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The USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology celebrated more than 200 graduates – the school’s largest graduating class ever – during the 2019 Commencement ceremony on May 10.

Dean Pinchas Cohen remarked that he had been able to mention the distinction of largest-ever graduating class throughout his tenure as dean, and that the growth of USC Leonard Davis School reflected the increasing recognition of the gerontology field as a whole.

“Over the last seven years, we’ve grown to a total of over 500 students in the Leonard Davis School,” Cohen said. “We also increased our faculty by one third, our classroom and laboratory space by 25 percent, and doubled our research funding from the federal government and other sources.”

Stephanie Bolton, Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Aging graduate and president of the Student Gerontology Association, delivered the student keynote during Friday’s ceremony and shared her gratitude for the insight and friendship of her classmates.

“Through the Student Gerontology Association and my experiences as an undergraduate, I have been constantly inspired by the passions of those around me, and we need more people out there like you,” Bolton said.

USC Leonard Davis Board of Councilors member Mei-Lee Ney also emphasized the universal importance and applicability of gerontology in a rapidly aging society.

“You have laid a foundation that gives you limitless possibilities,” she said. “You will be joining an alumni network who came before you who are changing the way the world perceives aging.”


University Student Recognition Awards

Order of Areté

Karen Eliahu

Order of Troy

Rachel Glynn, Hanna Kiani-Shabestari, Christina Sisliyan, Brooke Tilson

University Scholar Distinction Awards

Discovery Scholar Prize Finalist

Shyam Hassan, Christina Sisliyan

Renaissance Scholar Distinction

Jessica Howard, Tejaspreet Kaur, Elizabeth Shi

Global Scholar Prize Winner

Hanna Kiani-Shabestari

USC Leonard Davis School Honors

Undergraduate Student Award

Nikita Shirsat

Master’s Student Award

Rochelle Lai

Doctoral Student Award

Debora Hoe, Kylie Meyer

Faculty Teaching Award

Paul Nash

Heinz Osterburg Prize

Yuan Zhang

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