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Field trip to USC Leonard Davis School introduces USC TRiO students to aging research opportunites

By Events, Featured, Students

High school students from the USC TRiO Educational Talent Search program recently visited the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, where they toured state-of-the-art laboratories and received advice from USC undergraduates participating in aging research. The goal of the TRiO program is to help students overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education and the field trip to the Leonard Davis School aimed to encourage them to see themselves as future students and scientists.

“Most of our students come from underrepresented backgrounds and we want to give them exposure to students doing university research and to ensure that they can see that it’s possible for them too,” said TRiO director Judy Fillarca. “Our goal is to make them inspired and hopeful.”

High school students from the USC TRiO Educational Talent Search program.

The high school students heard from a panel of undergraduate scholars from USC’s GEMSTEM program, an NIA-funded program designed to provide opportunities to emerging researchers from diverse backgrounds and to increase the number of researchers working to reduce health disparities in older adult populations. Each GEMSTEM student presented their research and passed along valuable guidance, including encouragement to be true to oneself, avoid comparisons, remain curious, and embrace failure.

GEMSTEM students also shared the degree of support they received from faculty mentors, not only in research but also in academics and personal growth.

“You always have someone in your corner,” said Aaliyah Thomas, a GEMSTEM scholar conducting social science research on centenarians in the Ailshire Research Group at the USC Leonard Davis School.  “The cool thing about research is there is so much to study. You can literally do anything.”

In addition to gaining an understanding that scientific investigations encompass many topics, the students also learned that options to participate in research can be available to anyone with an interest.

GEMSTEM scholars (from left) Aaliyah Thomas, Maria Oorloff and Josh Senior answer questions during the TRiO event panel.

Maria Oorloff, a first-year transfer student and GEMSTEM scholar working in the Sanabria Lab recounted how she learned to conduct and present research despite never being exposed to it before coming to USC.

“When I was in high school, we didn’t have labs, and I’d never even seen a beaker or pipette,” said Oorloff. “My mentor worked with me one-on-one to figure out a plan that suits me and now I want to continue to do research.”

Hearing from students like Maria helped the students feel like there is a place for them in labs and at schools like USC.

“Some of them don’t even have a research background and for them to now have an interest in it, made me have an interest too,” said TRiO student Rich Lopez.

“After hearing everyone present, I realized they are just people,” added fellow student David Miguel. “It gave me the confidence to actually be able to apply to this school.”

USC Leonard Davis Researchers Present During 2021 GSA Annual Meeting

By Events

The 2021 Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting, taking place virtually this year, will feature symposia, posters and papers featuring expertise from USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology faculty, postdoctoral and student researchers. Below is a table listing USC Leonard Davis presenters; for more details and the full conference program, please visit the meeting website.

Discussant/ChairFirst AuthorsCo-authorsDateTimePresentation TitlePresentation Type
Qiao Wu, MIPMEileen Crimmins11/10/20219:30 AM – 11:00 AM PDTAge Differences in Becoming COVID Long-Haulers and in Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2Paper/Symposium
Stephanie P. WladkowskiSusan Enguidanos11/10/202111:30 AM – 1:00 PM PDTChallenges in Implementing an Explicit Protocol for Live Discharge From HospicePaper/Symposium
Tina K. NewshamKaren Lincoln, Althea Pestine-Stevens, Natalie Moore-Bembry, Rona Karasik, Darren Liu11/10/20211:30 PM – 3:00 PM PDTTeaching Anti-Racism in Gerontology: An Interactive Program of Recognition, Self-Work, Pedagogy, and ActionPaper/Symposium
Karen Lincoln11/10/20211:30 PM – 3:00 PM PDTThe Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House: The Role of Diversity in Anti-Racist EducationPaper/Symposium
Haena LeeJennifer Ailshire, Eileen Crimmins11/11/20212:00 PM – 3:30 PM PDTNeighborhood Characteristics and Accelerated Aging: Evidence From the Health and Retirement StudyPaper
Valeria CardenasAnna Rahman, Jenna Giulioni, Alexis Coulourides Kogan, Susan Enguidanos11/11/20217:00 AM – 8:30 AM PDTBarriers to and Recommendations for Research Recruitment of Individuals Affected by Serious IllnessPaper/Symposium
Elizabeth S. AventElizabeth S. Avent, Jeanine Yonashiro-Cho, Roberta Peterson, Laura Mosqueda, Zachary Gassoumis11/11/20217:00 AM – 8:30 AM PDTChildhood Adversity Across the Lifespan: Assessing the Relationship Between ACEs and Subjective Cognitive DeclinePaper/Symposium
Alexis Coulourides Kogan11/11/20217:00 AM – 8:30 AM PDTIt’s Yet Another Thing: Barriers to and Recommendations for Physician Referrals to Home-Based Palliative CarePaper/Symposium
Stephanie WladkowskiSusan Enguidanos, Alexis Coulourides Kogan, Valeria Cardenas11/11/20217:00 AM – 8:30 AM PDTPatient, Caregiver, and Physician Barriers to Home-Based Palliative Care: Findings From a Terminated StudyPaper/Symposium
Valeria CardenasAnna Rahman, YUJUN J. ZHU, Susan Enguidanos11/11/20217:00 AM – 8:30 AM PDTReluctance to Accept Palliative Care and Recommendations for ImprovementPaper/Symposium
Susan EnguidanosSusan Enguidanos, Anna Rahman, Sindy Lomeli11/11/20217:00 AM – 8:30 AM PDTTrials and Tribulations: Palliative Care Trial Recruitment Approaches and ChallengesPaper/Symposium
Haley Gallo11/11/20217:00 AM – 8:30 AM PDTPerceptions of the Government’s Response to the Pandemic: Voices From the COVID-19 Coping StudyPaper/Symposium
Paul Nash11/11/202111:00 AM – 12:30 PM PDTFailing to Plan Is Planning to Fail: Utilization of Advance Care Directives in Older Adults Living With HIVPaper/Symposium
Karen Lincoln, Sung Park, Faika Zanjani11/11/202111:00 AM – 12:30 PM PDTHealth Disparities in COVID-19: Implications for Research, Policy, and PracticePaper/Symposium
Karen Lincoln11/11/202111:00 AM – 12:30 PM PDTRacial and Age Group Disparities in the Effect of Social Distancing on Health StatusPaper/Symposium
Paul Nash11/11/202111:00 AM – 12:30 PM PDTStigma Impacts Health Disparities and Inequities in LGBTQ and People of Color Aging With HIVPaper/Symposium
Molly PerkinsPaul Nash, Annie Nguyen, Mark Brennan-Ing11/11/202111:00 AM – 12:30 PM PDTThe Silent Majority: Aging With HIVPaper/Symposium
Jeanine Yonashiro-ChoElizabeth S. Avent, Laura Mosqueda, Zachary Gassoumis11/11/20212:00 PM – 3:30 PM PDTFeasibility and Considerations for Remote Interviewing of Persons Living With Dementia: Adaptations for COVID-19Paper/Symposium
Haena LeeMark Lee, John Robert Warren11/12/20219:00 AM – 10:30 AM PDTChildhood Lead Exposure and Cognitive Functioning Among Older Adults: Evidence From the Health and Retirement StudyPaper
Eric KlopackKandauda Wickrama11/12/20211:00 PM – 2:30 PM PDTStressful family contexts and health in divorced and married mothersPaper
Andrew J. Petkus Andrew J. Petkus, Xinhui Wang, Diana Younan, Daniel P. Beavers, Mark A. Espeland, Joshua Millstein, Margaret Gatz, Jiu-Chiuan Chen11/12/20219:00 AM – 10:30 AM PDTAmbient Air Pollution and Increasing Depressive Symptoms in Older Women: The Mediating Role of The Prefrontal CortexPaper/Symposium
Yang Li, Jan E. Mutchler, Edward A. Miller, Jing Jian Xiao, Reginald Tucker-Seeley11/12/20219:00 AM – 10:30 AM PDTSpace, Context, Human Capital: A Macro-Micro Perspective on Social Environment and Financial Literacy in Later LifePaper/Symposium
Andrei IrimiaAlexander S. Maher, Kenneth A. Rostowsky, Nikhil N. Chaudhari, Nahian F. Chowdhury, Elliot B. Jacobs, David J. Robles, Ammar Dharani11/12/202111:00 AM – 12:30 PM PDTEarly Prediction of Cognitive Deficits After Traumatic Brain Injury Based on AD-Like Patterns of NeurodegenerationPaper/Symposium
Kyra Thrush, Margarita Meer, Joseph Zullo, Andrei Irimia, Constanza Cortes11/12/202111:00 AM – 12:30 PM PDTMultiscale Brain Aging in the Context of Neurodegeneration and Alzheimer's DiseasePaper/Symposium
Eileen CrimminsOmar Staben, Elizabeth Munoz, Jennifer Piazza, Margarita Osuna11/12/20211:00 PM – 2:30 PM PDTEvaluating How and Why the Environmental Context Shapes the Course of Development Across the Adult LifespanPaper/Symposium
Jennifer AilshireYazhen Yang, Ginevra Floridi, Peiyi Lu, Stephanie Wilson11/12/20211:00 PM – 2:30 PM PDTFamily and Aging in Cross-National ContextsPaper/Symposium
Margarita OsunaRachel Z. Wilkie, Jennifer Ailshire11/12/20211:00 PM – 2:30 PM PDTImpact of Housing and Neighborhood on Depression Among Older Adults in the Health and Retirement StudyPaper/Symposium
Eileen CrimminsWilliam Chopik11/12/20211:00 PM – 2:30 PM PDTMargret M. and Paul B. Baltes Award Lecture: Optimism and Health: Resource or Delusion?Paper/Symposium
Yeon Jin ChoiEileen Crimmins, Jennifer Ailshire11/13/202111:00 AM – 12:30 PM PDTFood Insecurity, Food Environments, and Disparities in Diet Quality and ObesityPaper
Yeon Jin Choi11/13/20213:00 PM – 4:30 PM PDTHome and Community Features, Perceived Age-Friendliness, and Intention Toward Aging in PlacePaper
Mateo Farina11/13/20213:00 PM – 4:30 PM PDTThe Life course Origins of the Race Disparity in Cognitive Functioning in BrazilSymposium
Margarita Osuna11/13/20213:00 PM – 4:30 PM PDTHealth and aging disparities among Latin American older adults: Findings from studies in Brazil, Colombia and MexicoSymposium
Margarita OsunaYujin FrancoMargarita Osuna, Jennifer Ailshire11/13/20217:00 AM – 8:30 AM PDTThe Relationship Between Place of Death and Immigrant StatusPaper/Symposium
Seoyoun KimHyunwoo Yoon, Yuri Jang11/13/20217:00 AM – 8:30 AM PDTLongitudinal Effects of Coping Strategies on Mental Health of Older Adults Living Alone During the COVID-19 PandemicPaper/Symposium
Julie OvertonJon Pynoos, Emily B. Nabors, Damon Terzaghi, Elizabeth Blair, Traci L. Wilson, Bernard A. Steinman, Suzanne R. Kunkel11/13/202111:00 AM – 12:30 PM PDTAdvancing State and Local Home Modification Practice and Policy: Findings From Aging Network SurveysPaper/Symposium
Catherine Garcia, Jennifer Ailshire11/13/202111:00 AM – 12:30 PM PDTChanges in Sociodemographic and Disease Prevalence Among Five Birth Cohorts of Older LatinosPaper/Symposium
Jennifer AilshireYin Liu, Mengling Cheng, Jinmyoung Cho, Emma Nichols11/13/202111:00 AM – 12:30 PM PDTCross-National Perspectives on Health and Well-Being in Later LifePaper/Symposium
Maria ArandaLauren Parker, Manka Nkimbeng, Elma Johnson11/13/202111:00 AM – 12:30 PM PDTCultural Adaptations to Recruitment Strategies and Community-Based Interventions for Dementia CaregiversPaper/Symposium
Yeon Jin Choi11/13/202111:00 AM – 12:30 PM PDTFood Insecurity, Food Environments, and Disparities in Diet Quality and ObesityPaper/Symposium
Tara L. GruenewaldCatalina Zavala, Molli Grossman, Thalida Arpawong, Jennifer Manly, Susan Lapham, Margaret Gatz, Carol Prescott11/13/20211:00 PM – 2:30 PM PDTGreater Adolescent Cognitive Ability Is Linked to Lower Risk of Cognitive Impairment in Later LifePaper/Symposium
Yujin FrancoJoseph Saenz, Yuri Jang, Jessica Y. Ho11/13/20211:00 PM – 2:30 PM PDTDifferences in Self-Rated Memory by Race/EthnicityPaper/Symposium
Jeanine Yonashiro-ChoElizabeth S. Avent, Zachary Gassoumis, Laura Mosqueda11/13/20211:00 PM – 2:30 PM PDTExploring the Experiences of Persons Living With Dementia and Their Care Partners During the COVID-19 PandemicPaper/Symposium
YUJUN J. ZHUSusan Enguidanos11/13/20213:00 PM – 4:30 PM PDTAdvance Directive Completion and Hospital Out-of-Pocket ExpendituresPaper/Symposium
Margarita OsunaMargarita Osuna, Sadaf Milani, Mateo Farina, Connor Sheehan, Elkin Garcia-Cifuentes11/13/20213:00 PM – 4:30 PM PDTHealth and Aging Disparities Among Latin American Older Adults: Findings From Studies in Brazil, Colombia, and MexicoPaper/Symposium
Yeon Jin Choi11/13/20213:00 PM – 4:30 PM PDTHome and Community Features, Perceived Age-Friendliness, and Intention Toward Aging in PlacePaper/Symposium
Margarita OsunaPiedad Suarez, Jennifer Ailshire11/13/20213:00 PM – 4:30 PM PDTOral health-related quality of life in Colombian Older AdultsPaper/Symposium
Joseph SaenzOn demandOn demandMeasurement Invariance of a Latent Dementia Index by Gender in the Aging, Demographics, and Memory StudyPoster
Nicholas RescinitiOn demandOn demandAre Drugs that Cause Dysbiosis Longitudinally Associated with Cognitive Scores, Cognitive Impairment, & Dementia?Poster
Nicholas RescinitiOn demandOn demandTime-Varying Insomnia Symptoms and Incidence of Cognitive Impairment and Dementia among Older US AdultsPoster
Theresa AndrasfayOn demandOn demandMismatch Between Physical Health and Job Demands among Older Workers by Full Retirement AgePoster
Yeon Jin ChoiOn demandOn demandAdverse Neighborhood Environments and Health Behaviors among Older AmericansPoster
Yeon Jin ChoiOn demandOn demandPerceived Neighborhood Disorder, Social Cohesion, and Depressive Symptoms among Spousal CaregiversPaper
Eric KlopackOn demandOn demandAdverse Childhood Experiences Associated with Epigenetic Age and Depressive Symptoms in Older AdultsPoster
Eric KlopackOn demandOn demandEpigenetic Signature of Childhood Adversity in Older AdultsPoster
Erfei ZhaoOn demandOn demandHypertension Diagnosis, Treatment, and Control among Older Chinese: Trends in the Hypertension Care CascadePoster
Tongtong LiAileen Zhang, Ruotong Liu, Iris ChiOn demandOn demandA Case Study On Anticipated End-of-Life Caregiving Among The Millennial American Born ChinesePoster
Gillian FennellElaine Wethington, M. Carrington Reid, Erica Sluys, Kelsey Donovan, Valeria Cardenas, Elizabeth Zelinski, Susan EnguidanosOn demandOn demandAge Differences in the Use/Efficacy of Emotion Coping Strategies among Adults with Chronic Pain: A Scoping ReviewPoster
David J. RoblesAmmar Dharani, Nikhil N. Chaudhari, Kenneth A. Rostowsky, Layal Wehbe, Michelle Y. Ha, Van Ngo, Andrei IrimiaOn demandOn demandAge, Sex, and Cerebral Microbleeds Affect White Matter Integrity Across Adulthood After Mild Traumatic Brain InjuryPoster
Mekiayla SingletonOn demandOn demandCare Experiences and Expectations of Older Sexual Minority AdultsPoster
Kelly A. MarnfeldtOn demandOn demandCaregiving and COVID-19: Perspectives from a Care CoachPoster
Shania H. WangNahian F. Chowdhury, Sean O. Mahoney, Andrei IrimiaOn demandOn demandComparing Cortical Demyelination in Geriatric Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Alzheimer’s DiseasePoster
Narae KimMireille JacobsonOn demandOn demandComparison of Catastrophic Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenditures in the US and South KoreaPoster
Maria P. ArandaOn demandOn demandFocus Group Findings of Trial Participants in a Caregiver Psychosocial Intervention: Savvy Caregiver ProgramPoster
Eunyoung ChoiHee Lee, Hyunjin Noh, Lewis LeeOn demandOn demandKnowledge of Hospice Care among Korean American Immigrants in Deep SouthPoster
Nan Sook Park Yuri Jang, Soondool Chung, David A. Chiriboga, William E. HaleyOn demandOn demandLiving/Eating Arrangement, Loneliness, and Mental Distress among Older Korean Immigrants: Gender DifferencePoster
Cassandra J. McGillOn demandOn demandProtection against APOE4-associated aging phenotypes with a longevity-promoting interventionPoster
Andrei IrimiaKenneth A. RostowskyOn demandOn demandQuantification of Similar Neurodegeneration Across Geriatric Concussions and Alzheimer’s DiseasePoster
Yuri JangEunyoung Choi, Yujin Franco, Nan Sook Park, David A. Chiriboga, Miyong T. KimOn demandOn demandRacial and Ethnic Diversities in Cognitive Health Appraisals: Findings from the HCAPPoster
Yujin FrancoJessica Y. HoOn demandOn demandRising Geographic Variation in Alzheimer's Disease MortalityPoster
Anar AmgalanAlexander S. Mayer, Michelle Y. Ha, Andrei IrimiaOn demandOn demandSex and Age Differences in Default Mode Network Functional Correlation After Traumatic Brain InjuryPoster
Eunyoung ChoiElizabeth Zelinski, Jennifer AilshireOn demandOn demandSubjective Aging in Context: Neighborhood Social Environment and Self-perceptions of Aging among Older AdultsPoster
Erik BlancoOn demandOn demandThe Effects of Social Support on the Psychological Well-Being of Older Parents: A Longitudinal StudyPoster
Matthew C. LohmanNicholas Resciniti, Morgan Fuller, Joshua SellnerOn demandOn demandTimeline of COVID-19 Incidence and Mortality among Residents and Staff of South Carolina Long-term Care FacilitiesPoster
Mengzhao YanKathleen Wilber, Jon PynoosOn demandOn demandUnderstanding Multidisciplinary-team Practice in Developing Home Assessment Tools: A Systematic ReviewPoster
Nicholas RescinitiOn demandOn demandVaccine access shrinks disparities between long-term care and community rates of COVID-19 mortality.Poster
Andrei IrimiaNahian F. Chowdhury, Shania H. Wang, Sean O. Mahoney, Van Ngo, Kenneth A. Rostowsky, Benjamin Hacker, Nikhil N. ChaudhariOn demandOn demandWidespread Cortical Demyelination in Geriatric Cases of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and in Alzheimer’s DiseasePoster
USC Commencemtn 2021 Gus Ruelas

A Commencement Like No Other

By Events, Students
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.
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