Transfer Talk Tuesday: Campus Resources

Transfer Talk Tuesdays are a series of personal blogs where current USC transfer students dive deeper into their real-life stories, perspectives, and experiences in transferring to USC. Note that each transfer application is unique and there are no guaranteed paths to transfer. For guidance on how to put together a competitive transfer application, please review our Transferring to USC brochure. 

Jacqueline (Jackie) Lutz-Hibbard is a junior Biochemistry major from Pasadena, CA. In 2020, she transferred from a small liberal arts college on the east coast to USC. Jackie is on the pre-health track and is a research assistant for multiple studies at USC’s Health, Emotions, and Addiction Laboratory. She is involved in student clubs, ranging from book clubs to clubs which promote health education.  

Transferring to USC felt quite daunting at first. I moved from a tiny college on the east coast smaller than my high school, to USC, which at first felt like a metropolis. As transfer students, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and lost socially as well as academically. However, once I arrived, it was like a new world had opened up to me –  I was able to dive right into campus life. The good news is that USC offers numerous resources, honestly too many to list. USC truly supports its students in every aspect of life –  job/career opportunities, academic support, and social and cultural support.  

Academically, there are many programs set in place to support students. My favorite resource available here is Supplemental Instruction, or SI, which is an academic support program for difficult classes. SI is where students who have taken and passed specific classes  run study sessions and offer academic support. These are great opportunities to review the material in a more casual setting as opposed to lectures, and I think is one of the main reasons why I passed my organic chemistry class! There are other tutoring options such as the Writing Center or the Math Center, which offer one-on-one feedback and support for classes or other projects.  

Something I was anxious about when starting USC was how to get accommodations for my disability. At my previous college, I gave up on getting accommodations after the first semester because of how difficult the process was. However, at USC it couldn’t have been easier. Accommodations are run through the Office of Student Accessibility Services (OSAS), and the process (which is entirely online) took about 10 minutes on my end. Beyond testing and course accommodations, OSAS offers other personalized support to students with disabilities.  

As someone on the pre-med track planning on applying to medical school, there are a lot of ins and outs that can make the process overwhelming. USC offers specific resources such as the Office of Pre-Health Advisement and the Office of Pre-Law Advisement, as well as assistance for continuing education and pre-graduate students; offering students advisement, support, opportunities, workshops, and mentorship. Exciting events and academic talks are offered constantly throughout the year, with the chance to see and speak with leaders in many prospective fields.  

College is not just about academics and the transition can be hard for students, both physically and mentally. USC offers general medical care, as well as mental health programs including counseling, group or individual sessions, and also hosts wellness events.  

USC has numerous cultural and support centers on campus that host events, offer support, and have student lounges for identifying students to study, relax, or hang out with friends in specially designated spaces. Student cultural centers include the Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs (CBCSA), Asian Pacific American Student Services (APASS), and Latinx/Chicanx Center and Advocacy for Student Affairs (La CASA). Other groups include the First Generation+ Success Center, which offers resources including mentorship for first-generation, undocumented, transfer, and former foster youth students. Additional support centers are the LGBTQ+ Resource Center and the Veterans Resource Center.  

Finally, here are some fun, honorable mentions I wanted to highlight!  

USC Special Collections is in my opinion one of the coolest and most unique resources available at USC. Special Collections at USC is a department of the library which holds and cares for rare and historical books, manuscripts, archives, and historical photographs. This resource is available to all students, and one of my favorite memories at USC was being able to hold and flip through the pages of a book of maps from the 1700s!  

Another great USC resource is USC Visions and Voices, an arts initiative that hosts events to help all students regardless of major become engaged with the LA community and arts as a whole, which even includes taking students to plays and musicals in the LA area.     

Starting at a new school is nerve wracking for everyone, and being a transfer student can add  even more pressure. USC provides plenty of services and programs to help, transfer and first-years alike, successfully acclimate and welcome them into the Trojan family.  

Written by Jacqueline (Jackie) Lutz-Hibbard, a 3rd year majoring in Biochemistry.  



USC Celebrates Pride Month

The academic year may have just ended and the summer is heating up, but Pride at USC is just getting started. USC has made sure that June will be full of pride celebrations, conversations, and events for the whole community. This year, USC celebrates ‘The Power of Community’ as its theme for Pride. Starting on June 1st, USC will host a variety of virtual and in-person events to empower our students, faculty, and staff in the LGBTQ+ community.  

Here are just some of the events that USC will host to celebrate and commemorate pride this month:  

  • Pride Month Celebration: Faculty, staff, students, and USC community members join President Carol L. Folt to kick-off the University’s month-long celebration of Pride Month and the Power of Community. 
  • Progress Pride Flag at Keck Hospital of USC: After the Pride Month Celebration kick-off with President Folt, Keck Hospital of USC will raise the Progress Pride Flag at the front of the hospital where it will remain for the entire month of June. 
  • Keck Pride & L.A. Pride: Keck Pride, which is for faculty, staff, and patients, will join the 52nd L.A. Pride Parade on June 12th.  
  • 2022 Morgan Stanley Asia LGBTQ+ Allies Virtual Coffee Chat: This virtual networking event gives current LGBTQ+ and Allied USC students the ability to network with current Morgan Stanley employees from the company’s Asia Pride and ally networks.  

Beyond celebrating Pride month, USC is committed to celebrating gender and sexual diversity every day of the year. The LGBTQ+ Student Center is the main LGBTQ+ hub on campus for students to seek support and build community. The center, which is located on the fourth floor of the Student Union Building, features the Lavender Lounge, a gathering space where students can spend time together, enjoy free printing, and indulge in free coffee and tea.  

The center also hosts a few student groups, including the First-year Advocacy Board (FAB), a group open to both first-year and transfer students and that focuses on helping students with the transition to USC. This is a wonderful way to get involved with the center right away. In addition to FAB, the center is home to a few other affinity groups that hosts weekly meetings and conversations.  

  • Bi+ Spaces: A closed group for students who identify as bisexual, polysexual, pansexual, and/or another non-monosexual identity  
  • Queer Fandom Fanatics: A space open to all to connect and “geek out” about pop culture.  
  • QTPOC (Queer/Trans Person of Color) Lounge: A closed space to QTPOC-identified USC students to connect and build community.  
  • Rainbow International: A closed space for international students who identify as LGBTQ+ to discuss their queer experiences around the world.  
  • Queer Book Club: QUATRO (Queer and Ally Trojan Readers Online): This an open book club for all USC students; the group reads and discusses one LGBTQ+ book per semester.  
  • Beyond the Binary: Beyond the Binary (formerly GNAF) is an intentional space for our Trans and Gender Nonconforming/Questioning USC students (& friends!) to get to know one another, destress, and debrief, as well as have a place to call their own, all while actively abolishing the binary and other oppressive systems. 
  • Ace/Aro+ Space: An intentional space for students who identify as asexual, aromantic, demisexual, or anywhere on the ace and/or aro spectrums. 

Check out the LGBTQ+ Student Center on social.  

As a prospective or incoming student, you might be wondering about the kinds of other programs and resources that USC has to offer around the LGBTQ+ community.  

You might want to check out some additional groups and resources for members of the Trojan Family:  

  • Mentorship Opportunities: LGBT Peer Mentoring Program allows current USC students to work with a caring, dynamic peer mentor on personal, social, academic, career and lifestyle goals.  
  • Professional Resources: OUTLaw, a networking club for LGBTQ+ students interested in pursuing Law; and Trojan Alliance, a pre-professional association aimed at bringing networking opportunities and resources to LGBTQ students at USC.  
  • Social Organizations: MedLambda: LGBTQIA+ Student Interest Group, a group that supports LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff in the health sciences through social events, activism, and programming; and Transgender Advocacy Group, a student-run organization for transgender USC students and their cisgender allies to mingle, discuss, and dismantle transphobia.  

For more information about the LGBTQ+ Student Center, programs, student organizations, and more, visit the LGBTQ+ Student Center website: https://lgbtrc.usc.edu/ and the Campus Organizations website for a full list of all registered USC clubs and organizations: https://campusactivities.usc.edu/organizations/.  

Written by Dylan Goodwill (Assistant Director of Admission) and Jamie Black (Assistant Director of 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