USC in the Community

Youngsters from the 32nd Street/USC Magnet Center whoop it up with public safety officers Brian Bruce and Brent Archibald (far left) at a recent Los Angeles Lakers game. Archibald: “It’s completely positive .”

Photo by Irene Fertik

CRAMMING FOR THE LAKERS

Every month, about 10 neighborhood children boldly go where few of them have gone before – the fabulous Forum.

Principal Susan Allen and faculty at the 32nd Street/USC Magnet Center pick some of their best students and some others who need special motivation to attend Los Angeles Lakers games. The program, called the Kids of Priority (KOPs), is organized by the Department of Public Safety’s Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving day watch team.

Program coordinator Brent Archibald, a public safety officer, was inspired to take local children to Lakers games after learning that many of them had never attended a major sporting event.

“It’s completely positive and everybody benefits,” Archibald said. “So much of our job is dealing with negative stuff, so when we’re able to go the extra mile with something like this, it’s really fun.”

He and other members of the day watch community policing team – Brian Bruce, Don Thomas and Martin Jones – established the program to “make a connection with the kids.” In addition to going to games with the youngsters, the officers also serve as role models and visit them at school.

“A week or so after each game, we go out on the playground and [get together with] the kids who went to the event and their friends,” Archibald said. “We tell them that good behavior is rewarded.”

The DPS officers sought donations from professional sports organizations and received a commitment from Jerry Buss, owner of the Lakers, for tickets to an open-ended number of games. Archibald is currently working to secure tickets to Los Angeles Kings games. In the future, he hopes to be able to take kids to the Coliseum and Sports Arena to watch sporting events.

The officers escort kids to the games, riding in vans provided by USC Transportation Services. The kids receive T-shirts with KOPs logo, which were bought with funds donated by 32nd Street Market-owner Morrie Notrica.u0000u0000

PHYSICIANS, TEACH THYSELVES!

Ten School of Medicine faculty members were honored for acting beyond the call of duty in response to the needs of physicians working in community hospitals.

The faculty members received the first annual Community Hospital Network Awards on Nov. 9 for excellence in education and commitment to continuing medical education in Los Angeles-area community hospitals. The faculty were honored by the Postgraduate Division of the School of Medicine, which runs the USC Community Hospital Network.

For more than two decades, the network has sent faculty into community hospitals to provide continuing education programs for physicians working in the trenches, said Benita J. Wallraff, program coordinator.

USC faculty keep community physicians up-to-date on such subjects as the clinical aspects of menopause and medical-legal issues.

To keep their licenses, all doctors are required each year to complete 25 hours of continuing education. “We try to keep the community physicians current on changes in medicine,” Wallraff said. “For community hospitals, this is an inexpensive and efficient way to bring continuing medical education to their physicians.”

Participating hospitals include Century City Hospital, Verdugo Hills Hospital, Suburban Medical Center in Paramount, Santa Marta Hospital in East Los Angeles and Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park.

The 10 physicians honored for their presentations and their dedication to continuing education were assistant professor of obstetrics-gynocology Kathleen Marie Berkowitz; clinical professor of dermatology Joyce Fox; associate professors of clinical medicine Peter Jan Geiseler, Jacob Korula and Jonathan Lopresti; professor of medicine Albert Niden; assistant professor of surgery Adrian Ortega; assistant professor of clinical urology Harin Padma-Nathan; associate professor of surgery Dilipkumar Parekh; and clinical associate professor of pharmacy and of emergency medicine Greg Thompson.

Faculty members interested in participating should call 342-2538.u0000u0000

SUMMER SCIENCE BASH

Every summer, a group of high school students from Arizona, Hawaii, the Samoan Islands, Nevada and California spend time at the University Park Campus – not for vacation but to take advantage of intensive mathematics and science instruction.

Since 1992, some 50 students identified as academic achievers have participated annually in the Upward Bound Mathematics and Science Regional Center. Last fall, the program received a $900,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education to fund it for another four years.

The program serves high school students from low-income families or whose parents never earned college degrees. It is administered by the Educational Opportunity Programs Center under USC Civic and Community Relations.

In addition to the summer course, the EOPC offers the Upward Bound Mathematics and Science Program for local high school students, with enrichment classes on Saturdays during the academic year.

“We recruit economically disadvantaged students – or those who will be first-generation college students – and prepare them for entering college, surviving in college and being successful in college,” said EOPC associate director and academic coordinator Vicente Agustin McIntosh.

The math/science program gives students academic enrichment, tutoring, exposure to cultural events, college tours and college fairs. Subjects covered include math – from beginning algebra to calculus – English, computer science, college and career planning and sciences, such as marine biology and marine science. The students also get leadership training, McIntosh said.

During the intensive six-week summer program, participants live on campus, attend classes and have the opportunity to conduct research in a laboratory environment or work as interns at local corporations. At the end of the program, the top 30 youngsters take a weeklong tour of the San Francisco Bay area, where they tour a variety of colleges and enjoy cultural events.

The EOPC also provides academic support to 132 low-income or first-generation future college students, ages 13 to 19, on Saturdays during the school year. The program emphasizes reading, writing, mathematics and science.

The EOPC contracts with Los Angeles Unified School District teachers and USC students to teach in the Upward Bound programs, McIntosh said.

A third program conducted by the EOPC is the Educational Talent Search, which serves up to 1,300 young people throughout Los Angeles – ages 12 to 27 – by offering academic, career and personal advisement, tutoring, college preparation workshops and cultural awareness programs. The students have the opportunity to participate in summer and winter inter-session programs offered for academic credit in conjunction with LAUSD. vu0000