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 



USC Welcomes Trojans Back to Campus

In March 2020, USC’s physical doors closed and virtual ones opened. As of this August, USC is thrilled to welcome new and returning students back home. USC’s return to campus this fall is exciting, the campus is alive and buzzing. With new faces to meet and places to explore, our return to campus has been nothing short of thrilling.  

We kicked off our return by welcoming incoming undergraduates from the Fall 2020 and Fall 2021 admitted classes at our annual Fall Convocation. The campus was electrified with cardinal and gold clad students in their embroidered USC gowns, sitting with their academic departments. Their families documented the enormous tradition from Alumni Park, all awaiting their confirmation into the Trojan Family.  

Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism students cheer their school at the new student convocation August 19, 2021 at USC. Photo by David Sprague/USC

Convocation commenced with a welcome from President FoltFolt opened with powerful words for our incoming students and their families,  USC is a place of new beginnings and fresh starts-of big dreams and kinetic energy bouncing off people – a place where you belong, where you’re valued and where you will make your mark.” Folt supported their first steps into the Trojan family, “you are the fresh faces of tomorrow-you’ll take the first-rate education you receive here, to become inspirational doers, thinkers and leaders across the world-just like legions of Trojans before you.” Folt confirmed Trojans share a passion for USC which is legendary, and left us with the questionshow will you create and what will you stand for? 

USC President Carol L. Folt speaks during new student convocation, August 19, 2021. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

Then Varun Soni, Dean of USC Religious Life, led the crowd through a blessing of the cell phone  a first for me, offering inspiring and important words “may our cell phones and smart devices be sources of creativity and connection as opposed to outrage and anxiety…May our devices enlighten us to new and different perspectives, worldviews, and realities instead of just amplifying and reinforcing what we might already think and believe.” 

Students raise their cell phones to be blessed at the new student convocation August 19, 2021 at USC. Photo by David Sprague/USC

 Next, we heard from a variety of students and campus leaders leaving words of wisdom as our students entered campus. Finally, the deans of each academic unit welcomed their respective inductees, confirming what their students will contribute to society as well as their rights and responsibilities as USC learners.  

Students from each of the schools bear their school flags during the processional at the new student convocation August 19, 2021 at USC. Photo by David Sprague/USC

Currently we are in the midst of the beginning weeks of our fall semester. USC has kicked off welcoming students back to campus with events like Glow Yoga, Welcome Back Concert, Light Up the Night SC and (my favorite) the Spirit Rally! Trojan Marching Band Spirit Rally is an unofficial required induction to the many Trojan traditions. Gathering in the stands of the Cromwell Track and Field stadium, the USC Marching Band, Song Girls, and Spirit Leaders prepare new Trojans with cheers and USC fight songs to support our teams on to victory this Fall!  

The USC Song Girls perform during the Trojan Marching Band spirit rally, August 20, 2021. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

Wondering what to do on campus upon returning? Check out some recommendations from our USC Student Ambassadors! 

“I am excited to go back to class, sounds very simple, but it’s really quite fun just walking from one class to another and actually commuting. You run into your friends on the way to class, you say hello and see people you haven’t seen in a couple of weeks. It’s just heartwarming! I would personally recommend going to the Coliseum which is located just south of USC, ideally go during a game day. You will see people wearing cardinal and gold, everyone is jumping, everyone is chanting it is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Go Trojans!”
Felipe, Junior from Bogota, Columbia majoring in Civil Engineering 

I am most excited for the football games because I am into athletics and so having that energy again is so exciting. I would say go to the bookstore because everyone loves getting some USC gear even if you don’t go to USC everyone’s going to have it.”
Princess, Sophomore from Maywood, IL majoring in Musical Theater

If you are a new student you should bring the Hammock in McCarthy Quad, enjoy the California sunshine with your friends.” 
Priya, Senior from Apple Valley, MN majoring in International Relations (Global Business) 

“I am most excited to see my friends and classmates, I am ready to get back to in person learning.”
Rachel, Senior from Pleasanton, CA majoring in Sociology


“I’m excited to see people rehearsing in the Queen’s Court. Where to visit? I like listening to the squirrels, in Founders Park there’s always a bench in the shade.”
Jozeline, Sophomore from Long Beach CA, majoring in Music Industry 

Welcome back Trojans and Fight On! 



USC’s Native American Student Assembly (NASA)

“We may have small numbers of Native American student at USC, but we make a home for our students,” stated Karras Wilson at the USC Prospective Native American Trojans Webinar on October 28th, 2020And 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 currently occupies: the traditional lands of the Tongva tribe.  

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 progressingIn 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.  They were successful!  They now have a seat at that table, and their name has transitioned to the Native American Student Assembly (NASA).  NASA is an intimate space for Native American students to authentically be themselves and to be supported in their endeavors.  They are supported by the Director of NASA, Karras Wilson (Quechan/Cocopah), and other Native American USC Staff and Faculty like me, Dylan Goodwill (Diné/Hunkpapa Lakota/Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota).  Although 2020 has been a bumpy ride, NASA has been thriving and striving.   

Our NASA student leaders have worked 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 these upcoming events, they have had a full schedule of events this academic year already.  On Oct. 14th, 2020, they hosted a virtual event focusing on Native Fashion and had Miss Indian World as their main guest.  Then, on Oct. 28th, 2020, the USC Office of Admission partnered with NASA to have the “USC Prospective Native American Trojans” webinar.  In that webinar we provided Admission advice to Native high school students and had a live panel of current NASA students and NASA support faculty and staff to talk about USC Native student life.  The 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!  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.