Alumni Spotlight Features

Read our most recent Alumni Spotlight stories, which highlight the inspiring accomplishments of USC Price School graduates.  You can read more in our Spotlight Archive.

Tommy Trojan at Night

(Photo by Gus Ruelas)


Lori Glasgow

Lori Glasgow

USC Price School alumna Lori Glasgow recently retired as Executive Officer of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the nation’s largest local government. Throughout her distinguished career in public service, she also gave back by teaching public administration courses, educating the next generation of government leaders. Full Story



Aura Garcia

Aura Garcia EML

USC Price Executive Master of Leadership alumna Aura Garcia wasn’t looking to make a career change, but when Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called, she couldn’t turn down the opportunity to represent her northeast San Fernando Valley community and her Guatemalan/Latino heritage. Garcia now serves on the five-member L.A. City Board of Public Works, where she focuses on career pathways for youth. Full Story



Gabriele Almon

Gabriele Almon MPP ’12

Gabriele Almon MPP ’12 serves on the FEMA National Advisory Council, where she focuses on advocating for low-income, vulnerable communities when disasters occur. Full Story



Jennifer Cohen

Jennifer Cohen MPP ’06

Jennifer Cohen MPP ’06, director of government affairs at the L.A. Department of Transportation, has been named a 2018 Eisenhower Fellow — with plans to visit Singapore and Vietnam in May, then France in the fall, to learn how other countries handle autonomous vehicle technology. Full Story



Bunnie Lempesis Ward

Bunnie Lempesis Ward MPP ’99

Bunnie Lempesis Ward MPP ’99 will soon begin an 18-month journey as a Class of 2019 Liberty Fellow, which aims to connect and help young, proven leaders collaborate to build a stronger South Carolina. She currently serves as the director of policy development and evaluation for the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee. Full Story



Liana Elliott

Liana Elliott, MPL/MPP ’14

Liana Elliott currently serves as the Chief of Staff to the New Orleans City Council president. In addition, she co-founded a new community radio station – WHIV-FM – which features programming dedicated to human rights and social justice. She graduated with dual master’s degrees in public policy and urban planning from the USC Price School of Public Policy in 2014. Full Story



DeAnn Aston Marshall

DeAnn Aston Marshall, MHA ’12

USC Price Master of Health Administration alumna DeAnn Aston Marshall has been named the new president of the Children’s Hospital Foundation for Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C. In this role, Marshall will lead all philanthropic efforts and development strategy across the organization. Full Story



Sandy Marshall

Sandy Marshall, BS ’96

Sandy Marshall is the founder of Project Scientist, a non-profit educational organization that advocates the advancement of girls and women in STEM fields. Project Scientist has partnered with companies, college programs and teachers nationwide to provide opportunities for young girls to explore their STEM interests and passions. Full Story



La Mikia Castillo

La Mikia Castillo, MPP, MPL ’12

La Mikia Castillo MPP, MPL ’12 describes herself as being “passionate about impacting and addressing issues that have an effect on low-income communities and communities of color.” It’s a passion rooted in her faith that she brings each day to the National Foster Youth Institute, where Castillo leads community organizing initiatives aimed at transforming the child welfare system. Her contributions, however, aren’t limited to just the professional arena. She’s also extended her impact into the classroom, working with students as a new adjunct faculty member at USC Price. Full Story



Stonish Pierce

Stonish Pierce, MHA ’05

The efforts of one USC Price Master of Health Administration alumnus – along with generous support from a group of nuns – are going to help 5,000 patients a year fight cancer. As Regional Chief Ambulatory, Ancillary and Business Development Officer at Presence Health in Chicago, Stonish Pierce was given the opportunity and responsibility to develop a comprehensive cancer treatment center when the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth vacated their convent, located at Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center, and recommended its use for patient care. Full Story



Ivory Rose Chambeshi

Ivory Rose Chambeshi, MPA, MPL ’14

Ivory Rose Chambeshi is the founder of the community development consulting firm Urban Rising Group, which helps organizations cultivate healthy, prosperous and connected communities through strategic and land use planning, capacity-building, and community outreach. Chambeshi boasts over a decade of experience as a nonprofit leader, small business services professional, researcher, consultant and community advocate. Full Story



Deborah Castro

Deborah Castro, EML ’12

Deborah Castro is the president and CEO of Creative Productions, a strategic marketing agency that specializes in strategy, creative and digital solutions. In 2014, the Long Beach Women’s Business Council named Castro the inaugural recipient of its Entrepreneur of the Year award. At USC, Castro is an active leader and volunteer, including her current role as chair of the Leadership Council for the Price School’s Athenian Society. Full Story




Matthew Gonzalez MPP ’15, Justin Tandingan MPP ’14, Avery Seretan MPP ’16

Education is often cited as an area that could create an enormous positive difference on issues of social justice. But such a result would require an immense effort of people working together to make systematic change over time. A group of USC Price alumni – including Matthew Gonzalez, Justin Tandingan and Avery Seretan – have formed the Price Education Network (PEN) to try to make a collective impact in education Full Story



Domenika Lynch width=

Domenika Lynch, BS

On July 1, 2016, USC Price School undergraduate alumna Domenika Lynch began a significant new chapter in her professional career — assuming the role of president and CEO of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute in Washington, D.C. The CHCI is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that provides leadership development programs and educational services for Latino youth. Full Story




Thomas Wong, MPA ’13

Thomas Wong thinks a lot about California’s drought. That’s because he’s the president of the Board of Directors of the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District and a representative for his hometown of Monterey Park.  Full Story




Alana Hitchcock and Mark Weber, MPA ’12

After earning their MPA degrees from USC Price in 2012, Alana and Mark quit their state government jobs, got married and moved to Thailand to inspire social change. Not long after, they founded Trade Monkey — a company dedicated to bridging the gap between disadvantaged artisans and consumers around the world.  Full Story



ahoatkinsongaleMarissa Aho ’06, Ashley Atkinson ’07, Nat Gale ’11

These Price Master of Planning alums are helping make the City of Los Angeles a safer, more vibrant, beautiful and equitable place. All three make an impact by working for the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti. Aho is the Chief Resilience Officer in charge of coordinating and implementing improvements and programs to help the city withstand disasters, Atkinson helps develop planning and housing policy in the office of economic development, and Gale runs the Great Streets Initiative for the office of transportation. Full Story


lyons-thumbThe Honorable Dalila Corral Lyons, BS ’81

As a child growing up in L.A., Dalila Corral Lyons considered attending USC “a far-fetched dream.” No one in her family had ever gone to college before. Today, Lyons is not only an alumna of the USC Price School, but she also makes meaningful impact in the community through her work as a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, where she brings her lifelong commitment of equality and justice. Full Story