USC President Nikias casts USC as trendsetting academic leader

By Amy E. Hamaker

USC President C. L. Max Nikias describes USC’s strengths and challenges at his annual address to the Health Sciences Campus faculty on Feb. 11. Photo?Tom DeSanto USC President C. L. Max Nikias describes USC’s strengths and challenges at his annual address to the Health Sciences Campus faculty on Feb. 11.
Photo/Tom DeSanto

The future of online education in higher learning, the global and local nature of university activities and the reintroduction of humanistic principles were topics touched on by USC President C. L. Max Nikias, PhD, in his address to Health Sciences Campus faculty on Feb. 11 at Aresty Auditorium.

Nikias discussed the changing face of higher learning, noting that online courses at USC are leading the way in terms of maintaining academic rigor and integrity. USC will not offer massively open university courses or online degrees for undergraduates, he said.

However, USC’s masters, executive and graduate programs will reach 7,600 students globall

y and bring in $123 million in revenue this year, a figure that is unprecedented for a top American research university.

Nikias expects that all USC schools will have some online offerings by next year, and hopes to double enrollment and degree offerings online over the next five years. Read More »

February 21st, 2014|Announcements|

BBC journalist stresses need for cultural awareness

By Jon Nalick

Owen Bennett-Jones, freelance British journalist and a host of “Newshour” on the BBC World Service, captivated audiences in Mayer Auditorium as he told tales of how local culture can shape — or sabotage — efforts to improve education and health worldwide.

He described how a leader in northwest Afghanistan shunned offers to build for free a school in his region, saying simply, “I don’t want it.” Later, while hunting with a would-be benefactor, the leader shot ducks that fell into a lake. He whistled and several men jumped into the water to retrieve them. The leader mused, “Do you honestly think they’d do that if they went to school?”

“And that is what you’re up against,” said Bennett-Jones: “Local elites who are quite determined to keep their people uneducated so they can hold on to the power that they’ve got.” Read More »

February 21st, 2014|Announcements|

First female department chair still vital to Keck School at 90

By Ryan Ball

Warner stepped down as chair of pathology in 1983 to practice surgical pathology at the USC Norris Cancer Center, but she has continued to teach at the Keck School of Medicine. Photo/Ryan Ball Nancy Warner
Photo/Ryan Ball

Picking at her smoked salmon with chopsticks at the faculty center named for Hugh A. Edmondson, MD, who preceded her as chair of the Department of Pathology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, Nancy Warner, MD, Hastings Professor of Pathology, emerita, reflects on her legacy at the school.

At the age of 90, Warner remains a formidable presence, one that has been felt on the Health Sciences Campus since she became the school’s first female department chair in 1972. In fact, she was the first woman in the United States to be named chair of a pathology department at a coeducational school of medicine. Read More »

February 21st, 2014|Announcements|


Robert Allen has been named chief financial officer for Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Cancer Hospital.

Read More »

February 21st, 2014|Announcements|

New ARCS fellowship nurtures emerging scientific talent at the Keck School

By Ryan Ball

When the ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) Foundation Inc. was established in 1958 to provide financial awards to U.S. graduate and undergraduate students for innovative pursuits in science, engineering and medical research, the Soviet Union had just launched Sputnik and the United States feared it might fall behind on the technology front.

Although the Cold War space race has long since cooled, the foundation continues to foster emerging talent — including Keck School of Medicine of USC postdoctoral research fellow Rachel Service, PhD, the first recipient of a $10,000 postdoctoral fellowship awarded by ARCS and The John Douglas French Alzheimer’s Foundation.

Service is exploring multiple areas of structural biology, and she believes that understanding the structure of and functional relationship between proteins is key to developing new therapies, studying disease processes and advancing clean energy, among other pursuits. Read More »

February 21st, 2014|Announcements|