Did Somebody Say Food?

If you are like me and love food, then I bet you are wondering about our dining options (heck, even snack options). Let me break it down for you:

At USC, there is always something that is just right for you, and it’s always easy to eat well. Over the years, our campus has experienced many updates to our traditional dining halls, which include Everybody’s Kitchen (EVK), Parkside, and USC Village Dining. These three dining halls are strategically located throughout our campus to give our students convenient options just steps from their dorm rooms. The dining halls provide a wide variety of dining options including vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and more!  If you have food allergies, there is the Allergen Awareness Zone in Parkside that serves food that doesn’t contain the top eight allergens. If you have the time, I encourage you to check out what is being served at each dining hall, so you can pick a place to visit and eat your favorites. You can view each dining hall’s daily menu on the USC Hospitality Residential Menu site.  

USC also has halal and kosher options for students with religious dietary needs. Kosher entrees are available at Parkside (IRC) and at Seeds Marketplace. There’s also the SChalom floor in Parkside that facilitates Kosher cooking in resident kitchens. USC has expanded kosher options in recent years, including making hot kosher entrees available daily. Places like LiteraTea have fresh kosher salads available every day, as well. In addition to on campus halal options, there are also many outstanding halal restaurants in Los Angeles, given our large Muslim population. 

In general, you’ll find that we do our best to be inclusive of all food lovers.  For the health nuts and the junk food lovers, you will find something to suit your palette on campus. With salad bars, smoothies, wok stations, waffle makers, grills, and a variety of ice cream/frozen yogurt options, there’s something for everyone. The Tutor Campus Center (TCC) offers restaurants and cafes such as Seeds Marketplace that feature grab ‘n go options, as well as made-to-order sandwiches and salads. Panda Express, Verde, and Burger Crush serve familiar fare. And of course, what campus center would be complete without staples such as pizza and coffee? Students can order salads, pastas, and pizzas at The Kitchen or order a favorite coffee or ice-blended beverage at C&G Tea Co. And to make the food search even easier, USC Hospitality now uses a Mobile Ordering app!  

There is also my personal food heaven: the USC Village! It offers such a wide range of options from delicious dining to lifestyle shopping, fitness centers, and so much more.  You could get ramen from Ramen KENJO or tacos at City Tacos. Do you have a seafood craving? I recommend the clam chowder at Oceana Seafood. Or try Cava (the Admission Office’s favorite) for delicious, create-your-own grain bowls, salads, and pitas.  Don’t forget to try a churro from Dulce, too! Finally, our newest addition to the USC Village is…Insomnia Cookies!  There are so many more restaurants I could rave about in the USC Village, but I recommend your taste buds test it out for themselves. 

With all of these options for food, there are also a ton of options for COFFEE! Last December, the Office of Undergraduate Admission explored the various cafes on campus and reviewed some favorite cozy drinks. It’s safe to say that we were fully caffeinated (maybe too caffeinated – some of us were a bit jittery).  Check out the Cozy Campus Coffee Spots blog for the full reviews! 

Lastly, a real treat that is offered on campus is the Trojan Farmers’ Market that occurs every Wednesday on the McCarthy Quad at 11am-3pm. The Trojan Farmers’ Market is committed to offering healthy food to students, staff, faculty, and surrounding community members. There are over 30 local vendors who offer a variety of locally grown produce, handmade products, and fresh healthy foods. Some favorites among us current Trojans are fresh strawberries, homemade hummus, pupusas, and fresh salsa. 

Our students truly have a large variety of options when it comes to finding brain food on campus. The next time you visit, we hope you’ll grab a snack and experience a taste of what our campus has to offer! 

Written by: 

Dylan Goodwill, Assistant Director – USC Office of Undergraduate Admission 

Major Mondays: Gerontology 

Major(s): The USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology houses two majors: the Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Aging (B.S.) and the Bachelor of Science in Lifespan Health (B.S). Both of these majors are open to applying first-year and transfer students. To someone like me, these majors sound a bit similar but, in fact, they are quite different! 

The Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Aging has an interdisciplinary curriculum that focuses on biological and social development across a human’s lifespan. If students wanted to delve even deeper into this major, they have two tracks to consider: the Social Science track or the Health Science track.   

The Bachelor of Science in Lifespan Health has a curriculum that covers the biological and medical aspects of health, including disease prevention, detection, and treatment.  This is a degree for students who plan to get a graduate degree and/or pursue career in medicine, pharmacy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychology, or other related fields.  

Overview: Did you know that every 7 seconds a person turns 50? I didn’t. But these sorts of facts are the bread and butter of a gerontology student.  Gerontology is the study of aging across the lifespan. It allows you to discover new ways of seeing the world and also changing it.   

Founded in 1975, the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology is the oldest and largest school of gerontology in the world and is the nation’s first school of gerontology. They offer the most comprehensive selection of gerontology degree programs found anywhere, a variety of outstanding research opportunities and a supportive academic environment. Students within the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology get to explore all aspects of human development and aging. Coursework and rich research opportunities in biology, psychology, sociology, policy, and aging services offer a unique, multidisciplinary curriculum.  While here at USC, students have access to opportunities to transform the future of aging. 

Notable Research:  
USC Leonard Davis conducts groundbreaking multidisciplinary research in medical and social sciences. They are also home to more than a dozen institutes and centers, including the USC Longevity Institute and the Center for Global Aging.

The school holds numerous federal and private grants, enabling faculty to offer a range of research assistantships. These opportunities allow students to work side-by-side with experts and play a role in transforming the field.  Undergraduate students also have the ability to conduct their own original research with the available grants.  For example, former USC Gerontology student Christina Sisliyan’s research on cells’ responses and how their stress responses differ between male and female flies earned a Young Investigator award from the Society for Redox Biology and Medicine (SfRBM) at the 2018 poster presentations.  You can read Christina’s research highlight here and review other student research here.  

Unique Academic Opportunity
USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology is a small, intimate school rooted in a world-class research university while also being located in one of themost vibrant cities in the world. Gerontology students come from around the country and globe and are united in a desire to make the world better for people of all ages.  

A unique academic opportunity, apart from research and world-class faculty, is the Progressive Degree Program (PDP).  For general knowledge, PDP enables USC undergraduate students to apply undergraduate coursework toward the completion of a USC master’s degree.  Pursuing a progressive degree can deepen a student’s education and further prepare them for future careers in as little as one additional year.  The USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology participates in this program and there are four Master’s degrees USC student can apply for: M.S. in Gerontology, M.A. in Aging Services Management, M.A. in Medical Gerontology, and M.A. in Senior Living Hospitality.  For more information, visit the following website: Progressive Degree Program List | Undergraduate Education | USC 

Want to Learn More?  
If you wish to get into the real nitty-gritty of two majors, you can view each of their curriculum break downs here: Undergraduate Program Curriculum – USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology Admissions.  

To see the full list of institutes and centers that USC Leonard Davis offers, please review the following: Institutes & Centers – USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology 

Finally, check out all the details surrounding our undergraduate programs at the following: Undergraduate Programs – USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology Admissions 

Written by:  

Dylan Goodwill,  Assistant Director – USC Office of Undergraduate Admission  

Highlighting USC’s Native American Student Assembly (NASA)

Here at USC, we work hard to make sure our students can find a community and have a safe space for them to be themselves. Although the cultural club for our Native American students may be relatively new, we are growing and progressing. In the spring of 2020, the Native American Student Union (NASU) petitioned to have an official seat at the table of the USC’s Student Government (USG). They were successful! Since receiving this recognition, their name has transitioned to the Native American Student Assembly (NASA).   

NASA provides an intimate space for Native American students to authentically be themselves and to be supported in their endeavors. They are supported by Native American USC Staff and Faculty like myself – Dylan Goodwill (Diné/Hunkpapa Lakota/Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota). Although it has been a bumpy ride since the start, NASA has been thriving and striving. 

We may have small numbers of Native American student at USC, but we make a home for our students,” stated Karras Wilson (former NASA Director) at the USC Prospective Native American Trojans Webinar on October 28th, 2020.  And this is true! We have had a strong legacy of resilient Native American alumni since 1934. I encourage you all to read the article that covered the Intertribal Education Collaboration College Day in February 2020 where we acknowledged Joseph Medicine Crow as the first Native American USC graduate and acknowledged the land USC occupies: the traditional lands of the Tongva tribe. 

Our NASA student leaders have persevered and continue to work hard to create events and spaces for their voices to be heard at USC. NASA meets once a week and they continue to host amazing events. Currently they are actively planning and preparing for November, Native American Heritage Month. To receive further information on upcoming events, be sure to follow the Native American Student Assembly on all social media platforms (@uscnasa). 

In addition to this new seat at the USG table and a name change, NASA has gained a brand-new space to call their own! This fall, a new culturally affirming lounge was launched in the Student Union for our Native American and Pasifika students. You can now find the Native American and Pasifika Student Lounge alongside other cultural centers like La CASA, the Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs (CBSCA), and others in the student union. With this news pace, NASA hopes to set up their weekly meetings in the space to continue to organize activities as well as welcome visiting speakers. They will also use this space to talk with support staff members, to study, or just relax. The remodeled spaces are designed to create a sense of belonging, acceptance and well-being for our Native American and Pasifika students. 

In addition to these upcoming events, they have had a full schedule of events this academic year already. On November 3rd, 2021, the USC Office of Admission will partner with NASA to host the 2nd annual “USC Prospective Native American Trojans” webinar. During the webinar students will hear admission advice for Native American high school students and hear from a live panel of current NASA students, alumni, as well as supportive faculty and staff to talk about USC Native student life. If you unable to attend this year’s webinar, the 1st annual webinar was recorded and it can be viewed on our USC Admission YouTube Channel.   

Overall, NASA hopes to gain more Native students so they can continue to grow and thrive. We are very excited for what the future may hold! So, do you know any Native American students?  Let them know about NASA at USC.   

Written by Dylan Goodwill, Assistant Director & NASA Support Staff member