University of Southern California


Collaboration Fund Groups

Sponsored by the Research Collaboration Fund:

Behavioral Science and Well-Being Policy

This collaboration will develop insights from behavioral science and related fields to inform policies on well-being, as well as health, finances, climate change, and security. It brings together more than 40 USC faculty and students, and is led by Wandi Bruine de Bruin, Jason Doctor, Arie Kapteyn, Gulden Ulkumen, and Dan Simon.

Collaborative for Embedding Mental Health Resources in Non-Traditional Spaces

The COVID-19 pandemic and stressors related to racism and poverty have exacerbated mental health challenges across the county of Los Angeles. Young people are navigating uncharted territory with regards to social cohesion and mental health, including how to navigate educational and social spaces that are increasingly digital. Mental health practitioners are struggling to meet an increased demand for counseling; clients are stretched to locate and afford high quality mental health care. At the same time, ample instances exist of youth thriving and supporting each other; community-based organizations are filling basic needs gaps through grassroots efforts. This collaborative will bring together faculty, staff and students from multiple schools at USC, along with community partners, to (1) identify and amplify effective mental health practices that currently exist in the community; (2) share methods of practicing self-care that might be overlooked by mainstream approaches; and (3) determine ways to expand mental health services in non-traditional spaces such as skate parks, parks, and shopping centers. This group is led by Zoe Corwin, Rafael Angulo and Alan Green.

Community Scholars Collaborative on Health Equity Solutions

CHES is a multidisciplinary collaboration of over 40 faculty/students at USC that comes together to address significant health disparities problems in diverse communities, such as poverty, food security, social justice, cancer, environmental justice, sustainability, immigration, climate change. The group is led by John Wilson, Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, Iris Chi, Robert Vos, and Lilyana Amezcua.

Metaplasticity and Megaplasticity: Changing the Brain from Synapse to Community

This collaboration between Keck and Dornsife aims to gain novel perspectives towards understanding both the parameters of lifestyle as well as investigating underlying mechanisms of neuroplasticity critical for developing brain resilience in aging and disease. The group is led by Giselle Petzinger and Michael Jakowec.

Strengthening Community-Engaged Sustainability Scholarship & Education at USC

The urgency to act on global & local environmental challenges has never been greater. Our science-based tools to address these challenges have never been more effective. And yet, there remains a serious disconnect between the science we hold and the needs of communities on the frontlines of environmental change. Sustainability scholars are now being called upon to bridge this gap through stronger and smarter community engagement(including partnerships between faculty, students, community organizations, business, and government). Led by Dr. Victoria Campbell-Arvai from Dornsife’s Environmental StudiesProgram, Dr. Gale Sinatra from Rossier’s School of Education, and diverse faculty partners from Price School of Public Policy,USC School of Architecture, and Dornsife, our network aims to promote a just and transformative approach to community-engaged sustainability scholarship and education acrossUSC.Through fostering new conversations, capacity, and connections, we will: 1) deepen awareness of the value, science, and best practices of community-engaged research in addressing sustainability challenges; 2) facilitate opportunities for sustainability scholars and students to initiate meaningful community-engaged research projects; and 3) build capacity for student experiential learning around sustainability themes in partnership with faculty research initiatives.Our vision is that through ourCampus Network forCommunity Engaged SustainabilityScholarship and Education,USC would grow to be an academic leader in sustainability research that affords opportunities for USC students and faculty to become effective agents of positive social and environmental change.

USC Center for Mindfulness Science

CMS aims to contribute meaningful understanding to the component psychological and biological processes underlying mindfulness and the relationship between mindfulness and well-being, as well as the impact of mindfulness practice on wellness and clinical outcomes across the lifespan. The group is led by Baruch Cahn, Shawn Roll, Randye Semple, David Black, Jordan Davis, and Eric Pedersen.

USC Institute for Addiction Science

The Institute aims to promote interdisciplinary addiction science and education across public health, social work, psychology, policy, pharmacy, medicine, psychiatry, etc. They’ll integrate with existing training programs in social behavioral science, psychology, epidemiology, and neuroscience to develop novel addiction science educational programs. The group is led by Adam Leventhal, Daryl Davies, and John Clapp.

USC Law & Global Health Collaboration

USC’s Law & Global Health Collaboration advances scholarship and provides monthly lectures and public discussions at the intersection of law and global health. Virtually all significant global health topics raise challenging legal issues which are better understood and addressed when considered from a multidisciplinary basis. The group is led by Sofia Gruskin, Alexander Capron, Laura Ferguson, Doe Mayer, and Charles Kaplan.

USC mHealth Collaboratory

Mobile health (mHealth) technologies are ubiquitous, interactive and poised to improve the health and well being of people around the globe. Across USC, and with our partners at other institutions, we are fueling a revolution in mobile and connected health. ​The group is led by Donna Spruijt-Metz and William Swartout.

USC SensoriMotor Assessment and Rehabilitation Training in Virtual Reality Center

USC SMART-VR Center’s primary purpose is to establish USC as a world leader in the study and development of virtual technologies for healthcare by bringing together investigators from biokinesiology, computer sciences, engineering, neuroscience, behavioral change, and rehabilitation. The group is led by Sook-Lei Liew and James Finley.

Visualizing New Narrative Forms through Quantum Physics, AI, and Sustainability

In the age of ever-increasing artificial intelligence algorithms used to drive animation, virtual characters, deep learning systems and neural networks; how can scientists and artists inspire each other to bring to life the mysteries of existence?How can we collaborate to explore the invisible worlds at the quantum level and how does each discipline propel new narrative forms of expression, including science visualization forward? How can we tell the stories of art and science to better communicate, enhance and understand our world? We are proposing a series of collaborative seminars/lectures and weekend field trips involving up to 14faculty, 60 students, alumni, national and international guest speakers (via Zoom) from around the world. The collaboration is designed to drive new forms of pedagogical innovation and creative research at the intersection of art, science, and technology. A focus on community building, diversity, mindfulness through collaboration, plein-air artistic practice, and research will also be engaged.The outcome will result in new types of narrative structure and media creation utilizing animated forms, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), interactive installation, documentary, and holography. While also visualizing science principles across quantum physics, biocomplexity and sustainability. Interaction between diverse graduate programs will also assist in building interdisciplinary collaborations.While providing educational opportunities for animation graduates to support the Physics department, STEM summer programs at Wrigley, and young Aboriginal artists via Zoom in central Australia.[1] Foster, Alasdair: ‘Art in a Post-Newtonian Paradigm’ –National Association for Visual Arts conference 1999. This group is led by Kathy Smith, Gene Bickers, and Sheila Sofian.

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