April Banayan

If you’ve been to a coffee shop near the USC campuses, chances are you might have been getting your caffeine fix while one of the Keck School’s undergraduate commencement speakers was busy succeeding in earning two degrees at once.

Citing them as her go-to study spots, April Banayan has been to more than 100 coffee shops throughout Los Angeles during the course of her studies to earn a bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Studies and a master’s degree in Global Medicine.

As a progressive degree student, Banayan found time outside of the classroom to do far more than merely study, teaching health education with USC’s Peer Health Exchange and spearheading legislation in student government. She also performed diabetes research in the laboratory of Scott Kanoski, PhD, assistant professor in the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, where she learned firsthand about the need for multidisciplinary approaches to health challenges.

Speaking about the impact of her own interdisciplinary education, Banayan said, “The people at the University of Southern California have taught me to believe in my abilities and pushed me to strive for more and think bigger … [T]he courses I have taken in policy, business, and abroad are the ones that have served to alter my perspective.”

This fall, Banayan will apply the wide-ranging knowledge she has gained to a new degree at the Keck School — Doctor of Medicine. She is eager and ready to become a triple Trojan and plans to find new coffee shops to help her along the way.

— April Banayan