Once again, the USC Leonard Davis School graduated its largest class. This year’s graduates shared a special honor: earning a heartfelt send-off from Pinchas Cohen in his first commencement as dean.
“As you well know, the USC Leonard Davis School is continuing to innovate and explore what it means to be on the cutting edge of aging research,” Cohen said in his address. “This is a never-ending mission that I know each of you will pursue in your own way. 2013 graduates of the USC Leonard Davis School, I salute you and wish you the best of luck in pursuing your goals.”
Bringing together faculty, staff and students, the graduation program also included award presentations from Tuck Finch and Sean Curran. Finch’s recognition of doctoral graduate Sebastian Brandhorst with the Heinz Osterburg prize moved many to tears when Brandhorst made a surprising announcement.
“I have asked that the financial aspect of the Osterburg prize be donated to Liza Cherney, a USC Leonard Davis alumna who was injured in the Boston Marathon bombing,” Brandhorst said, earning the day’s most heartfelt cheers.
Another highlight came when outgoing Student Gerontology Association president Cameron Chalfant delivered his speech.
“I am so honored to address all of you amazing graduates and I am proud to say that we’re leaving school ready for the next chapter,” Chalfant said. “I want to thank the faculty, staff and administration of the USC Leonard Davis School. They dedicate their lives to us students and they each deserve a round of applause and a handshake.”
After honoring the accomplishments of the faculty, including giving Susan Enguídanos the Dean’s Outstanding Faculty Award, Cohen turned the ceremony over to vice dean Kelvin J. A. Davies, who recognized the graduates, whose emotions—a bittersweet but triumphant celebration—mirrored those of their friends, family and supporters, who loudly cheered them on.
Before closing the commencement for a luncheon celebration, Cohen reminded graduates that they were Trojans, now and forever.
“As champions of seniors and science, I urge each of you to remain closely in touch with the School,” Cohen said. “After all, we are united by a shared dream—the dream of a better and more vibrant aging experience for all. Congratulations and Fight On!”
Heinz Osterburg Prize – Sebastian Brandhorst
engAGING Awards – Ashley Phillips, Bill Zhou, Yu-Ching Huang, Cameron Chalfant, Emily Loynachan, Erik Doan, Sahar Edalati, Barbara Howard
Order of Troy – Cameron Chalfant, Sahar Edalati, Sonia Hua, Ani Kolangian, Tom Maxim, Carin Wong, Bill Zhou
Renaissance Scholar – Craig Hung, Tom Maxim
Discovery Scholar Prize Finalists – Sahar Edalati, Craig Hung, Tom Maxim, Bill Zhou
Gerontology Minors – Brent Duddie, Craig Hung, Rachel Piperno, Hannah Schiweck
Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Aging – Cameron Chalfant, Jennifer Chang, Sahar Edalati, Kristina Field, Virginia Hazarian, Sonia Hua, Ani Kolangian, Tom Maxim, Ashley Phillips, Kim Vu, Carin Wong, Bill Zhou
Graduate Certificate in Gerontology – Susan Fair Clark, Gianna Henke, Brett Riley, Catherine Trifilo
Master of Long Term Care Administration – Clifford Tomb
Master of Arts in Gerontology – Tahmina Aziz, Shawna Conlan, Justin Eastwood, Liora Fink, Brian Gauthier, Barbara Howard, Yu-Ching Huang, Johanna Hurlock, Aarti Kumari, Katherine Landsman, Sheryl Lapidus, Theresa Mac Gregor, Suzanne Maisner, Carrie Mullin, Margaret Rosenau, Patricia Sacchetti, Veronica Sanchez Perez, Angela Whitlock, Kristen Wilhelm, Logan Wimer, Julia Wysong
Master of Aging Services Management – Nadia Akaweih, Monica Anderson, Vanessa Bruns, Erik Doan, Jascenna Haislet, Dong Liang, Fleur Martino, Kathleen Olsovsky, Richard Rosenberg, Wu Yang
Master of Science in Gerontology – Pavitra Anand, Amy Bassoff, Alyssa Bobman, Ernestine Campbell, Christine Chow, Sara Damiano, Winnie Dang, Maria De La Rosa, Lyndsay De Matteo, Stephen Gaucin, Elena Gonzalez, Lauren Iwata, En-Shu Kuo, Judith Lee, Emily Loynachan, Kaitlin Masatsugu, Minda Miyamoto, Cara Murayama, Michelle Pastrano, Kevin Proff, Jody Santos, Rachel Violette, Allyson Young
Doctor of Philosophy in Gerontology – Shieva Davarian, Carrie Donoho
Recognition of Affiliated Doctorate – Sebastian Brandhorst, Jennifer Geren