Fall 2020 Instructors

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Lana Bridi is pursuing a B.S. degree in Human Biology from the University of Southern California with minors in Mathematics and Medical Anthropology. This is her fourth semester teaching for the Shaukat Initiative, and she is very excited to meet her students. Lana is involved in other activities at USC including serving as a Resident Assistant, working with the Office for Health Promotion Strategy, assisting Dornsife Admissions as a Dornsife Ambassador, and serving as the Assistant Director for the Student Assembly for Accessibility.

Lana Bridi

Pandemics and Society

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Advaita Chandramohan is a third-year undergraduate student studying Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California. She volunteered as a tutor throughout her high school years for students of all ages, teaching different cohorts of students everything from reading and writing to science and engineering. Combined with her love for literature, she is very excited to be working with Shaukat Initiative this semester! She hopes to teach students not only how to engage deeply with what they are reading, but also impart lessons from the books into their own lives. In her free time, Advaita enjoys baking, napping, and of course, reading.

Advaita Chandramohan

The Hero's Journey Through the Ages (English Literature)

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My name is Soroush Ershadifar! I am a rising senior studying Human Biology and Mathematics at USC. My passion in education led me in becoming an instructor in Shaukat and I have been an instructor in the program since its start. Other than Shaukat, I am also part of the JEP family and Troy Camp on campus. Outside of campus for the following semester, you can find me social distancing at home back in the bay area looking for the newest food spots in LA to visit after quarantining! 

Soroush Ershadifar

Pandemics and Society

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Emily is a Junior from Ventura County who is studying French, and Law History Culture. After originally coming to USC as a business student, she took time to realize her passion in the humanities, particularly history. As an undergraduate, she is interested in exploring the formation of early societies; thinking of the intersecting roles of religion, law, and community. Outside of Shaukat, she is a Trip Lead with Peaks and Professors, a social media coordinator for the Secular Student Fellowship, a member of the First Generation service organization, Fisher Fellows, and the Treasurer for Clio, the History department’s Student Association. In her free time she enjoys reading in her hammock, skating, baking random desserts, and thinking of
our position in the universe!

Emily Johnson

American Citizenship and Law

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My name is Samantha Lee (or Sam if you’re in a rush), and I use she/her/hers
pronouns. Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, the birthplace of soul music and the best kind of barbecue, I came to USC to double major in screenwriting and history and am now going into my junior year. Besides the Shaukat Initiative, I perform sketch comedy with a troupe here at USC, work for the Daily Trojan, serve on the executive boards for the history and women in film societies, and have a student worker position at the School of Cinematic Arts.

Samantha Lee

Storytelling and Screenwriting

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Hi! My name is Stephanie Lee. My pronouns are she/her/hers. I'm from San Marino, CA so I'm pretty local to Los Angeles! Before I came to USC, I studied at the University of Washington for two years. Now, I'm currently a senior studying Human Development & Aging in the USC Leonard Davis Gerontology School. Outside of school, I work with kids at Troy Camp and am an event coordinator of PAWS. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, baking, singing, traveling, and doing embroidery. After I graduate, I plan to take a gap year and apply to vet school.

Stephanie Lee

Wildlife and Animals

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My name is Jack Rasmussen, and I was born and raised in Los Gatos, California. As someone inclined to pursue Entertainment, my interests brought me to Los Angeles to study Business, Cinematic Arts, and Sports Media Industries at USC. I am a Warren Bennis Scholar at USC, an active member of Tau Kappa Epsilon, a Marshall Student Ambassador lead, and an Assistant Director of Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society. My curious mind has led me to hold positions for Aflac, MTV, KSCO Radio Station, and Northwestern Mutual this upcoming year. I love to write and discuss philosophical ideas, passions being developed this summer at Stanford University, where I study Technology Entrepreneurship and Designing Your Life. 

Jack Rasmussen

Thinking in 2020

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My name is Sean Silvia! I am from Washington, D.C. and my pronouns are he/him/his. I am a junior History and Archaeology double major with a minor in Classics. I am the President of USC’s chapter of Phi Alpha Theta the History honors society, Vice President of STARC the student Archaeology organization, founder and Student Editor/Advisor for The Scroll History
Research Journal, an Undergraduate Student Consultant for the American Language Institute, a History Department Research Assistant, and creator of the educational Archaeologists Anonymous YouTube series. I am also a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Kappa Phi honors societies.

Sean Silvia

The Wonders of Egypt

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Yinan Su is a fourth-year undergraduate student studying Neuroscience. She is passionate about exploring the links between food and medicine and putting these ideas into practice by educating students. On campus, she is involved with neuroscience research where she is able to explore how visual inputs are processed in the brain. Off campus, she is involved with nonprofits Take Back the Night and the Garden School Foundation, an organization that engages youth in a garden based education to promote community health. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, making fermented foods, growing herbs and houseplants, and running. 

Yinan Su

The Intersectionality Between Food and Health

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My name is Jason and I am a recent USC graduate from the class of 2020 with a B.S. in Neuroscience. Born and raised in Southern California, I grew up falling in love with the Los Angeles food scene. On my quest to explore the culinary arts, I trained as a chef at the Gourmandaise School of Sweets and Savories in Santa Monica and served as a kitchen volunteer at St. Vincent’s Meals on Wheels to deliver meals to communities throughout Los Angeles. On campus, I have served as an instructor for both biochemistry and organic chemistry. Throughout my time learning and teaching these scientific subjects, I loved discovering the intersection between science and food, and understanding how cooking can be explained in terms of chemical reactions. If you haven’t guessed already, my hobbies include cooking, baking a variety of breads and pastries, and eating my delicious creations. Additionally, I enjoy triathlon sports which helps to burn off the calories I gain from my culinary endeavors. During my gap year, I aspire to master the art of making a good croissant and complete my first triathlon. Afterwards, I aim to continue my education in medical school.

Jason Tsoi

The Intersectionality Between Food and Health

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Jessica Wong

The Science Behind Peak Performance

Jessica is a third-year undergrad studying the human brain with a specialization in aging at USC. She joined this awesome organization in Fall 2019 because 1) of a personal affection towards youth empowerment through education and 2) a thematic writing course taken at USC about human values and belief systems that deeply challenged her abstract thinking, counter-argument skills, and intuition (which is what you will ultimately develop through Shaukat Initiative!). One of Jessica’s greatest passions is in Performance Science, the multidisciplinary study of peak human performance. In the recent past, she has participated in an intense High Performance Training Program and declared a Performance Science minor in the USC Marshall School of Business in Summer 2020. Throughout her time completing her Neuroscience B.S. coursework, Jessica very much enjoyed discovering how molecular neurobiology parallelly aligns with
high performance and understanding how systems and optimizations can be explained in terms of neurofeedback and neuroendocrinology. On campus, Jessica serves as a Senior Director of Academic Programming for a pre-health-centered organization named APAMSA, paddles for USC Dragon Boat Racing Team, and works at the USC Language Center. Jessica’s hobbies include running and strength conditioning, practicing mindfulness and listening to Jay Shetty’s podcasts, and continually learning how to brew the
absolute best cup of coffee.

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Hi! I’m Neha (think neigh-ha, like a laughing horse :)) Yadav. My pronouns are she/her/hers. I am a second-year undergraduate student majoring in Biomedical Engineering, with a possible minor in either Health Innovation or Human Rights. On campus, I’m involved with Engineers Without Borders, UNICEF USC, and the Associated Students of Biomedical Engineering’s STEM outreach initiative, Project in a Box. I also helped found and am currently working on a startup that provides nutrition education to students in underfunded schools. I have always been passionate about education and I firmly believe that equal access to education can revolutionize the world for the better. Furthermore, I’m very passionate about social justice and activism, and I’m extremely excited to join the Shaukat Initiative because it allows me to fuse these three interests into one course! In my spare time, I’m usually reading, playing tennis, procrastinating heavily on assignments, or attempting to learn how to skateboard (the number of falls I’ve had is atrocious). In the future, I hope to help maintain more equitability in healthcare by designing low-cost medical technologies and providing them to those who need them.

Neha Yadav

Underrepresented Voices