USC Price Bloggers


Jeremy Bates


Undergraduate Degree: Boston College

Jeremy is a Master’s in Public Policy candidate from Irvine, California. Before coming to Price, Jeremy earned his B.A. in Political Science and Economics from Boston College. At BC, his academic focus was primarily in international relations and economic development, particularly in China. He studied abroad in Beijing and upon graduating, spent 3 years working in education consulting and curriculum development in Shanghai. This international experience cemented his desire to enter public service, as well as his interest in transportation policy. Accordingly, Jeremy’s MPP specialization is in transportation policy, and he is also interested in local government. At Price, Jeremy is also the Chair for GPAC’s Programming Subcommittee for Urban Planning and the Environment. His hobbies include gardening, cooking, hiking, and exploring new places and activities in Southern California. In the future, Jeremy plans to use his MPP to better incorporate data analysis into city planning and management, especially in transportation-related areas.

Fiahna Cabana

Undergraduate Degree: Santa Clara University

As a Bay Area native, Fiahna is passionate about the intersection of entrepreneurship, nonprofit management, and social justice—ultimately exploring ways to use technology for good. She chose USC Price because of its interdisciplinary teaching approach, commitment to innovation and collaboration, and its world-class professional network.


Stephanie Castro

Undergraduate Degree: Stanford University

Stephanie Castro is a first-year MPA student currently working for the Los Angeles Fire Department as a Personnel Analyst. She has worked for the City in various capacities since 2012, after graduating from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology. She chose to attend USC Price because of its professional development opportunities and specialization in local government. Through her graduate studies she plans to augment her experience with knowledge on organizational and financial management, and hopes to improve the City’s processes to better serve its communities.

Disha Jariwala

Undergraduate Degree: Rajiv Gandhi University

Disha is currently a first year student in the Masters of Health Administration program with a previous Bachelor’s Degree in Dental Surgery from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences- Bangalore, India. It was during her undergraduate studies that she learned about the contemporary issues in healthcare and the range of problems that healthcare professionals were trying to solve in innovative ways. Since then she developed a fervour for health administration, she believed that a career in this field would help her get a broader perspective of healthcare delivery. What attracted her to USC was the course structure, the 1000-hour residency component which could give her a hands on experience in the healthcare field, the widespread Trojan Network and she strongly believed that she could learn a lot from the culturally diverse student body at the university. Her current interests include use of Telemedicine for lowering healthcare costs and increasing patient engagement, financial aspect of healthcare delivery.

Vicky Karpilovich

Undergraduate Degree: UC – Santa Barbara

Vicky is a first-year graduate student pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree and Certificate in Business & Sustainability at USC. Her background is primarily working in the private sector in marketing and public relations roles; she aspires to utilize her MPA degree to bridge gaps between government, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector through innovate cross-sectoral partnerships. She is passionate about social justice, equity, and community development. Vicky chose USC due to its academic strength, course diversity, Alumni network, and on-campus involvement opportunities.

Luwam Kbrom

Concentration: Healthcare Management & Policy
Undergraduate Degree: UC – Berkeley

Luwam Kbrom is a USC Price graduate student pursing her master’s degree in Health Administration (MHA). Health and wellness has been a very strong passion of hers. She chose Price after attending an info session on campus and discovered that this school shared the same passion for healthcare. What attracted her to the MHA program at USC was the 1,000-hour residency component where students gain real life leadership skills working at a health care facility. The faculty, staff, and the current students were so helpful in answering all of her questions about the program and were there for her every step of the way. Also, the amount of respect and professionalism she received from the Price school was unforgettable.

Her interests lie in health policy, operations, project management, and chronic disease prevention. She has an overwhelming desire to become a leader and make a change. She hopes to build a career within the health care industry as a Hospital Administrator. Luwam’s long term goal is to open up a health and wellness center in underprivileged communities where people can come and learn how to manage their health and wellbeing. She truly believes dedicated and consistent efforts toward prevention will help solve many of the issues we face today in the healthcare field.

Sylvia Ojeh

Concentration:Management, Operations, Leadership
Undergraduate Degree: San Jose State University

Sylvia is a non-traditional graduate student in that she has worked for various health organizations, including the San Francisco Department of Public Health, before pursuing a Master of Health Administration degree at the University of Southern California.

It is clear why Sylvia chose USC: not only is USC a world-renowned institution that demonstrates leadership in all facets of higher education, but USC also offers invaluable preparation for healthcare industry. So far, her academic training at USC has successfully bridged sound academics to health care practice, fostering continued understanding of health care administration and management operations. Such training, through in-class simulations, has prepared Sylvia to confidently approach, assess, and resolve related issues pertaining to these aspects.

Sylvia is fully prepared—and eager—to continue to make substantive contributions and learn practical skills that will foster leadership success in her future roles.

Olivia Joncich

Concentration:Economic Development
Undergraduate Degree: UCLA

Olivia graduated in 2014 with a major in Sociology and a Minor in Urban and Regional Studies. She is currently pursuing a Master of Planning degree with hopes of eventually working in the affordable housing sector. Olivia chose USC Price because of the emphasis on practical application of planning theory in real-world settings and the proximity to downtown Los Angeles and other diverse neighborhoods. She feels she is already thriving and believes Price provides the ideal setting to study mitigate issues affecting urban areas and to generate tangible housing solutions.

Arpita Sharma

Concentration:Social and Community Planning
Undergraduate Degree: UC – Berkeley

Arpita Sharma is a dual Master in Public Policy and Master of Planning student.  She is pursuing a concentration in Sustainable Land Use with a particular interest in how local policy and planning decisions impact low-income communities of color. Currently, she is a Student Assistant at the METRANS Transportation Center, writing articles, developing podcasts and marketing materials to promote the field of transportation to students. Here other interests include biking, cooking, meditation, and exploring urban art in Los Angeles.

Max Sherman

Concentration:Economic  and Real Estate Development
Undergraduate Degree: Univ. of San Francisco

Max is currently pursuing a Master in Planning with a focus on Economic and Real
Estate Development. He is also the USC Representative for the Southern California
Planning Congress. Max is a fan of innovative urban design, transit-oriented
development and coffee.


Arye Abraham

Major/Concentration: Policy, Planning, and Development – Real Estate Development

Arye Abraham is a junior pursuing a track in Real Estate Development. His passion lies in real estate finance because of the limitless possibilities that include mergers and acquisitions, private equity, commercial/residential investments, and leasing. Arye chose USC Price because he wanted to be a part of the Trojan family, creating everlasting bonds. Upon visiting Price, he said he immediately fell in love with the campus, the academics, the faculty, and much more. He is currently interning at Pacific Construction Enterprises; a Culver City based construction and Development Company.

Alvin Neo

Major: Real Estate Devlopment

Alvin chose USC Price because he has been fascinated with Real Estate and planning his whole life. Through his Real Estate Development (RED) program, he hopes to find a middle ground between his appreciation for urban planning and real estate development. Since starting the RED program, he has developed a passion for the field of transportation and looks forward to incorporating all his interests in his profession.

Kylie Sedgwick


Major/Concentration: Policy, Planning, and Development – Nonprofits & Social Innovation

Kylie is currently a junior on the Nonprofit and Social Innovation track and minoring in Sociology. She chose Price in order to learn about policy from a variety of different disciplines. She also loves that USC is located in the great city of Los Angeles, which offers a variety of learning and volunteering opportunities. She participates in a variety of service at USC and in the Los Angeles community, serving on the executive boards of the USC Helenes and Kicks for Kids USC. Kylie began at USC as a spring admit freshman in January 2015 and spent her gap semester in East Africa, focusing on service learning and cultural immersion in each area she visited. In the future, she hopes to continue to serve communities and gain more practical knowledge on how to improve the lives of others; she aims to join the Peace Corps or pursue a Masters in Social Work after graduating.

Maheen Surani


Major/Concentration: Policy, Planning, and Development- Public Policy and Law

Maheen Surani is currently a junior pursuing her bachelor’s in Policy, Planning, and Development with a focus in Public Policy and Law. After attending a community college for year and a half, she fell in love with USC and transferred in Spring 2016. After participating in the Spring Externship program, Maheen was offered a position as an intern at the City of Rolling Hills Estates over the summer. She was able to pursue her passion for public administration while working in local government and is looking forward to having a career working as a government official once she graduates.

Alec Vandenberg

Vandenberg, Alec - PP.jpg

Major/Concentration: Public Policy- Public Policy and Law

Alec Vandenberg is a freshman majoring in Public Policy and Law.  He’s always been interested in public service and how governments, non-profits, and the private sector can work together to make society more just, sustainable, and safe.  At Price, he can’t wait to take classes from a wide variety of fields relating to Public Policy, traveling abroad, working in LA, and collaborating with Price students and faculty.  Looking forward, he hopes to get involved with government, a NGO, or the United Nations to advocate for change, particularly in the fields of homelessness, the environment, and human rights.