Shaping the World

USC Graduation 2013

A Message from USC Price Dean Jack H. Knott

Dean Knott addresses the graduating class of 2013. (Photo/Tom Queally)

Dean Knott addresses the graduating class of 2013. (Photo/Tom Queally)

As we enjoy our summer and anticipate the start of a new academic year, it’s my pleasure to report some of the news and accomplishments that helped the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy end the 2012-13 year on an especially high note.

USC’s 130th annual commencement included nearly 700 Price students. I invite you to explore the video and photos from the Price School’s satellite graduation ceremonies linked in this newsletter. We are very proud of each of our newest alumni, and look forward to following them as they advance in their careers and shape our world for the better.

One Price graduate already serves as an inspiration to millions, including President Obama. I’d like to draw your attention to the story on Bryshon Nellum ’13, a silver medal-winning Olympian, whose story of resilience and determination in the face of adversity led not only to athletic triumph, but to his serving as flag-bearer at both the 2012 London games and the Price undergraduate commencement ceremony.

Also noteworthy are the recent achievements of an array of Price students and alumni. This includes our inaugural graduating online MPA students, whose capstone projects showcase the international potential of distance learning and virtual collaboration; our graduating MPP students, whose practicum projects embody the translation of research, knowledge and analytic capability into policy proposals for real-world clients; and alumna Aja Brown ’04, MPL ’05, who was recently elected mayor of nearby Compton, Calif., and credits USC Price with greatly influencing her career in public service.

You can find more student news in the newsletter’s Student Impact section.

In our Alumni Spotlight, we feature yet another remarkable achiever — Kabira Stokes MPP ’10, founder and CEO of an electronics recycling company that offers on-the-job training and employment for previously incarcerated individuals, while advancing sustainability and achieving business goals.

Underscoring the school’s legacy of leadership, USC Price faculty continue to address some of today’s most critical issues. Senior Associate Dean Gen Giuliano, for example, was selected by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to serve on the National Freight Advisory Committee. In this capacity, she and fellow members will advise the secretary, devise policy initiatives, and ultimately advocate a national freight policy. Congratulations to Dr. Giuliano on this well-deserved appointment!

And as always, the Price School constantly puts its Knowledge in Action. Among the stories in this section: Assistant Professor Liz Falletta put her urban design and architecture expertise into a housing design project now on display at a Hollywood gallery. Second, Transportation Security Administration head John Pistole lectured at a recent event, in which he described new risk-based security and intelligence-driven methods that align closely with the research approach already undertaken by USC CREATE researchers. Third, Price alumna Martha Escutia ’79, former California state senator, has returned to USC to serve as the university’s vice president of government relations. Her recollection of Price faculty support is a testament to this remarkable long-standing tradition in our school.

In addition, Assistant Professor Marco Heusch has garnered substantial national news attention for his detection of third party tracking entities that capture users’ private data on prominent health-related websites. I encourage you to learn more about our media coverage in the Price Making the News section.

We also take great pride in extending the Price School’s Global Reach. At the 2013 USC Global Conference in Seoul, for example, I moderated a Price-hosted discussion on the transformation in Korean governance and, as importantly, enjoyed interacting with Pacific-Rim alumni and other members of the USC Price family in Asia. The same week, nearby in Yeosu, Korea, Professor Eric Heikkila delivered a keynote address on environmental awareness at a symposium. In addition, the Price School and its Bedrosian Center on Governance recently signed a memorandum of understanding with India’s Emergent Institute. The partnership will launch a leadership exchange program between government leaders in California and the Indian state of Karnataka.

Finally, I hope you take a few moments to view our latest Research News, Awards & Notes, Upcoming Events, and assorted photos and videos – including video of the 2013 State of the School Address I was privileged to deliver recently. It provides an overview of the school’s continued upward trajectory and a vision of our expectations for defining excellence in public affairs education and research in the coming year and beyond.

As always, I acknowledge the unparalleled dedication of Price faculty and staff for yet another year of unparalleled achievements and passion to make our world a better place.


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