USC Annenberg Magazine
50th Anniversary Issue
Be the Future
The inspiration of leaders. The power of collaboration. The promise of innovation. The importance of truth.
In this special section, you will see these themes emerge as members of our community — students, faculty, alumni, industry partners and longtime supporters — mark USC Annenberg’s 50th anniversary and consider the future we want to create.
Together, let’s explore where we can — where we should — have impact in the years ahead. Through our creative, scholarly and professional work, how can we further Ambassador Walter Annenberg’s founding vision to use communication to understand the profound changes of our time?
Join us as we imagine our next 50 years and continue advancing our legacy.
Profiles and columns
Not wasting a moment
Aashna-Moitra Serrao built a PR career where she is able to constantly challenge herself using the perfect blend of communications and event planning.
Live and learn — then learn some more
After years working in television news, Mike Huckman sought out a new career path, switching to executive communications where he now advises health sector leaders.
They don’t tell us about Nkrumah
Journalism student Raegan Griffin Jr. shares the impact of traveling and building the foundation for a future USC Annenberg course in Ghana.
Cicada creates a buzz
Communication (PhD) candidate Ho-Chun “Herbert” Chang co-invented a synthesizer called the Cicada, bridging acoustic sound and feeling to electronic music.
Envisioning a better world
Bringing communities together through political engagement, popular culture and the civic imagination.
Grappling with the past
Student-produced podcast explores the 1992 civil unrest in Los Angeles in observance of its 30th anniversary.
Dean’s Note: Understand, Illuminate and Improve
by Willow Bay
Dean and Walter H. Annenberg Chair in Communication
USC Life Trustee and Annenberg Foundation CEO Wallis Annenberg shared these inspiring words during the grand opening celebration for our state-of-the-art building that bears her name. She sensed, as we all did, that we are ushering in a vibrant new era as communication continues to change the way we live, work, play, study, solve problems and consider our future.
We stand at an exciting threshold of a dynamic communications and media landscape that is relentlessly urging us to ask: What do we want the future to be? And what do we — the USC Annenberg School — want to be in that future?
That’s where our remarkable legacy comes into play. The answer is in our DNA.
An embrace of technology, a dedication to service, and a commitment to using communication to address society’s issues — large and small — are all a part of our founder Ambassador Walter Annenberg’s enduring charge.
Together, we are a community of distinguished scholars and practitioners whose work has helped define, redefine and, in many cases, create new fields.
We have unparalleled expertise in areas of health communication, organizations and networks, cultural studies, and news and media. And we are extending our reach to AI and machine learning, digital media management and, of course, the metaverse.
All the while, we have continued to share an unwavering commitment to leveraging our teaching, research, investigative insights and professional work as a powerful catalyst for positive change.
So, we believe the best way to honor our legacy is to continue to advance it by posing this question: What is the future we want to will into being? Where can we — where should we — have impact in the years ahead?
This 50th anniversary issue is designed to share some of the answers we have collected from those across our school — from students and alumni, scholars and teachers, luminaries and leaders.
I think what you will discover in these pages is hope, lots of hope, for all that we can accomplish, together, as we use communication and all of its disciplines to understand, illuminate and improve the human condition.