Seminar Topics

Click on a title to view past seminar topics. Topics are categorized by schools/departments. You are encouraged to select a micro-seminar that allows you to explore areas outside your intended major.

Annenberg School of Communication

21st Century Media: An Evolving Global Digital Landscape
Paolo Sigismondi, Clincal Associate Professor

How Influencers Will Rule or Ruin Life as We Know It
Stephen Jones, Adjunct

Surfing: A Cultural History
Keith Plocek, Lecturer

This Class Is Not Yet Rated: The Power of Sexual Scripts
Jillian Pierson, Clinical Associate Professor

Trump, Fake News and the Image of the News Media in Popular Culture
Joe Saltzman, Professor of Journalism and Communication

Davis School of Gerontology

Blackboard Immersion into Global Aging
John Walsh, Associate Professor & Assistant Dean for Education

Sports, Concussions and Aging: A Neuroscience Perspective
Andrei Irimia, Assistant Professor

This was a great experience because it allowed me to engage in a conversation with a faculty member in my field in a low pressure, comfortable setting

Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences

Arts & Humanities

A Contemplative Approach to College Life: Lessons from Buddhist History
Lori Meeks, Associate Professor, Chair of Religion

Diego & Frida: Life and Art
Liana Stepanyan, Associate Professor (Teaching), Spanish

Enchanted: The Power of Stories in Children’s Literature (and Beyond in College)
Thomas Gustafson, Associate Professor of English and American Studies & Ethnicity

Forging Shakespeare
Emily Anderson, Professor of English

From Sketches to Standup: Comedy that Makes a Difference
Michael Bunn, Associate Professor (Teaching) of Writing

WRITE ON! Writing the University Level Essay
Shefali Rajamannar, Associate Professor of Writing

Monsters and Ourselves
Ellen Oliveira, Associate Professor (Teaching) of Spanish and Portuguese

Welcome to the Chinese language world! (Chinese I)
Hsiao Yun Liao, Senior Lecturer, East Asian Languages and Cultures

What is Food Justice? Learning about work on the ground in South L.A.
Sarah Portnoy, Associate Professor (Teaching) of Spanish

Natural Sciences

Antarctic Dinosaurs: The Past and Future of a Frozen Continent
Nathan Smith, Adjunct Associate Professor, Earth Sciences

Darwin in a Test Tube: Harnessing Evolution to Engineer New Drugs
Terry Takahashi, Assistant Professor (Research) of Chemistry

Generating Solutions for a Sustainable World
Kenneth Nealson, Director

Science, Faith and the Search for Cosmic Truth
Kenneth Phillips, Adjunct Professor of the Practice of Physics and Astronomy

Social Sciences

Behavioral Economics and the Power of the Nudge
Anya Samek, Associate Professor, Economics

International Relations in the Digital Age
Jeffrey Fields, Associate Professor of the Practice of International Relations

That Belongs in a Museum!: Heritage, Conservation, and Repatriation in the 21st Century
Kirby Farah, Lecturer, Anthropology

Who will Lead? Trump’s Foreign Policy and the end of US Leadership
Steven Lamy, Director of the Dornsife Task Force for Global and Political Studies

I loved my experience and its given me a lot of great new ideas that I’m excited to look into!

Gould School of Law

Lawyers and Secrets
Clare Pastore, Professor of the Practice of Law

What to Expect When You’re Expecting to go to Law School
Ian Fusselman, Lecturer of Law

Keck School of Medicine

911 and John Snow: Emergency Medicine and the Power of Maps
Dan Dworkis, Clinical Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine

Achieving Equity in Health and Health Care in the United States
Michael Cousineau, Professor of Clinical Preventive Medicine

Alzheimer’s Disease: Challenges and Opportunities
Zhen Zhao, Assistant Professor of Physiology & Neuroscience

Cancer and Its Spread: a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
Josh Neman, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery

Patient Zero: The Resurgence of Measles in the US and Across the Globe
Richard Watanabe, Professor of Preventive Medicine and Physiology & Neuroscience

Planning for Medical School
Joel Schechter, Professor Emeritus

Something to Sleep On: Sleep and Sleep Disorders
Iris Perez, Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics

Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine: An Update
Francesca Mariani, Associate Professor at KSOM’s Broad Center for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine

Marshall School of Business / Leventhal School of Accounting

Accounting: The Real Deal-Meet your Future Employer
Zivia Sweeney, Associate Professor of Clinical Accounting

Learning the Risk Management Basics Through Elon Musk
Kristen Jaconi, Director of the Risk Management Program

Google-Uber-Amazon: Managing Platform Businesses
Christina Lubinski, Professor of Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

How To Be More Uncertain: Statistical Thinking in the Age of Big Data
Jacob Bien, Associate Professor, Data Sciences and Operations

Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Building Better Habits: Incorporating Self-Care to Optimize College Performance
Kristy Payne, Assistant Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy

Beforehand I never really knew much about the topic; I just thought it was cool! After this seminar, I’m really considering looking more into the field – maybe even a research opportunity.

Price School of Public Policy

Getting up to Speed: The Evolution of Los Angeles’ Built Environment
Cara Mullio, Adjunct Professor

Roski School of Art & Design

Unstuck: Creativity in Art and Life
Stephanie Sabo, Lecturer in Design

Rossier School of Education

Education Policy and Politics in the Age of DeVos and AOC
Morgan Polikoff, Associate Professor of K-12 Education Policy

School of Architecture

Architecture and Ethics: A Basic Introduction to Architectural Quandaries and Dilemmas.
Scott Uriu, Adjunct Assistant Professor

Welcome to USC! A Brief History of Its Campus from 1880 to the Present
Kenneth Breisch, Associate Professor

One of the most interesting topics I’ve ever learned about, very well presented.

School of Cinematic Arts

Discovering Our Identity: The Power of LGBTQ Documentaries
Thomas Miller, Professor of the Practice of Cinematic Arts

Feminist Film and Video in Los Angeles
Holly Willis, Associate Dean of Research

Horror Movies and Society Today
William Whittington, Assistant Chair of Cinema and Media Studies

Introduction to Screenwriting and the Power of the Personal Story
Lindsay Stidham, Adjunct Assistant Professor

Introduction to Animation, Cartoon Style
Caroline Hu, Adjunct Faculty

School of Dramatic Arts

Directing for American TV (Sit-com, Half-hour Comedy and One-hour Drama)
Paul Lazarus, Adjunct Lecturer

Mask Improvisation – Imagination, Play, & Transformation in Acting
Christopher Shaw, Assistant Professor of Theatre Practice

Stand Up Comedy for Confidence: A Delightful Approach
Judith Shelton, Adjunct Lecturer

School of Pharmacy

Mysterious Deaths: the Dark Story of Poisons and Men
Martine Culty, Associate Professor in Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences

The Relationship Between Pop Culture and Substance Misuse: A One Way Street or Should We Look Both Ways?
Lisa Goldstone, Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy

Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

Depression: Taking care of you, taking care of your BFF
Susan Lindau, Adjunct Professor Dept. of Adult Mental Health and Wellness

Understanding and Advocating for Human Rights of Refugee and Asylum Seekers at US Borders: A focus on gender based violence
Kristen Zaleski, Clinical Associate Professor

I really enjoyed this seminar it sparked a new interest in me that I wish to further pursue in my academic career.

Thornton School of Music

Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and the Invention of “Classical” Music
Nate Sloan, Assistant Professor of Musicology

Viterbi School of Engineering

Acoustic Time Travel
Chris Kyriakakis, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Human Spaceflight – Recent Past and Near Future
Garrett Reisman, Professor of Astronautics Practice

Human-centered Machine Intelligence: From understanding human behavior to technology applications in health, media arts and beyond
Shrikanth (Shri) Narayanan, Adjunct Professor

Nanotechnology: The Synthesis of Gold Nanoparticles
Ted Lee, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Studying Engineering
Oussama Safadi, Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Practice

What’s Hot in Video Games Right Now
Chris Swain, Lecturer of Information Technology Program

USC Libraries

Micro-Resistance as Self-Care: Emotional Labor and Students of Color in Predominantly White Institutions
Alyssa Brissett, Social Work Librarian

Visualizing Los Angeles Data through Art & Craft
Andy Rutkowski, Visualization Specialist

Amazing experience and loved every minute of it. Time flew by and felt much shorter because it was so interesting.