Viterbi Student Ambassadors

We are a group of undergraduate students at the Viterbi School of Engineering who act as liaisons between the admission department and prospective students interested in studying engineering at USC!

VSA recruitment is first weeks of the Spring semester, so i f you’re interested in joining the VSA team check back next year!

What We Do

Viterbi Student Ambassadors (VSAs) speak to students at official admission events (virtual information sessions, live chats, and in the past, Discover USC and Explore), and generally act as a resource for any questions that prospective students may have about the student experience at Viterbi.

We also maintain several social media and outreach platforms, including our Instagram, Tik Tok, Twitter, and YouTube, as well as put out our weekly podcast, Viterbi Voices!

This webpage is also maintained by the VSA team, but is a platform dedicated to showcasing all types of student experiences (including yours!).

Our Mission

As VSAs, our primary goal is to share our own, real stories of our time at USC, in the hopes that we can provide a window of insight for prospective students during what is always a stressful and confusing period in their lives – the college admission process.

Join the VSA Team!

The VSA team is looking for engaged, excited current Viterbi students (that’s you!) to join us!

The application for the 2022-2023 school year is no longer open, but check in again next spring for our recruitment cycle. If you’d like to contribute your unique Viterbi perspective in the meantime, become a Content Creator! Current students can share their stories and experiences through blogs written for our Viterbi Voices site (this one!) 

A Day in the Life of a VSA

As a Viterbi Student Ambassador, you will contribute to a spectrum of voices from Viterbi engineers through creative activities including video creation, live chat hosting, podcast making, social media planning, and blogging. While no experience is necessary in any of these, a desire to work hard to learn these skills on the job definitely is!

Responding to questions on the spot is another important skill when speaking at admission-related events, but no prior formal public speaking experience is needed. As a new member of the VSA team you will have plenty of time to practice in both training workshops and staff meetings!

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our new VSAs!

Computer Science (Business Administration)

Kory Arfania

Class of 2025
Laguna Hills, California
he/they

YEAR: Class of 2025
HOMETOWN: Laguna Hills, California
PRONOUNS: he/they

I've been a part of the first executive board of Shift SC, a student organization aiming to promote human-centered and socially responsible technology through numerous initiatives and outreach programs, volunteered with the Viterbi Impact Program, and worked with the Presidential Working Group as a member of their first Student Sustainability Committee! I was also an intern at a startup, where I worked on the automation of online bill payments.

Chemical Engineering (Nanotechnology)

Sydney Fiorentino

Class of 2024
San Francisco, California
she/her/hers

YEAR: Class of 2024
HOMETOWN: San Francisco, California
PRONOUNS: she/her/hers

Bio: I have been involved in conducting research relating to nanoparticles and microfluidics. I'm a member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, AICHE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers), and Gen-Zine. Outside of school I enjoy writing and have gotten into blog writing and radio reporting.

Chemical Engineering (Nanotechnology)

Taylor Hill-Miles

Class of 2025
Gainesville, Florida
she/her/hers

YEAR: Class of 2025
HOMETOWN: Gainesville, Florida
PRONOUNS: she/her/hers

Currently, I serve on the regional and collegiate executive boards of the National Society for Black Engineers(NSBE), and am a member of a host of other student organizations to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the field of engineering. In my free time I like to go hiking, run, and volunteer. I am also trying to learn how to surf this semester.

Environmental Engineering

Vidya Iyer

Class of 2025
Des Moines, Iowa
they/them/theirs

YEAR: Class of 2025
HOMETOWN: Des Moines, Iowa
PRONOUNS: they/them/theirs

Outside of VSA, I am a co-Lead Organizer for Student Coalition for Asian Pacific Empowerment, volunteer at the LGBTQ+ student center, and I participate in activism across USC and LA! I'm looking to get into research this year as well, hopefully in water quality or CO2 recycling.

Computer Engineering and Computer Science

Silas John

Class of 2025
Carson, California
he/him/his

YEAR: Class of 2025
HOMETOWN: Carson, California
PRONOUNS: he/him/his

In Viterbi, I focus my attention on computer science research regarding the optimization of multi-robot collision avoidance in an unmapped 3D environment and enjoy teaching younger students computer science and robotics through CS@SC. I enthusiastically pursue music outside of Viterbi as a part of the Songwriter's Forum and as an instrumentalist for local bands in Southern California. At any given moment, find me producing music at my church, testing out a new card trick, or writing arbitrary computer programs to just make life easier!

Civil Engineering (Building Science)

Araxi Malazian

Class of 2023
Whittier, California
she/her/hers

YEAR: Class of 2023
HOMETOWN: Whittier, California
PRONOUNS: she/her/hers

At Viterbi, you can find me either designing or constructing buildings—whether that be in my architecture building science studio, in the design build team for CMAA (Construction Management Association of America), or as President of EERI (Earthquake Engineering Research Institute) modeling and constructing earthquake-resistant skyscrapers. Other than that, I’m involved in the Armenian Students Association, work as a TA, and love sitting outside with a good book!

Industrial and Systems Engineering

Lucas Mortenson

Class of 2024
Golf, Illinois
he/him/his

YEAR: Class of 2024
HOMETOWN: Golf, Illinois
PRONOUNS: he/him/his

At USC, I am involved in a number of different academic associations including being a part of IISE, Scholars Leading Scholars, and The Freshman Engineering Academy coaching team. Outside of academics, I am involved in Greek Life, I am on the club Water Polo team, and I actively participate in the arts scene, both through my songwriting minor and other events such as open mic nights.

Astronautical Engineering

Nicholas Pardo

Class of 2024
Bakersfield, California
he/him/his

YEAR: Class of 2024
HOMETOWN: Bakersfield, California
PRONOUNS: he/him/his

I’m involved in the Advanced Spacecraft Propulsion and Energy Lab, conducting research in modeling a solid-core nuclear thermal rocket engine. I serve as the V.P. Of Membership for the Society of Hispanic Professional engineers as well as Activities Director for The Trojan Knights.

Industrial & Systems Engineering

Mira Pratama

Class of 2024
Jakarta, Indonesia
she/her/hers

YEAR: Class of 2024
HOMETOWN: Jakarta, Indonesia
PRONOUNS: she/her/hers

I am currently involved in the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE), which is a student organization that focuses on Asians' STEM career development and leadership growth. Outside of Viterbi, I am also involved in the International Student Assembly (ISA), an undergraduate student government assembly that serves the international community at USC.

Astronautical Engineering

Kaleigh Ray

Class of 2025
Bakersfield, California
she/her/hers

YEAR: Class of 2025
HOMETOWN: Bakersfield, California
PRONOUNS: she/her/hers

I have been involved in research at the Space Engineering Research Center (SERC) as well as a member of USC’s Rocket Propulsion Lab. At SERC, I worked on developing a docking system for cubesats with project CLING and am currently work on project STARFISH. In RPL, I am on the composites team and design team. Outside of Viterbi, I have interned at Astrolab where I was a Structures and Mechanisms Engineering intern and helped with lunar mission development and payload prototyping. I also like doing inter murals and photography on my free time!

Biomedical Engineering

Mateo Sabio Paese

Class of 2025
Menlo Park, California
he/him/his

YEAR: Class of 2025
HOMETOWN: Menlo Park, California
PRONOUNS: he/him/his

On campus I am involved in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers as the SHPE Jr. Director and work in the Viterbi Admission and Student Engagement Office. I also work part-time in the USC Village.

Biomedical Engineering

Celine Vazquez

Class of 2024
Montebello, California
she/her/hers

YEAR: Class of 2024
HOMETOWN: Montebello, California
PRONOUNS: she/her/hers

Within Viterbi I'm involved as a research assistant in a nano diagnostics laboratory and as the Vice President of the Associated Students of Biomedical Engineering. Outside of Viterbi, I'm a member of USC Helenes, which is USC's official spirit organization on campus.

Biomedical Engineering

Aisha Yamamoto

Class of 2024
Kaneohe, Hawaii
she/her/hers

YEAR: Class of 2024
HOMETOWN: Kaneohe, Hawaii
PRONOUNS: she/her/hers

I am involved with research on identifying neuronal pathways spanning multiple depressive disorders and worked with a biotech startup over the summer. Aside from engineering, I'm involved in Troy Camp, Hawaii Club, and volunteer within the LA community.

Meet the VSAs

Our team is a group of close-knit, hardworking individuals with a range of majors, interests, and campus involvements. To learn more about our experiences and check out our blogs, click the profiles below!

Computer Science Games

Gianna Beck

Class of 2023
Phoenix, Arizona
she/her/hers

YEAR: Class of 2023
HOMETOWN: Phoenix, Arizona
PRONOUNS: she/her/hers

I have been involved with computer science research investigating affective gesturing in robots along with working on independent projects to build fully-playable games from scratch and being a Freshman Engineering Academy Coach. Outside of Viterbi, I'm a part of Greek Life, SC Climbing, the Student Alumni Society leadership board, and I am a volunteer at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. You can often find me running the trails around LA, falling off my surf board in the waves, or camped out with a good book in the Village.

Computer Science & Quantitative Biology

Shannon Brownlee

Class of 2023
San Diego, California
she/her/hers

YEAR: Class of 2023
HOMETOWN: San Diego, California
PRONOUNS: she/her/hers

On campus I'm involved with the Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society (CAIS++) and the Corpus Callosum arts + tech club! I also conduct neuroscience research within the Biomedical Engineering department. Outside of school, I enjoy singing, painting, gardening.

Computer Science

Jordan Cahoon

Class of 2024
Seattle, Washington
she/her/hers

YEAR: Class of 2024
HOMETOWN: Seattle, Washington
PRONOUNS: she/her/hers

On campus, I lead the Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society's Student Branch (CAIS++). Outside of this, I spend the majority of my time conducting undergraduate research in population genetics at the Center for Genetic Epidemiology, part of Keck School of Medicine. In my free time, you can find me baking a yummy treat or scribbling notes in my bullet journal!

Computer Science / Business Administration

Cameron Cole

Class of 2023
Chicago, Illinois
he/him/his

YEAR: Class of 2023
HOMETOWN: Chicago, Illinois
PRONOUNS: he/him/his

On campus, I've been involved with USC's chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers and our Formula SAE race car design team. Outside of Viterbi I'm a member of the USC Global Investing Society.

Civil Engineering, Structural Emphasis

Madie Fujimoto

Class of 2021
San Jose, California
she/her/hers

YEAR: Class of 2023
HOMETOWN: San Jose, California
PRONOUNS: she/her/hers

I'm involved with civil engineer research in the Structures and Materials lab and Viterbi's Women in Engineering organization as Vice Chair. Outside of Viterbi, I'm apart of USC's The Women's Network and have interned with Valley Water in San Jose.

Mechanical Engineering

Peyton Erickson

Class of 2024
Ventura, California
she/her/hers

YEAR: Class of 2024
HOMETOWN: Ventura, California
PRONOUNS: she/her/hers

I'm involved with the W.V.T Rusch Honors Engineering Program along with being a member of the Grand Challenge Scholar Program and the Society of Women Engineers. I'm also a member of the 3D4E student organization. Outside of Viterbi, I am involved with the USC Women's soccer team as a manager and a member of SC Outfitters.

Biomedical Engineering

Jordan Jennison

On campus, I'm part of officer council for the Society of Women Engineers as well as part of the Engineering Honors Program. Outside of Viterbi, I'm a part of USC Chamber Ballet, a freshman mentor through Trojan Scholar's Society and a USC Song Girl.

Civil Engineering

Natalie Le

Class of 2023
San Diego, California
she/her/hers

YEAR: Class of 2023
HOMETOWN: San Diego, California
PRONOUNS: she/her/hers

On campus I am involved in various Civil clubs like Construction Management, Earth Engineering Research, and Society of Civil Engineers. Outside of engineering I work a part time job in the Office of Admissions.

Electrical & Computer Engineering

Emily London

Class of 2023
Mclean, Virginia
she/her/hers

YEAR: Class of 2023
HOMETOWN: Mclean, Virginia
PRONOUNS: she/her/hers

On campus, I am the director of outreach for USC Makers, conduct research for the Human-Robot Interaction Lab, and am a course producer for EE109. Outside of Viterbi, I am minoring in cultural diplomacy.

Industrial and Systems Engineering

Maya Neuenschwander

Class of 2024
Hudson, Wisconsin
she/her/hers

YEAR: Class of 2024
HOMETOWN: Hudson, Wisconsin
PRONOUNS: she/her/hers
Mechanical Engineering

Victoria Pinkett

Class of 2024
Inglewood, California
she/her/hers

YEAR: Class of 2024
HOMETOWN: Inglewood, California
PRONOUNS: she/her/hers

I'm a member of Regional Executive Board for the National Society of Black Engineer's Region VI. On campus, I am also involved in USC Makers.

Computer Science/Business Administration

Jevon Torres

Class of 2024
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
he/him/his

YEAR: Class of 2024
HOMETOWN: Mount Laurel, New Jersey
PRONOUNS: he/him/his

On campus I am involved with our National Society of Black Engineers chapter, as well as Black Student Assembly. Outside of class, I love photography, music production and talking about movies!

Biomedical Engineering

Neha Yadav