Simply, Thank You! 

This is the time of the year where we take time to reflect and think about the many acts of bravery and the selfless sacrifices that our men and women in uniform have made for this great country. Today, November 11, represents a day that we honor you, a community who not only heard the call of duty, but have also answered it. This is the day that we honor those who placed their lives in danger and performed their duties with acts of bravery and courage. Initially, this day was meant to acknowledge and celebrate world peace and the end of World War I in 1918. It has evolved to a day which celebrates you, current and former members of our military, –those who sacrificed all in the name of liberty and justice for all. This is a day where veterans across the nation come together to support and honor each other–all those who served, and those who are no longer with us. This is the day we salute you and honor you for your prodigious deeds.  

Initially known as “Armistice Day”, to later be renamed “Veterans Day”, I am reminded of the words of President Woodrow Wilson who proclaimed: 

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…” 

To my fellow Veterans and to all of you who are currently serving, this is the day I say thank you for the many freedoms that you continue to provide, and to say how proud I am of you and your commitment to this country and to yourselves. This sentiment is shared by my colleagues in the Office of Undergraduate Admission as well as the entire community at the University of Southern California. With a proud tradition that extends back to 1914, our commitment to you has remained unbroken. At USC, we recognize your strengths and contribution to our institution. We remain steadfast in our support to you and we aim to empower you-the student veterans through the various resources that are in place to aid you in your success and experience as students at the University of Southern California. Because of your experiences, perspectives, skills, and contributions, USC is greatly enriched by our student-veteran population.

To continue to support the transition and success of our veterans, USC continuously creates new programs and resources for our student-veterans, active service members, and ROTC students – including academic, financial, and wellness support. Here is a list of resources to address the needs of this student population.

Departmental Support

Since 2014, the   USC Veterans Resource Center(VRC) has worked to support student veterans in all endeavors of campus life, including everything from outreach and admission to graduation and job seeking. The center collaborates between multiple student affairs offices and administrative divisions and helps serve nearly 1,200 veterans who enroll in USC classes each semester. The VRC provides students with a variety of benefits:

  • Study space with access to computers
  • Opportunities to socialize with fellow student veterans
  • Information about on-campus services
  • Check-ins with a designated veteran certifying officer on campus
  • Special programs, such as the advisement luncheons offered at the beginning of the semester
  • Professional advisement (resumes, cover letters, networking, and interviews) and a job recruitment fair
  • Other perks like catered luncheons and complimentary tickets for sporting events!

Clubs & Organizations

To help student veterans establish relationships and build social and professional networks during their time at USC and after graduation, there are multiple student and alumni associations to join. The USC Veterans Association is a student organization composed of undergraduate and graduate students and keeps members informed of various opportunities and resources. On their active Facebook page, students can find out about upcoming social events and workshops, job openings, and research opportunities and apply for leadership positions within the group. The Marshall Military Veterans Association is a group for student veterans pursuing their MBA at the Marshall School of Business. To provide ongoing support for student veterans in their transition to USC, the USC Student Veterans Support Network mission is to help current and former students, staff, and faculty connect with students. Lastly, the USC Alumni Veterans Network is open to all USC alumni who are veterans and are interested in staying involved with the Trojan Family long after graduation.

Financial Benefits

In addition to their G.I. benefits, student veterans have access to the same scholarships and financial aid resources utilized by all USC students. USC’s Office of Financial Aid and the Veterans Certification Office work with military veterans to help them understand their educational benefits and provide assistance with financial aid and other funding. Check out this video that explains this process more in-depth.

USC is also proud to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, which is open to post-9/11 GI Bill recipients and covers up to one-half of tuition and mandatory fees matched dollar for dollar by the V.A. The Schoen Family Scholarship Program for Veterans was established in 1986 by William J. Schoen, a former U.S. Marine and USC alumnus (’60, MBA’ 63), to provide additional funding for student veterans at USC. This scholarship is available to new and continuing students in the Marshall School of Business and the Viterbi School of Engineering who have served a minimum of three years of continuous, full-time, active duty in the past ten years.

Research & Practice

With the desire to meet the needs of our student veterans on campus, the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families (CIR) is also committed to research, education, and outreach for all veterans and their families. The CIR conducts a wide range of research projects, provides training seminars to behavioral health providers and clinicians, and works with community partners to address the issues that face today’s veterans and military families.

The University of Southern California has continued commitment and dedication to assisting veterans, service members, and qualified family members. USC is committed to providing the tools to successfully assist student veterans in navigating and integrating into the college environment while creating a welcoming, inclusive, and equitable campus environment for veterans. With this said, please take the time to review the resources in this blog post. Should you have any questions regarding the number of resources available or questions regarding admissions and the application process, please feel free to email me at emejia17@usc.edu.

USC Veteran Resource Center

ROTC & Veteran Benefits

Veteran Housing

USC Admission Contact Information

Transfer Tools

Transfer Information Session

For further information on USC’s Veteran Resource Center, check the FAQ’s – USC Veterans Resource Center.

Semper Fidelis and Fight On!

Written by Eric Mejia, Assistant Director

USMC Veteran

EdD Candidate




Highlighting USC’s Native American Student Assembly (NASA) – Fall 2022

What a year since our previous highlight on USC’s Native American Student Assembly (NASA)! Here at USC, we work hard to make sure our students can find communities and have safe spaces for them to be themselves. Although the cultural club for our Native American students may be relatively new, we are growing and progressing exponentially!  

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 me – Dylan Goodwill (Diné/Hunkpapa Lakota/Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota). Although it has been a bumpy ride, NASA has been thriving and striving. 

For example, NASA has fully moved into our culturally affirming lounge in the Student Union for our Native American and Pasifika students.  Today, you can find the Native American and Pasifika Student Lounge (NAPL) alongside other cultural centers like La CASA, the Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs (CBSCA), and others in the Student Union. The lounge has become our home away from home and a place where our students host events, talk with support staff members, study, or just relax!  

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 hosts amazing events.  Currently, they are actively coordinating the with the university to celebrate Native American Heritage Month in November. This will be the first year that USC will celebrate Native American Heritage Month university-wide!   

In addition to this upcoming celebration, USC has created many wonderful changes in 2022 for our Native American students. For example, this past April, USC dedicated one of its most landmark buildings to Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow, the first Native American USC graduate. Our NASA students were heavily involved in the building dedication, and it was a beautiful sight to see allies from across the university come to support them. It was a monumental moment to see so many Native Trojans in their traditional regalia during the dedication ceremony, and to hear Crow honor songs echo across campus as the banner fell to reveal the new building name, the Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow Center for Intenational and Public Affairs

Along with the building dedication, USC launched the Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow Native Leadership Scholarship in January. By April 2022, our first Native Leadership Scholarship cohort was admitted to USC and invited to attend the building dedication ceremony. From this, we are truly excited to continue the scholarship which is available to first-year applicants who identify as American Indian/Alaskan Native/Native Hawaiian and have applied through the Common Application by our Early Action deadline of November 1.  

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.   

To receive further information on upcoming events, be sure to follow the Native American Student Assembly on all social media platforms (@uscnasa). 

Written by: 

Dylan Goodwill, Senior Assistant Director & NASA Support Staff member 



Latinx Heritage Month 2022 – “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Community”

Bienvenidos! Latinx Heritage Month begins with a kick-off event on September 15, 2022! Hosted by University President Carol L. Folt, and including remarks from faculty, staff, and students, we will explore this month’s theme: “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Community.” Everyone is welcome to watch the livestream at Tommy’s Place from 12-2pm, to enjoy light snacks and refreshments in-person, and celebrate the beginning of Latinx Heritage Month. 

The celebration of Latinx Heritage Month uniquely begins in the middle of the month on September 15, the date that coincides with the Independence Day anniversaries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. What was once called Hispanic Heritage Month is now more commonly referred to as Latinx Heritage Month to be inclusive and representative of non-binary, gender non-conforming, and gender expansive peoples. This distinction of a more inclusive name still embodies the purpose of the month, a time to honor and celebrate the Latinx community. 

At USC, this celebration typically includes a variety of events throughout the month where students can hear from speakers who visit campus and engage in meaningful conversation with the community. 

Last year, the Marshall School of Business outlined a timeline of important dates that align with Latinx Heritage Month, which you can check out here

These highlights include notable figures such as: 

  • Ellen Ochoa is an engineer and a former astronaut who was the first Hispanic woman to go into space. She was also the first Hispanic and second woman to serve as the Director of NASA Johnson Space Center. 
  • Cesar Chavez is a civil rights activist and American labor leader who cofounded the National Farm Workers Association and organized the most successful boycott in US history leading to better working conditions, access to healthcare and pensions, and an agreement allowing field workers the right to unionize. Cesar Chavez day is a US federal commemorative holiday celebrated on March 31 every year. 
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest congresswoman in US history. She advocates for a progressive platform that includes support for tuition-free public college, a Green New Deal, abolishing ICE, Medicare for all, and a federal jobs guarantee. 
  • Pablo Alvarado is the director of the National Day Laborer Organizing network and he has dedicated his life to reducing the suffering of migrants in the US. He was named one of TIME’s 25 most influential people in America. 

USC Libraries also created a Latinx Heritage Month Reading List. The list includes Latino USA: A Cartoon History by Ilan Stavans, Nation of Women: An Early Feminist Speaks Out by Luisa Capetillo, Piñata Theory by Alan Chazaro, With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo, and many more books written by Latinx authors and scholars. 

For students interested in pursuing research at USC, the Library database has a Latin American Studies Research Guide which is a helpful tool to navigate the abundance of available resources. 

USC has numerous resources to support the needs and success of Latinx students. Since its founding in 1972, Latinx Chicanx for Advocacy and Student Affairs (La CASA) empowers students through cultural identity, leadership, and social consciousness development, and establishes community for Latinx Trojans. La CASA hosts the Power Pan Dulce speaker series where faculty, staff, and alumni can connect with others and support students with their professional aspirations over some traditional, delicious sweet bread! La CASA is a space where Latinx students can experience cultural community and connectedness, it can be your space to seek help and support, or simply a great place to study.  

For over 45 years, Latinx students have experienced community by living on the El Sol y La Luna: Latinx Floor, or known to as “The Floor” by the students who live there. The goal of the Latinx Floor is to create a positive and supportive environment that helps Latinx students navigate their experience at USC while empowering them to be leaders. “The Floor” has been home to generations of Latinx Trojans, a community where students feel a sense of belonging and where friends become family.   

We have a dynamic and prideful Latinx community who value sharing their culture with others and thrive at USC. The Latinx Student Assembly (LSA), is a cultural assembly that fosters pride in Latinx heritage and culture. LSA supports student-run Member Organizations with the resources to host events that bring together students of Latinx heritage, to make positive impact in the community, and to educate the USC student body.   

The USC Latino Alumni Association (LAA), is one of the nation’s leading Latinx alumni associations that provides scholarship assistance and is the representative voice for all Latinx alumni. LAA hosts their annual Scholarship Gala where a Latinx student is celebrated as the recipient of the Dr. John R. Hubbard Recognition Award for their academic achievements, leadership and community service.   

Of the dozens of student organizations on campus that relate to the Latinx community, one that promotes a sense of pride and passion for Latinx representation in cinema is The Latinx Film & Media Association (LatiFAM). Representation includes the actors onscreen, as well as those who work behind the scenes in productions, like the directors and writers. LatiFAM’s goal is to highlight Latinx creatives in the entertainment industry. They state their intent on their website as fulfilling a “need for Latinx professionals in the film and media industries.” This organization hosts screenings for both student films and blockbuster movies like In the Heights. LatiFAM has already hosted a Carne Asada Welcome for new students with delicious (and free) pupusas, tacos, agua frescas, and paletas. Join this club to experience an empowering connection with fellow filmmakers and film enthusiasts. These students can connect with one another to collaborate on film projects, discuss the movies they love, and highlight the importance of Latinx stories being told through film. Follow their Instagram to stay in the loop about future events and film screenings: @latifamdeusc 

Another organization worth checking out is Amplify Writers’ Collective, a collective for screenwriters of color. Follow them on Instagram: @amplify.sca

Latinx Heritage Month is not only for the Latinx community – it’s truthfully a celebration that everyone can participate in! At USC, all students are encouraged to participate in these events to uplift and celebrate the Latinx community. 

Written by Lina Goggins-Rendón, Assistant Director