A Commencement Like No Other

During physically distanced ceremonies held twice daily from May 14 through 20, 2021, more than 36,000 diplomas were conferred to USC graduates in the classes of 2020 and 2021, including more than 400 graduates of the USC Leonard Davis School.

This past spring, USC celebrated its 137th and 138th Commencements in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the first time since 1950 that the school has held its commencement in the storied venue. During physically distanced ceremonies held twice daily from May 14 through 20, 2021, more than 36,000 diplomas were conferred to USC graduates in the classes of 2020 and 2021, including more than 400 graduates of the USC Leonard Davis School. Learn more about some of these extraordinary new alumni who earned their degrees during this unprecedented time.

Ryan Doyloo

Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Aging (Health Sciences track), minor in Accounting

Q. What inspired you to study gerontology at USC?

A. I always had a strong connection with my grandfather. When he was diagnosed with cancer, the journey through hospitals in Japan and America opened my eyes to the policies that shape the way we die. His death inspired me to volunteer at adult day cares, look into nonprofits serving older adults, and reevaluate what I wanted to do as a career.

Q. What have been some of your favorite activities?

A. Through my position as Student Gerontology Association president for the past two years, I have felt empowered to change my community and advocate for the ideas that I believe to be important. I also work in the Tucker-Seeley Research Lab and have had a poster presentation at the Gerontological Society of America Annual Meeting, and I’ve been interning at the National Association for Adult Protective Services.

Q. What will you do after graduation?

A. Following a master of science in Gerontology, I hope to attend law school, with the ultimate goal of practicing public interest law. I would love to utilize my degrees in cases that specifically require knowledge about the process of aging or older adults.

Portrait of Ryan Doyloo

Astoria Ho

Bachelor of Science in Lifespan Health, minor in Computer Programming

Q. What inspired you to study gerontology at USC?

A. In high school, I volunteered as a hospice pet therapist. I brought my pet rabbit to visit older adult hospice patients weekly, and I loved the intergenerational relationships that developed. I picked the USC Leonard Davis School because I wanted to continue to find ways to help older adults.

Q. What have been some of your favorite activities?

A. I worked at ReverCare, an aging-tech startup, with a focus on HCI [Human-Computer Interaction]. As a product and business development intern, I prototyped their first web application that provided a platform for family caregivers to search for and consult with aging care experts. I was also a part of Spark SC, a student organization focused on fostering entrepreneurship on and around campus.

Q. What will you do after graduation?

A. This year, I am working at AARP Innovation Labs and engaging with their portfolio startups. With my expertise in aging and older adults, I am pursuing aging technology with a product design and user experience lens. Next up is a master’s of information management and systems at UC Berkeley to unify my passions for aging and technology. 

Astoria Ho '21

Giovanna Manson-Hing

Master of Arts in Gerontology

Q. What inspired you to study gerontology at USC?

A. I sought a program that specializes in Alzheimer’s and has strong connections with other organizations. I knew being a student at the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology would catapult me into the field of aging and help me to network with stakeholders who support those affected by Alzheimer’s.

Q. What have been some of your favorite activities?

A. I’ve attended the USC Family Caregiver Support Center Project Reveal Conference, held a graduate student representative position in the Student Gerontology Association, and have been active in the Youth Movement Against Alzheimer’s, which is the largest youth-led Alzheimer’s nonprofit organization in the nation.

Q. What will you do after graduation?

A. I plan on working with the Los Angeles Department of Public Health and the City of Los Angeles Department of Aging with their Healthy Brain Initiatives for L.A. County’s diverse aging population. My goals are to influence brain health, Alzheimer’s and caregiving policies to increase the support for these groups and to increase awareness about the challenges these groups face in order to set up sustainable solutions, funding and benefits by 2030 and beyond.

Giovanna Manson-Hing portrait

Carly Roman

Doctor of Philosophy in Gerontology

Q. What inspired you to study gerontology at USC?

A. I was inspired by the impact that USC gerontology has on the field of aging and the potential to make a positive impact in the lives of more older adults with the training and experience I could gain at USC.

Q. What have been some of your favorite activities?

A. I co-founded the USC GlamourGals chapter, started the Intergenerational Phone Chain with the Student Gerontology Association during COVID, and was PhD Roundtable Chair. I conducted a “Dear Abby”–style intervention for older adults to give advice to younger members of the community. I’ve also worked with the Motion Picture & Television Fund to develop and evaluate an entertainment industry career mentorship program and with Cedars-Sinai to develop and evaluate an intergenerational virtual exercise program.

Q. What will you do after graduation?

A. I hope to create innovative, evidence- based programs that support older adults’ well-being and age integration. I want to bridge the gaps between research and practice to ensure that older adults have opportunities to feel valued, be generative and stay socially connected through intergenerational programs.

2020 and 2021 University Honorees

USC Renaissance Prize

Astoria Ho ’21

USC Renaissance Scholar Distinction

Vanessa Ocon ’20

Ryan Doyloo ’21

USC Discovery Scholar Distinction

Vanessa Ocon ’20

Sharon Talasazan ’20

Ryan Doyloo ’21

USC Provost’s Award

Raelyn Kelley ’21

Emma Josephine Bradley Bovard Award

Anjali Devgan MS ’21