Students present ‘amazing’ work for top USC officials – Annenberg Media

On April 1, USC students showcased everything from video games and art to peptide research and trilingual news gathering through an interactive experience designed to highlight student projects and their creative abilities for senior school officials.

Seven schools were invited to present examples of their work at the panel, which was set up like a science fair with visits from some board members, school deans and high-profile officials like athletic director Mike Bohn.

President Carol Folt gave high praise to the students at the event, dubbed the Amazing Trojans Student Panel.

“It was wonderful. When we see all these students putting these amazing games, studios and inventions together, we all see that not only are we thinking about it, they are all doing it,” Folt said during an interview with student leaders from Annenberg Media in front of a green screen presentation by Studio C in the Annenberg Media Center.

Muna Malik, a PhD student at the Roski School of Art and Design, featured artworks that tell the stories of people who have been displaced from their homes for her school’s presentation. She said she hopes the event will inspire curators to continue supporting Roski students and their artistic endeavors.

Other students also communicated similar aspirations. Jenna Gestetner, a sophomore at Iovine and Young Academy (IYA), was keen to share her and her peers’ work, hoping to better explain what exactly her school is doing.

“I’m just excited that we can show our work and showcase the kind of things we do at IYA because I think a lot of people don’t know,” Gestetner said in an interview. “If they think they know what we’re doing, they don’t fully understand the scope of some of the projects we’re working on.”

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Iovine and Young is USC’s interdisciplinary school that blends arts, technology, and business. Academy students showcased their work on the industry lab team at Care Reimagined, a project that consulted companies to think about the future of the healthcare industry.

The other schools represented were Cinema, Marshall, Viterbi and Gerontology.

The space was filled with live pitches, art galleries, and even virtual reality simulations. Students from the Advanced Games Project, a joint venture between the Viterbi School of Engineering and the School of Cinematic Arts, presented their video game project called “Manas” based on the Kyrgyz cultural poem: the Manas epic. And Ana Silverstein, a graduate student who discovered a peptide as part of her research into healthy aging, represented the School of Gerontology.

As a presentation, Annenberg Media staged a newsroom simulation. In the allotted hour, seven students from all of Annenberg’s graduate programs and majors worked together to show how they would handle stories from a variety of platforms. One of the stories from the simulation was about the Amazing Trojans event itself, and the students showed Folt and others the work on video and digitally—in English, Spanish, and Mandarin.

Annenberg Radio Executive Producer Jeffrey Lee said the event was not only an opportunity for the board members, but also an opportunity for the students to learn.

“The whole thing serves a dual purpose, in the sense that the trustees could see the things that we produced and worked on, and on the other hand we could get a sense of how the trustees are committed to USC, to keep up with us students,” said Lee, a senior major in journalism.

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Lee described his experience speaking to members as a bonding moment: a shared love and appreciation for USC and its history.

President Folt considered the event a success. “I loved that I could give an overview of the university,” she said when interviewed in Virtual Studio C. “My whole goal this year was to show people things they’ve never seen before. So at the end of the lecture, people kept coming up to me and saying, “I didn’t know [this]’ And that’s exactly what I wanted.”

The panel was part of a retreat for trustees and other senior officials held in Ojai, California.