USC Price School of Public Policy

Shaping the World

A Message from USC Price Dean Jack H. Knott


First, I would like to wish each and every one of you a very happy new year! As the USC Price School celebrates its 85th year, it is my pleasure to highlight some of the expertise and achievements that continually bring attention to our faculty, students, and research centers.

Our Sol Price Center for Social Innovation was named a partner institution with President Obama’s ‘Promise Zone’ program in Los Angeles, aimed at lifting urban neighborhoods out of poverty. Price Professor Gary Painter will spearhead the Center’s participation in this vital initiative. The Sol Price Center’s designation is especially fortuitous, as it prepares to host, along with Price’s Bedrosian Center on Governance, a major conference in late March on “Innovating to End Urban Poverty.” Please go to for details.

A research team led by Price urban planning Professor Marlon Boarnet published a first-of-its-kind before-after study showing not only that recent light rail installations have reduced car use and carbon emissions, but that study participants near rail lines are seeing health benefits. The findings were reported in the L.A. Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, Huffington Post, and other media outlets.

Erroll Southers, a Price adjunct professor and associate director of USC’s Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE), has been making numerous media appearances to discuss his recently-published book Homegrown Violent Extremism. Erroll’s research provides much-needed clarity and promises to shape future policy discussions on complex issues surrounding domestic terrorism in its varied forms.

We also bring you a story about a popular undergraduate course that gives students the opportunity to “Learn by Giving,” while obtaining first-hand experience with philanthropy and nonprofit organizations.

One of the Price School’s newest faculty, Associate Professor Annette Kim, is featured in a story covering her traveling exhibit – currently on display in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – exploring that country’s ‘sidewalk economy.’ The exhibit comes to Los Angeles later this year.

The Price community has been enriched by a series of recent discussions with esteemed thought leaders. As part of the bi-coastal George Washington Leadership Lecture series, a partnership between our school and the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington in Virginia, the Price School hosted the first University Park-based lecture. USC University Professor Kevin Starr spoke about the first U.S. president’s vision for the country’s westward extension as well as his legacy and contributions to fields in which Price conducts research. Price’s Tomás Rivera Policy Institute hosted a distinguished panel, including Congressman Xavier Becerra, devoted to prospects for a Smithsonian Museum of the American Latino. And Price’s Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy hosted Judy Belk, senior vice president of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers, as well as Ken Brecher, president of the library foundation of Los Angeles, for a conversation on the role of technology in making public libraries hubs for civic engagement and agents of social change.

In the continuing effort to extend Price’s Global Reach, I delivered a keynote address at Singapore’s Lien Conference on Public Administration, focusing on the power of philanthropy as both a public policy and societal force throughout Asia.

As the academic year unfolds it is no surprise that Price students have been making an impact, and we present three examples. Read about four Master of Planning students who won California Planning Foundation scholarships, including the top award statewide; Dollinger MRED students who won two highly-competitive real estate case challenges; and Pamela Schweitzer, an Executive Master of Health Administration student and Dept. of Veterans Affairs pharmacist who won the 2013 Distinguished Federal Pharmacist Award, the highest honor conferred by the American Pharmacists Association.

Our Alumni Spotlight introduces you to 2011 MPA alumna Colleen Dilenschneider, a specialist in audience engagement initiatives and digital marketing as well as founder of the popular web site Know Your Bone, which offers creative online engagement strategies and best practices for nonprofit and cultural organizations including museums, zoos and aquariums.

As always, I invite you to explore this newsletter’s right column, containing a wealth of news relating to Price research, awards, alumni updates, events, as well as links to photo albums and videos.

From its founding in 1929 and continuing today, the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy has carried forth a rich legacy of education, research, and service that underpins the school’s mission of improving the quality of life for people and their communities. I would like to extend my sincerest appreciation to friends and members of the Price community as we continue our work to shape the world for the better.


Jack H. Knott, Dean
C. Erwin and Ione L. Piper Chair and Professor
USC Sol Price School of Public Policy