Welcoming Incoming Students

USC Mann is preparing to welcome more than 300 new students this fall. Meet some of the newest members of the school community and hear why they’re excited to start their programs.

Shelby Thompson is pursuing a Progressive M.S. in Healthcare Decision Analysis. “I’m ecstatic that I found a program that combines my interest in healthcare with my background in marketing and analytics,” says Thompson, a rising USC senior pursuing a B.A. in Health and Human Sciences. “My decision to pursue my degrees is even more rewarding and timely in light of the pandemic.”

Alberto Fernandez is pursuing a B.S. in Pharmacology and Drug Development.⁣ He’s most looking forward to the “tight-knit community” he’ll gain through his major and shares that his experience working on a local political campaign has played a big role in his career goals. “Through the course of the campaign, I realized the importance of staying true to my voice and innermost passions,” he says. “With this, I was propelled to pursue my interests in pharmacology, a field where my voice will help lead the way for a new age in healthcare.”⁣

After graduating with B.S. in Pharmacology and Drug Development from USC, Pooja Singh is on her way to becoming a double Trojan by joining the incoming PharmD class. ⁣“I’m so excited to further explore all the career pathways within the field of pharmacy through the school’s experiential learning opportunities,” she says. “I’m even more excited to build new friendships and create memories with my fellow classmates as we take on this journey together!”

Incoming M.S. in Healthcare Decision Analysis student Roger Malerba has a background in life sciences and is looking forward to learning the business of healthcare and biopharmacy. “I believe this program will help me discover my strengths, develop the tools to enter the industry and be uniquely positioned as a leader who can bridge the gap between science and business,” he says. “I am thrilled to join the Trojan Family and I look forward to joining a program that’s taught by industry leaders.” 

Ronnelle Copes is pursuing a PharmD and excited to explore the various dual degree options at USC Mann. “Pharmacy is only the beginning for me,” says Copes, a USC Class of 2020 graduate with a B.S. in Pharmacology and Drug Development and a minor in Hip Hop, Street and Social Dance Forms.⁣ “I want to use the knowledge I’ll gain to help reform the healthcare system.”

Incoming PharmD student Nathaniel Chard will be joining USC Mann with his wife and two daughters cheering him on. “This is the culmination of 15 years of sacrifice by my family and me,” explains Chard, who enters the School with an M.S. in Biomedical Sciences and MPH in Urban Health Disparities already under his belt. After first pursuing a career in dentistry, he’s now focused on one in pharmacy. “The winding path I took toward pharmacy was needed, though, and earning the two master’s degrees has given me the tools to contribute during a public health crisis.”

Grace Hughes is pursuing a B.S. in Pharmacology and Drug Development as a USC Trustee Scholar. “I’m excited to start my program because I haven’t had much exposure to pharmacology so far and am eager to begin learning,” she says. I really enjoy chemistry and neuroscience, and pharmacology feels like a junction of the two.”