The following idea submissions, all spearheaded by members of the Trojan Scholars Society, are looking for collaboration and new members! If you are interested in a project, go ahead and e-mail the contact provided. For other inquiries about Scholar Connection in general, please feel to e-mail usc.scholarconnection@gmail.com.


Project Title: Native Plant Gardens

Category: Community Service, Other

Description: This project really involves two different ideas. 

Project 1: USC considers itself to be a world renown research university, yet in the face of California's drought few of the plants on campus are drought-resistant, and of those, even fewer are native to California. Native plants are an essential part of California's ecosystems. As a result of the large number of non-native plant species introduced in urban environments, there has been a drastic reduction in the number of insect species, which in turn has decimated native bird populations. Moreover, many people are unaware of what a native Californian plant actually looks like, usually citing cacti or other succulents. In reality, native plants include various species of poppy, California fuchsia, Hummingbird sage, to name a few. Thus, this project hopes to educate the USC community about native plants while simultaneously integrating the campus into the surrounding ecosystem.

Project 2: USC is situated next to the largest food desert in Los Angeles. A food desert indicates an area where there is a disproportionately high number of cheap, processed food and an absence of fresh, healthy, affordable food. Exacerbating this problem, many of these localities have a poor 'food vocabulary' as people tend to be unaware of the processes used to create the unhealthy processed foods. This leads to unhealthy food choices (and contributes to the obesity epidemic). This project aims to work with schools in these food deserts as well as local nonprofits to create school gardens and teach these students more about food to help them make better educated, healthier food choices.
Aim: We are looking for anyone who is interested in the components involved in this project, e.g. working with plants, designing garden spaces, meeting with community members, etc.

Other Info: There are several non-profits based in LA which could be used to help facilitate these projects.

Contact: Camille Saucier, csaucier@usc.edu


Project Title: Kiva Club

Category: Student Club

Description: Kiva Club is a microfinancing club that provides loans to third-world entrepreneurs. It is an international non-profit (Kiva.org) with chapters all over the country. This would be the start of a new chapter at USC. We would hold fundraisers throughout the year and loan out the proceeds to struggling entrepreneurs, and give out their eventual repaid loan to somebody else in need. It's a wonderful cycle of giving.

Aim: We welcome anyone that is passionate about making a difference in the world!

Other Info: Having been the president of a Kiva Club in high school, I know the organization as a whole very well. We would need funding initially, but eventually it would accumulate on its own since our contributions are in the form of loans, which get paid back in time.

Contact: Marianna Shakhnazaryan, mshakhna@usc.edu


Project Title: Foodmingo

Category: Business Startup

Description: Foodmingo would be an iOS/Android that allows students on campus to create profiles, view other single fellow trojans' who are currently eating at their nearby location and are interested in mingle. This allows pairing up with strangers or alert friends nearby who are eating alone. On the profile, individuals can put down their basic information and interest entirely up to their will. Profile pictures is totally optional, even not encouraged to avoid embarrassment in case one fails to pair up with someone else who dines at the same location. This app can encourage social mingling and connections, especially at dinning halls that minimize awkward loneliness emotion common to freshmen.

Aim: This project is looking to involve any CS/CESC majors, business/marketing majors, and visual art designers.

Contact: Ewina Pun, tpun@usc.edu


Project Title: Brownie Points

Category: Business Startup

Description: Brownie Points would be a monthly subscription service that would send a subscriber's significant other a sweet treat on a random date every month. Using Brownie Points, you can let your significant other know that you're always thinking about them!

Aim: This project is looking to involve individuals with entrepreneurial skill sets and ambitions, as well as anyone with an interest in the idea in order to help develop the business model and product.

Contact: Daniel Yang, danielzy@usc.edu 


Project Title: Medical Clinic in Tijuana

Category: Student Club/Philanthropy

Description: The USC Flying Samaritans goes to Tijuana every month to hold a medical clinic for the homeless shelter and orphanage at La Roca. Help provide healthcare to those who wold otherwise not receive it! 

Aim: The program is always looking for volunteers who are willing to drive to Tijuana (with gras reimbursed), fluent Spanish Speakers, and health care professionals such as doctors, nurses, and dentists. 

Contact: Jessica Thai, thaij@usc.edu


Project Title: Please Hold

Category: Art Project

Description: "Please Hold" is a short podcast (20min) story that follows a girl who falls in love with her Verizon Wireless tech support. It is told through a series of her phone conversations. The goal is to create a professional-sounding piece that will be uploaded to YouTube and Soundcloud.

Aim: We are looking for three voices (one male, two female in college and/or early/late20's). One to play the female lead "Natalie", one to play the male lead "Elliot" and one to play the Automated Voice Machine. No previous voice work is necessary.

Other Info: In total it should be 2-4 hours of work, including about 90 minutes of voicework. The schedule for recording is very flexible and would probably be on the weekend.

Contact: Mimi Evans, mimievan@usc.edu  


Project Title: SellStack

Category: Business Startup

Description:  SellStack seeks to put money back into the hands of students by creating an easier way for Trojans to sell textbooks to each other. The idea is an app where a user takes a photo of a stack of books to scan the bar codes. The app pulls a price comparison for used and buyback sales to help the user (the seller) export a simple inventory on a custom web page with optimized prices. The key is that the buyer doesn't have to download the app. Instead, interested buyers go to the webpage, select what they want to buy at the set prices and, if the buyer requests it, enter their location, availability, and payment method. That version of an app is out of reach for Jori's programming ability, so Jori is building a webpage with HTML and Python, where the ISBN entry is manual rather than scanned. Jori is looking for help with the python and a better way to scrape prices.

Aim: Students with knowledge of data scraping, python, and web development.

Contact: Jori Barash, jbarash@usc.edu


Project Title: Acoustic Decomposition of Organic Compounds

Category: Business Startup/Research Project

Description: This project would seek to use sound to oxidize organic compounds. This has applications for agricultural and municipal waste recycling.

Aim: Other scientists of any discipline are invited to become involved in this project.

Contact: Ben Johnson, benjamdj@usc.edu


Project Title: Financial LiterSC

Category: Student Club/Community Service

Description: The club is an attempt to educate the USC populace on basic financial skills such as insurance, saving, and investing. Although these skills are very valuable, many young people lack them. Financial LiterSC seeks to fill this void and equip students with the skills they will need to make good financial decisions in the future.

Aim:  Financial LiterSC aims to help educate students without knowledge of basic financial skills. This club is looking to involve any interested USC student that would like to help.

Other Info: Financial LiterSC  is looking for new members to get involved in creating and preparing lesson plans.

Contact: Joseph Gaebler, gaebler@usc.edu


Project Title: CubeForme

Category: Business Startup

Description: CubeForme is a subscription service that provides a fun and easy way for anyone to experience 3D printing, through a monthly feature of designers. With its designer-driven approach, CubeForme hopes to increase the accessibility of 3D printing and give 3D designers a way to get the recognition that they deserve. Ultimately, the company hopes to scale into a connective marketplace and accommodate the inevitable household need for 3D printing.

Aim: CubeForme, as it works to finding and creating its audience, welcomes any inquiry and collaboration. Whether you are a 3D printing enthusiast or a like-minded entrepreneur, please feel welcome to get in touch.

Other Info: Check out the company website for more information: www.cubeforme.com 

Contact: Kyle Pham, kylepham@usc.edu


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