2021 Topping Retreat Schedule

Pre-conference Financial Aid Meetings (Mandatory for NEW Scholars/Fellows)
Thursday, August 12th 4-5pm PST
  • Understanding YOUR Financial Aid – Presented by Jessica Medina, Leslie Husa and John Mendoza, Financial Aid Office Outreach Team —> (REQUIRED for new undergraduate Scholars and new graduate Fellows) (Zoom link)
Day 1
Friday, August 13th 
  • 5-6pm: Topping Retreat Kick-off!!! (REQUIRED for ALL Scholars/Fellows) (Zoom link)
  • 6-7pm: USC & Topping 101 – Presented by Carina Gonzalez, NTSAF Assistant Director; Student Speakers: Jennifer Quito & Tina Ter-Akopyan  *(REQUIRED for NEW Undergrads) (Zoom link)
  • 6-7pm: What does it mean to be a Topping Fellow? – Presented by Dr. Trista Beard, NTSAF Director; Student Speakers: Mahagoney Borrayo-Gilchriest & Tiffany Calero  *(REQUIRED for NEW Fellows) (Zoom link)
Day 2
Saturday, August 14th 
NOTE: All Scholars/Fellows must attend a minimum of 2 Workshop blocks on Saturday. Please attend as many activities as you can.

Workshop Block 1: 9:00-9:50am

  • Option 1: Undergraduate Research Experience: How to Get Started & Funded – Facilitated by Dr. David Glasgow, Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Programs; Student Speaker: Brigitte Rodriguez & Milagros Vidal  (Zoom link)
  • Option 2: What’s the Governing Board Do? – Facilitated by Hannah Franco, 2021-2022 Governing Board Chair & Jenny Ha, 2019-2020 Governing Board Chair (and friends)  (Zoom link)
  • Option 3: Start Strong & Sustain it: Strategies to Return to Campus and Manage Stress this Semester – Presented by Dr. Rashelle Nagata, OTD, Kortschak Center for Learning & Creativity  (Zoom link)

Workshop Block 2: 10:00-10:50am

  • Option 1: Transfer Talk: Building Relationships and Expanding Your Network – Presented by Carina Gonzalez, NTSAF Assistant Director; Renata Figueroa, Exploratory Advisor; Student Speaker: Kevin Moran  (Zoom link)
  • Option 2: Be the Change: A Conversation About Service and Leadership – Presented by Willa Erickson, Project Coordinator, Academic Honors & Fellowships; Student Speaker: Evelyn Camacho  (Zoom link)
  • Option 3: Grad Student Life: How to Dive In! — Presented by Dr. Jonathan Wang, Director of Asian Pacific American Student Services and Assistant Prof. of Education; Student Speaker: Agustin Garcia Badillo & Kenny On  (Zoom link)

Workshop Block 3: 11:00-11:50am

  • Option 1: Get Your Mentorship Together – Tips and Tricks to Make the Most Out of Mentorship – Presented by Mallika Samtani, Advisor, Internship and Diversity Programs, USC Career Center; Student Speaker: Bobby Voong  (Zoom link)
  • Option 2: Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone: Off-campus Opportunities – Presented by Melissa Yeager-Farfan, Study Abroad Advisor; Student Speaker: Sandra Olmedo  (Zoom link)
  • Option 3: Volunteering: Solidarity over Charity – Presented by Dr. Sable Manson, Assistant Director for Student Leadership and Development, Joint Educational Project (JEP); Student Speakers: Moakeah Rivera  (Zoom link)
  • Option 4: Positive Mental Health and Seeking Help — Presented by Kristin Howard, Therapist, Counseling and Mental Health Services (Zoom link)

Break 12-2pm

Optional Sessions — Just for Fun!   1-2pm
1. Financial Aid Drop-ins! – Presented by John Mendoza, Assistant Director of Outreach, Financial Aid Office & Leslie Husa, Senior Assistant Director of Outreach, Financial Aid Office  (Zoom link)
2. USC Trojan and Topping Trivia! – Hosted by Hannah Franco (2021-22 Governing Board Chair), & Topping Scholars, Bobby Voong, and Genesis Guerra!  (Zoom link)

Workshop Block 4: 2:00pm-2:50pm

  • Option 1: Master Career Services – Everything Graduate Students Need to Learn about Career Services at USC! – Presented by Mallika Samtani, Advisor, Internship and Diversity Programs, USC Career Center; and Esther Lanier, Sr. Career Advisor, USC Career Center  (Zoom link)
  • Option 2: Overcoming Writing Anxiety: Finding Your Voice – Presented by Professor Carlos Delgado, Associate Professor, USC Writing Program & NTSAF Board Member  (Zoom link)
  • Option 3: Defining Success for YOU: Setting Holistic Goals – Presented by Nick Blake, Campus Well-being and Crisis Intervention; Student Speakers: Alexis Augustine & Miko Mariscal  (Zoom link)

    Closing Activity (optional): 3:00- 3:30pm

    You Get When You Give: What Does Supporting Community Mean to You?  (Recommended for ALL) (Zoom link)

    Day 3
    Sunday Fun-day! (optional)*
    Sunday, August 15th, 9:00am – 12:00pm at Founder’s Park, next to Taper Hall!
    Meet and mix for games and ice breakers!  (Group Photo will be taken first, don’t be late.)

    *Sorry, parking is not provided by NTSAF.