DPPD Professional Dissertations

Below are examples of professional dissertations completed by USC Price Doctor of Policy, Planning, and Development students. Students focus on a diversity of topics related to professional practice. The dissertation is also submitted to and approved by the USC Thesis Editor for publication to the USC Library.


Conditions for an app serving unplanned urban communities: Integrating cell phones into health promotion messaging
Author: Shirley Feldmann-Jensen
Chair: Juliet Musso, Ph.D.

Improving post-secondary success for first generation college students through community partnerships: Programming practices for charter high schools
Author: Chantelle Frazee
Chair: Deborah Natoli, Ph.D.

Institutional analysis of factors critical to facilitating project management and implementation of Metro ExpressLanes
Author: Yvonne Zheng
Chair: Genevieve Giuliano, Ph.D.

Life Without Nuclear Power – A nuclear plant retirement formulation model and guide based on economics
Author: Frank Wasko
Chair: Bob Denhardt, Ph.D.

Collaboration: is it worth it? The Magnolia Community Initiative from the perspective of initiative partner participants
Author: Cara Leonetti Esposito
Chair: Jim Ferris, Ph.D.

Seeing China in Africa Through the Lens of China’s Own Development Experience: Policy, Jobs, Aid, and Green Energy
Author: Anna Chen
Chair: Peter Robertson, Ph.D.


The impact of social capital: A case study on the role of social capital in the restoration and recovery of communities after disasters
Author: Jacob Anthony Avila
Chair: Peter Robertson, Ph.D.

Homegrown violent extremism: Designing a community-based model to reduce the risk of recruitment and radicalization
Author: Erroll Southers
Chair: Eric Heikkila, Ph.D.

The Spatial economic impact of live music in Orange County, California
Author: Jeremy Daniel Olson-Shelton
Chair: Gary Painter, Ph.D.

Tailoring Philanthropic Strategies to New Generational Cohorts
Author: Tina Mallinson Pakfar
Chair: Robert C Myrtle, D.P.A.

Values-based discipline: The key to organizational transformation within law enforcement agencies
Author: Bernard Melekian
Chair: Terry Cooper, Ph.D.

NOTE: More dissertations to be listed.