Dean’s Report 2022

ASC Building.

“We needed a world-class school for communication and journalism long before we knew we did. And we need one now — more than ever before.”

As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, these words from Annenberg Foundation Chair, President and CEO Wallis Annenberg remind us how vital our teaching and scholarship remain. What we continue to find as we reflect on this milestone is hope, lots of hope, for all that we can accomplish as a community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, industry partners and supporters who are committed to leveraging our collective communication knowledge and expertise to understand, illuminate and improve the human condition.

Willow Bay
Dean, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
Walter H. Annenberg Chair in Communication

Classroom and Beyond

Authentic selves

Paramount Latinx Diversity in Journalism Scholar Mariela Gomez seeks to amplify more voices within the news media. 

Annenberg Insights

Re-thinking how we use data to support student success.

Tradition meets innovation

Chronicling the impact of bringing solar power to an indigenous community in Colombia.

Representation matters

Diversity in PR and Advertising Scholar Brijea Daniel dreams of becoming a media trailblazer.

Behind the scenes

Students and alumni support the L.A. Sports & Entertainment Commission’s Super Bowl LVI social media command center.

Seize the Awkward

Students team up with USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams and the Ad Council to create a national PSA that encourages young adults to start conversations around mental health.

Advancing Industry

Agents of change

New skills-building program prepares professionals to collaborate with, manage and lead diverse teams.

See yourself

As the Seeing ME in the MEdia mentoring program’s inaugural executive-in-residence, alumna Melissa Finney explores the challenges facing first-gen and BIPOC students as they explore the communication and media industries.

The next generation

The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative launches a new study and the AI2 Accelerator to promote women of color behind the camera.

Critical Conversations

USC Annenberg brought together experts to examine — in real time — our dynamic communications and media ecosystems. We teamed up with Common Sense Media to host Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen for a discussion about how we can make tech better. We fostered dialogues among scholars and professionals, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, L.A. Times Executive Editor Kevin Merida and U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. For our inaugural Institute for Women in Leadership, which provides students with high-level exposure to women journalists who have broken barriers, we welcomed Director-in-Residence Mary Dedinsky, program director for Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism’s program in Qatar. And our first K-Pop Festa featured a free concert, a dance contest, and academic forums on the global phenomenon led by USC graduate students and Professors Hye Jin Lee and Henry Jenkins.


in-person and virtual events hosted by USC Annenberg

Research and Impact

Save, study and share

First-of-its-kind media studies lab launches at USC to amplify Black social change-makers on the West Coast.

How machines came to speak

Associate Professor of Communication Jennifer Petersen’s new book probes how legal conceptions of “speech” have transformed in response to new media technologies.

Climate communicators

New center empowers climate storytellers across the communications landscape.

Sonic language

Doctoral student Alexandria Arrieta explores the intersection of popular music and meme culture.

Shooting straight

In collaboration with Everytown for Gun Safety, the Norman Lear Center’s Media Impact Project examines how gun safety and gun violence prevention are depicted on TV, and provides recommendations for creators to improve portrayals.

The future of corporate activism

The Center for Public Relations’ Global Communication Report investigates polarization, societal issues, and their impact on PR departments and professional communicators.

By the Numbers

Media Highlights

CBS News
“Any time you introduce a distortion into the media environment, somebody has to pick up the tab down the road, when it turns out that the world is not as described.”
March 13, 2022

CBS News “Sunday Morning” speaks with Professor of Communication Nicholas Cull about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s use of propaganda and disinformation.

“There’s just a true lack of education when it comes to AAPI history in schools. None of us are brought up in schools knowing anything — or very little — about any Asian American history.”
July 27, 2022

Adjunct instructor May Lee shares how her groundbreaking course, “Evolution of Asian Americans and the Media,” has brought awareness and positively impacted the community.

“The more local the data, the more relevant it will be to readers.”
September 8, 2022

Professor of Professional Practice Gabriel Kahn explains the impact Google’s Innovation Challenge grant funding has made in advancing Crosstown, a local news initiative that delivers community-level data and analyses for L.A.’s neighborhoods.