world. Highlights of recent news coverage are compiled by USC Media Relations.
USC in the News 3/21/2012
Zocalo Public Square ran a Q&A with USC President C. L. Max Nikias, who recently participated in a panel about whether universities can save cities. Nikias said that he would most like to share a drink with Themistocles, "the Abraham Lincoln of Athens" who preserved democracy in the Straits of Salamis, allowing the arts to bloom for 50 years. "When I teach micro-seminars I say we all can learn from the politicians from Athens, from their successes but also from their failures," Nikias added. "Sometimes you learn more by studying the failures of the Athenians than their successes."
Los Angeles Times featured a $10 million gift from the Harman Family Foundation to further the work of the USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study, which is based in the USC Libraries. The academy promotes the study of how different academic fields can be related, encouraging critical thinking, cross-disciplinary research and the history of famous polymaths. Academy guests have included Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at USC Dana Gioia, Warren Bennis of the USC Marshall School, Geoffrey Cowan of the USC Annenberg School and Kevin Starr of the USC Dornsife College. The late Sidney Harman was a USC Marshall School professor and served as the academy's chairman until his passing. "This academy, which he imagined and founded, will instill curiosity across the many disciplines at USC and just might revolutionize the way students learn. What a wonderful way to honor and remember Sidney," said his widow, former Congresswoman Jane Harman.
The New York Times reviewed the final performance of the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, presented by the USC Thornton School and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in partnership with The Colburn School and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Ralph Kirshbaum of the Thornton School, who directed the event and led master classes as part of the festival, has been organizing cello festivals for more than 20 years. Kirshbaum said he would most likely bring back the Piatigorsky festival (if sponsors are willing) in three years. "This is a cello age," Kirshbaum said.
The New York Times highlighted a research project by Henry Jenkins of the USC Annenberg School and colleagues that studies fan-based social activism. The project, called Civic Paths, was funded by a MacArthur Foundation grant. Jenkins and colleagues have edited a journal issue of "Transformative Works and Cultures" devoted to fan activism, which will come out in June. The key to fan activism, Jenkins said, is to "take kids who are culturally active and build a bridge for them to become politically active."
The China Post (Taiwan) reported that USC will award honorary degrees to a group of Japanese American USC students whose education was interrupted when the U.S. government interned them during World War II. "Through the years these students have been among the most passionate and dedicated members of the Trojan Family," USC President C. L. Max Nikias said in The Rafu Shimpo. "We are honored that our Nisei students have an enduring devotion to USC and we want them to know that the university is also devoted to them." Scott Mory, associate senior vice president and CEO of the USC Alumni Association, added that the association was proud and fortunate to be able to recognize the Nisei alumni.
The Canberra Times (Australia) highlighted research by Alexandra Michel of the USC Marshall School finding that Wall Street bankers can develop sleep disorders, alcoholism, patterns of drug use and other ailments in the first few years of their career. "Work changes a person — even more so when you slog away at it for 100 hours a week," Michel said. She noted that 40 percent of the bankers in her study eventually dropped out of the industry.
The Philadelphia Inquirer highlighted research by Nina Eliasoph of the USC Dornsife College finding that community groups aren't necessarily a gateway to political activism. Eliasoph's book, "Avoiding Politics: How Americans Produce Apathy in Everyday Life," found that members of citizen groups keep many of their political opinions to themselves. "Involvement in organizations like these really gives people the chance to feel like they're doing something, but avoid the conflict of politics," Eliasoph said.
Los Angeles Times quoted Martin Kaplan of the USC Annenberg School about mentions of genitalia on broadcast TV.
Los Angeles Times quoted David Carter of the USC Marshall School about a new naming rights deal for Dodger Stadium.
The Nigerian Observer (Nigeria) cited Warren Bennis of the USC Marshall School regarding leadership.
U.S. News & World Report quoted Lawrence Turman of the USC School of Cinematic Arts about the impact on The Walt Disney Company of the low box office for "John Carter."
Associated Press quoted Edwin Smith of the USC Gould School about United Nations investigations into prison systems.
Bloomberg Businessweek quoted William Tierney of the USC Rossier School about the Cal State system preparing for possible budget cuts in November.
The Huffington Post quoted Brie Loskota of the USC Dornsife College about the biblical story of Esther.
News at a Glance
Los Angeles Times mentioned that safety experts from the USC Viterbi School participated in a Metrolink transportation workshop.
Science News mentioned USC research that identified an association between frequent cell phone use by pregnant mothers and subsequent behavioral problems in their children.
The Arizona Republic reported that Tracy Fullerton of the USC School of Cinematic Arts will present a lecture at Arizona State University called "Provocations in Play: Experimental Designs from the USC Innovation Lab."
Jewish Journal highlighted a lecture given by Martin Kaplan of the USC Annenberg School at the 10th anniversary of the Barcelona Media Foundation.
Evanston Review mentioned a choral performance of "Lux Aeterna," composed by Morten Lauridsen of the USC Thornton School.