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The USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology celebrated more than 200 graduates of its undergraduate, master’s and PhD programs during the 139th USC Commencement on May 13, 2022.

Dean Pinchas Cohen noted in his opening remarks that the school’s graduating classes have continued to grow each year during his tenure and that this year’s class was again the largest in the school’s history. He attributed the growth to the school’s continued innovation in developing educational programs; this year’s graduates included the first graduate of the new Master of Science in Lifespan, Nutrition and Dietetics program. In addition, there is more widespread recognition of the importance of studying aging, he said.

“I know you will continue our school’s tradition of service, innovation and success,” Cohen said. “Our distinguished faculty have taught you to advocate for age-friendly policies and services, to advance discoveries in disease prevention and health promotion, and to address injustice and inequity wherever you see it. Imparting their lessons will become your legacy and I look forward to living in the future you create for all of us.”

During the ceremony, Cohen presented the Dean’s Medallion to alumna, gerontologist and Assured In-Home Care founder and CEO Jacqueline DuPont MSG ’95, MPA ’96, EdD ’21. DuPont delivered the Commencement address, in which she discussed her career in senior living and emphasized the importance of standing up for people in need, including older adults.

“The intrinsic motivation and gratification you receive from fighting for someone is enormous,” she said.

Student speaker and Student Gerontology Association President Lois Angelo spoke to his classmates about why the study of aging is such a unique and impactful path.

“It is not that older people are even vulnerable in our eyes, but rather valuable, just like each and every one of you,” he said. “We recognized that value and took up a calling to understand this complicated and universal process.”

University Recognition Awards

Provost’s Award
Farid Taheri

Order of Arête
Eunyoung Choi
Alexandra Gleysteen
Andrew Luhar
Brendan Miller

USC Leonard Davis Awards

Heinz Osterburg Prize
Brendan Miller

Undergraduate Student Award
Eric Wang

Master’s Student Award
Zoriana Benhamou

Doctoral Student Award
Eunyoung Choi

Teaching Assistant Award
Haley Gallo

Faculty Teaching Award
Caroline Cicero

Meet Members of the Class of 2022

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