University of Southern California


Working with our neighbors to build a strong community


Engaged Scholarship

Photo of University Park CampusAt the University of Southern California, one of our core beliefs is that civic engagement is a cornerstone of true intellectual advancement—the pedagogical intersection of theory, experience, and service. As USC Provost Elizabeth Garrett explains, “It is where we teach our students to combat challenges, and where the pursuit of wisdom and judgment lies.”

Many USC faculty members, such as George Sanchez and Hortencia Amaro, combine scholarly work with service to achieve social transformation. They also serve as role models and mentors to undergraduate and graduate students as they develop their own paths to social entrepreneurialism, interdisciplinary work, and applied knowledge.

Together with partner organizations in our community, the USC research enterprise provides an evidence-based framework for best practices that can be utilized across sectors and disciplines, creating innovation in and out of the classroom, in fields that range from education to the arts, to the social sciences, to health care, and to public service, and beyond.

Graduate Student Feature

KCET-TV featured George Villanueva of the USC Annenberg School and the USC Metamorphosis Project, an effort by the school to chronicle the evolution of urban areas like the L.A. riverfront.

The project helped research and write a 2009 grant studying civic engagement surrounding the issue, bringing together the city, private and non-profit sectors, the media and academia. “The city is looking at our planning grant and planning collaborative as a possible model to think about place-based approaches towards and collaborative approaches towards planning,” Villanueva said.

In Spring 2014, Villanueva was appointed, by Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti, to the East LA Area Planning Commission.