17 Sep
2020

USC earns top spot on ‘good neighbors’ list

first_imgGood fences make good neighbors, the saying goes, but at USC, being a good neighbor often means taking down those fences.The university was recently ranked the top “good neighbor” in a national survey of colleges and universities — tied with the University of Pennsylvania — but USC officials and community members agree the university must continue to break down barriers between itself and the community.Reaching out · Caren Scannell, a junior majoring in psychology, tutors a student at Vermont Avenue Elementary as part of a program through the Joint Educational Project. More than 2,000 USC students participate in JEP, an outreach program, each year. – Mike Lee | Daily Trojan“It stems from the president’s community initiatives, which touch on education, safety, housing for USC employees, economic development and hiring,” said Cheryl Dionaldo, managing director for USC community engagement and education. “The entire university is really committed to enhancing the quality of life of the people who work, live, study, worship and play around our neighborhoods.”The survey was released as a part of the report, “Saviors of Our Cities: A Survey of Best College and University Civic Partnerships,” led by Evan S. Dobelle, president of Westfield State College. This is the second time Dobelle has released a survey concerning civic engagement at universities — the first was published in 2006, with USC again landing at the top of the list — and serves as a re-evaluation based on the economic recession.To determine the top 25 universities for the list, Dobelle studied a series of criteria including the school’s length of involvement with the community, the amount of money invested, faculty and student involvement in community service and recognition of the school’s presence within its community. USC has long touted its student and faculty outreach programs and its investment in the community.“At USC we don’t just say we’re doing this much for the community around us, but the actual funds that go to finance those programs come from USC faculty and staff,” Dionaldo said.Members of the community agree the university is taking the right steps. Shawn Simons, president of the North Area Neighborhood Development Council, believes that the university works hard to understand the needs of the community.“That’s really the best way for the university to go,” she said.But Simons, who lives off Normandie Avenue, believes the university needs to make its outreach programs better known within the community.“Their biggest obstacle is getting the word out so everybody knows about those programs,” she said. “There is some unrest in the community about the relationship, but I think those people don’t really fully understand the extent that USC has taken with their different programs.”Daniel Wu, an outreach coordinator for Campus and Community United, said he is proud of USC’s No. 1 ranking but believes this should prompt university officials and students to continue their efforts.“This is a milestone to push USC to go above and beyond,” said Wu, a senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies. “Now we can think of new ways to approach community issues.”Wu cited employment opportunities and increased affordable housing as two initiatives that USC should take to the next level.“As a campus, we really can’t be afraid to think about larger community problems,” he said.Many of those larger community issues will come into focus in the next few years as USC moves forward with its Master Plan, which includes rebuilding the University Village and creating more student housing.One problem already plaguing the community is education. With the Los Angeles Unified School District’s programs lagging, USC has stepped in, partnering with a network of 14 schools ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade in the areas surrounding the University Park and Health Sciences campuses.Through the collaboration with these schools — known as the USC Family of Schools — the university provides funding and support for academics, tutoring, after school programs and college-readiness programs.“Due to that partnership, we have so many opportunities for our children,” said Sue Becker, magnet coordinator for the K-8 school at the 32nd Street/USC Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School. “We have so many fantastic things offered to us because of the outreach and community partnership that USC has with the school.”The university has helped the magnet school provide its students with dance and music classes, science activities and specialized tutoring, but Becker said that the most important aspect of the partnership is the commitment of USC students.“Everybody is just so thoughtful and considerate,” she said. “It gives the students the opportunity to know someone who is in college. Knowing that, it gives them an understanding that college is available to them and that they too can get there.”For Simons, student involvement is the key to eliminating the remaining fences between the university and its neighbors.“The more USC can partner with the community and educate them about their true passion for the students to be civically engaged, the better off everyone can be,” he said.last_img read more

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16 Sep
2020

Making waves: New swimming coach Yuri Suguiyama already has championship aspirations

first_imgEvery dominant athletic program begins somewhere — pieces of a puzzle that came together somehow to create a dynasty. What is it that flips the switch? What makes a team turn the corner and become unstoppable?The University of Wisconsin women’s swimming team has never won a single Big Ten championship or NCAA title in school history. While the team has seen many amazing individual careers, they’ve never been able to put the pieces together and become a dominant force in the swim world.Other schools like Stanford, Georgia and Auburn hold five or more NCAA titles in women’s swimming alone. But this season for the women’s swim team may be the turning point we’ve all been waiting for.Former three time Pac-12 championship swim coach from the University of California Yuri Suguiyama has been named the new head coach for Wisconsin. After a mess of new coaching staffs for the past four years, it seems as if Badger Swimming has finally found what it’s been looking for in Suguiyama.Volleyball: Wisconsin comes off win against Illinois, heads to Iowa CityThe kills rained down on the Illinois defenders Wednesday night as Sophomore Dana Rettke went for a career-high 23 kills Read…“At the beginning of the year, we sat down as a staff and made a list of all of the characteristics and qualities of the best athletes we’ve worked with,” Suguiyama said. “Out of all of the most successful teams that I’ve been a part of, there’s been two dominant characteristics: one being trust and the other resilience.”Suguiyama’s positive outlook comes from this list of swimmers who he knew carried these traits — those of champions.UW senior Jess Unicomb has had undeniably one of the best swimming careers at Wisconsin over the past four years. Last year she qualified for three events in the NCAA championships — finishing in the top ten for both the 200 and 100 meter backstroke.Football: Zander Neuville suffers season ending injuryWisconsin Badgers tight end Zander Neuville is likely to miss the remainder of the season after suffering a serious left Read…Unicomb has been a part of countless dominant relay squads in the Big Ten and has even more career awards under her belt. Coming from Australia, she had never thought of traveling to the United States to swim until she was recruited by the Badgers.“We’ve got a really great freshman class,” Unicomb said. “I am excited to leave the team in a better place than when I joined it and I’m jealous of the freshman that they get four years of this coaching staff. They’re awesome.”Eleven freshmen will get that opportunity to work closely with Suguiyama, a group the head coach helped recruit.When asked about her expectations for the future of Badger swimming Unicomb expressed her utmost optimism.“I truly believe this group could win a Big Ten championship and, hopefully, a national one,” Unicomb said. “I have no doubt in my mind that they will reach great things.”Women’s soccer: Wisconsin finishes home stand with draws versus Rutgers, MarylandThe No. 22 University of Wisconsin women’s soccer team (8-2-3, 2-1-3 Big Ten) tied both Rutgers (7-1-4, 3-0-2 Big Ten) Read…For these goals to be met, Wisconsin will rely heavily on their star swimmer, Beata Nelson.Nelson, a junior, has been in the swimming spotlight her entire career. In high school, she was a 12-time state champion and received multiple offers from across the nation.In fact, she never thought she would end up a Badger. But after an unofficial home visit, Nelson was left convinced that Madison was the way to go.With plans for a new pool and facilities at the now under construction Nicholas Recreation Center and a solid team of hardworking individuals she grew up watching, Nelson couldn’t see herself anywhere else.In her freshman year, Nelson was a four-time Big Ten freshman of the week and appeared at both the Big Ten and NCAA championships. By her sophomore season, she qualified for the NCAA championship in three individual events, medaling in two.All eyes had turned on Nelson rapidly, but what did she believe was going to make this program great?“Toughness,” Nelson said. “We are some of the toughest people I’ve ever been around.”Nelson explained that with all the great experiences she has had as a Badger she has no regrets in choosing Wisconsin.Cross Country: Badger men’s, women’s teams impress at Nuttycombe InvitationalThe University of Wisconsin men’s and women’s cross country teams enjoyed successful finishes to Friday’s Nuttycombe Invitational. The event took Read…In just her junior year, Nelson has already raised the expectations for women’s swimming to a completely new level. She has set a high bar with the program but she believes in her freshman class.Though unable to name one single person who will take over the team, Nelson believes that they, along with the new coaching staff, will be exceptional in the years to come.“There is nowhere but up that this program will go,” Nelson said. “This team has the mentality and the work ethic to make anything happen.”Both Nelson and Unicomb have extremely high expectations for not only this season but seasons to come. According to them, all the pieces of the puzzle are there, they just need to be put together. With an exceptional new coaching staff, brand new pool, and solid incoming class of swimmers, what will stop this Badger powerhouse from rising to the top?last_img read more

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